Bahubali 2: A wake up call for Bollywood

121 cr NETT. Opening day collection, all-India. Unthinkable. Unimaginable. Unbelievable. Just three words that would come to one's mind when looking at the opening day collection of Bahubali 2!

It's truly astonishing that what many Bollywood films are unable to achieve as lifetime collections, Baahubali 2 managed to achieve on its opening day. Yes, there are different rates of Entertainment Tax in different regions which has been beneficial to Bahubali's net collections in the South in particular, but even with that, you cannot take away anything from what this film has achieved in terms of its box office collections. Touted as being the biggest blockbuster since Gadar (2001), Bahubali's box office collections currently sit at a STAGGERING 534 crore nett, all languages, all-India!

Bahubali 2 1st Day Box Office Collection

I will admit, I do not normally watch South films. However, I am fully aware what this brand is trying to do. Baahubali is a brand that strives to take Indian cinema forward with its grandeur. It should be an inspiration to Bollywood filmmakers to raise the bar in terms of scale, budget, and of course, keep content at an equally high level. You would think Bollywood filmmakers would've been inspired after Baahubali released in 2015....but alas, it was not to be!

Bollywood is still plagued by the same problems that I have mentioned time and time again this year. I will speak about the biggest problem first.

Lack of originality 

There have been four films released this year with a saleable star (Raees, Kaabil, Jolly LLB 2, and Badrinath Ki Dulhania) and with the exception of Jolly LLB 2, three of those other films had old songs remade/remixed into new songs to sell their film. Fair enough that at least one of these films still emerged a major hit (BKD), but even this film was sold as being a sequel to a film that had some influence from a major Blockbuster two decades ago (DDLJ). How many times can filmmakers/writers keep borrowing anything from DDLJ? It's redundant.

That's not it. We recently had Commando 2, which for no rhyme or reason, remade the "Hare Ram Hare Krishna" song from Bhool Bhulaiyaa released a decade ago. What about "Tu Cheez Badi Mast Mast" being remade in that super disastrous film Machine? Or, here's another ridiculous case: the song "Raabta" from Agent Vinod, which released just 5 years ago, has been named as an upcoming film (Sushant) and the song itself has been remade with Deepika Padukone, a cheap attempt to sell another good-for-nothing film. On top of that, when you make the new song promo similar to the song promo of the song 5 years ago (Sushant/Kriti running around in the midst of action as how Saif/Kareena did), the writing is on the wall of this "new" film!

For how long will Bollywood filmmakers/writers keep relying on the past?

The stars that need to step forward

When looking at the major stars that need to step forward to raise the bar in terms of scale/grandeur and content, the usual suspects come to mind first: the three Khans. Aamir Khan has does an excellent job tapping into the minds of the Indian audience in terms of what they want from all around the country. His every film connects on an All-India level. The only improvement from him would be to have another film like Dhoom 3 which would carry a huge international-level look and feel, and it seems that may be taken care of with his next film with YRF-Victor, Thugs of Hindostan, reportedly the most expensive Bollywood film ever made.

Salman Khan, after many films with ridiculous scenes/ideas, is finally getting it right in terms of content, as can be seen with Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan. This year seems to be ideal from what is needed from him: content in the form of Tubelight, and grandeur/scale in terms of Tiger Zinda Hai. However, one hopes that the content in Tiger Zinda Hai matches up to the scale of the film, a possible scenario given the strong capabilities of director Ali Abbas Zafar. Ek Tha Tiger had that huge scale, and although I like the film, I did come out of the theatre that time thinking it was an average fare.

Shah Rukh Khan recently had Fan, which although was not received well by the Indian audience, was a brave attempt at making something different and carried an international look as well (as is usually the case with big-budget films from YRF). However, other than that, he has been too busy being a part of typical Hindi masala films, such as Dilwale and Raees. Given SRK's sharp business mind, strong command over the English language, and overall class, one expects more from him in terms of taking Hindi cinema to the next level. Yes, Ra One was a misfire in terms of the negative public reaction it received, but that was nearly 6 years ago.....why not try something like that again?

Akshay Kumar's films have been getting strong appreciation from the audience, and he will have Robot 2 releasing soon with Rajnikanth, another big-budget box office juggernaut bonanza that can match the box office success of Baahubali 2.  The curious case is of Hrithik Roshan....a man who carries acting talent, dancing talent, looks like an international star, and yet, is hardly seen in any big-budget extravaganza! Dhoom 2 was a decade ago, Kites didn't work, Krrish 3 is hardly the type of cinema you want to show to non-Indians, and Bang Bang was a remake of a Hollywood film. Ideas can always be given by him to different filmmakers about making a new, exciting, big-budget project. Time to wake up while age is still on your side, Mr. Roshan!


