[tps_footer]This year, it was all about the little gems, that stole everyone’s heart. At the cinemas this year, it was the little film that got everyone talking.
Long since regarded as “niche market films” meant for “multiplex audiences”, this year the indigenous (of sorts) film took centerstage. Totally apt that in its centenary, Bollywood woke up and paid heed to the littler films, focussing more on content and quality than on satiating a more massy palate.
The facts, therefore, speak for themselves. This year, a glorious one for the small film, a large number of low-budget, content-centric, homegrown indies made audiences sit up and take notice. Little gems like The Lunchbox, Fukrey, Ship of Theseus, Mere Dad ki Maruti, Shuddh Desi Romance and several others made it to the big league, not perhaps in terms of numbers, but at least in terms of audience recall.
Unsurprisingly, such films not only managed to do great business, but even generated unprecedented hype in certain cases. For example, Ritesh Batra’s little masterful film The Lunchbox was a strong contender for India’s official entry to the Oscars, a race it eventually lost out to Gyan Correa’s littler (and less widespread) film The Good Road.
Also interesting to note was the fact that these were mostly stories emerging from the heartland. Most of these small films were based in smaller towns, rather than big cities, and it is perhaps this colloquial quality that won over legions of admirers. Shuddh Desi Romance, for one, was set in Jaipur, while Fukrey was based in the bylanes of Jamunapur. Raanjhanaa was painted on the canvas of Benares, while Mere Dad ki Maruti saw all the action take place in the raucous streets of Punjab’s hinterland – Chandigarh.
Another factor that seems to be working in favour of the small films is the backing by big production houses. Studios like Yash Raj Films, Excel Entertainment, Eros International, Dharma Productions, UTV etc have all had their fingers in the “small film” pie this year.
With so much going for the little film, so to speak, it wouldn’t be surprising if decades down the line, 2013 would be remembered as the year that ushered in the “little film with a big heart”.[/tps_footer]