Monday, February 23, 2009

ये तो लिखा है/ Perhaps It Is Written !


So, would the ceasefire be declared between Slumdog Millionaire(SM) lovers and those who say it sucks...now when the Oscars are all smiling on this rags to riches story of a slumdog. 8 awards out of 10 nominations is no joke. And don't forget that, of those 8 beautiful, coveted trophies 3 are coming home. Or am I too joyous and foolish to imagine of a truce as the awards might actually begin the war of words afresh....there is no dearth of wordmongers who you will be finding spread on all your 2 newspapers and 20 channels. Frothing with anger that the West only recognizes films which portray India in bad light or Hollywood is smitten with poverty porn.

My point is....just ignore the crap. And think how we can get the maximum mileage out of this British film with 3 Oscars won by Indian artists. How is it gonna get us that 'something' which will help us have a bigger share of the Global Film Industry which stands at an abysmally low of less than 4% worldwide, as of now. Amitabh Bachchan school of thought would be infuriated with me when I say that yes, we need a certificate from West in the form of Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscars if we want to make better films for a global audience. By the way the term 'global audience' for Indian films has largely been restricted to Indian Diaspora and some African and Middle-East nations. India sells 1 billion more tickets worldwide than Hollywood, produces double the films of Hollywood and to bring home the point, consider these facts- Bollywood made $1.75 billion in 2006 which happens to be half of revenues generated by Studio Walt Disney; the year Titanic released, Bollywood's earnings stood at $1.2 bn and Titanic's at a whopping $ 1.9 bn....weren't we comparing Hollywood?! SM has given Indian filmmakers an opportunity which should infuse them with vigor and enthusiasm to churn out products that can appeal to international audiences and thus taking the industry to its rightful position. And there is already some activity happening in projects taking mammoth shapes, big directors reinventing themselves, new barriers being broken by the young filmmakers (Jihad, Wake up Sid, Kaminay, Kites, Dhobi Ghaat, Falling, Ishqian, Delhi Belly, Three Idiots, Gulaal, My Name is Khan, Rang Rasiya, New York, 8*10 Tasveer, Aladin, Siddharth- the Prisoner... the list goes on) 2009 has the caliber of being 'the year' for the industry. Hope that SM gives sleepless nights to the industrywallahs as to why didn’t they think of such a film…it was all out there…Hope that they take their brilliant babies to such platforms and show the world that Danny is no genius. After the success of SM, the world audience has some questions for the industry and it should emerge victorious in the SM fashion proving that: IT IS WRITTEN!!!

(Photo Courtesy: Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP)

(I wrote this post initially for www.newdelhifilmsociety.blogspot.com)

6 comments:

  1. Whatever u said is true but the point is are Indian filmmakers ready to free themselves of cliches and stale mindsets?

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  2. Yes...let's celebrate the moment...and be inspired enough to bring home some 'bollywood' oscars next year and not be dependent on English filmmakers....

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  3. can somebody tell me as to why is it that we as indians are considering slumdog as a huge success for India when the people who have been awarded & whom we can RELATE to as Indians (nothng more than that... it's jus a claim by virtue of us belonging to the same nationality) have themselves performed MUCH MUCH better(A R Rehman in countless other renditions, to which slumdog's music isnt even worth comparing) n our dear sound mixer frm down south who hasnt been able to believe his own LUCK till now... why d hype, i do not understand...

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  4. why on earth do we need to get mileage out of a thng whch is truely not ours!! this wud b such a typclly indian way f barging in and boastin it as urs evn wen it hs jus ur tit bits.. i actually agree wid the AB school f thought.. we certainly do not require a western certificate fr our films to b sure that we hav done sumthng commendable.. i cud jus not react in d "wow am so happy" or "jai ho rehman" fashion wen SM bagged 8 out f those 10 nominations.. for a couple f reasons.. oscars is more about lobbying than quality appreciation. how is it tht our marvels never manage to bag those "oscars" n it gets one(rthr 8) wen a same plot is used by a foreign director!!

