We have often noticed that the most popular dinner table conversation is, “Can Bollywood masala flicks really be compared with Hollywood movies?”. This topic sends a rush of high emotions to everyone who try to get their points across. The result ends in a huge bedlam accompanied by screaming and shouting with people at each other’s throats trying to convince that they have got the right points. I’ve realized that instead of arguing with anyone, I can put my thoughts to words. It’s a much adroit and peaceful way to express oneself, isn’t it?
Before I can start with anything else, I just want you to have a nice look at the nominations of the 2011 Oscars.
- -The King’s Speech
- -127 Hours
- -Black Swan
- -The Social Network
- -The Fighter
- -The Kids Are All Right
- -Winter’s Bone
- -Toy Story 3
- -True Grit
(Note - The winner is shown in bold italics)
(Note - The winner is shown in bold italics)
I was simply startled to look at the broad spectrum of genres displayed by the Oscars! A variety of topics have been covered such as, from fantasy (Inception) to Historical Drama (The King’s Speech); from family comedy (The Kids Are All Right) to Biographical drama (The Fighter, 127 Hours) and so on and so forth. I’ve watched every single film that was nominated for Oscars this year and the most notable thing I found that there were no repackaged histrionic love sagas made with the sole motive to become a box office success. Almost all of them had scintillating performances, engrossing storylines and a crafty storytelling capability to demonstrate the genuiness of the setting and getting the look right.
Now, let’s have a look at the nominees of this year’s Annual Filmfare awards.
- -Band Baja Baraat
- -My Name Is Khan
- -Peepli Live.
There has been quite an improvement in the Indian cinema over the past two decades, but, it still has to improve a lot. Looking at the nominees, I have to comment that it is a satisfactory list, but somehow it didn’t dazzle me enough. Maybe, that’s because, I think that Indian audiences still limit their definition of good cinema as “pure entertainment”. With the exception of Udaan, Peepli Live and to a certain extent, My Name is Khan, none of the others even endeavored towards anything meaningful or different! I guess, Dabangg is a perfect example of what we call “Dhaasoo entertainment”. “Loud, crazy, zany, exaggerated, larger-than-life, almost nonsensical, and totally make-believe”, is what Nikhat Kazmi wrote in the Times of India about Dabangg. I sat patiently through 125 minutes of the movie and realized that this movie is meant to focus one’s attention towards the big star charisma than the movie itself. The movie was a bland one, but it was magnanimously peppered with hot “desi tadkas” and item numbers which gives the complete entertainment. But, it was far from being meaningful. Even the serious scenes were looking comical (Especially, the climax scene between between Chulbul Pandey and Chedi Singh).
I feel that this year’s best movie was Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan (which won the crictics choice award). The speciality of Udaan was it shows an alternative perspective of teenage angst (unlike 3 Idiots, which shows the brighter side of the teenage period). Superb performances by small screen actor, Ronit Roy and Rajat Barmecha in his debut role. This movie, I’d like to say, is a masterpiece. It is a movie not meant to be explained, but experienced.
Another nominee this year is the satirical comedy, Peepli Live. Farmer’s suicide is just a headline for us today. We listen to the news and throw them out of our minds in no time. Peepli Live, takes a thought-provoking and a serious topic and turns it into a comic satire. This shows how intelligent can Bollywood movies become. Other movies released this year mercilessly ridicule your intelligence and aren’t even comical, if that’s what you are looking for! This is supposed to be the rebirth of Bollywood, after two horrid decades, where Bollwood kept demeaning itself by producing terrible movies, year after year.
After my above assessment, it will highly unlikely to compare Hollywood with Bollywood. Many people have argued that Indian cinemas have different cultures and different budgets, so comparing them with Western cinemas would be inappropriate. I think they are mistaken that Hollywood means “pure action”. The fact that they can take on more challenging and thought-provoking subjects than the Indians, makes them better than us.
I think, that script is the crux of a good movie. I believe, that an engaging script can give a whole new standpoint to a movie – and that’s where we fall back in comparison with Hollywood productions. Indian producers have to comprehend the fact that no amount of money, can save a film with a frail script! Most filmmakers seem to test people’s intelligence by reiterating old painting in a new frame, compensating a good storyline with ritzy locations and a big star cast. I’d like to give a message to such filmmakers that “This trick ain’t working anymore!”.
This year’s most anticipated movie, was Farah Khan’s action comedy film, Tees Maar Khan. Apart from the poor script and improper dialogues, this film is a erroneous imitation of an 1965 Italian movie, After The Fox. I’d like to rename the movie from Tees Maar Khan to “131 minutes of extreme torture!”J. It is a low IQ film and a receptacle full of mindless comedy. Even the kids watching the movie weren’t feeling amused. And yet, it became the second biggest opening day grosser of all time! I think the entire credit for such an acclaim goes to “Sheila” for displaying her “jawani” in a hot item song “Sheila ki Jawaani”. I observed that most people came to watch Katrina Kaif performing the provocative item number. But, it is preposterous to believe that audiences can sit through the whole torment, just to watch Katrina Kaif!!
It’s time for the makers to take more risks and make movies with some conviction. Currently, Bollwood is in a great danger of mocking itself because the movies are so hopelessly out of sync with the reality. All the singing and dancing happen only in films! Perhaps, it’s time to be more mature and understand that only fantasy doesnot mean entertainment. Our real lives are more realistic than some bland love traingles! Why can’t the filmmakers make some movies which bear resemblance to our ordinary lives and present it in a more entertaining way.
I sincerely hope that you have liked my judgement. You are welcome to disagree in the comments section.
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Supratik "Ronnie" Sarthak. :D