New Delhi, Feb 20: Moving away from the boy-meets-girl, falls-in-love formula, filmmakers are increasingly exploring the world of male bonding -- the forthcoming "Kai Po Che!", "Grand Masti" and "Chashme Buddoor" are only the recent cases in point.
From "Sholay" and "Dil Chahta Hai" to "3 Idiots" and "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", male bonding, or 'bromance' as it has come to be known, has appealed to people of all age groups.
Filmmaker Subhash Kapoor, who has juxtaposed comic stars Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani in "Jolly L.L.B.", says it's the effect of more young blood in the industry.
"There are a lot of younger filmmakers nowadays and, in a way, they want to share their own experiences through the films - maybe a school or a college memory. It is thus, very relatable for the younger crowd, and these films do well," Kapoor told IANS.
No wonder cine-goers seem to never get bored of the theme of friendship.
"Chashme Buddoor", featuring the trio of Farooque Shaikh, Rakesh Bedi and Ravi Baswani, was a hit way back in 1981. And the remake is expected to be as much of a crowd puller. Directed by Bollywood's humour king David Dhawan, it stars Ali Zafar, Siddharth and Divyendu Sharma.
Not exactly "bromance", says Dhawan. "It is male bonding with romance and a lot of naughtiness! I enjoy watching such movies, and it was very enjoyable while shooting it too. It is a youthful film, which can be enjoyed with friends and family."
Much before "Chashme Buddoor" releases April 5, watch out for Abhishek Kapoor's "Kai Po Che", hitting the screens this Friday.
With another trio - Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh and Raj Kumar Yadav - the movie is likely to strike a chord with the young at heart.
A fun-loving tale of three boys and their aspirations, the movie comes from director Abhishek Kapoor, known for his National Award winning 2008 film "Rock On!!" - also a movie on a group of friends.
Kapoor has said the films differ in sensibilities and that "Kai Po Che!" was like directing "Rock On!!" "three times over" as the former "has a much wider story".
Another major offering this year should be "Grand Masti", which as the name suggests promises a high dose of entertainment. With Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani and Riteish Deshmukh, the movie could be a helluva laugh riot - considering the impact that Indra Kumar's 2004 film "Masti" had.
"It's funnier, crazier, wilder... it's a bundle of entertainment," Aftab told IANS about "Grand Masti".
Film trade expert Vinod Mirani noted that male bonding is definitely not something new to Bollywood, and rightly so.
Look back, and you have examples like "Satte Pe Satta", "Amar Akbar Anthony" and "Bombay Boys". Later, movies like "Jhankaar Beats", "Rang De Basanti", "Dhamaal", "Dhol", "Badmaash Company", "Dostana", "Golmaal" series, "Heyy Babyy" and "Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji", "Delhi Belly" and "Pyaar Ka Punchnama" touched upon the theme as well.
Mirani said: "Stories around a single character bore you after some time. So, to make an interesting film, more than one (main) character is required. Films with friendship as the main theme have been a success and mint money at the box office."
"Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", starring Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol, made Rs.108 crore in 10 days of its release in 2011.
Aamir Khan Productions' "Delhi Belly", a bold, youth-centric drama, was made at a budget of Rs.25 crore. The film triumphed in the opening weekend itself by grossing over Rs.26 crore.
However, merely a film's theme "does not mean anything and everything will sell", said Mirani.
"There has to be substance in the script. The trend of male bonding and bromance will continue forever."
(Aastha Khurana can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)