Archive for the ‘Indian Films’ Category

Indian films are often termed as ‘Bollywood’ flicks internationally (even if they are in regional languages) not knowing that mostly Hindi films falls into that category and there such flick means dance sequence, songs, colors, festivities and less meaningful cinema. India produces more films annually than any other country (probably double than Hollywood) but given such mammoth figure, the revenue it generates globally is midget in comparison. Its always fascinating to witness how films with crumby material becomes an instant hit and those handful films with superior contents just manage to gain some profit or only able to cover the cost. Bollywood films as it looks have not come out of the age and, therefore, do not get any recognition internationally even if they manage to rake in moolah domestically.bollywood-movies-20081

Most of the films have substandard contents which may give some titillating moments but lacks meaningful cinema. Alright, films are for entertainment but why can’t entertainment be mixed with some social message or inspiration or learning. A person spending money ranging INR 200-500 per ticket should take back something positive instead of a headache. Having said that one would believe its audience who should be held responsible for such disparity (‘what can we do, they like this stuff only’) but if we go deeper into this, it would appear Bollywood has itself to be blamed. Lets talk about few reasons on why things are stagnant in most of the Bollywood flicks.

A boy meet girl—a long served dish:

‘A boy meet girl and their love story’ is a clichéd formula in most films (of course 7-8 songs too). It’s hard to expect more than that in many films since filmmakers think more commercially than critically. As a result, same dish is served with different names and in different plates which gives audience a very little choice but to go for what’s available. Haven’t we seen movies like Madras Café, English Vinglish, The Lunchbox, Ship of Theseus etc, We crave for such movies.

Underestimating the literature:

Bollywood shouldn’t cry for lack of convincing story/script when we have a wealth of literature available. Not only in the past but in recent times we witnessed movies made on novels that were enjoyable and meaningful (at least no non-sense). Some of them are classics like Guide, Devdas etc and in recent time ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Kai Po Che’ and even ‘2 States’. Not to forget critically acclaimed ‘Lootera’ that was based on a short story. We even liked Indian adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ in ‘Omkara’. We’ve enjoyed many Hollywood films based on novels and almost each has enjoyed critical and commercial success. It’s time for Bollywood to make their way to libraries.

Autobiography and Historical Characters:

Irony that a film based on the father of our nation ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ was made by a British filmmaker and Bapu played by British (of Indian descent though). It went on to win many international awards. Our history is rich and full of historical figures but beside handful films Bollywood never tried exploring ventures depicting our history heroes. They haven’t even used autobiographies to show real life stories in reel. We have recently seen story of ‘Flying Sikh’ Mikha Singh on big screen and one’s under production based on ‘Mary Kom’. Please give recognition to more real life characters, it works well.

Mixing social issues, Real life incidences, satire/humor

Bollywood produced few films based on social issues mixed with satire/humor, politics and real life events (‘Munnabhai MBBS, Khosla ka Ghosla’ on land grabbing and Gandhi’s principle, ‘Jaane bhi do yaaro’, ‘Rang de Basanti’ on corruption and politics and many more). Courtesy some courageous filmmakers, we get atleast one such film every year. The kind of society we live in, we have lot of social issues and if we have more intelligent filmmakers (or current one who could be courageous), we could see brilliant films like ‘Jolly LLB’ very often.

Cut, Copy and Paste

This is a chronically used function when we work on our PCs, laptops etc but over a period we learnt that this function is more frequently and successfully used in Bollywood. The inspiration is of course Hollywood films mostly and sometimes other foreign language films (Korean, Spanish, European), we even don’t forget to refer to our regional films. There is a huge lack of creativity. There’s no hesitation in lifting a scene, a song or even full film which often led us to believe that our filmmakers are not hardworking (obviously a hard work is put into Copy paste thing though).

Game of Stardom

People follow their favorite stars, no matter what films they do. A lot depends on actor in Bollywood but mostly would like to stay in same shoes for years and do not try different things. There is a sense of fear in them to lose their following which makes a big box office hit and money importantly and rightly so. But there are notable actors who have tried different genre which became milestone in Indian cinema. Special mention to Amir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan (Lagaan, 3 Idiots, Rang De Basanti, Paa, Black, Bhagat Singh etc) for keep giving such varieties on regular intervals despite predicting box office fate (they too gave stupid films but we are talking about their courageous efforts for not being stereotype). There are other actors too on the mention list but point to make here is our actors too should take responsibility and choose quality over quantity. Above films proves that box office success can be achieved if contents are good.

Recently a new crop of filmmakers entered Bollywood and with small budget films made on social issues, real life incidences and all above mentioned topics, have created a huge impact that even pushed big production houses to break the stereotype. New talent has given a ray of hope that things would take some good turns in Hindi Cinema and films would finally get recognitions across globe.