Jasmine Singh takes a look at the success of Punjabi Cinemas recent releases and speaks with experts about what is wrong, right and how Punjabi Cinema needs to move forward and grow. For us here at Daily Ent. Xpress, it is all about quality over quantity, that is with all facets of Punjabi entertainment, music and film, and until people start to grasp that, we may be forced to endure more bad than good.
Laavan Phere, Laung Laachi, Sajjan Singh Rangroot, Subedar Joginder Singh, Khido Khundi Golak Bugni Tey Batua, Daana Paani, Raduua… last two months have seen some back-to-back releases. If these are any measure of the growth of Punjabi cinema, well, then it is doing pretty well! However, all these films, barring one or two, have done average business and some even below that.
So, shouldn’t the industry adopt some smart ways to make business? Spacing out films can probably be a good solution or is there more that the producers or distributors can think of?
The first show of Punjabi film Raduaa at Centra Mall, Chandigarh, was cancelled because not even a single ticket was sold. For the leading distributor in Punjab, Munish Sahni, the solution doesn’t lie in minimising the number of films. “The answer to this problem lies in the content; we need to make Punjabi films that are rich in content, so that the audiences are compelled to watch them every week.”
Munish also explains how decreasing the number of film releases will be good for the industry. “On an average, if a film does Rs four crore net business, and one film is released every alternate week, it makes a total turnover of Rs 80-100 crore, which is very less for the industry.”
Too much repetition:
Producer Gunbir Sidhu, from White Hill Movies and Films, seconds the fact but he also feels that repetition of character artistes is the reason why films are losing their charm. “In every Punjabi film, you will see the same bunch of characters. This needs to change.”
Of late, Punjabi scripts have also become experimental. “However, if you are making anything in the name of experimentation, then be ready to get a thumbs-down from the audience,” warns producer Mandeep Singh, who is of the opinion that the content of Punjabi films should be rooted in Punjabi sensibilities. “There is no harm in experimenting, but one must understand sensibilities of the audience.”
The industry also needs smart producers, who understand that a film needs a release plan. However, it is the problem of dates that they have to deal with. “We don’t release films in December and January; so, effectively, we have only 10 months and every month is so busy that even if a filmmaker decides to postpone a film, it wouldn’t find a date soon.”