The grand old Indian film industry, derided for decades for peddling kitsch in the guise of wholesome entertainment, has been clamouring for good content in the recent past. It gradually turned the corner over the past ten years with the audiences showing a remarkable predilection for quality cinema.
The trend had already become discernible way back in 2009 when the lines between commercial and parallel cinema began to blur with both 3 Idiots and Dev D breaking new ground in the art of storytelling at around the same time. Superstars such as Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan still mattered in this decade, but ‘everyman’ actors like Irrfan, Manoj Bajpayee and, more recently, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rajkummar Rao rose in stature too. By the turn of this year, the resounding failure of some big-budget extravaganzas exposed the feet of clay the once-invincible Khans had, forcing them to scurry for good subjects to stay relevant.