The Rise of Content Driven Cinema and Role of Censor Board of India

Categories: Indian Cinema


Indian cinema has been through some exciting ups and downs over the period of over 100 years since its existence. Recently, it has seen a shift which has taken the entire phenomenon of Bollywood to a completely different level and that is the rise of Content driven cinema. There has always been a very thin line between content-driven films and commercial films as far as Bollywood is concerned. But it seems that the thin line is finally fading away with time as people have become more accepting of the new and fresh content over the typical masala movies.

The viewers have been in the driving seats as far as the shift is concerned. Earlier it would have been difficult for such change to settle in but the existing era has established a way for the content-rich cinema.

The role of the Censor board in this changing scenario also becomes instrumental as how far it will bring change within the system of censoring the content in this new age world.

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The changing scenario of Indian cinema and changing perspectives of the viewers became the prime motivation behind the thought of undertaking this research. Also, with the sudden rise of the OTT (Over the Top) Media has opened doors for the futuristic content and it will be interesting to see how Indian movie industry shapes up with the changing times and how pivotal the Censor Board becomes in this entire ongoing process.

Chapter: 1 Introduction

Hindi Cinema, often called as Bollywood is the largest filmmaking industry in the world which makes almost 1000 films a year.

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Though the conversion rate of films made to getting revenue back is not at all high but still every year with the same enthusiasm the film industry welcomes new content. Off lately, Bollywood has observed a shift in the style of films being made. Earlier it was all period films and masala films which had specified target audiences and majorly they were made for the masses of the nation. Such films are still made in this era as well but apart from these movies, there are certain films which have been proven path-breaking in terms of the content which they have delivered. It feels like freshly brewed content which we sip and it either gives a refreshing wave to our lives or it gives us the exact idea of how the society is shaping. Either way, such movies have made a large impact not only on the industry but also on the viewers of the cinema.

1.1 What are content driven films?

Content is the king as they say but how does it matter and that too to such a large extent in Bollywood. So, fresh and new content with newer ideas and rich storytelling is all about delivering the content driven films. Gone are the days when appreciations and acclaims were the only returns such films used to get. Over the period of time Bollywood has observed the shift where audience has grown in such a manner that they not only appreciates the film but actually go in theatres and watch it that has immensely helped to grow the box office collections for such content driven films.

1.2 The shift in progress

In last decade, there has been a fine mix of movies which were only critically acclaimed and movies which were not only acclaimed but also won big on the box office as well. For example, there was a film called ‘Aankhon Dekhi’ which was directed by Rajat Kapoor, it was a highly acclaimed cinema and a sheer piece of art but it never got the box office returns that it deserved. But on the other hand, there are movies like Piku, Badlapur, and Pink which are all high on the fresh content but also received an immense response on Box Office as well. There are multiple reasons behind this success of all the above-mentioned movies and one of them being the strong star cast in all of them. That’s exactly the shift happening in the industry and the thin line between commercial cinema and content-driven cinema is disappearing, it is indeed a positive shift as far as the future of the film industry is concerned.

The viewers have been in the driving seats as far as the shift is concerned. Earlier it would have been difficult for such change to settle in but the existing era has established a way for the content-rich cinema. The established director Shoojit Sircar went on to state that the disparity between Content Driven and Commercial Bollywood films is decreasing rapidly. Another established director Anurag Kashyap had shown his concern about how the freedom of expression is still being deteriorated by the censor board in India.

1.3 The Role of Censor Board

The role of the Censor board in this changing scenario also becomes instrumental as how far it will bring change within the system of censoring the content in this new age world. Also, the rise of Over the top (OTT) has made it even more interesting to see how the entire content world will be regulated and to what extent. Also, the viewers increasing demand and urge of freshly brewed content has put a dilemma in the minds of makers whether to look the final work from censorship’s perspective or from the audience’s perspective.

Hence, this research basically will include collective responses from the young/millennial audiences who are the consumer of the new content as well as the industry specialists who are there, in the process with their work which is relevant to the industry. Also, it will provide us the clarity of thought as for how the coming years are going to be in terms of fresh content’s penetration and the satisfactory level of the consumers.

The movies/films which are filtered are from Bollywood industry only and were released between 2013 and 2018. These films are filtered on the 3 different bases; Critics acclamation, Quality of Content and a mix of both as well as Box office performance.

This research paper will have a mixed method approach comprising of In-depth interviews, Questionnaire (Online surveys of a closed Target) and Case Study methodologies. In all these methods, the kind of target group will be similar and will certainly be youth-centric as they have been on the receiving end of whatever changes that are taking place in the industry also their role as the viewers make the research more interesting.

There are various research papers and case studies explored in order to understand the depth of the research subject and meet the research objective as effectively as possible. The same is cited in the appendices towards the end.

Mentioned below are the movies/films which I have filtered in order to perform the entire research. As mentioned above, all these movies are from the year 2013 to 2018.

