Where to start on Bollywood? The place is full of clichés, stereotypes and formulas that have been used by uninspired film makers for generations. Every year hundreds of movies come out and most if not all follow certain rules that are sacrosanct in the film industry. Those movies that try to break these rules don’t break any box office records. No matter how much you hate it, the truth is that these rules of commercial cinema exist because they work. Not every producer wants to make a movie that is different or spreads a message in the society. Most of them want to make money and for that you have to stick to the rules. There are many such rules that must be followed to produce a hit but here are some default cardinal rules without which Hindi movies are practically unimaginable.
10. Every Story Is A Love Story:
If you want to make a hit Hindi movie then you have to make it romantic. That’s just how it is. If your movie is about something else, it still must have a love story in it. You see, love sells and that is the bottom line. If you don’t have a love story how will you put 15 songs in the movie? You see the necessity of love stories now?
9. The Heroine Must Hate The Hero At The Beginning:
This rule must be followed to make a hit movie. The confrontations of the heroine and hero make for great screenplay and provide the opportunity for many, yes you guessed it, songs and dance numbers. Even if the heroine falls in love at first sight she must at least act as if she hates the hero. The hero then has the opportunity to indulge in the favorite pastime of young Indian men; eve teasing and stalking. The more you stalk and tease the girl, the sooner she falls for you.
8. The Helpless Women:
The women in the movie must be helpless. If your movie is about strong independent women, even then there has to be a few helpless women. You see, helpless women provide the hero with the opportunity to do his heroic deeds and help these helpless women. They can be the hero’s mother or sister, or a friend of the heroine, or a stranger or even the heroine herself. The more damsels in distress there are, the heroic our hero can be.
7. The Villain Must Have Enough Minions For The Hero To Beat Up:
The villain, who is usually a rich guy, must have loads of minions. Not only do they make the villain look dangerous but also provide the hero with enough punching bags to show off his fighting skills. Seriously, our hero can’t be heroic without enough helpless women to save and small time thugs to beat up. The villain can kill one of the minions to prove how scary he is. You can never have enough of these goons and such extras are very cheap in Bollywood so there’s no reason to skimp on them.
6. Cheap Quality Shirts That Rip In Fights:
Cheap quality shirts are very important especially for the hero. They must rip off easily during a fight so that you can show the six pack the hero has been working hard to maintain. Consider this a part of the necessary nudity that goes into the making of any hit movie. The heroine can have many reasons to strip but the best reason for a hero is a fight.
5. The Comic Sidekick:
It doesn’t matter that your movie is about a really serious topic but you must have a comedian in it. If a movie doesn’t have a comedian then it might not as well follow any other rule given here because it’s going to be a flop. Indians like to get the most for their money and if your movie is about only one or two emotions, you might as well move to Hollywood. The comic sidekick provides comic relief that keeps the audience laughing in between all the drama.
4. Sign A Star:
If a movie doesn’t have at least one star it most probably won’t even get made. It’s just not worth it to make a movie that doesn’t have a star. Who will promote the movie? Who will be on the poster? You need at least one big star, that’s just how it is. Every hit movie selects the stars that are going to be in it even before the script is written (copied).
3. Spontaneous Eruptions Of Song And Dance:
As mentioned earlier a hit Hindi movie has to have at least 12 to 15 songs. Whatever be the occasion, the complete cast of the movie has to break into song and dance at least a few times. This is where the whole world stops and starts dancing behind the hero and heroine, while showing surprising amount of coordination between themselves. The audience loves it. Don’t think that it is hard to come up with so many songs because there are so many inspirations out there in western music.
2. The Item Number:
This is the latest cardinal rule and it is to be followed most strictly. Every hit movie must have an item number. It is no longer acceptable to have a small time item girl either; there must be a big heroine dancing to cheap lyrics, wearing almost nothing, probably at the most inopportune time in the script. All the promotion for the movie is based on this song. The item number is the biggest reason people will go to see the movie (after of course the stars that are in the movie).
1. Always Rip Off Multiple Hollywood Movies:
The most important rule for Hindi movies is to rip off multiple Hollywood movies. There is no such thing as original script. If you are only copying one movie, the producers of that movie can sue you. But if you copy multiple movies, they’ll all get confused about who is going to file the lawsuit and even if they do, you can claim that your movie is completely different from all of those movies. Every non Bollywood movie can contribute at least a few fight scenes or comic sketches or dialogues or even songs towards the making of a hit Bollywood movie.