MUMBAI: The Hindi film industry needs to analyse and and reconsider the kind of content it is serving, says actor Varun Dhawan, who believes theatrical business across the globe has taken a hit due to the pandemic.
In 2022, only three Hindi films -- "Gangubai Kathiawadi", "The Kashmir Files" and "Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2" -- have emerged as commercial hits, while SS Rajamouli's Telugu epic "RRR", Kannada actioner "KGF Chapter 2" and Allu Arjun's Telugu movie "Pushpa" have created new box office records in north India.
Varun said filmmakers need to re-establish the connection with the audience, who are now spoiled for choices courtesy digital platforms and pan-India theatrical releases.
"We just went through a pandemic. So you're getting to see films made years ago. These aren't films which started now. But do our filmmakers, does our industry need to pull up its socks? Yes we definitely need to do that," the actor told PTI in an interview.
The 35-year-old actor believes theatre business across the globe has taken a hit during the pandemic.
"The film business in general needs to pull up its socks too. The amount of flops that Hollywood has given, if you count the number, it is huge. The amount of films which have done badly in the South... (please) count.
"Our industry got hit. Going to the theatres is a public outing, which also got hit. That habit got hit. We are re-establishing that connection now. Can we make better films? Of course yes," he added.
Varun, known for headlining blockbusters like "Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania", "Badrinath Ki Dulhania", "Judwaa 2" and "ABCD 2", said the current situation demands for more creative collaborations between talents from different parts of the country.
"I feel we need to start investing in new talents: writers, directors, producers and actors. We need to start looking at the pool of talent pan-India. I want to work with a director from Bengal, Kerala, talents from all over and tell a story because it is possible now".
The consecutive success of South Indian films has made "pan-India" a buzzword in the industry, but the actor says with OTT platforms the audience reach isn't limited to national boundaries.
"Right now with streaming coming in, it's not limited to pan-India but across the world. When I was shooting for 'Bawaal' in Germany, I was surprised by the number of people who came to me and spoke about my films, including 'Sui Dhaaga'... The world is becoming a smaller place," he said.
"Jugjugg Jeeyo", directed by Raj Mehta, is scheduled to be released on June 24.
Backed by filmmaker Karan Johar's Dharma Productions, the film also stars Kiara Advani, Anil Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor and Maniesh Paul among others.