Advanced technology can make actors fly in the air, jump down high-rises and do other dazzling, dangerous stunts. But it is the old Bollywood 'dhishoom, dhishoom' staple that really sets the viewer's adrenaline rushing - borne out by the success of "Rowdy Rathore", another raw action entertainer that has earned over Rs.105 crore.
"Dabangg", "Singham" and "Agneepath" had their fair share of raw action and all did brisk business, earning Rs.145 crore, Rs.139 crore and Rs.120 crore, respectively.
Salman Khan's "Wanted" and John Abraham's "Force" also fall in the same league of films with tough and strong male leads, who make villains count stars with their kicks and punches. End result? The viewers hooted, clapped, whistled and came back for more.
Clearly, hi-tech entertainers made with mega-budgets like underwater thriller "Blue" and sci-fi "Krrish" and "Ra.One" have their place, but the masses, particularly those in the interiors, want raw, rugged action.
Agrees Bollywood's 'khiladi' Akshay Kumar, who returned to action with the Rs.45 crore-worth "Rowdy Rathore" after six years.
"I personally believe that people enjoy raw action more than technology. If you use too much of technology, it will bounce back. People are very smart and understand what is real and what is unreal," Akshay told IANS.
"If you sit in single theatres and watch such films with the audience, you will hear people saying, 'Arre ye toh computer pe kiya hai (This is done on computer)'. You can't take your audiences for granted. So when I did my first action film 'Rowdy Rathore' after six years, I chose to do raw action. I believe in manpower and not technological power," he said.
The success of "Rowdy Rathore", which grossed over Rs.100 crore within two weeks of its release, ratifies his belief.
According to film critic Omar Qureshi, nothing works without a good story.
"Essentially, Bollywood is about songs, dance and drama. In between, our filmmakers were copying straight from Hollywood. They have a different style of filmmaking, which does not really connect with the rawness of our interiors," Qureshi told IANS.
Does this mean that Bollywood is not ready for the slick action of films in the west?
"No! You have to detach yourself from the subject and then make a movie. You can have the best gadgets, you can shoot the movie underwater and you can shoot the movie on the moon... all you need is a good story," he said.
"Rowdy Rathore" co-producer Shabina Khan says action can be showcased in any form on the big screen, but it is of no use if it doesn't entertain the right way.
"People go to a theatre to be entertained. Today there are all sorts of action scenes - live action and special effects-created scenes. It's not true that live action entertains better," Khan told IANS.
" 'Mission Impossible: 4' had hysterical action sequences, and it worked. Viewers can be entertained by just a sequence wherein one actor slaps another... it's just about the whole experience and how entertaining the experience is," she added.
"Dabangg 2", "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2" and "Shootout At Wadala" are amongst the upcoming films showing plenty of the tried and tested 'dhishoom' formula. And the makers are hoping that they will be laughing all the way to the bank.
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