There is a reason why footfalls of Bollywood films have declined because let's face it, how many times can one watch the same thing over and over again?

Overall, one hopes that Baahubali 2 is a wake-up call for Bollywood. A wake-up call to directors/writers, to finally start thinking of novel concepts matched with big budgets and an international look to their films, and getting rid of borrowing ideas from the past. A wake-up call to some of the top stars (specifically SRK and Hrithik as of now) to raise the bar of Hindi cinema, something which should come easily to them.

The article has been written by Bobby Sidhu who writes for us. You can follow him on Twitter here twitter.com/BobbyS_BO.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Bollywood Arena. If you also want to write for us, send your articles on [email protected]

32 comments on “Bahubali 2: A wake up call for Bollywood”

  1. Phir bada sa article leke aa gaye just like honest man
    By the way article was superbbb
    A wake up
    Nice title too

    1. Not OK jaanu:- humma
      Nakabil:- zamana
      Graribi:- laila
      Flop comando:- hare raam
      Roric ki dulhaniya:-tamma
      Raasta:- raabta
      Kharab machine:- cheez badi
      This year this list is going to be more long
      Kuch toh shaam karo
      Plz gaana churana band karo
      Originality laooo

      1. Bollywood is going backwards continuously. Earlier the likes of Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik would copy international songs. Now, new ones have started copying their old rehashed garbage. Original Tu cheez badi hai itself was a copy of Pakistani artist's song.

    2. The first thing bollywood needs to do is bring in talented young actors from open market and not these useless kids of bollywood fraternity... Currently, bollywood only looks like some family affair of a few... Same actors and then kids of the same actors... Bollywood needs to open up instead of being a closed cozy club of a few...

  2. why is everyone expecting a lot from Thugs.. it is being directed by one of the worst directors working in the industry, Victor

    1. Dhoom 3 had 61% Ormax Media WOM score in India, which is on the positive side. The film collected in the range of 285 crore as well! Furthermore, Ormax Media's audience-rated score for Aamir's performance was rated at around the 80% mark.

  3. kya collection collection lga rakha h ??

    collection k chakkar me.....dangal...dhobi ghat...."khosla ka gosla".....

    jesi movie nhi bnti h............

    or Salman or srk....collection k chakkar me hi....copy paste movie bna rha h....

    brain less audience k liye...

    1. You think Indian audience are brainless....huh I think you don't have brain to judge a movie and you only know is to fight with others...
      Salman me maximum movies copy ki hai south ki after 2008 but Srk ne only one movie I.e jab tak hai jaan and yes he tried something new with raone,fan,my name is khan....
      Except hny,dilwale etc....

  4. par sir....

    esme bollywood acter se jyada....bollywood directer ka jyada roll h........

    ashoka...jodha akbar....ydi S Rajmouli bnata to unka leval kitna high hota

    1. I would say it's 50/50: the directors need to make these films, but the actors need to suggest the ideas!

  5. YRF is on fire with the scale and budget of their upcoming movies.....can easily match any hollywood studio

  6. I am not jealous of the success of bahballi 2 but it is an ordinary story with ordinary acting however with a budget of 500 crore any film will break records
    Let's face it no one in Bollywood is going to make a film with such homangus budget

  7. I would be PK here as I think I am only one who likes D3. I believe D3 was a good movie but as it is a 3rd part of action blockbuster Dhoom series, many disappointed with story and screenplay. I believe if D3 was original one than people liked it more. Anyways I am not that much worried about Victor being a director as Aamir is half director of most of his films. Thugs will be huge both in terms of scale as well as concept wise. Aamir is the biggest hope for bigger movies in Bollywood. Period.
    Tiger Zinda hai will be huge action film but as I Didn't like the first part much so I am not interested in this. Srk's Dwarf and Rajni-Akki 2.0 will be films to watch out too.
    But yes Bahubali made Bollywood to think about content but we should appreciated Karan johar to supported this epic movie in north market in 2015

  8. Tell amir khan to do a movie on non Christmas we all Know Wat happened With Tamara byway most of Salman films wich they call senseless are actually south remakes which turned out to be Blockbuster like the originals coz they provide whole shot entertainment Even Akki is taking risk n doing great movies bollywwoo needs to get away from feminism and Romantic crap nobody wants it everybody wants action

    1. bhai...

      rang de basanti or Fanna ...dono non holiday thi....dono superhit h....

      or Dangal ....10 weeks tk chali thi...etna Bahubali b nhi chalegi....

      or Dangal ka 10th week ka collection...srk k 4th week se jyada tha....

      jha srk (swadesh ,trimurty....flop ) or salman (dabang2) Xmas pr flop or avrage movie de rhe h. .

      vha aamir Not-bandi k time...non masala movie se biggest atbb movie de rha h


      or prabhas ko bol....bina bahubali k...ww 300crore bna k btaye...

