Bollywood bamboozled all. Buffeted by costly flops and impelled by the multiplex culture, Mumbai cinema's pan-Indian narrative idiom promised to give way to greater experimentation within genre parameters. But strangely it became increasingly fashionable in influential quarters to dismiss non-mainstream films as ponderous and pretentious.
So, Bollywood remained trapped in the formula rut. As sugar-coated, feelgood designer romances, starting with Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994) and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) and stretching up to Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), overran the collective mindspace, truly inventive cinematic voices could only dream of breaking through the hi-jinks hubbub.