Friday, January 31, 2020

Reboots and Remakes are taking Over the Movie World- Where is this leading us?

Have we really reached a Stagnation point in Movie-making or is it just some mediocre minded people trying to make safe bets? How is this harming the film industry and humanity in general?

2019 has been a year of remakes and reboots in Hollywood as well as Bollywood. Many films that have won critical acclaim in the past have been remade in the year and many more are announced to arrive in 2020. What is it that is driving these two industries that are considered to be the largest in the World opt for remakes instead of investing in Originality despite the surplus resources that they own? Before diving into the storm, let us look at the remakes and how they are working out first.

Hollywood had remade and announced a remake of more than 20 films in the past year. The number is considered nothing concerning the films that are made on an average per year. But if we look at the films that are remade one can’t help but notice the stink around it. Let us look at some of the remade and rebooted films in 2019-20. Charlie’s Angels, Grudge, The Addams Family, Men in Black, Aladdin, Pet Semetary, Hellboy, Dumbo, Shaft, The Lion King, Tomb Raider, Jumanji, etc.

The same goes for Bollywood that has released and planning to release a myriad of films in the next year. Bollywood is used to remaking Hollywood films since the beginning of time. Old Super Hit Films like Aitbaar (Dial M for Murder), Teen Chor (We’re No Angels), Jhuk Gaya Aasman (Here Comes Mr.Jordan), Baghban (Make way for Tomorrow), Baazigar (There’s Something About Mary) are all remakes of the mentioned Hollywood films.

Many recent films can be included in this list. Salman Khan and Govinda starrer Partner is the remake of Will Smith starrer Hitch. Akshay Kumar’s Hey Babyy is the remake of a film named Three Men and a Baby. Kaante is of Reservoir Dogs, God Tussi Great Ho is of Bruce Almighty, Players is of The Italian Job, and Bang Bang is of Knight and Day.

Walking the same path as Hollywood, Bollywood also remakes the Super Hit older Hindi films with new stars to grant a fresh perspective to the stories and the obvious reason- to make money out of it. Films like Don, Ittefaq (which itself is a remake of British Film Signpost to a Murder), Agneepath, Devdas, etc., are remakes of older Hindi films.

The notable point that one can observe is that all these films are spread over a few years. Now as we jump to 2019- 2020 where many remade films have been released or being planned to release. The Superhit Shahid Kapoor starrer Kabir Singh is the remake of South Indian Blockbuster Arjun Reddy. And then there is Sushant Singh Rajput’s Drive which is a remake of the Hollywood film of the same name starring Ryan Gosling and Kartik Aryan’s Pati Patni Aur Woh which is a remake of Sanjeev Kumar’s film of the same name.

Upcoming films like Love Aaj Kal, Coolie No.1, Tiger Shroff’s Rambo, Dil Bechara (The Fault in our Stars), Sanjay Dutt’s Prasthanam (Prasthanam), Parineeti Chopra’s The Girl on the Train, are all remakes of films from old hindi hits, Hollywood or the South. In addition to these films, plans have been made to remake Hollywood’s Begin Again, Red, Forrest Gump, The transporter, and The Intern.

It is a well-known fact that only successful films are remade. The films though do not come with a certainty of success, do carry a tag of an above-average success rate which is an aphrodisiac to the investors. While there can be many reasons behind this, one cannot ignore the business perspective that plays a key role in any industry be it industrial production or art.

But what is the reason for this sudden blast of remakes? Is the movie industry focused on just making money? While it is a well-known fact that Money Drives all the research and Art in the World, the fact that most money is being spent on recreating the old art tells us that people are investing more in safe bets than in experiments. This while sounds good for a guy who just wants to get a job, make a family, and wait for death, is not the right attitude for someone who is investing in creation.

The fact that this trend is being followed worldwide also infers that the movie industry is turning more into a money-making machine than an art industry. As investing in the movie business became easier, an increasing number of investors are trying to make more money faster and this, while pouring money into developing art is restricting filmmakers to making commercial films rather than films with better subjects and depth.

The notion that films are just for entertainment and for money-making also has increased recently and this thought is not just restricted to the investors. The number of common people who are thinking this way has increased drastically and is becoming the reason for the dilution of the idea that looks at films as Art. The ignorance among the masses cannot be ridden of so easily if the top tier is at the crux of it all.

Though many filmmakers are making films that raise people’s consciousness, dig deeper into human minds, explore subjects and talk about taboos, as the money flow to commercial films is increasing, this is forcing the younger individuals to turn their concentration towards no-brainer commercial films that are fixated on making money. With the lack of necessary motivation or the resources to create better art, humanity will be drowned in unnecessary, irrelevant information which is detrimental to our collective evolution.

If this continues, the majority of future films will be a bunch of crowd-pleasing, meaningless pieces that neither help humanity think nor lets them evolve. The declining success rate of movies must have been an evidence of this fact. But we are collectively choosing to ignore it due to the lack of larger perspective and due to our tendency to focus on immediate profits rather than the future.

The point that needs an emphasis here is that, “There is an immediate necessity for thoughtful investors just as much as there is a necessity for thoughtful filmmakers. Investors with innovation, creativity, and vision that can empower the human mind are just as important as the filmmakers that possess those qualities.

Films (Art) can either empower humanity or help speed up its collective decay.