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Sushant from Orkut Community: I hate bollywood Topic: Why all of you hate bollywood? Cool, there seems to be lot of intriguing Debates happening here. I was a member of this Community 4 quiet some time, but wasn't active on Orkut 4 a long time, but now I guess this Community will make me come on Orkut quiet often. Now getting to the Point, I will take a very unbiased position on this subject, rationally analyze the subject, do proper reasoning based on my observations and and Not rely on any Preconceived Notions. Based on the posts of most members of this community, I feel that many of you are driven by extreme prejudices that are making you come up with some Generalizations. Well with all due respect to your views and with no personal offence to any of you, I've few unpleasant things to say. Maybe some of you will get furious or agitated but I hope none of you sues for defamation. Now, none of us can deny that most members of this Community are all Educated Articulate people from Urban areas and all born post 1970s that have had good exposure to International Cinema. (Including me) Well the Common trait of people like us is that either most of us have little or no exposure to Hindi Films of Pre 1980's Era or simply are too Elitist & Westernized and hence look down upon anything Indian, be it Movies, Music, Literature & other forms of Arts, very much like the Brown Sahibs during Colonial India who always believed that All Science, Technology & Civilization came from the West. Sorry for being rude. Let me make my stand on this very clear. Theres a Huge difference, a huge difference between Bollywood and Indian Hindi Films. Bollywood Sucks Big Time, no doubt & dispute about that. Its a Craphole, full of Cheesy dialogs, Melodramatic Scenes, Over the Top or No Acting and Moronic Song & Dance Sequences. Bollywood is mostly about NAACH GAANA RONA DHONA infused kind of Nautankis whose plots are mostly plagiarized from not just Hollywood & European but many South Indian & Bengali movies and now even Persian and Korean movies. (Case in point, the Sanjay Dutt starrer ZINDA, a rip off of KOREAN Epic Blockbuster "Oldboy") But that is different from Indian Hindi Films. You see Bollywood is something that started evolving in the 70s with those Prakash Mehra & Ramesh Sippy kind of Mindless Larger tha Life Commercial films that featured Amitabh Bachchan & Dharmendra. By the 80s came all those Pathetic Filth that featured Jeetendra, Mithun Chakravarthy &
Govinda that fractured the already bruised Hindi Film Industry. And with 90s added insults after insults to the Multiple injuries, with the arrival of "EMINENT MAESTRO DIRECTORS' like YASH CHOPRA (Melodrama, Chiffon Sarees & Switzerland are the Key ingrediants 2 make Blockbusters), DAVID DHAWAN (Vulger Thumkas & Cheap Slapstick Jokes), MAHESH BHATT (King of Plagairists), SOORAJ BARJATYA (My movies are Diabetically Sweet and all my characters are more sanctimonious than Mahatma Gandhi), RAKESH ROSHAN (My Hero is a 1 Man Army who will either Re-incarnate, or be blessed by an alien or will have a smart twin brother), SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI (ALICE's Wonderland is not half as indulgent as my world) MADHUR BHANDARKAR (I loathe everyone & everything other than me), ASHUTOSH GOWARIKAR (Can't make a movie less than 4 hrs), RAM GOPAL VERMA (Viewers of his movies (except Satya & Company) go for Brain Transplants), SANJAY GUPTA (I'm better than Tarantino) and finally Mr. Johar - or is it miss (No comments for him, theres no need). With the coming of 21st Century, Bollywood experienced a wave of Nepotism and what a Feudal Nepotism it was. Hopelessly untalented & incompetent children of Former Actors, Actresses, Producers, Directors, Music Directors, Playback Singers, Fight Masters and even Distributers started appearing in more & more movies in large numbers, their only talent, well they didn't have any talent, just contacts & a famous surname. Blokes like Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Ajay Devgan, Tusshar Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, Uday Chopra, Fardeen Khan, Zayed Khan, Emraan Hashmi, Harman Baweja,Adhyan Suman Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, Esha Deol, Shahid Kapoor & not 2 forget Abhishek Bachchan started getting movies and were treated as stars. I wonder if any of them had not been an offspring of famous parents, would they have even been Extras on an Ekta Kapoor Saas Bahu Serial. But the most unfortunate part is, with the rise of International viewers, Indian Hindi Cinema got almost converted into the Bastardized Bollywood. The Bollywood Faternity is shouting from Rooftops on how Bollywood has become the most Prolific & most Popular Film Industry in the world. The reports of Bollywood having strong Fan Bases in UK, US, Canada, Australia, UAE, South Africa & even Italy, Germany & Japan are pouring in like hailstorm. Well I agree the Bollywood has some market Germany, but sadly for the Bollywood guys the Truth is, who all are watching the Bollywood Movies in these Countries? Not the Whites or Blacks or Hispanics or the Chinese/Japanese. Its the growing Indian/Pakistani Diaspora i.e. The NRIs who are settled in these countries. With large number of Indians & Pakistanis immigrating to these countries in the past 2 decades, the Market for Hindi Films has obviously grown as many Indians/Pakistanis who immigrate are NOT so Educated and neither are they so good at understanding English and hence can't understand & identify with Hollywood Movies.
