With Simmba and Kedarnath, filmmakers are ditching intrigue elements in favour of straightforward trailers

Abhishek Srivastava

Dec 09, 2018 09:45:03 IST

More than the success of a film, it’s the merit of a film’s trailer that bothers filmmakers these days. Truth be told, for every Stree there are ten others films that recede into oblivion just a day into their release. With cinema hall footfalls registering a southward trend with the mushrooming of new OTT platforms, the onus to pull audiences to multiplexes and single screens these days, to a large extent, depends upon the potential of a film’s trailers. Film trailers have now become the hallmark of judgement for audiences, more so than ever. One trend that’s slowly gaining steam among filmmakers vis-à-vis the trailer of their films is the stepmother treatment to the intrigue elements. The intrigue element, which was a staple of filmmakers till a few years back, is now being given the cold shoulder. The aim is now to be as direct as possible and convey the essence of the film in those 150 seconds.

With Simmba and Kedarnath, filmmakers are ditching intrigue elements in favour of straightforward trailers

Ranveer Singh in and as Simmba. Youtube

It was during the special screening of Rohit Shetty’s upcoming film Simmba’s trailer for select scribes, just before its official launch, that the author remarked to the director that the trailer looked pretty straightforward and seemed true to the plot of the film. He replied back saying that that was the whole idea. Rohit Shetty further revealed that while cutting the trailer, there were no malafide intentions involved of inserting some sort of intrigue element just to pique cinegoers’ curiosity. In the current year Sanju, Raazi, Badhaai Ho, Stree, Raid, Parmanu and Veere Di Wedding had trailers which echoed the actual content that was eventually witnessed in the film. The trailer of Abhishek Kapoor’s upcoming film Kedarnath can be dubbed as clear and definite.

Make no bones about the fact that it has a love story between a Hindu and a Muslim at its heart in the backdrop of a natural calamity at a Hindu shrine. Though the film has been marred by the controversy of love jihad, the trailer honestly works very well in convincing viewers that it will hold its own. The same cannot be said about Aanand L Rai’s Zero. A dwarf falls for a scientist suffering with cerebral palsy, but does he actually dupe her for a movie star? Rai’s film holds such intrigue in its premise itself that showing the whole story is no problem although it does confuse as it all seems dubious. To top it all, there are elements of a rocket too. One must say here that the makers of Zero are being brave and confident.

Cases of trailers that promised much but eventually backfired are in plenty. Films like Nanu Ki Jaanu, Blackmail, Race 3, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3, Pihu, Aiyaary, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero and Namaste England believed either in playing with the emotions of the viewers or were in favour of not revealing much. The end result of keeping the plot of the film in a state of mystery did not cut through with the audiences. Apart from the mystery element, other factors too are at play in deciding the fate of a film based on its trailer. The cringe worthy dialogues by Salman Khan and Daisy Shah that were part of the trailer of Race 3 spoiled the party. Similarly, the trailer of Namaste England was so horrible that the makers had to release another trailer just before the release of the film.

Trailers have now become potent enough to make or break a film. A perfect example would be YRF’s Thugs of Hindostan. The writing was on the wall the day its trailer was launched. Trolled from day one, justifiably too, the final film proved to be a debacle. In an unprecedented three-minute and thirty-second-long trailer, the novelty was missing. Every frame of the trailer appeared in some form of meme or the other on social media. Movie trailers have evolved significantly in their importance towards acceptance of a film over the years. Now with crores at stake, they are considered as the first level of marketing. The sacrosanct and primary function of a trailer is to make aware its target group what they can expect from the film. Any dilution or concealment in the core message leads to a dent in people’s expectations. The primary aim of a trailer since the beginning has always been to arouse interest and create a feeling of excitement.

Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif in a still from Thugs of Hindostan. Image via Twitter

Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif in a still from Thugs of Hindostan. Image via Twitter

The success of films from Dharma Productions and Rohit Shetty Picturez can largely be attributed to the success of their trailers. Their trailers tend to follow a linear pattern and are always in sync with the actual story of the film. On the contrary, trailers of films helmed by Ramgopal Varma simply don’t pay heed to the norm. Another reason why film companies tend to give away a lot in their trailers could be their wanton desire that at least some of the elements might just be picked by the audience.

The culture of maintaining an element of secrecy and shrouding the actual trailer in an enigma is something which is often witnessed in Bollywood movies. Hollywood and world cinema have never believed in this principle and have been sticking to the dictum of being straight to the point for years. There was a time when producers were hardly willing to shelve anything beyond ten lakh for a trailer but with the bombardment of entertainment avenues and OTT platforms, they too have realized that the way to their film actually is through their film’s trailer. Most of the films flop if audience discover a disconnect between a film and its trailer and it is this very issue that now filmmakers are willing to eliminate at all costs. Guess Rohit Shetty learnt this with his second film.

Updated Date: Dec 09, 2018 12:01:21 IST

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