1.4 The Movies which changed the phase of Bollywood


1. The Lunch Box:

An epistolary Indian romantic drama film directed by Rakesh Batra starred Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the main roles. With many critics unanimously backing the film for 86th Academy Award, it was a clear choice for India’s nomination but due to controversies, it could not enter the Oscar race. Even though the kind of story that the film had, won many hearts around the world and created a marvelous impact on the minds of viewers all over. The film was screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and it also did a whopping 100 cr business worldwide.

2. Madras Café:

Shoojit Sircar’s John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri starring Madras Café took up the storm in the nation because of its gripping content and plot. The film was set in the 1980s and early 90s and revolved around the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Mr. Rajeev Gandhi. Though the film couldn’t capture the box office but still was a hit as it made 40+ cr of business.

3. Special 26:

A hugely acclaimed drama by Neeraj Pandey which turned out to be one of the finest films of 2013, Special 26 starred Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Shergill and Kajal Aggarwal in the main roles. The film was inspired by the 1987 Opera House heist where a group posing as CBI officers executed an IT raid on the jeweler in Mumbai. The quirky plot and gripping storyline made it one of the highest grosser of the year with almost securing a berth in 100 Cr club.

4. Lootera:

An Indian Historical drama directed by an ace director Vikramaditya Motwane, Lootera was based on author O.Henry’s 1907 short story ‘The Last Leaf’. It starred Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha and Vikrant Massey in prime roles. Lootera was an unusual fit in the Indian Cinema industry and it turned out to be a daring move by Motwane to come up with this film which was highly appreciated and also the performances of lead cast was lauded by both the critics as well as the audiences. The music was given by Amit Trivedi and lyrics was penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya, all the songs were so soothing that they bagged many awards that year.


1. Gulaab Gang:

2014’s crime drama Gulaab Gang was a comeback movie of her era’s superstars, Madhuri Dixit & Juhi Chawla. The film was directed by Soumik Sen and produced by Alumbra Entertainment. Though the film couldn’t meet up to the expectations of makers in terms of making money and was announced a flop but the buzz got created around it because of the fine content and reality which was shown in the film about the Gulaab Gang members who are activists and vigilantes of Bundelkhand.

2. Aankhon Dekhi:

Written and Directed by Rajat Kapoor, Aankhon Dekhi was one of the most finely sculptured drama films of the year 2014. Aankhon Dekhi was the opening film at the eighth yearly Mosaic Intl South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF) 2014 in Toronto, Canada. Since it was one of the highly critically acclaimed films of the year it bagged almost all the awards which were in Critics section, be it a story, screenplay or acting.

3. Citylights:

A film which gave the reality of the livelihood in the city of dreams, Mumbai was directed by Hansal Mehta. It starred Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha in lead roles. Though it couldn’t do well on box office it was highly acclaimed by the critics all over.

4. Filmistaan:

Taking a quirky take on Bollywood itself, Nitin Kakkar came up with this gem of a comedy film Filmistan. With no well-known face in the movie, it still emerged as one of the finest comedy films of the year. The film was also screened in the 17th Busan International Film Festival, The Mumbai Festival and International Film Festival of Kerala.

5. Haider:

Vishal Bharadwaj came up with a modern-day adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in 2014. Shahid Kapoor stunned everyone by playing the lead role as it was absolutely intense and he dropped deep into the character. Haider became the first ever Indian film to win the People’s Choice Award at the Rome Film Festival.

6. Ugly:

Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly was one of its kinds of movies which premiered in Director’s Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. It was also screened at the New York Indian Film Festival, Ladakh International Film Festival and the Indian Festival of Los Angeles. The film was theatrically released in 2014 due to Anurag Kashyap’s refusal to carry Anti Smoking warnings in the film. It didn’t get the box office returns as per the piece that it was but got highly acclaimed all over the globe, Kashyap for his direction and Ronit Roy for his acting.

7. Highway:

Highway is an Indian Road Drama film directed by Imtiaz Ali starred Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda in the prime roles. The film is based on the episode of a Zee TV anthology series ‘Rishtey’. It revolves around the story of a girl who develops Stockholm Syndrome after getting kidnapped. Highway was screened in the Panorama Section of the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival. Film’s strong star cast, Imtiaz’s fine direction, and A.R.Rahman’s music made it one of the big blockbusters of the year.


1. Baby:

Neeraj Pandey’s action thriller movie Baby was made with a budget of 60 Crores and earned a whopping 150 Crores on Indian Box Office. It starred the big shots like Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Taapsee Pannu, Rana Daggubati and Danny Denzogpa.

2. Drishyam:

A remake of 2013’s Malayalam film with the same name, Nishikant Kamat came up with its Hindi version and the film was no less than exceptional in terms of quality of film making and its powerful storyline and performances. Ajay Devgn and Tabu were the main leads of the film and they gave the best justice to their respective characters.

