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Why KAMINEY could only become a Semi-Hit and not a Big Universal Blockbuster all over India?

02 Sep, 2009 | Articles on Cinema

A film which was unanimously appreciated by everyone related to the field and got a thunderous opening at the box office, creating a spirited wave among the younger brigade, has been shockingly declared just above average earner or Semi Hit (Source : bollywoodhungama.com & boxofficeindia.com). The outcome may be strange for many but it’s not that shocking to me since this kind of result was being expected due to my own debatable reasons as mentioned in my review (with rating 2.5/5).  

Now I agree that the movie is a first of its kind in Indian Cinema and indeed a path breaking brilliant attempt by the director Vishal Bhardwaj, undoubtedly. Taking a big leap ahead, moving out of the conventional movie making standards adopted in Hindi Cinema, KAMINEY does stand tall with full marks to its highly creative content and execution. But the division today, actually lies in our viewership which has gone through drastic changes in the last few years since the Multiplex Mania, DVD Boom, Movie Channels Revolution in Cable TV and Torrent availability in the web world. In other words, the above mentioned factors have divided our viewers into two parts.

At one end, are the young enthusiastic movie lovers, who have developed a new vision of their own and are ready to witness some fresh experiments and innovations in our Indian Cinema eagerly. With more than needed movie channels airing English movies throughout the day and WORLD CINEMA knocking at their doors louder than ever before, the young minds are now being served with products having much higher class and taste.
They are watching Cinema from all parts of the World in their homes and are now familiar with more genres of movies than ever known to them talking about Tarantino, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Guy Ritchie, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan and many others master film-makers of the globe.  Moreover, affordable DVD Libraries opened right across the road and Torrents, have given them easy access to a huge collection of films of different languages and origin, just at a price of their new jeans.
As a result, the moment they see, Shahid and Priyanka wearing a normal cloth line in a Vishal Bhardwaj movie, dancing to the fiery song which goes “Dhan Tan Nan”, they are just dying to see it. And that’s what gave “Kaminey” such a fabulous response in its opening days.
However the above mentioned reform is still prominent in metros and among the net savvy population of the major cities ready to go for a change only. And the real truth remains that the majority of our Indian population still watches cinema as a savior out of their routine tense life and nothing else. A big part of India still lives on a daily earning basis and gladly likes to spend its hard earned money only on movies just for fun. They simply want to forget the hardships of their tiring day and are eager to move into the blackout of the theater ready to shout, dance, laugh and cry with the images on the screen.
And these are the viewers who stand at the other side of my debate. The people, who are much more in number, than the youth appreciating “Kaminey” and who apparently didn’t find what they were looking for in the movie. The reason being, that they do not buy a ticket for a film to understand it or study it as a medium or subject. They only buy the ticket to freak out. In simple words, they are not in the theater to enjoy how well the film is technically made or beautifully crafted, but they get seated in the theater only to get out fresh and revived. And in “Kaminey” as mentioned in my review, they did find the entertainment factor missing in great measures. They couldn’t find the relief they had come for listening the song “Dhan Tan Nan”. Instead they found the movie more tense, dark and disappointing.
So where the Metro public came in huge numbers to watch “Kaminey” in the multiplexes, the smaller centers didn’t witness a similar kind of response in the single screen theaters and the attendance even dropped further as the week progressed. Ironically, where the whole press and net reviewers were giving shining stars to the movie, the "Aam Janta" thought differently and reacted according to their own expectations. Moreover the “Dhan Tan Nan” song which clearly indicated on a battle half won, also couldn’t help out the movie from becoming just an above average earner.
The result clearly shows that our viewers are now divided into two different sections as mentioned before. One, who really appreciate and understand this kind of cinema and desperately want more such brilliant films to be made by our Indian directors. And two, who are still interested in watching light fantasy movies with good old emotional and romantic touches taking them away from their real life problems. The innocent viewers of this section are neither familiar with the different kind of genres being appreciated all over the world today, nor are they interested in trying out something new with their precious time and money.
But eventually, both sections of the viewers are equally respectable in their places as they have their own contrasting living styles and thinking patterns to deal with. So, it’s quite understandable that a movie like “Kaminey” cannot become a universal Hit all over India, because it doesn’t have the content of that sort. It could easily satisfy a thinking viewer in the city, but not a simple small town viewer, who just wanted to enjoy his movie like he did in a “Rangeela” or “Race”. It’s a different kind of cinema altogether based on dark realism and besides this, the genre is still “under construction” in Indian Cinema.
Hence, in the changing scenario, more important is the target audience, which has to be studied in details before judging the actual success or failure of a movie. It’s indeed difficult to come up with a project satisfying both section of the viewers together (such as Munna Bhai series or Rang De Basanti). As a result a film like “Kaminey” is destined to have mixed box office response from different centers of the county (as predicted in my review).
Interestingly, even when it proves to be only an above average project and not a universal hit, it still has been able to break the Cold Ice in our Industry. The movie has emerged as a big trend setter opening new avenues for many future producers and directors. It has given birth to a completely new genre in Hindi films which was never tried before by any director with full force. And luckily, in today’s high price world, where a few days earnings (Initial) from Multiplexes all over India can easily cover the cost of a descent budget movie, we can surely afford to experiment more and try our hands on such new styles of cinema on a frequent basis.
Talking specifically about the changing trends, it was Ram Gopal Verma, who started this unique vision of “Different Cinema” in the Indian Film industry. But sadly he seems to have lost his way in the middle (Hope he gets it back soon). Now, Vishal Bhardwaj has picked up the same enlightening torch again, so let’s make way for him and for more such talented film-makers ready to give us something unique & “Hat-Ke” as food for our cinematic thoughts.
At the same time, we also have to continue making light, loving & enjoyable movies for both the important sections of our viewers together. A “Kaminey”, “Dev-D” or “Sankat City” is equally important for the growth of our Indian cinema as is “Raaz”, “New York” or “Love Aaj Kal”.
So let’s keep making them all together.
Cheers to the spirit of making and watching films.

