Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bollywood Bashing : Why am I Irked by Indian Cinema

Indian Cinema, for me encompasses the films made in Hindi and the ones in English starring Indian actors. As I know only one Indian language , this handicap prevents me from watching the other Indian movies, and this can be optimistically interpreted as a blessing in disguise. What incenses me the most is that Bollywood ( the more popular , unoriginal and cheesy name) offers me worthless , dumb , moronic , plagiarized , purely commercial features , with a few exceptions . It is the exceptions like Taare Zameen Par, Khosla Ka Ghosla and Hera Pheri, to name a few, that offer me some solace and hope that all is not yet doomed. These rare movies are like the proverbial silver lining, that there are some movie makers who have the brains to think originally. More often than not, when somebody goes against the formula and attempts something different, the film flops. One look at the current box office charts would tell you that. Apart from TZP, the two movies worth watching, Khuda Kay Liye and Shaurya are standing at below average and flop respectively. What does the Indian public want? Item numbers and song and dance routines? Entertainment without quality? I am really proud of the fact that my taste in movie is different from the average Indian; I do not associate myself with the multitude! Of the latest movies occupying the silver screen , Race seems to be inspired by The fast and the furious , Speed and God knows what other fast car flick from Hollywood and U , Me Aur Hum looks like a copy of 50 first dates . Plagiarizing seems to be the favourite theme of good old ‘Bollywood’. I wish somebody would start compiling a list of Indian movies which have been completely or partially ‘inspired’ by some foreign flick. And I would also like to know how many of them did so legally. Many a times have people commented on my aversion towards Indian movies, and I have been called a bloody Angrez, but what am I to do? Give me a movie like Sarfarosh or Lagaan, something inspired from true life like Ab Tak Chappan, or true scenarios, like Shool or Company, and I am willing to walk miles to watch it. Will India ever have a film maker like Hrishikesh Mukherjee or Satyajit Ray again? These men were nothing short of geniuses, and compared to today’s trash, each of their movies is a rare gem. While Hollywood has scores of movies inspired by true stories and real people, which acknowledge the element of truth, I have rarely seen such Indian movies. Of course, everybody knows that Guru was inspired by Dhirubhai Ambani, but why didn’t they make a biographical movie, a docudrama on him? Instead they changed his name, the sex of his progeny and the names of the rest of the characters, and gave a statutory message that everything in this movie is fictitious. Chak De India was a good entertainer and I liked it. But it was far from perfect. The character of the coach in the movie seemed to be inspired by Shah Rukh Khan than the real person, Mir Ranjan Negi. Did SRK meet with him and stayed with him, to imbibe his mannerism,to observe him so that he could embody him more accurately? And why doesn’t the movie mention Mr. Negi’s name? Another movie that made a total mess of the true story it was based on was Shootout at Lokhandwala .The story was so promising, it had such wonderful prospects, but it was turned into a tasteless concoction. The gangsters are dancing to the tune of stupid songs. Come on! What a load of crap! Why don’t the Indian movie makers explore the subjects that are available in India?
Witch-hunting, burning of women for dowry, crime and corruption, history and religion, there are so many of them .It is a rare phenomenon, but when it happens, my heart positively sings with joy. Bandit Queen was such one amazing, heart rending tale of Phoolan Devi, of the top of my mind. When ever a period movie is attempted, the movie ends up being another song-and-dance flick with a few elements of fact, and history takes a back seat. What the hell happened to Ashoka and Jodha-Akbar? It is so pathetic. I used to be a fan of Ram Gopal Verma’s works, but of lately, even he has disappointed me. My only ray of hope is Aamir Khan. May God bless him and give him the inspiration to make better and greater films. The movies he acts in and/or makes are worth every penny. All I can say is that I am willing to bear the agony of a bumpy ride of 70 kms to and fro Mangalore and spend around 500 bucks , being a student to watch his movies , and considering the easy availability of movies on the internet due to piracy , this is the greatest compliment I can pay him . Give me substance O Indian Filmmakers!


Manpreet said...

Hope they hear your cry...

Brilliant Post.

Kislay said...

Thanks. Sadly, I know they won't . They have to cater to the "fun-loving" crowd of India .