3. Manjhi: The Mountain Man

Manjhi – The Mountain Man is 2015 Indian true to life film, in light of the life of Dashrath Manjhi. Manjhi was a poor worker in Gehlaur town near Gaya in Bihar, India, who cut a way 9.1 meters (30 ft) wide and 110 meters (360 ft) long through a slope 7.6 meters (25 ft) high, utilizing just a sled and chisel. The movie is coordinated by Ketan Mehta, together created by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and NFDC India. Upon discharge, the film got positive basic approval.

4. Tamasha:

Tamasha is a 2015 Indian rom-com dramatization movie composed and coordinated by Imtiaz Ali and delivered by Sajid Nadiadwala under his pennant, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. It highlights Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in lead jobs. The film score and soundtrack collection were created by A. R. Rahman, while verses for the tunes were composed by Irshad Kamil.

Taped quickly in Corsica, Indian cities– Shimla, Delhi, Gurgaon, Kolkata; trailed by two-day plan for Tokyo, the film recounts the tale of character Ved Vardhan Sahni (played by Kapoor) in three stages– as a nine-year-old youngster, a 19-year-old youthful and a 30-year-old grown-up in a show based non-straight screenplay.

5. Piku

Piku is a 2015 Indian satire dramatization movie coordinated by Shoojit Sircar and created by N. P. Singh, Ronnie Lahiri and Sneha Rajani. It stars Deepika Padukone as the main hero, Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan, with Moushumi Chatterjee and Jisshu Sengupta depicting supporting jobs. It recounts the tale of the irascible Piku Banerjee (Deepika), her cranky, maturing father Bhashkor (Amitabh) and Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan), who is stuck between the dad little girl team, as they set out on a voyage from Delhi to Kolkata.

The story and screenplay was composed by Juhi Chaturvedi. Chief photography started in August 2014 and was enveloped with December. Anupam Roy formed the soundtrack and score, and composed the verses.

6. Badlapur:

Badlapur is a 2015 Indian spine chiller film coordinated by Sriram Raghavan and created by Dinesh Vijan and Sunil Lulla. The film stars Varun Dhawan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, with Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam, Vinay Pathak, Divya Dutta and Radhika Apte in supporting jobs. The film was discharged on 20 February 2015. Box Office India detailed that Badlapur earned around ₹78.9 crore (US$11 million) around the world.

7. Masaan:

Masaan is a 2015 dramatization movie coordinated by Neeraj Ghaywan. The directorial make a big appearance movie is an Indo-French co-creation delivered by Drishyam Films, Macassar Productions, Phantom Films, Sikhya Entertainment, Arte France Cinema and Pathé Productions. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard area at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival winning two honors. Ghaywan recently helped Anurag Kashyap on Gangs Of Wasseypur.

8. Dum Laga Ke Haisha:

Dum Laga Ke Haisha (lit. Give in the entirety of your vitality) discharged universally as My Big Fat Bride) is a 2015 Indian Hindi lighthearted comedy movie composed and coordinated by Sharat Katariya featuring Ayushmann Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar in lead jobs. The film’s experience score is formed by Italian arranger Andrea Guerra. The film was discharged on 27 February 2015 to great basic gathering. Film industry India expressed that the film gathered ₹30.19 crore (US$4.2 million) following a five-week run. The film praised 50 days of its showy keep running on 16 April 2015. Dum Laga Ke Haisha got five assignments at the 61st Filmfare Awards, winning two, Best Female Debut for Pednekar and Best Cinematography. The melody ‘Moh Ke Dhaage’ got three assignments for its verses by Varun Grover and vocals by Papon and Monali Thakur. Moreover the film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

9. Dharam Sankat Mein:

Dharam Sankat Mein is a 2015 Indian satire movie coordinated by Fuwad Khan. The film is delivered by Sajjad Chunawala and Shariq Patel under the flags Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Trigno Media. The film highlights Paresh Rawal, Annu Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah in lead jobs. It recounts the account of a common Hindu man who finds that he is initially a brought into the world Muslim, and so as to meet his natural dad, he should figure out how to be or if nothing else appeared to be a genuine Muslim.

The film is an official redo of the 2010 British film The Infidel featuring humorist Omid Djalili ahead of the pack job. Dharam Sankat Mein discharged on 10 April 2015, and got blended surveys from faultfinders.

10. Aligarh:

Aligarh is a 2016 Indian true to life show movie coordinated by Hansal Mehta and composed by Apurva Asrani. It stars Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao in the number one spot jobs. The film had its reality debut at the twentieth Busan International Film Festival, accepting an overwhelming applause. The film was discharged worldwide on 26 February 2016 to basic acclaim. Bajpayee won basic praise and a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his depiction of Ramchandra Siras.


1. Pink:

2016’s Court room drama/thriller movie Pink, which became a revolution in itself was directed by Aniruddha Roy Choudhary and produced by the ace Shoojit Sircar. The film starred megastar of millennium Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Andrea Tariang, Kirti Kulhari, Piyush Mishra and Angad Bedi in lead roles.

