Friday, August 12, 2011

Obsession with global cinema

This is one topic that I believe very strongly about. For months, I have heard of huge celebs, like SRK and "ace" director Karan Johar rant on about how the way for Hindi films to succeed are to become more global. "Global" meaning being watched by the western world...going to foreign locales and lots and lots of English.
This often leads to otherwise successful filmmakers, like Rakesh Roshan, to create total flop films, like Kites. Who even liked that film? There is a famous Indian proverb which totally sums it up, "Na ghar ke, na ghat ke". Basically, that means that someone does not belong to their home, nor to the rest of the world. Kites changed from English to Hindi to Spanish in mere seconds. How can a films like that resonate with anyone? A good film does not need to try to entertain everyone, nor need to! People will appreciate the film regardless of language barriers. 
Take 3 Idiots for example. That film was not shot in the USA, did not have too much English for a Hindi film and had a real Indian soul (meaning connected with problems in the INDIAN diaspora). It became the biggest blockbuster of all times AND one of the biggest overseas grossers as well. I personally went to see that film in theaters 3 times. It was sold out every night and day for a full month. Literally I saw, at most, 2 non-Indians in that theater. And the movie was still successful. A real word of advice I have for the Hindi filmmakers trying to reach to the "other side", is that westerners will always have there own films, in pure, unadultered English with performers that they know and want to see. Do many indians have
interest in Korean or Japanese films? NO! In the same way, American audiences do not want to see Indian films in such a wide scope. So why do Indian movies increasingly try to satisfy one percent of the audience and shun the other 99% Indian film watchers. The obsession with all things western and Hollywood needs to stop.


  1. TOTALLY agree with this post! Trying to be all things to everyone only ends up making it nothing to no one. It's like they forget what the "U" is "USP" stands for. All sorts of clich├ęs spring to mind, like "to thine own self be true", but they all boil down to the same problem -a cringing need for "validation" from a market that will never give it to them, and that unfulfilled craving is driving the production of pappy pointless films. It's just a pity that the people who are making films are driven by a quest for the mythical millions of a "crossover" hit, and will keep hunting for it, paying no heed to voices like yours on this issue.

  2. Hi! Welcome to the Blogosphere! I really appreciate this post, and agree with it (and Stuart's comment above) 100%. I look forward to reading your blog.