Saturday, June 27, 2009

The 'Indian' Film Industry!

Indians sure have a great sense of humor and who else to lead us better in laughter challenge than our film industry or rather 'film awards
industry'. Sample this: IIFA 2009 for best editing has gone to a movie which is Three and a half hours long and was much mocked and criticized for its length (Ballu Saluja for Jodha Akbar).

Sure this beats even Bachchan bahu winning Star of the Decade award. (To ensure there is no real life 'Abhimaan' in the family her hubby dearest was nominated in 4 categories and managed to 'win' one of them for 'Dostana'.)

Everybody knows that Indian film awards are just 'events' tailored for TV channels to be shown, when they are not showing sobbing bahus wearing few kilos each of jewellery, vermillion and khaandaan ki parampara or sobbing young girls wearing, well a bit fewer kilos of jewellery, vermillion and khaandaan ki parampara. So there are awards 'invented' to please every corporate by associating its name to some award and to please every actor (and their dads) by giving them that aforementioned award. (Greenply 'chalta jaaye, chalta jaaye' award goes to Amitabh Bachchan or 'Centerfresh zubaan par lagaam lagaaye' award for Tushar Kapoor in 'Golmal')

But when you go to foreign lands and declare among your song and dance routines that you are honoring the best in Indian cinema, should you not be bit more inclusive?

I have said this earlier and I say it again, why is Hindi film industry made synonymous with Indian film industry when quite a good number of films are actually remakes of south Indian superhits. And even if there were no remakes, should we not celebrate the variety and diversity of Indian cinema by bringing together all these different language films on one stage? (Afterthought: Why is it that UTV World Movies channel shows movies from around the world but not Indian regional language films? Yeah I know, watching a French or Iranian film sounds more sophesticated that watching a Teugu or Marathi movie. So Maya Sarabhai-ish)

Why is it that every year when there is this much loved and equally loathed ritual of selecting Oscar nomination, 'Indian' media (read Hindi and English news channels and papers) start throwing names of Hindi movies, how much ever crap they may be (case in point: 'Eklavya')? I agree that Hindi is the national language and have highest viewership among all other Indian languages and that's why Hindi stars are adored across the country and Indian diaspora as well. But just because Dainik Bhaskar has highest number of readers, is it the best in print media?

What about regional cinema? Why does no popular media outlet ever tries to find the best in Assamese, Bengali, Marathi or south Indian movies and present them as a contender for nomination? I understand that the glamor of Mumbai is so blinding (ever noticed how most of our journos, specially the PYTs, appear as bumbling star-struck fans when talking to the actors) that our media is not able to see beyond Mumbai. Why did no channel come forward to gather public support for 'Shwaas' in 2005, even when the makers were short of money for promoting the movie?

My point is that just because we are besotted with Hindi cinema, we are overlooking quality in other quarters. Did you know that in 1991, Satyajit Ray's 'Agantuk' (remade as 'Raincoat') was the national award winner, 'Lamhe' was the Filmfare awardee yet India sent RK Films' Rishi Kapoor starrer 'Henna'!!

We take pride that India has world's highest number of languages and dialects spoken, then why can't we flaunt these languages on celluloid? Maybe event managers don't approve of the plan!


IndianP said...

Brother, what you are saying is 100% correct.

Kanupriya said...

Hey loved this post absolutely. U know I have seen shwaas & I don't remember any hindi movie like it. It was simply outstanding. I love Hindi as well as other languages movies but I agree that somehow Indian Cinema is always treated as synonymous to hindi movies and lots of good regional movies are always overlooked at. There r whole lot of quality work in other languages too. Having said that I also think that quality of hindi movies has improved over a period of time, at least the makers r experimenting with different themes & ideas!

Abhishek said...

@Indian Pandit
I don't watch UTV WM much. Actually I don't watch TV much these days!

You are right. Standards of Hindi movies have definitely gone up with younger film makers gaining acceptance.

Praveen राठी said...

Hmm.. you are right in saying "Indian film industry" is treated synonymous to "Hindi cinema". As far as "Dainik Bhaskar" goes, ha ha .. who knows better than me. I've been it's reader for 3 years when I was in school. Every monsoon (on alternate days), the news were like:
(1) शहर जलमग्न, सरकार की पोल खुली
(2) सिविल रोड पर महिला फिसल कर गिरी (with the pic of poor lady)