2. Dear Zindagi:

Dear Zindagi is a 2016 Indian Hindi-dialect transitioning show movie composed and coordinated by Gauri Shinde. It was delivered by Gauri Khan, Karan Johar, and Shinde under the standards of Red Chillies Entertainment, Dharma Productions, and Hope Productions separately. The film highlights Alia Bhatt ahead of the pack job, with Shah Rukh Khan, Kunal Kapoor and Ali Zafar in supporting jobs. The plot focuses on a sprouting cinematographer named Kaira, who is malcontented with her life and meets Dr. Jehangir, a free-lively analyst who encourages her to pick up another viewpoint on her life.

3. Neerja:

Neerja is a 2016 Indian Hindi-dialect true to life spine chiller movie coordinated by Ram Madhvani and composed by Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh. It was delivered by Atul Kasbekar’s organization, Bling Unplugged, nearby Fox Star Studios. The film highlights Sonam Kapoor as the title character, with Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tiku and Shekhar Ravjiani in supporting jobs.

The plot fixates on the Libyan-sponsored Abu Nidal Organization’s seizing of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, on 5 September 1986. The film is appeared from the perspective of the flight’s head purser, Neerja Bhanot, who impeded the commandeer endeavor by cautioning the pilots, hence establishing the plane; Bhanot kicked the bucket attempting to help spare 359 of the 379 travelers and team ready.

4. Madaari:

Madaari is a 2016 Indian social spine chiller movie coordinated by Nishikant Kamat. It is created by Shailesh Singh, Madan Paliwal, Sutapa Sikdar, and Shailja Kejriwal and co-delivered by Nishant Pitti from Easemytrip. The film stars Irrfan Khan, Vishesh Bansal, Jimmy Sheirgill, Tushar Dalvi and Nitesh Pandey and was discharged on 22 July 2016.

5. Udta Punjab:

Udta Punjab is a 2016 Indian dark satire wrongdoing movie co-composed and coordinated by Abhishek Chaubey. It is inexactly founded on and rotates around the medication maltreatment by the young populace in the Indian territory of Punjab and the different connivances encompassing it. Created by Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor under their pennant Balaji Motion Pictures, in relationship with Anurag Kashyap’s generation house Phantom Films, it includes an outfit cast comprising of Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor and, Diljit Dosanjh.

6. Saala Khadoos:

Irudhi Suttru (lit. Final Round), is a 2016 Indian Tamil-Hindi bilingual games dramatization movie composed and coordinated by Sudha Kongara. The film highlights R. Madhavan in the main job as a boxing mentor, with newcomer Ritika Singh as a yearning fighter. It was all the while discharged in Hindi-dialect as Saala Khadoos (lit. The Snob), the two variants are created by S. Sashikanth for Y NOT Studios and UTV Motion Pictures, while C. V. Kumar’s Thirukumaran Entertainment co-delivers the Tamil adaptation and Madhavan’s Tricolor Films with Rajkumar Hirani present the Hindi form. Including music made by Santhosh Narayanan, Sanjay Wandrekar and Atul Raninga, the film has cinematography by Sivakumar Vijayan and altering by Sathish Suriya. Subsequent to starting pre-generation works in mid 2013, the film started shoot in July 2014 and was shot inside fifty days.


1. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is a 2017 Indian Hindi-dialect satire dramatization film. It is coordinated by R.S. Prasanna and delivered by Aanand L. Rai. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar. The motion picture was discharged worldwide on 1 September 2017. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is executive’s very own revamp Tamil film Kalyana Samayal Saadham which was discharged in 2013. The film got all inclusive basic approval and was additionally a business accomplishment in the cinematic world. The film got five selections at the 63rd Filmfare Awards, including Best Actor for Khurrana, Best Actress for Pednekar, and Best Supporting Actress for Seema Pahwa.

2. Lipstick Under My Burkha:

Lipstick Under My Burkha is a 2016 Indian dark parody movie composed and coordinated by Alankrita Shrivastava and delivered by Prakash Jha. The film stars a group cast including Ratna Pathak, Konkona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur in driving jobs, alongside Sushant Singh, Sonal Jha, Vikrant Massey, Shashank Arora, Vaibhav Tatwawaadi and Jagat Singh Solanki in steady jobs. The principal trailer was discharged on 14 October 2016. The film debuted at the Tokyo and Mumbai Film Festivals, where it won the Spirit of Asia Prize and the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality. The film ended up being both a basic and business hit in the cinematic world.

3. Tumhari Sulu:

Director Suresh Triveni’s Tumhari Sulu was discharged worldwide on 17 November 2017, both basic and film industry achievement earned over ₹584 million on a ₹200 million budget. The film got nine Filmfare Award assignments and won the Best Actress grant for Vidya.

4. Qarib Qarib Singlle:

Qarib Singlle is a 2017 Indian rom-com movie co-composed and coordinated by Tanuja Chandra and delivered by Zee Studios, JAR Pictures and Sutapa Sikdar. The film stars Irrfan Khan and Parvathy ahead of the pack jobs and had an overall discharge on 10 November 2017. This film is Parvathy’s Hindi film introduction and it earned her gestures of recognition for her execution. The motion picture got acclaim for the story and the exhibitions by the lead.