(Click here to read the review of "Kaminey" in details)

Tags : Kaminey Movie Review, Kaminey is just a Semi Hit, Kaminey is not a blockbuster, Kaminey a path breaking movie, Kaminey a trendsetter, Vishal Bhardwaj, Ram Gopal Verma, Articles on Cinema by bobby sing, Articles on Cinema at Bobbytalkscinema.com
02 Sep 2009 / Comments ( 9 )
Hai Bobby,

You have done an accurate and fantastic analysis regarding people\'s pulse! Well Done.I too think about RGV the same way!
Bobby Sing

Thanks Bavani,
I really hope that RGV gets back to his original form and gives us another "Shiva" or "Satya"



Great post, i don\'t know much about the indian audience but i feel movies that one might think would cater to their needs can either be a hit or miss, a movie i still can\'t understand why it failed in india is \'The burning train\'.

What did that movie do to have opend to a average/below average response, that movie holds a place in my heart as its the only Disaster bollywood movie i know of...

Bobby Sing

Yep, there are many movie to add to your list which should have been appreciated much more.
A recent example i recall was "Mumbai Meri Jaan" released in 2008 and also "Yeh Mera India" released in 2009.


Jagroop Shergill, Canada
Mr. Bobby nice review. I realy admire your passion for film journalism. Thanks
Bobby Sing

Thanks Mr. Jagroop,
Really looking forward to have more opputunities to prove my passion.
God Willing, If provided a chance I will surely try to contribute my bit to cinema.

Thanks for writing in, Please share your views more often.

Raghunandan K
Hey Bobby,

I honestly didnt get the point of Vishal Bharadwaj Movies .... I had the similar feeling when I watched Omkara. When the entire world was gaga over him ,I found it so average. I still dont get why the movie is so spoken about.Same state with this movie as well ...

Bobby Sing

Hi Raghunanadan,

You are quite right as many of my fellow movie lovers also felt the same that the movie was somehow being over-rated everywhere. Nice to see your comment after a long time.

Keep visiting .....Cheers!


The huge success of a pure masala movie \"WANTED\" at mainly the single screen theaters is a strong statement in favour of my this post on \"Kaminey\'s Under Performance\".
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