Raju Hirani and Rahul Bose

The next Hrishikesh Mukherjee?

I am yet to see Lage Raho Munnabhai, but I have seen and read interviews with Rajkumar Hirani. The man who directed Munnabhai movies earned some respect right-away when he said he is deeply influenced by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. And Mr Hirani firmed up his place in my good books when he said:

In terms of films, I don’t like to show pain. I’d like to show hope.

Exactly! What is the point of making “dark” cinema? The so called “parallel cinema” or “art films”, yes, I get the artistic bit about them, but what good are messages that don’t reach the very people they are meant to touch? When I pay 9 dollars or 100 rupees to watch a movie, first things first, I expect to be entertained. I expect to leave the theater with positive thoughts on my mind.

Now, I am not talking about “leave your brains back at home” type Bollywood/Govinda comedies alone. The point is about entertainment and positive depictions. Things need not be just black and white as commercial and art.

That is why I loved most Hrishikesh Mukherjee films, and some similar stuff made by Basu Chatterjee. I liked Dil Chahta Hai for it entertained, and had nothing deep and dark about it. But I didn’t like Rang De Basanti – what’s the point of sending two sombre messages one-shot. And I didn’t like Satya (even the Ardha one) for it showed me stuff I wouldn’t want to see on any tired Friday afternoon.

Rahul Bose and World Cinema

Since I am at it, talking about Bollywood, Indian cinema and stuff, I can’t let this opportunity slip.

A friend just pointed to this bit apparently uttered by Rahul Bose:

Subhadeep asked, are you in touch with european cinema? if yes , can you say why indian cinema can not achieve the same standards as the europeans? i mean where is the indian version of bergman or kubrick or tarkovsky?
Rahul Bose answers,
I don’t believe we have the directors or writers with either a concept of world cinema, or a desire to make world cinema or the depth to understand what goes into making world cinema, nor the sensitivity…

What the hell is this “world cinema” Mr Rahul Bose? Europeans make movies that depict their culture and sensitivities. And since these are times of “the West”, those must get passed off as benchmarks for art and class, is it?

Folks, let us just come to terms with ourselves. Western seals of approval (read Oscars) or not, we are like this only! Just learn to be happy with that, can we!?

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3 Responses

  1. Hirani has made a unique movie but one sunny day does not make a summer and mathing Mr Mukherjee shall take some time.

    Rahul’s remarks are indeed disappointing if he made them.

  2. We should be proud that Hollywood actors are also attracted to Bollywood these days. There are lot of talented Indian directors, no doubt about it. Here at Bay Area, I have seen here americans/hispanics listening to hindi songs ,watching hindi movies with english subtitles.

    Sir..we don’t want oscars or benchmarks. People are enjoying Bollywood movies because it is colorful, it has its own charm in it. Story….Fight..Romance..Songs..Dances..Fun..Tragedy…. Let us maintain our own Indian identity in Bollywood movies. People and World is enjoying it. We don’t want Rahul Bose to comment on Big figures of Indian cinema like Satyajeet Ray or Raj Kapoor.

  3. Right Hiren – its a bit early to crown Raju Hirani as prince Mukherjee, but I am hopeful.

    NRI bhai – yes, our movies are fun. Some are bad too, but big deal, so is the case with other movie industries as well. If you ask me, Hollywood movies have much more masala and predictability than our Desi ones. And why should Oscars be the benchmark for us? That would be like saying hey, why have R D Burman or A R Rahman not won any Grammy awards. Thats simply because West doesn’t have that taste to understand our music. Its just different that is it!

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