5. Newton:

Newton is 2017’s black comedy drama written and directed by Amit Masurkar. The film starred Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi in pivotal roles. Newton had its world premier in 67th Berlin Film Festival and it received universal acclaim, securing 8 nominations for 63rd Filmfare Awards.

6. Kadwi Hawa:

Kadvi Hawa is a 2017 Indian show movie, coordinated by Nila Madhab Panda and co-produced by Panda, Drishyam Films and Akshay Parija. In light of the topic of environmental change, the film stars Sanjay Mishra, Ranvir Shorey and Tillotama Shome in lead jobs. It was discharged on 24 November, 2017. It additionally got a Special Mention at the 64th National Film Awards hung on 7 April 2017. The film is introduced by Drishyam Films.

7. Trapped:

Trapped is a 2016 Indian Hindi-dialect survival show movie coordinated by Vikramaditya Motwane, who likewise co-delivered it with Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl and Madhu Mantena under the pennant of Phantom Films. The film stars Rajkummar Rao as Shaurya, a call focus representative who gets trapped in his condo room without sustenance, water and power, and Geetanjali Thapa as Noorie, the worker’s better half.

Trapped debuted on 26 October 2016 at the Mumbai Film Festival, where it got an overwhelming applause. It was discharged in theaters on 17 March to positive audits from commentators, who applauded both the idea of the film and Rao’s execution. It earned a sum of ₹2.85 crore in the cinematic world.

8. Bareilly Ki Barfi:

Bareilly Ki Barfi is a 2017 Indian lighthearted comedy movie, coordinated by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari. The film stars Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. It was discharged worldwide on 18 August 2017. The film ended up being both a basic and a business accomplishment in the cinematic world. The story depends on the French tale The Ingredients of Love, composed by Nicolas Barreau. The movie got eight assignments at the 63rd Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Supporting Actress for Seema Pahwa and won Best Director for Tiwari and Best Supporting Actor for Rao. The motion picture finished 70 days in theater in many focuses all over India.

9. Hindi Medium:

Hindi Medium is a 2017 Indian Hindi-dialect satire dramatization movie, composed by Zeenat Lakhani and coordinated by Saket Chaudhary. The film stars Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in the number one spot jobs, with Deepak Dobriyal and Dishita Sehgal in supporting jobs, and was delivered by T-Series with Maddock Films. The film recounts the account of a couple who try to give their girl the best instruction. The plot manages social topics including instruction, child rearing, class, social versatility, and dialect. It is a redo of 2015 Malayalam film Salt Mango Tree.

10. A Death In The Goonj:

A Death in the goonj was the directorial debut of Konkona Sen Sharma. This film starred Vikrant Massey, Tillotama Shome, Om Puri, Tanuja, Gulshan Devaiah, Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh and Ranveer Shorey. The well acclaimed film got various nominations in the 63rd Filmafare awards.


1. Andhadhun:

2018’s one of the most stellar films which was not only acclaimed highly but also got welcomed by the viewers all over with open arms. Sriram Raghvan was the director of this off beat yet catchy film which had Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte in lead roles. The abrupt ending of film grabbed a lot of talks even after people watched the film as there were numerous fan theories which started strolling on the web as the climax of the movie kept everyone surprised and left in awe of the film.

2. Badhaai Ho:

Badhaai Ho is a 2018 Indian Hindi-dialect satire dramatization movie coordinated by Amit Sharma. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Surekha Sikri, and Sanya Malhotra, and recounts the tale of a moderately aged couple who get pregnant a lot to the mistake of their grown-up son. The film is delivered by Vineet Jain, Hemant Bhandari and Aleya Sen under the flag of Junglee Pictures and Chrome Pictures, and is composed by Shantanu Srivastava and Akshat Ghildial. Badhaai Ho got positive surveys and was a business achievement. With profit of over ₹221 crore against a financial plan of ₹29 crore.

3. October:

October is a 2018 Indian Hindi-dialect cut of life sentimental dramatization movie coordinated by Shoojit Sircar, and created by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar under their Rising Sun Films standard. The film stars Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, and Gitanjali Rao. Both Sandhu and Rao appeared as performing artists with this film. Composed by Juhi Chaturvedi and shot by Avik Mukhopadhyay, the film pursues the life of a lodging the board assistant who deals with his sluggish individual understudy in an unrestricted and unusual way.

At first booked to discharge on 1 June 2018, the film was discharged on 13 April 2018, netting over ₹54.74 crore around the world. Upon its discharge, the movie producers were blamed for copying Aarti – The Unknown Love Story, a Marathi movie coordinated by Sarika Mene. Screenwriters Association investigated the case and discovered a few likenesses between the two movies. Nonetheless, it found October not guilty as the genuine occasions that imaginable roused both the movies were not ensured by copyright laws.

