Actor Imran Khan believes that Bollywood is now in its “best phase” since the Indian film industry is now clearly divided into segments.
“Cinema is no more a wholesome family entertainer. Just like television has always had different segments according to their feel and storyline, now segmentation is happening in the film industry,” said Khan, whose latest film Delhi Belly released on Friday, July 1.
“The segmentation may be on the basis of adult or children, rural or urban, commercial or offbeat cinema. All these segments have been overlapping for years but have never been defined as clearly as they are now.”
He might be just five films old but Khan, nephew of actor Aamir Khan and producer-director Mansoor Khan, has had a long association with Bollywood.
The 28-year-old had a stint with showbiz as a child star in films like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander before stepping into Bollywood as a leading man in the 2008 romantic comedy, Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na.
Apart than his debut film, the others were dismal failures. Still, the actor feels that the industry is in its best phase.
“In my opinion, we are in the best time that Hindi film industry has ever had because there has been nothing like this in the past. It is growing by leaps and bounds,” said the actor.
He added, “In the last couple of years, we have set a new set of record for box-office; collected more money than anybody could have ever thought the Indian film industry could. Our market is growing, our cash turnover is growing. It is exploding”.
Interestingly, Khan is of the view that the collaboration with corporate houses has been a bane.”They were so desperate to have a star that they were just throwing money without asking about the script or the budget. They were happily signing on pay cheques of INRs.200 to 400 million without having any knowledge about it. It took the industry time to understand that it was not helping but degrading the standards,” he asserted firmly.
Khan, who despite his flop films is still amongst the most sought-after actors in Bollywood, has concerns about the kind of business his film does. “I am very particular about the recovery of my business. I charge less money than most of my contemporaries. I don’t like to burden my film upfront. I tend to take a share in the profit of the film. It’s a risk as you are gambling on the success of your film,” the young actor explained.
“I am basically investing in the future because by keeping my budget low I am ensuring a better opportunity for my film to perform. If it does well, I will earn more money, but if it doesn’t, I will lose money along with the film.”
When asked how difficult it is for a newcomer to break into an industry dominated by the Khans and Kapoors, he said, “Salman, Shah Rukh, Aamir – they are like legends now. They have been here for more than 20 years. It takes that much time to build up that kind of fan-following. It can’t happen in two years. You have to consistently build an audience.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2011.
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