    "SM has given Indian filmmakers an opportunity which should infuse them with vigor and enthusiasm to churn out products that can appeal to international audiences and thus taking the industry to its rightful position" ... i sumhow dnt agree wid this.. churn out products that can appeal to international audiences to tak d industry to its rytful position! firstly.. i guess d content that really appeals 'them' is d one tht potrays india in more f negatv shades.. it matches wid their notion about india.. we dnt realy need to appeal to thm.. if appealin more specifcly means THE OSCARS thn we ceratinly shudnt indulge in tht.. aftr all the jury f those awards cn not possbly relate to d indian style f cinema.. n in d event of apppealin thm we might lose our own identity!
    lets just stop thnking of oscars n keep up d good job wid sum focussed plots n remarkabl perfrmnces!! SM's success jus dusnt make it tht praiseworthy.. i don't deny d fact tht it is a beautflly directed movie.. bt thn our very own rang de basanti beats it hands down!! as i said.. its more about who than what! oscars or no oscars.. indian cinema has churned our marvels .. n can still continue to do so!

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  5. Well, well...this much I expected from the thinking minds!

    @Ruchir
    Agreed that Rahman's music in the film is his average stuff, not the more exhilarating we are used to but then that stuff will never reach the world simply because the films it is used in are not eligible to reach that stage...now when he finally has managed to lift the trophy we can at least expect the world to take notice of Indian music, films and cinematic prowess. He is one man who can be the face of Indian cinema to the world. As for the - dear sound mixer from down south (this line somehow sounds a lil....anyways) his name is Resul Pookutty and he could not believe his LUCK b'coz he was born in a Kerala village which saw electricity when he was 17, walked six kms to school & used to borrow mikes from friends, and here he was, being bestowed with the highest honour for his work. BTW he is the man behind Black and Ghajini.

    @Meitu
    The last time I checked, the credits had Music by A R Rahman, a song by Gulzar, Co-directed by Loveleen Tandon, sound mixing by Resul Pookutty, Indian actors, a central character called Mumbai and was adapted from an Indian novel. It was produced by Warner Bros., yes and thus called a British Film...And I hope all the above are worthy of being called a lil more than tit bits.
    Like all the other big awards in the world, Oscars too attract brickbats from critics for not awarding the right films at times but during the last 80 years they have had a fair image more or less.... Our marvels (would have helped if u cud hv been specific) don't win coz most of the time they don't compete in the mainline awards, are not eligible...to cut the long story short. And if we are already producing marvels than why are we so selfish to keep them to ourselves and deprive the world audience. The fact is we certainly can produce such films but we are not. We surely can feel gr8 about RDB but the likes of it are few and far between. The same reason why I emphasize on rightful position of Indian cinema- coz we deserve at least more than 30% of the world share not the 4% we have now. But that will come only if we as audience don’t let ‘Singh is King’ become one of the highest grossers of all time. And thats precisely why some beautifully told stories are lost in obscurity coz the industry impedes it from becoming the trend....If that happens what will Mahesh Bhatt and Anurag Basu do for a living? But not to worry, the future is bright with young directors breaking the mould. If u think that by catering to the world audience we will lose our identity then at once, shred ur fears...thats the sheer beauty of this medium- it can convey everything smoothly beyond cultural barriers if handled with conviction and genuineness.
    And one more thing, it will not harm us in any way if we can venture beyond b'wood sometimes, forget Hollywood, Italian, Brazilian, Iranian or French cinema, just try some luck on Tapan Sinha, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, John Abraham, Mani Kaul, Ritwik Ghatak( these names sound a lil strange I know) they too have had their share of MARVELS.
    ----Both of you had the same opinion; that we say likemindedness and hey...exactly same timing (2:32 am)...long way to go, guys!
    Thanks for making a comment!

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आपकी टिप्पणी से ये जानने में सहूलियत होगी कि जो लिखा गया वो कहां सही है और कहां ग़लत। इसी बहाने कोई नया फ़लसफ़ा, कोई नई बात निकल जाए तो क्या कहने !