The Smugness of Bollywood wallahs is so annoying, isn't it. The kind of Cinema which is about NAACH-GAANA & RONA DHONA i.e. SongDance & Melodrama, no Script, No Content, No Logic, No Novelty & above all No Originality should be HEAVILY Penalized for having the audacity to call itself the Most Prolific Film Industry in the World. The Thing is, with the success of Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (A Highly overrated movie), Bollywood started spreading all over the world. The NRIs, many of them not very bright people paid in Dollars, Pound, Euros & Dinars to watch such Nautankis, hence when the money got converted into Rupees, it was obscene amounts of money. The Filmmakers who already suffered from creative bankruptcy had a sight of relief. They thought, lets make movies that have Matter, No Mind. Colours but No Character. Appearance but no Depth. In short lets make movies that appeal to NRIs so that they can flock in large numbers to watch them. To hell with Acting, hell with Cinematography, hell with Music and finally hell with any Story/Screenplay/Dialogs. Lets make visually appealing films that amuse the materialistic NRIs. So the Scripts & Good acting were replaced by Stars (yes Stars with famous surnames, not Actors or Performers), Foreign Locations, Extravagant Dance Sequences, Ear Piercing Plagiarized Music by Howling Dogs Anu Malik Himesh Reshammiya Pritam etc, Expensive Sets & Designer Clothing. And now Six Pack Abs, Bulging Biceps, Size Zero Figures & cameos by Has-been B Grade Hollywood stars. No wonder Bollywood appeals to many of the delusional Indian youth of today, coz they judge people by the Brands of Car, Cellphone & Clothes they possess, not by a person's values, intelligence, knowledge, honesty or integrity. Now one can imagine how Om Shanti Om, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Veer-Zaara, Devdas, Hey Baby, Partner, 3 Idiots, My Name is Khan etc became Blockbusters. I also loathe the Ultra Rich Storylines of Bollywood. Almost all Bollywood movies (barring Lagaan, Gadar, Iqbal, Malaamal Weekly, Traffic Signal, Hera Pheri & Khosla Ka Ghosla, can't call Slumdog Millionaire a Bollywood movie) have protagonists shown as "multimilionaires" and "industrialists" who can afford Vacations & Mansions abroad. Now I just absolutely hate the fact that all Bollywood portays is their lives, their emotions, their feelings, their family problems - why, the rest of the country doesn't count it seems. They reflect the sad, and false propoganda made by Bollywood that unless you are rich, and a celebrity in India, people don't care for your existence. Except for movies like , there have hardly been any Bollywood Movies of late where the protagnists live in Rural Areas, Small Towns or a Educated Middle Class people like us. Little do they wonder then why so many ordinary, genuinely hard-working Indians who
migrate abroad and never return home where they'll be ignored due to these bigots. The sad part is in India, people look up to these snobs i.e. the Bollywood Stars as "role models". Bollywood stars are just a part of the VIP culture that so much plagues Indian society. As I've said before, most of these Glamorous People are Chain Smoking, Heavily Drinking, Drug Consuming, Mafia Connected, Masochist Goons who sleep with each other and have no concern for any Social Political or Economic Issue of our country (very much unlike their Hollywood counterparts). I feel disheartened to see that peopled pray for Criminals like Salman Khan to be released from prison. Salman has been breaking law time & again and doing weird things and theres no Point in Celebrating his release. Now lets break the Myth that some clueless Bollywood Wallahs propagate : Indians are Obsessed with Bollywood. How Preposterous. I must remind them that not all Indians are obsessed with Bollywood. People in the 4 Southern States (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala & Andhra Pradesh) are much more connected with their cinema than they are with Bollywood. No wonder Rajnikanth in Tamil Nadu, the late Dr. Raj Kumar in Karnataka, Mohanlal in Kerala & the now politician Chiranjeevi in Andhra Pradesh are far more popular in their respective states and within their respective communities all over the world than any Khan, Kumar, Khanna, Kapoor & Bachchan. After all, unlike the plastic, Designer Attired waxed chested heroes of Bollywood with their artificial Six pack Abs & Steroid pumped Bulging Bisceps, the South Indian hero in most cases has been dark skinned, moustached, pot bellied and wears a lungi and speaks mostly in his local lingo, not a fake accent. In other way, the Southern hero is just like the average South Indian man and hence people of the South relate so well with them and no wonder they worship them as Gods. Even Bengalis are not so much into Bollywood (Mithudna & Prosenjit are