We talk about the rise of Chetan Bhagat, not only as a novelist, but also a film-writer. His success speaks volumes about his talent to touch the right chords, even though many will not agree with his literary talent.
Chetan Bhagat and Salman Khan have probably nothing in common except the fact that they both belong to Bollywood.
However, Salman almost rules the industry while Chetan is just learning the ropes.
He is quite a fast learner though!
There was an era when writers in the Hindi film industry always worked in the background and never got their due. Things changed in 70’s with the entry of Salim-Javed who made writers as big as the superstars of the day!
However, with changing times, writers again got sidelined and nobody cared for them. Soon everyone walked over their craft and paid them peanuts for years of hard work.
It seems, time is changing, yet again and this time it is a novel writer who is bringing a change with his literary work.
Trust me I’m not saying that Chetan is an exemplary writer or that his body of work is one of the best.
But for sure, he knows the pulse of the reading public and that is why he is creating work that relates to the masses, is not heavy on mind and can easily be adapted for a masala Bollywood flick!
I’m sure most of you must have read his books like Five Point Someone, Night At A Call Centre, 2 states etc. and you will agree that his usage of English is very simple, stories are told at a very superficial level and incidents described are always relatable.
What else is needed for a typical commercial flick?
Nowadays, even Salman is dishing out movies which are extremely light on IQ and heavy on entertainment.
He is giving what an average viewer wants and is not at all apologetic about it. Whether it is Wanted or Dabangg or recently released Kick, which was debut vehicle for Chetan as a screenplay writer! All these flicks had decent subjects; no great storylines yet did wonders at the Box office. Same goes for Chetan’s books which are a runaway hits even though content-wise they leave a lot to be desired! But they make tones of money!
Of late, every book Chetan Bhagat writes is being made into a movie.
Prime examples being 3 Idiots, Kai Po Che, 2 states and the next in line will be his latest release, Half Girlfriend!
So what is he doing actually?
Is he following the calling of his soul and telling stories that he wants to or just writing stuff which has a commercial angle to them and easier to sell?
We can’t be sure and he will never admit, but one thing is for sure: He is clearly making the job of a writer in Bollywood, a very lucrative one. Suddenly people want stories and movies that can relate to the youth and are equally massy with just a tinge of intelligence!
Not sure if he can ever achieve the heights of stardom like that of Salman Khan, but amongst the writer community, he surely is at the top these days! Just one request Mr. Bhagat, cater to the sensibilities of the youth and don’t consider them as stupid audience. Give us intelligent entertainment and we will remain loyal to you, forever!