In December last year, we brought together the most successful producers of the Hindi film industry to ask them why 2017 was such a disaster year for Bollywood. Amongst all the problems that were discussed, one that they all agreed on was the lack of good writing. Producer/director Karan Johar said this: I’m reading a script every day and I’m traumatised. Every flight I take, I read a script and I land in a bad mood. Very rarely do I read a script that makes me go, ‘Oh my god, I have to make this movie’.
At our recent Film Companion Adda we asked screenwriters Varun Grover, Himanshu Sharma, Juhi Chaturvedi and Saiwyn Quadras if they agreed. Here’s what Grover said: I have been reading a script every week for the last one or two years. I keep reading scripts because some new writers come to me, sometimes it’s for friends also, but most of them suck. If 80% of films suck, 90% of scripts also suck. It’s not like great scripts hai bahar jo ban nahi rahe. Hai hi nahi! Jo bhi hai, usme se kuch banaya ja sakta hai isliye woh ban raha hai.
Grover, who has written the screenplay for Masaan and won a National Award for his lyrics in the song Moh Moh Ke Dhaage, further added that this is a deep cultural issue that has resulted in writers not being empowered enough. “Ram is a greater hero than Valmiki. All the characters of Mahabharat are greater heroes than Ved Vyas. While I think Shakespeare is as big a hero as Romeo,” he added.
Catch the full FC Adda with screenwriters here: