RDB vs Lage Raho

The last line of this post at Mutiny sounds so ironic.

Seems that the Mahatma loses out to a bunch of violent youngsters

Well, yeah! Haven’t the guns won over Gandhi in this decision to pick Rang De Basanti over Lage Raho Munnabhai? So while a movie is making masses adore a concept that is so hard to sell or preach, our intelligentsia prefers a polished rehash of mid 80s’ angry youth curry type stuff (Sunny Deol’s Arjun, Ankush, Amitabh’s Inquilaab etc). Okay, I may be over trivializing the RDB phenomena a bit, but isn’t that concept relatively easy to make and sell?

Also, why not think a bit ‘higher’ here. Why do we have to send entries to Oscar and make such a big deal of it? When we don’t make movies for the western audience (except Karan Johar ;) ), why and how do we want the west to judge them for us? Bollywood may think an Oscar entry from India markets Indian movies to the west, but what ends up happening is the reverse. It is a Hollywood marketing game stupid, they want us to watch Oscar ceremony and their stars live on TV.

How about having Oscar like awards instituted here, and picking out ‘foreign’ films for awards judged by us? That may be a confident move – geared towards selling our movies to the world. But to do that, Bollywood will first have to move out of this web of Haldiram, Pan Parag, Cine Blitz, Lux, Sony, Zee and Filmfare awards :)


12 Responses

  1. Interesting concept of having an “Indian Oscars” award show. The problem is that the Indian Film Industry is not global when compared to Hollywood. Maybe we should put someone like Jagmohan Dalmiya in charge of this. Say whatever you want to say about the man, and he does have a few detractors, the way he transformed Indian cricket and cricket in general in the 80s and 90s is exactly what the Indian Film Industry requires.

  2. Interesting. Hollywood is more commerce than art and there is not point wagging our tail there for an award actually since our films are quite different.

    However if good movies get international recognition, it will be a fillip to make more such movies in the future even if doesn’t exactly bring Hollywood and Bollywood together.

    Strictly from that perspective, “Lage Raho India”

  3. Agree with you regarding not caring for Oscars. I think our industry has reached a stage where we can be confident of ourselves without hankering for outside recognition – and that too from Hollywood of all places.

    My other pet peeve regarding this whole issue is the way media projects the entry as “India’s official entry” etc which leads most people to think that there is some kind of governmental approval to this. In reality, it is just a private association of film makers called Film Federation of India which decides which film should go for Oscars. Media does the same with respect to cricket team too – how many are aware that the cricket team that is called “India” is just a team picked by a private club? (ok, after the supreme court verdict few years ago, many people got to know it is just a bcci team, but before that if you asked 10 people, 9 would have told you that the Indian team had some kind of government sanction to “represent the country”).

  4. I totally agree with you..
    When Lagan was nominated, Amir has spent millions of dollors for its promotion…and what he finally gained?
    Similarly, ‘Shawas’, Marathi film last year nominated for Oscars. It was such a fantastic movie (has won national award) but it was low budget film. And for promotion in USA, filmakers had collected funds from ‘Aam Janata’ and from government. I feel, even with that fund if they would have made another film, that would be more realistic and more helfl for Marathi Industiy. But they waste this money stupedly on Oscar (and undoubtedly film was not selected even for final five films)

  5. Mohan> Very good point. Most people do indeed think – there is some form of govt. approval for – entry into Oscar etc. But, would the oscar folks admint two foreign films from the same country with put fwd by different film associations? hmmm.. dont know…

    Silkboard> The Pan Masala’s and zillion award shows have become a bit of a joke. It was alrite when we only had Filmfare.. now its Khichdi.

  6. Apun ka desh: Yes, it irritates me when people can’t tell the difference between the actions of a private body and that of a government. I mean, strictly speaking, why should we even care which film FFI sends to Oscar? If it was government doing it, yes, there is some sense in caring about it because the government is elected by us and we are stakeholders in its every action. But for god’s sake, why worry about the actions of a stupid private body when we have no control over that body. As for Oscar admitting two foreign films from the same country – I doubt it. The Motion Picture Academy would have probably identified one association from each country to send the nomination and they just take the nomination from that association. Just as ICC has identified which board can send the team from each country (BCCI in India, PCB in pak etc) and accepts only one team from each of those boards. But that is of no concern to us. Both the MPA and ICC are again private associations/clubs. It is not like they are UN agencies or anything. So today they may accept one entry/team from each country and tomorrow they may allow multiple teams/movies. That shouldn’t bother us as a nation.
    [silkboard, sorry for the long comment. Maybe I should make it a post on my blog]

  7. Abhishek – agree with the Dalmiya bit. He did bring more money into the game. But Movie biz may already has those minds. Heck, even Amitabh Bachchan’s ABCL idea was a good one, looking back, seems like it was ahead of its time.

    Hiren – international recognition is double edged thing. For a Bollywood movie to be truly international, it will have to be one of those arty types. I’d say we have a rich culture and mythology – may not be international right now – but can be sold abroad with marketing etc in place. Actually, we aren’t doing the best job of even cross selling regional movies within the country.

    Mohan – agree 100%. There is nothing official about it. And actually, why do ‘we’ have to send just 1 entry. Why not send the best Tamil/Bengali/Telugu etc films as well, why just Hindi. Who is Hollywood to say that we have just 1 movie industry here.

    Shashi – yes. If the intent is to ‘promote’ Indian Movies abroad, okay. But if it is to get a ‘good movie’ stamp from ‘the west’, then it is a waste.

    ApunKaDesh – indeed, it is a “Khichadi’ of sorts.

    Hey Mohan – you are right, comments are growing large enough to warrant separate posts!

  8. a movie like munnabhai justifies an innocent “bhai”…i dont feel it can have any realistic repercussions…rdb hit the right tune with the youth of today…i think that rdb was WAY ABOVE munnabhai in cinematic excellance

  9. i dont really care for the Oscars. We should stop sending our movies to the Oscars. Why is this desperate need to be recognized? And all of us know about the lobbying that takes place! Great post :)

  10. Guess What.. India indeed has two entries in Oscar now. Both RDB and lage Raho… we were wondering exactly this – if it were possible.

    Nevertheless – lets make good movies, awards will follow. We have very little variety in our movies as of today.

  11. I dont know what the heck ur talking about as i read the first paragraph only.

    Well, having no doubts Rang De Basanti is a way better movie than Lage Raho for me.

    Its not the fight between these to movies, its the fight between the beliefs of Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad and Gandhi.

    This time i think with not just the awards but how this movie had an effect on india, RDB stands way ahead (quota). RDB has that inspiration to do something for ur country, so does Lage Raho but it does not has that power that RDB has.

    With awards both movies got in Filmfare and Star Screen Awards + the effect both movies make

  12. Fair enough Bhaskar, to each his own. My viewpoint is that it is (arguably) tougher to make a popular and entertaining movie around boring concepts like Gandhi-ism. A good comedy itself is a tough and rare job.

    I liked both, Lage Raho better.
    PS: RDB for the style and historic superimposition concept more than its violent preachings.

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