4. Raazi:

Raazi is a 2018 Indian covert agent spine chiller movie coordinated by Meghna Gulzar and delivered by Vineet Jain, Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar and Apoorva Mehta under the flags of Junglee Pictures and Dharma Productions. It stars Alia Bhatt and highlights Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapur, Shishir Sharma, and Jaideep Ahlawat in supporting roles. The film is an adjustment of Harinder Sikka’s 2008 novel Calling Sehmat, a genuine record of an Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) specialist who, upon her dad’s demand, is hitched into a Pakistani group of military authorities to transfer data to India, before the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

5. Manmarziyaan:

Manmarziyaan discharged globally as Husband Material, is an Indian Hindi-dialect rom-com dramatization love triangle movie coordinated by Anurag Kashyap and composed by Kanika Dhillon.Starring Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal, the film is together created by Phantom Films and Aanand L. Rai’s Color Yellow Productions. Manmarziyaan started taping in February 2018. It is a romantic tale set in Amritsar, Punjab, India. Essential photography enveloped with April 2018. It debuted at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and was discharged in India on 14 September 2018 to positive audits from faultfinders.

6. Tumbbad:

Tumbbad is a 2018 Indian Hindi-dialect period blood and guts movie coordinated by debutant Rahi Anil Barve and co-coordinated by Adesh Prasad. Composed by Barve, Prasad, Mitesh Shah and Anand Gandhi, who likewise filled in as the imaginative chief, the film was delivered by Sohum Shah, Aanand L. Rai, Mukesh Shah and Amita Shah. Featuring Shah in the number one spot job, it pursues the account of Vinayak Rao (Shah) who proceeds to look for a shrouded fortune in the nineteenth century Maharashtra. Pankaj Kumar filled in as the chief of photography while Sanyukta Kaza was its editorial manager. The first score was formed by Jesper Kyd while Ajay-Atul made one melody.

Tumbbad debuted in the pundits’ week area of the 75th Venice International Film Festival, turning into the primary Indian film to be screened there. It was additionally screened at the 2018 Fantastic Fest, Sitges Film Festival, the Screamfest Horror Film Festival, the El Gouna Film Festival, 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala, Morbido Film Fest and Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. It was discharged on 12 October, 2018 to generally positive surveys with faultfinders adulating the visuals. Made on a creation spending plan of ₹5 crore, the film netted an aggregate of ₹13.57 crore in the cinematic world, making it a gainful endeavor.

7. Love Sonia:

Love Sonia is a 2018 Indian movie coordinated by Tabrez Noorani and delivered by David Womark. The film highlights newcomer Mrunal Thakur as the title character alongside Riya Sisodiya, Freida Pinto, Demi Moore, Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chadda, Anupam Kher, Adil Hussain, Rajkummar Rao, and Sai Tamhankar. Love Sonia had its reality debut at the London Indian Film Festival on 21 June 2018. The film was discharged in India on 14 September, 2018.

8. Mukkabaaz:

Mukkabaaz is a 2017 Indian games show movie co-composed, co-delivered and coordinated by Anurag Kashyap. Mutually delivered by Aanand L. Rai under his mark Color Yellow Productions and Phantom Films, the film stars Vineet Kumar Singh, debutant Zoya Hussain, Ravi Kishan and Jimmy Shergill in the number one spot jobs. It pursues Shravan Kumar (Singh), a yearning fighter, who becomes hopelessly enamored with the niece of the boxing organization head, Bhagwan Das Mishra (Shergill). Kashyap, Singh, Mukti Singh Srinet, K.D.Satyam, Ranjan Chandel and Prasoon Mishra composed the content. Aarti Bajaj and Ankit Bidyadhar altered the movie, while Shanker Raman, Rajeev Ravi and Jayesh Nair filled in as the executives of photography.

Mukkabaaz was brought about by Singh, who composed it with his sister Mukti Singh, in view of his perceptions of a few sportspersons’ encounters in India. A few makers rejected it until Kashyap consented to make the film if Singh would turn into a genuine fighter. To get ready, Singh went to the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, where he prepared in boxing for a year. Hussain took in non-verbal correspondence from a communication through signing master for her job.

Mukkabaaz debuted in the Special Presentations area at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was additionally screened at the 2017 Mumbai Film Festival. It was discharged dramatically in India on 12 January 2018 and got for the most part positive surveys, with specific acclaim for Singh’s execution. The film earned ₹10.51 crore (US$1.5 million) in the cinema world.

9. Manto:

Manto is a 2018 Indian historical show movie about the well known Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, composed and coordinated by Nandita Das. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the title character of Indo-Pakistani, writer and essayist Saadat Hasan Manto. Tahir Raj Bhasin plays the 1940s Bollywood hotshot Shyam Chadda. Shyam was Manto’s companion, comrade, and motivation for various stories. Rasika Dugal assumes the job of Manto’s significant other, Safia. Manto depends on the 1940s post-Independence time of India.