equal to the Khans there) and the rural population of UP & Bihar has now started connecting better with the Bhojpuri movies as Bollywood mostly glorifies Punjabi culture – all Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai & Karan Johar movies prove the point. No wonder, in the UPBihar belt, Ravi Kissan & Manoj Tiwari have come in the same league of mass popularity as the Khans while Nagma is also in the same league as Aishwaria Rai or Katrina Kaif. And Marathi & Oriya cinema is coming up while Gujrati theatre is also very popular. And the people of North East have developed a strong liking for Korean Cinema as its very rich in content (much richer than Bollywood) and a North Eastern would obviously love to see an actor or actress of their race on the screen. So this proves that a large percentage of the Indian population, almost 35 to 40% of it
doesn’t have Bollywood stuck in their heads. And why should they? After all, Bollywood has always been either ignoring or Stereotyping most of them. Pseudo-Intellectual Directors like Mahesh Bhatt & Karan Johar praise Mumbai by saying that “Bollywood best represents the city’s cosmopolitan soul.” I suppose Bollywood style cosmopolitanism means taking digs at other communities and promoting cheap stereotypes of other communities. I suppose Bollywood style cosmopolitanism means plagiarising Western and now even Persian and Korean movies. I suppose it also means having its own caste system, where hoplessly untalented nincompoop sons and daughters of yesteryears stars (Tusshar Kapoor, Uday Chopra, Vivek Oberoi, Esha Deol & now Ranbir Kapoor) with well known last names but little or no acting talent are promoted as super stars. If this is their ‘soul’, it is time some one put it to rest. Now, talking about being cosmopolitan, here’s where Bollywood respects Maharashtrians. (Now I’m not even remotely a Marathi and neither I’m a supporter or admirer of the looney and eccentric Thackeray parivar). In a scene from the movie “Phir Hera Pheri” (a Rip-off of the Guy Ritchie Masterpeice "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barells"), that appears close to 2 hours into the movie, where Johny Lever rips through a painting of a Lady. In that scene, when the knife cuts through the painting on the other side, the person on the painting looks remarkably similar to Sant Tukaram, one of the most popular Maharashtrian saints from the Bhakti movement. Can you imagine Bollywood doing the same thing to a painting of Punjabi Freedom legend BHAGAT SINGH (A Great National Revolutionary) on whom countless Bollywood movies have been made, while ignoring freedom fighters from other ethnic groups. No we can't. If Bollywood cosmopolitanism stands for attacking the sentiments of the people of Maharashtra, then I think Marathis really don’t need it in Mumbai. (Sorry 4 sharing the sentiment of Raj Thackeray). The Bolywood people can make Allahabad their base and a cosmopolitan city, as they define it as the home of the 1st Family of Bollywood, the Bachchans. I have observed that these Bollywood folks sell their shit to the foriegn audiences as movies that are Indian and that represent Indian people, their traditions and Culture. But the fact is, most Bollywood movies have been only glorifying North Indian, that too mostly Punjabi culture. But we can’t help it can we, after all, more than 70% of people involved in Bollywood since the past 5 decades are Punjabis, especially the Producers. Look at the recent Popular Bollywood movies, from Dilwaale Dhulaniya Le Jaayenge, Gadar Ek Prem Katha, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Namastey London, Jab We Met, Apne or the recent releases Singh is King, Dostana, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi & Love Aaj Kal. What is common between them. Almost all these movies had characters who were
Punjabis (and mostly played by North Indians) and settings in Punjabi culture. Being a Delhiite, most of my friends are Punjabis and I love Punjabi culture for its celebration of life with Bhangra, Food & their Grand Weddings. But is Punjabi culture the only rich & vibrant culture in India? Why are not Bollywood makers making movies about other ethnic groups of India, at least the Hindi speaking groups of India? If we can have a Singh is King, why can’t we have a Banerjee is Brilliant or Patel is Perfect or Iyer is Incredible or Godbole is Great or Mishra is Mighty. Whats wrong with that u Bollywood makers? In the past few years as I’ve observed, not a single major Bollywood movie is made with a Marathi, or a Gujrati or a Kashmiri or a Gharwali or an Oriya as the protagonist. The last time Bollywood went to Bengal was for Parineeta in 2006 and went to Assam in 2001 with Daman. And Manoj Bajpai’s Swami in 2007 was the only time in the past decade that Bollywood made a movie on South Indian Culture. Theres not even a