  9. In this article... yes bahubali has given a wake up call to each and every big actors and directors of Bollywood to raise their bar and don't fight for holidays.....

  10. After this article....
    1. Salman should make and he is making good films from past 2 years but he should increase the level(as he is one of the great actor in Bollywood) to interact with pan India audience....
    2.Srk should make good films (like he did before 2008) for the audience....Even his average films like Raees,dilwale and hny getsgets huge opening(shows stardom of srk) and yes also in overseas(dilwale despite clash with 2 movies it has done very well there)
    If he makes good movies and properly uses his stardom then he can create box office records..
    3. Aamir is making good films from few tears but he should make it a few massy so that south can also see it and he might do 1000cr without release in China...

    4.ajay devgan and hrithik-- you both have made your previous movie a bad one and also fight with big actors which has thrown their movies to getting big...so try to release movies without getting ego clash....

    5.All new generation actors like ranbir,ranveer,varun,tiger etc should make movies to at least be watched by north Indian and then by south Indians....you all should have a capacity of making movie of more than 100cr budget...

    6.Last but not least-- Akshay Kumar
    Does he ever tried to make a big budget movie and release by avoiding clash...the answer is big no.....
    Except 2.0(which is a rajni film as lead) he never tried to make pan India even north pan connection movie.....
    He makes movies Airlift,baby,rustom for high end multiplexes and his following in masses has declined drastically....this is not called pan india movie not even north pan movie.....
    You need to think big akki
    His next films like toilet,padman,crack all are multipkex friendly and limited to only 5-6 big cities....this is not a pan india movie akki...

    Suggetion to all bollywpod actors except aamir ...make good pan india movie to Carter all section audiences and don't copy anything to your new movie and don't fight for holidays(recently you have seen what happend to a non-holiday south movie....

    Time for Bollywood directors,actors,music directors and writers to wake up and think big and original....
    Hope something will be change from 2018....
    But in 2017 there is no change seen....

  11. I disagree!! The author got it completely wrong. I do not understand the obsession with Hollywood. Why do you want another Hollywood when you already have one?
    Baahubali had collected more because it played to the desi style filmmaking and took it to the extreme. That's what drove Indians who don't usually watch movies into the cinemas.
    The Koreans rule the rom-com genre, Japanese rule the anime and the horror, French rule the noir. And ideally Bollywood should rule the commercial cinema that's our own creation, the style that you cannot possible find it any other country.

    Any movie will be liked by audience if it's emotionally engaging. You can totally make a mind numbing masala movie utterly engaging and emotional. That's what Rajamouli excels at. He is the one guy who can make excellent masala movies. Baahubali still has so many issues, knowing rajamouli he will only get better With time. Given the rate at which disposable income of the Indians is Increasing, and the cinema expansion because of the govt., led mass digitization. The 5.5 cr foot fall will double by the time he makes the maha Bharat.

  12. Totally incorrect analysis. Bahubali is as rooted as can be, but the author is obsessed with going "International" in a big way. Bahubali has demonstrated the actual strength and capacity of the pan India BO, which can only by maximized by rooted Indian movies, NOT by International Hollywoodised paradigms. Bahubali has smartly integrated western CGI tech with Desi Rootedness. We need more of that from Bollywood.

  13. The first thing I would do is sign ss rajamouli I remember south directors used to have a great track record in Bollywood in late seventies till mid nineties then dil se (directed by south super director mani ratnam) and kuch kuch Hota hai made big money overseas and the equation changed since then the only south directors have been mani sir and ar murgodoss and director of bodyguard who hasn't been heard from again but Bollywood needs to give South Indian directors a chance to prove the metal in Bollywood.

  14. I don't agree with this article. You do not really need an international look to sell a film in India. Instead, the film should be based in the heartland of India and should have emotions that can connected with the Indian audience and should not be complicated like Hollywood movies. Also, all the movies that release have a hint of the past and there is nothing wrong in that. Even your so called maha blockbuster, Bahubali and Bahubali 2, are kind of a remake of Karan Arjun. The major differences are that instead of two brothers being good, one is good and one is bad. Then instead of rebirth, the follow the suryavansham plot, with everyone in the family having the same face. Then its back to karan arjun, a mother is tortured till the time her child returns. Everyone thinks her child is dead, but she has faith that he's alive. On the other side, the son is romancing with tamanna bhatia the way Shahrukh romanced with kajol. Then the son incidentally crosses the path of his destiny and suddenly feels the urge to save everyone and boom karan arjun remade in two different parts.

    Also, Bahubali is kind of a direct copy of the lion king. It's just based on humans instead of lions.

    Remakes and Indian heartland movies are the only ones that sell in India. We want to see the past again and again, we just don't want to know that this is from the past.

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