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Are Bollywood blockbusters becoming less formulaic?

Tom Brook looks at new forms of Indian cinema, and interviews stars Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.

The film industry in India produces around 1000 films every year, more than any other country – but do action blockbusters still dominate? In this clip, film critic Rajeev Masand tells Tom Brook: “We’re regressing in a way because the films that are doing well are the ‘80s pot-boiler remakes.”

Director Karan Johar disagrees, arguing that the country is increasingly providing “a buffet of entertainment”. He says: “It’s exhilarating for filmmakers, because they finally have their own individualistic voice.”

There has been an effort to inject some reality into Bollywood’s fantasy extravaganzas:  the film Chakde! India touched on the legacy of partition; the drama Like Stars on Earth told the story of a boy with dyslexia and the 2009 megahit comedy 3 Idiots had peer pressure among its themes.

“There is a lot more experimentation in the mainstream space,” says movie star Aamir Khan (pictured above, left, in Like Stars on Earth). Tom Brook also interviews one of India’s most famous stars, Shah Rukh Khan, who talks about how he deals with adulation.

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