I have been keenly following the social media’s outrage on how bad a movie Chennai Express is and the surprise on how it has gone ahead to shatter most of the box office records so easily. The criticism has become even more unrestrained after the release of Madras Cafe – I have only read positive reviews of the same on the social media. Although I have not seen both the movies (we are watching Madras Cafe tonight) and this is not a blog in favour or against these movies – I think it all boils down to expectations.
Everything in life (both personal and professional) is measured against expectations – we are happy if things turn out to be as we expected them to be, otherwise there is disappointment – more the gap between the expectation and reality, greater the disappointment.
There are many brain dead movies that have been made and have done record business (many recent Sallu movies fit the bill) but there hasn’t been such criticism of them. Maybe the expectations from Sallu are not so high, maybe from SRK they are higher. Anyways the 100 cr club is serious underachievement – at a population of 125 cr and the govt figures of middle class + population of 30 cr, even if 2 cr people watch a movie the collections should be 100 cr at Rs 50/- per ticket. I think more than 2 cr people do watch a movie, especially over extended weekends with holidays. If Bollywood is serious about its business, they should be targeting a 1,000 cr business per movie – it will happen soon after the mindset of producers change – what good is a 100 cr collection if the lead actors are said to be charging 30 cr. More on this in the next week’s blog.
High expectations can have two divergent effects – for people who thrive under pressure, great expectations can propel them to achieve impossible goals, for people who can’t handle pressure well, it leads to serious underachievement. Many shine for some time before fading away. The second generation generally fail to live up to the great name of their families. Maybe it’s also about lack of hunger and lesser talent than the previous generation, but it is also about the pressure that expectations exert. Possibly this is the reason that more often than not, great talent comes out of nowhere and hits us one day – they are doing well elsewhere while the spotlight is firmly fixed on those we are so fixated on following.
Also that’s why the people of this country are feeling let down with the UPA II government – the expectation from Manmohan Singh were very high. If the third front under Samajwadi party (or equivalent) would have made a similar mess, the reactions would have been much less critical – after all, what would one expect from such a dispensation. I know a lot of people who felt let down with the time that Sachin took to reach the centuries of centuries. Come to think of it – what a great achievement but still – so much ridicule for a rare talent.
Is there a way out – maybe not? What good is life if there are no expectations? And who is to judge if the expectations are too high/too low in the first place. My solution is to achieve a balance – expectations from self should be very high. Expectations from others should be reasonable. High expectations from self will help us aim higher, reasonable expectations from others will avoid disappointments and more often than not, positively surprise, if others also have high expectations from themselves.
Do write in if you have anything to share.
Next week – Business of Bollywood