The publication of the film was uncovered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Das made a short film titled In Defense of Freedom, likewise featuring Nawazuddin in the fundamental job, and was discharged on YouTube on 23 March 2017. The film debuted at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and discharged in Indian venues on 21 September 2018. It was made as a prelude to the element film. The film has numerous makers, for example, HP Studios, Filmstoc, and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.

10. Mulk:

Mulk is a 2018 Indian Hindi-dialect dramatization movie coordinated by Anubhav Sinha. Shot in Benaras and Lucknow, Mulk is the tale of a Muslim family attempting to recover its lost respect after a relative gets associated with psychological oppression. The film was dramatically discharged on 3 August 2018. The film got basic praise and was a moderate business achievement.

Chapter 2 Literature Review

2.1 Introduction:

The rationale behind this research is to understand thoroughly in what state of art and content the Indian film industry is at this point of time and also with continuous changes happening in and around the industry, people as well as the creatives which are made how exactly the industry per se will deal with those changes. Be it the showcase of minorities in the cinema, showcase of women in the cinema etc are changing and that too in a pathbreaking speed. It will be interesting to see how the industry as a whole evolves and what it becomes as we rise ahead in time.

But the major shift that the industry has seen in the past few years, is the quality of its content. It had always been average or below par and also the cases of plagiarism were way too often back in time but now the directors and producers have understood the importance of fresh and effective content and they have started to deliver the same.

2.2 Current Status

At this moment, the Indian film industry is somewhere in a good position in terms of the kind of content that they are delivering. Though the number of hit films has not yet picked up but the kind of content which is coming is quite commendable. Recently in 2019, a film made on the Surgical Strike ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ is making a whopping business and it is not even a film which is made with the greater budget. A plain perfect Content driven cinema which is not just getting critical acclimation but it has reached even greater heights and became the first blockbuster of 2019.

‘I feel the change has been happening constantly for the last few years, especially in the years of 2000s it has become even more evident. People are slowly appreciating content-driven films. They are now commercial successes, not just critical successes. So, that has been a great change, ‘Hopefully, it will really ‘move the cheese’ as far as content-driven films are concerned and them getting commercially successful. If that happens, then more and more films will be greenlit which is of great content, which may not have the obvious/potential stars, because there are only so many stars in India. While that is happening, I think there have been some nice ‘masala’ films also which have done well, but the ‘masala’ films that have resonated with audiences are the ones that are sticking. I don’t know whether too much of escapism is going to survive from hereon. There will be massy films in the year which will keep doing well and we all like a certain amount of escapism, that’s what cinema is also about but it will take a lot from a filmmaker to just create that fantasy and from the stars. They cannot do it as easily as they were able to (IANS, 2019),’ said a prominent actor and film maker Anand Tiwari.

2.3 Gratification Perspective

The best part about the rise of content-driven cinema and it is appreciated by everyone is that it is making way for new talent, without seeing any boundaries it just lets the new talent and their workflow in the industry. Be it acting, film making or any other aspect of the industry, the content-driven films have made way for the new bunch of talented people and one has to be happy and gratified to the change happening.

As far as CBFC is concerned, people never used to question before but now they are aware of the importance of the fresh content and also how essential it is to keep it intact in order to not loose out on what best was made. So, the awareness has also risen to the point where people literally questions government statutory bodies for cutting the creatives which were so content oriented and then changed later.

When asked about giving four consecutive hit films, Ayushmann Khurrana said “It has given him the validation that he should stick to his guts and follow his sensibilities strictly, rather than following the conventional formula. And, he has always been doing that. He has always chosen to go with his gut and intuition and he is glad that cinema is changing. The audience is accepting the content and it’s also generating huge numbers, which is great. He’s glad that he is a part of this era.” (Negi, 2019)

When he was asked whether the box office records and obsession with the numbers he replied saying that he is very bad with numbers but he understands the content really well and that only makes him being skewed towards the content driven cinema. He mentioned that he can feel the resonance of film exactly after reading the script.

“Kanika Dhillon, the writer of the films Kedarnath and Manmarziyaan mentioned that earlier they used the same formula for a decade or two but now the formulas redefine themselves every two months.” (Jha, 2018)

“The torch-bearer of content driven films in India, Irrfan Khan quoted that content driven films are finally doing well and the main reason behind it is, the evolution of the audience. The audience has evolved in such a manner that they have become more accepting as they got more exposed to the international films as well. He explained that the trend has been started around some time and Hindi cinema used to be totally entertainment centric. He also appreciated his colleague Rajkummar Rao’s work and again exclaimed that the audience is the reason behind it.” (Panchal, 2017)

“Rising superstar, Rajkummar Rao was seen quoting about his successes Omerta and Stree which came in quick succession as well that he was feeling quite happy with the popularity of Content Driven cinema and hoped every year should turn out to be good for the content driven films. He also talked about the 3 Khans who have ruled the industry for 30 years now and how the stigma is going to change for and around them. On the other hand he heaped praise on veteran colleague Anil Kapoor saying that he is a student of cinema and his dedication towards work is unmatchable.” (Co-author, 2018)

2.4 Decline of Entertainment Centric Cinema

The mainstream cinema is running short of fresh ideas. People who follow cinema, the movie goers and cinema lovers know this fact for a while now but it’s just a matter of time that they accept it completely and move on with the concept of Content Driven Cinema as today the phenomenon ‘Mainstream’ has extremely differentiated itself from its main identity.

