When Aamir Khan launched his Ghajini look, I was in awe. After seeing the movie, I kind of liked it. But the likeness lowered down a little upon learning that it was a copy of the original Ghajini released in the Tamil. A month later I chanced upon Memento by Christopher Nolan starring Guy Pearce. I threw my hands up in disappointment after learning that the original Ghajini was in fact a remake or ‘inspiration’ as they say, of Memento. Enough is enough.
That’s when I decided to cut down on mainstream Indian cinema, or proper Bollywood you can say.
For example, I am real shit tired of David Dhawan making another of his comedies. Partner was okay BUT EVEN THAT WAS A RIP-OFF OF HITCH originally starring Will Smith? Oh boy!
Switching to cinema apart from Bollywood turned out to be a good decision for I was introduced to titles like 12 Angry Men, The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby, The Basketball Diaries, The Flowers of War and the list goes on and on. Frankly speaking, it might sound bullshit to others but it helped me evolve as a person and widened my perspective.
A few days ago, my cousin forced me in to a theatre playing Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani, a June 2013 release. That was me watching a Bollywood movie after a gap of 18 months (Paan Singh Tomar being the only exception). After the movie ended, I thanked myself a gazillion times for staying true to my decision of being away from mainstream Bollywood cinema. WERE ALL THE BOLLYWOOD DIRECTORS BORN IN THE SAME LOVE FIELD? Why do you have to insert the element of love in EVERY SINGLE MOVIE? Inserting it notwithstanding, you guys make it the basis for your story. Every story! Bah. Serving me a complete apple or cutting it in halves or many other pieces doesn’t save the fact that I’ll be ultimately bored of eating apples every day. Same goes with your love story, director.
How about you spend some time deciding on a better script rather than deciding on how to spend millions on foreign locale shooting? Your deeds just don’t serve the purpose.
Though I like the upcoming breed of filmmakers from India like Anurag Kashyap, Dibaker Bannerjee etc. Irrfan Khan is my favorite when it comes to acting. He was fucking brilliant in Paan Singh Tomar and absolutely deserves the National Award for his acting. Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan look like third grade kiddos when compared to Irrfan Khan and his acting prowess.
I love character films because they have a far stronger connect with the audience. But there are very very few character actors in India or Bollywood. And that’s the saddening part.
With moist eyes, I reached out for a tissue paper when Morgan Freeman pulls out the oxygen-supply pump off Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby; I cried when Christian Bale bids a final farewell to the ladies from the Yellow River in The Flowers of War who were later gonna get brutally killed by the evil army men.
I believe meaningful cinema should evoke a reaction from the beholder. Not a ‘WTF Why did I waste my time on this’ reaction. If you get the same, then you are simply wasting time and you need to move on to better things in life.
I’ll blindly select a Quentin Tarantino movie or a Steven Soderbergh movie over a David Dhawan / Farah Khan rom-com.