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Is Pandemic Changing The Way We Consume New Bollywood Movies - Forever?

The ways in which we watch new Bollywood movies is rapidly changing. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, theaters were shut down. Movie releases were initially postponed, but Bollywood couldn’t contain it for so long. According to the New York Times, Bollywood released approximately 1,800 movies in 2019, which was about 35 a week. That is a lot of movies to reschedule for future release! As a result, Bollywood, just like Hollywood, joined forces with streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Hotstar in order to release new movies that would have normally gotten a theatrical release.

Will this ultimately change the type of Bollywood content that is being produced? New York Times analysts said that Bollywood movies were straying away from the usual romantic or action-hero films with a full star-cast. Instead, more shows and movies are not only being produced and directed by women, but also have women leads and women-centric stories.

This is a huge shift for Bollywood. This past year we had “Shakuntala Devi” release on Amazon Prime about a female mathematician, featuring Vidya Balan. However, we also had a recent release on Amazon Prime by David Dhawan – a remake of “Coolie No 1” featuring his son Varun Dhawan. It is a very colorful and exaggerated love story, with big songs, which is what we are used to seeing from Bollywood. What does the future of Bollywood look like now that the pandemic has drastically changed the way we consume content? 

Will we get more intellectually stimulating movies and shows, or will we continue to get the over exaggerated hero and love stories? I personally hope we continue to get a little bit of both. As much as I love the growing variety in Bollywood movie genres, there is still a charm to watching the loud and colorful movies. How about you?

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