One of the universal parts of human culture is the activity of gambling. While it can be dangerous and addictive for some people, recreational gambling is still common in most parts of the world. Since gambling is so common as a human experience, it has been depicted in numerous art forms, with movies naturally being no exception.
Bollywood, the biggest movie industry in the country, has tackled the subject with several films like Jannat, Teen Patti, and Gambler. While all of them focus on a particular aspect of gambling, negative or positive, all of them suffer from flaws that keep them from being truly great films.
This article is an exercise in imagination and looks at how Bollywood can improve to create more in-depth movies about the tricky and complicated subject of gambling.
Include more games like Andar Bahar
It makes sense for movies to focus on the most popular casino games, such as Teen Patti. For example, the film sharing the same name follows a math professor played by Amitabh Bachan, who figures out how to win the game consistently.
However, Teen Patti is not the only game that Indians are interested in. Other casino games are also trending in India, as shown by Andar Bahar’s massive adoption by the highest-rated casino sites in India. The game enjoys such popularity because it’s a simple game that people can play quickly.
The mobile-first nature of the adolescent online casino industry in India means that online casino games are often played on the go. People prefer playing games that do not require a lot of time or attention.
By not focusing on the actual gambling trends and focusing on more popular games, Bollywood makes dramatic stories but misses out on its connection to ordinary people. For example, a movie about a person addicted to online gambling would be a much more human story than a casino heist, which has never happened in the country.
Create more realistic characters
As a continuation to the last point, Bollywood movies, in general, could use more realistic characters to tell stories that seem authentic. At the core of the larger-than-life story of sports betting in Jannat, the characters seem shallow and two-dimensional.
To be fair, newer movies like The Striker do have interesting characters that have depth and substance.
Drama over morality
Every movie about gambling does not have to study morality or contain a lesson about gambling. For example, Leaving Las Vegas is a great movie that includes a lot of gambling, but the film is more about death than about gambling.
It would be interesting to see movies that tackle gambling as a symptom and not the main issue. Whether we will ever get to see such movies is another matter. Still, with the rise of online casinos in India and a revived interest in recreational gambling, Bollywood could give it another shot due to the public interest.