A lot has changed in Bollywood in the last decade and most of it for good. While bad films continued to pour in like a plague, there were many innovations and experiments that took the 'industry' to the next level...
Good writing finally gained the importance it deserves; casting started happening according to the characters and not based on the star power, and of course the technical improvements; Bollywood flicks covered a lot of ground in the last ten years. Specifically in 2010, the industry woke up to the power of small films that shadowed the biggies and hope this trend continues where content is the king. However, with so many improvements, there are still some irritants that we can do without.
Here's my wish-list for Bollywood in the next decade:
Better roles for better actors: There are many good actors but a lot of times they do not get the right roles to play due to silly factors like star camps, favoritism and the actors' own choices. Case in point Rani Mukherji, a supremely talented actress who did not get any powerful roles post 2005 when she was seen in Black, Bunty aur Babli and Paheli. Hopefully No One Killed Jessica works for her and she gets better films than the Hadippas and Chunari Ka Daags of the world.
Similarly for Amitabh Bachchan, it is time that he only takes up quality work and avoids films like Teen Patti, Aladin and God Tussi Great Ho. Another fine actress, Tabu deserves better roles; her performances in Maqbool, Cheeni Kum and Chandni Bar were outstanding and with The Namesake, she garnered international acclaim. She has been signed on by none other than Ang Lee for his ambitious 3D project, Life of Pi; let's hope that Bollywood also wakes up again to her talent.
No more flower pots please: I hope the filmmakers introduce new actors who can act and not flower pots who look good and that's about it.
Anushka Sharma (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Badmaash Company, Band Baaja Baaraat) and Ranveer Singh (Band Baaja Baaraat), both Yash Raj Films' discoveries, Rajat Barmecha (Udaan) are good examples of talent that shines unlike some of the big 'stars' who are still struggling to get their act right.
While we can hope for better actors, there are a number of star kids going to make their debut soon, from Govinda's daughter to David Dhawan's son... let's see how many of them actually deserve to be called 'actors', the rest will increase the flower pot tally.
More realistic themes: Inspired by real life incidents or presenting fictional characters in a realistic manner... let's hope the filmmakers stay close to reality unless the genre is fantasy.
Gone are the days of dream sequences with 500 dancers in identical costumes on gigantic drums with exploding colour bombs in the background. I am not against the chiffon romances or mad capers but there is a need for more realistic cinema to be made.
Films like Do Dooni Char and Udaan that are so real in their feel or films like Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and No One Killed Jessica that are inspired by real people and incidents are welcome.
Comedy not cheap entertainment: Dear Bollywood, comedy does not mean collating all possible sexist, racist, homophobic and potty jokes. Please get that straight and stop giving us rip-offs of B-grade Hollywood films.
Special appeal to Anees Bazmee, Sajid Khan, Akshay Kumar and more recently, Farah Khan to stop treating the paying audience as low IQ simians. Instead think of entertainers like Tere Bin Laden, Do Dooni Char and Khichdi The Film where jokes are situational or character driven and not demeaning to anyone.
Lesser obsession with the west: It's good that A R Rahman is nominated again for the Golden Globes (Background Score for Danny Boyle's 127 Hours); it's good that Irrfan Khan and Tabu are doing Ang Lee's Life of Pi; it's good that Anil Kapoor is in Mission Impossible 4 or Irrfan Khan again in the new Spiderman flick... but there is no reason for Bollywood to hire Hollywood actors for two bit roles, just to boast of an international star cast.
No, Sylvester Stallone or Denise Richards in Kambakht Ishq were not cool and neither was Sir Ben Kingsley in Teen Patti. Also, don't try to make a film that appeals to the west, make a film that is true to its subject and it will find its audience anywhere in the world.
We don't want to see another Kites that threatens to put Hrithik in the international league but another Udaan that flies high at a platform like Cannes International Film Festival.
Meritocracy: From financing to promotion to awards, Bollywood clearly does not know the true meaning of meritocracy right now. If the industry starts supporting quality content more than it does now, it will flourish more in the new decade.
Take the example of Peepli Live, a good film that could have been lost, if it did not have the backing of Aamir Khan and the solid marketing support. The film not only received critical acclaim but also made money at the box office. On the other hand, Udaan, undoubtedly the best film of the year only had word-of-mouth publicity to depend on. The film did decently well but not what it was capable of. Udaan is also missing from Zee Cine Awards' nomination list where films like Housefull and Golmaal 3 find mention. Shameful, yes, but it is a lesson that Bollywood needs to learn.
This is not an exhaustive list but if some of these wishes truly come alive in the next decade, it will be the best phase of Bollywood.