The Khan Trio’s fall

Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan have ruled the industry for more than 2 decades now and the fanbase that they created is something out of the world. But off lately, the kind of movies that all 3 actors are making has raised eyebrows of multiple fans and their box office numbers also show that their rough patch has already begun.

They have had their share but it won’t be surprising looking at their strive to do something different they might come up with a subject oriented film which is content-driven. It might bring a new ray of hope as far as their professional careers are concerned. But looking at current scenario, it looks difficult for them to turn their fortunes.

2.5 Quality of Content

The quality of content has exceptionally developed in such a way that the industry itself has transformed and the results are exemplary. Results here are nothing but various content driven films which do great business on box office as well. The other help that fresh content has got off lately is the platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar. These OTT platforms have been a place where one can without any hesitation showcase their work and there will be no restriction to the content like there is when Censor Board comes into picture.

“Many independent artists have come up with their freshly brewed content on these Over the Top media channels as they were hardly answered properly when they made feature films and CBFC shut the doors for them for having bold content in it. No one imagined a day would come when people who consume media and content will be able to question a statutory body like CBFC but the day has arrived as there have been numerous instances when CBFC has been questioned on several issues and that shows how rapidly the transformation is progressing. Also, some critical issues are now not just debated over traditional media but it comes into motion pictures so that it can reach more and more number of people. Even the government of India has now been more responsible towards showcasing and broadcasting better content to the people of country.” (Sharma, 2016)

“The procedure is completed by the CBFC (usually called the ‘Censor Board‟) comprising of limit of 25 individuals and 60 individuals going about as a warning board to help and exhort the individuals, every one of whom are selected by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. The CEO will be in charge of regulatory issues. When an application has been gotten the Regional Officer will name an Examining Committee comprising of 4 individuals and a looking at officer among which 2 individuals must be ladies. The board of trustees will see the film and concoct a report of conceivable erasures and adjustments. The provincial officer will guarantee it U, U/An, An or S dependent on the report of advisory group individuals. A rundown of ‘proposed changes’ will be conveyed to the candidate if there should be an occurrence of any disappointment on the applicant‟s side. The censor board will take a limit of 68 days from date of utilization to issue an authentication for the submitted content.5 This will incorporate the time taken for all slices and quiets required to be made. The procedure has as of late been improved open online to guarantee straightforwardness. On the off chance that the candidate is as yet not happy with the affirmation they can approach the Revising Committee and further interests achieve Appellate Council and after that at last to the court.” (G, 2018)

“CBFC ought to be permitted to work for what it’s worth with self-sufficient forces without political obstruction or its forces are to be confined to simple a body for rating the movies delivered in India just as outside movies discharged in India according to their substance and permit the movies go whole and subsequently secure the privileges of the makers, chiefs and authors to the right to speak freely and articulation? The right to speak freely and articulation of residents of India is the most essential thing opportunity ensured under the Indian Constitution of India.3 This opportunity enables the subjects to openly express their thoughts and musings through different mediums, for example, print, sound or sound visuals, with the assistance of pictures, signs, artworks, films, shows, and so forth. In any case, this opportunity isn’t at all total in nature yet has been qualified with some sensible confinements forced under Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India on what might be feely stated, distributed or showed, particularly with regards to media and excitement sector.4 The present article is an endeavor to think about the job of CBFC and FCAT5 in securing the right to speak freely and articulation in the meantime guaranteeing that no religious estimations are harmed while enabling the movies to be discharged and furthermore to recommend some therapeutic measures to amend the circumstance.” (Dhupdale, 2015)

2.6 Perception and Preference

In 2019, Bollywood seems to be divided into two major parts. 1) Commercial 2) Content Driven

Even though the people want more and more entertainment from the industry, but the awareness and desire of people (audience) has taken a roll towards a staggering shift. Nobody could imagine back in time that movies like Raazi or Udta Punjab would make so much business on box office, even after having star value on board but the kind of movies that people were getting mad behind have changed it dynamically. That shows a very clinical shift in the mindsets and perceptions of the Indian audiences. And the very same scenario has led them to prefer the content driven cinema over same commercial ones which they have been viewing for a long time now.

“One of Bollywood’s stalwart actors John Abraham recently said that he enjoys giving content driven films to his audience. He played the character of a thief in Yash Raj’s ‘Dhoom’ which was highly appreciated but over the period of time he has transformed from doing commercial mainstream cinema to different, topical and more content oriented cinema.

Cite this page

The Rise of Content Driven Cinema and Role of Censor Board of India. (2022, May 01). Retrieved from

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