Often, people have asked me to stop comparing Indian cinema to foreign cinema, and some have even gone as far as to say that they can never be compared. It is an issue that has often bothered me many times, while I do agree that their styles must never be compared, is it wrong to compare them as films? aren’t both industries following the same art form? Is it completely unfair to compare them at a storytelling level? Being a fan of movies for as long as I can remember, I’ll admit, I was introduced to Bollywood a little late, After living in U.S for 5 years, I watched a few of those films in theatres, but I barely remembered any of those experiences, It wasn’t until 2005 that I remembered watching a Bollywood film completely, Iqbaal, was the films name, and when I first saw this film, I was introduced to a new style of movies, I liked it and I still do.
But I digress, Indian cinema does have a unique style in making movies, but on the other hand it is a style that is degrading as each movie comes out. Recently, Bollywood has this trend of making what we call “masala” entertainers, which (if anyone knows me) I have considerable disdain for. I hate those movies, not because they make no sense, but because they aren’t entertaining at all, they are filled with over the top characters, laughable plots, cheesy dialogue, and ultimately turns out to be a boring movie. Being an Indian and being raised as one, it is in my nature to say something good about it, but unfortunately I have nothing, especially when it is in the field of entertainment.
Is it so much to ask from these guys to make a good movie? It also goes without saying Bollywood has some really good movies, films like Rang De Basanti, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (a very underappreciated movie), A Wednesday, 3 Idiots, etc. But there aren’t many. In fact, one would be surprised; some of the films that came out in the 70s were excellent dramas, even outsmarting those that Hollywood came up with. Anand, a film that came out in the 70s, one of my all-time favourite dramas is a testament to that (yeah the death scene was over acted). But in recent times, Bollywood has taken this turn that even actors like Aamir Khan, or even Shah Rukh Khan can’t do sensible movies that they once tried to do.
Which brings up another incident, the release of Ra-One, a lot of people hated that movie. I did too, but, unlike others, I didn’t ridicule it, it tried it’s best to do something that Bollywood never had the guts to do, it failed, only because it was stuck with the Indian formula it had to follow, which is ripping off Hollywood movies and giving us a sugar-coated happy ending. Shah Rukh Khan admitted that the movie sucked, how many people do that? But really I think most of the blame needs to go to this piece of horse shit.
Dabangg, was one of those “Masala” entertainers that made Bollywood realise that they can make crap, and get money. This was the film where Bollywood went wrong, this was the point where I nearly gave up, nearly every film that came after it, was a senseless, cheap entertainer, with embarrassing item songs, and wooden acting, pretty much after that, I thought this is it, the only good film that came out after that was Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, an excellent drama, but hell, they went back to making the same shit again. Me and my dad would have a lot of friendly arguments regarding this issue, and he would often tell me that the studios are unable to get the right budget to make certain science fiction movies with better special effects, or that the Indian audience enjoys those type of movies where they don’t have to put their brain into it, or that they can’t tolerate bad endings or they can’t go into a movie without seeing an item number.
While I do agree with some of the points that he made during those arguments, I would also counter attack him by saying that all the films that I loved from Bollywood had decent budgets and earned enormous revenues. ZNMD (2011) itself had a budget of Rs. 55 Crores and ultimately grossed Rs. 155 Crores. 3 Idiots (2009) is Bollywood’s highest grossing movie. Rang De Basanti (2006) was the highest grossing Bollywood film of 2006. A Wednesday (2008), one of my favourite thrillers of all time, had wonderful box office returns as well. All this information is enough to prove that there is a large group of audience that crave for such movies, but Indian cinema has taken such a wrong turn that even mediocre dramas such as Queen (2014) or even 2 States (2014) are given higher ratings than they deserve. But really there was a part of me that said, “They may come back”. But, even that part of my heart was ripped out, when this shit came along.
I know a lot of people who didn’t hate this movie, but why? This film was terrible, first off, Aamir Khan was in this movie, and it hurts knowing that, the action is terrible, the acting is terrible, and the script is terrible. When I saw the trailer for this movie, I actually thought ‘this might be ok, it might be a good movie, the action looked a little promising’, but NO, they just had to market it like it was going to be a thriller and it turned to be another ‘masala’ entertainer. Why? Why?…… Just Why? I am sorry, but it hurts knowing that an industry that has some potential is thrown away in a pool of crap. I really mean it; I gave up on Bollywood after watching this film, much like how I lost faith in Shyamalan after ‘After Earth’. But good god, what on earth did they do?
On a closing not all I would like to say that Bollywood will redeem itself someday. But that day is far from now, I can only hope that they realise it a bit sooner. Just do what you are good at doing, stop trying to be something else, for what’s worth, try to do something original and you may create wonders.
So with all that said, I really need to apologize for not putting up the review for Godzilla (2014). But I needed to do this, thank you for reading, have a great time and don’t forget to like this post and follow this blog. And see ya
Until the next blog