single Bollywood movie so far that features a major character from the North East. I see no surprise in people of that region not watching any Bollywood stuff and preferring Korean movies, after all they represent their race. And Bollywood does sterotyping big time. Why are South Indians shown as minor characters, that too only as Dark Skinned thick accented “Annas” – Restaraunt Owners or Buffoons? Why Marathis, well most of them are shown as Evil Corrupt Cops who are killed by the ‘Hero’ in the end (the way Marathi actors like Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Shivaji Satham & Sayaji Shinde are depicted in Bollywood movies), or as rude Taxi Drivers (Nana Patekar) or as Kaamwali Bais (Maids). No wonder the Thackerays get some valid points to raise. Why Gujratis & Marwaris, are shown as Super Rich but Dumb, Miser, Evil, Middle Aged and Pot Bellied business people like the characters in KAL Ho NA HO? Why are Nepalis reduced to foolish Shalaam Shahab type Watchmen? Why are Goans shown as only alchoholic and lazy Catholic Christians saying Hey Man, Kya Man. (The Truth is Goa has more Hindus than Christians and not all Goans – Hindus or Christians love alchohol nor they talk in Hey Man, Kya Man lingo). And talking about people from Bihar and UP who are often portrayed as filthy, pan chewing illiterate gangsters or Doodhwallas for whom only 3 things are important – Desi Katta, desi sharaab, and some naachne waali.
But the Punjabi, well he is always the Hero. In its true spirit, Bollywood has failed to capture the unique culture diversity which India tries to showcase to the world. eading all this, one feels, hell its so unfortunate that Bollywood is full of Garbage and is such an embarrassment for India. Movies are meant to either Entertain, Enlighten, Engage or offer some amount of Stimulation to our mind or senses. Good movies are those which have a distinct beginning, distinct confrontation and a distinct end, even if its in a Non-Linear Format. Sadly Bollywood has none of it. However, before we jump to Generalize all of Hindi Films as Rubbish & Trashy, heres where I beg to differ. As I made a point earlier, theres a difference between Bollywood & Indian Hindi Cinema. Indian Hindi Cinema existed in a Robust state in the 50s & 60s and then started loosing its limbs from the 70s, today it exists only it bits & pieces. Good Indian Hindi Cinema (not Bollywood) is the Cinema that didn’t believe in extremes. Extremes being either Poverty & Misery (The Sudhir Mishra, Deepa Mehta, Madhur Bhandarkar & now Danny Boyle school of movies) and neither it believed in Extravagance & Aristocracy (The Chopra, Johar, Ghai & Bhansali school of movies). And it most definitely is by no means Shyam Benegal, Muzzafar Ali or Govind Nihalani’s largely unwatchable parallel arthouse cinema. Indian Hindi Cinema were the movies many of us could relate to, the movies that made us feel, “Fuck Man, this can really happen“. Its that cinema that had pioneers like Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Vijay ‘Goldie’ Anand and now today Anurag Kashyap, Sriram Raghavan, Rajat Kapoor & Dibakar Banerjee are the torchbearers of that cinema. Now, again with No Personal Offence to anyone, but if anyone's idea of brilliant international films are ONLY the likes of Harry Potter movies, LOTR movies, Spiderman & other superhero movies or James Bond kind movies and anyone who feels that Arnold Schwarzenegger (hope I got his surname's spelling right) & Sylvester Stallone are brilliant actors, than I must say that either you only like larger than life stuff or you have not been exposed to Good Engaging/Entertaining cinema or you simply don 't have a very Good taste in cinema, so that person can certainly not appreciate Quality Hindi movies. Sorry 4 being a little cynical. Anyways let me get back to Good Indian Hindi Cinema. There have been a few Epics, some Masterpieces & some really Entertaining movies.
Yes they have mostly all been Musicals, but not the garbage that we have today. At that time, a Script/Dialog writer was one of the most integral entity associated with the movie. Geniuses like Abrar Alvi, Wajahat Mirza, S. Ali Raza, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Akhtar Mirza, Mahendra Paul, Gulzar & Kamal Amrohi (who later on Directed the Melody Extravaganza "Paakezah") all wrote original stories with Immortal Dialogs which were deep rooted in the Indian culture and their words seduced the senses of the viewers. It was a time when Indian Hindi Film Music was as precious as the Kohinoor. Music Directors like SD Burman, Madan Mohan, Naushaad, Jaidev, OP Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishan & Laxmi Kant - Pyarelal came up with Brilliantly Melodious- purely original spiritually stimulating compositions that were so Timeless, they are hummable even today. I strongly recommend the members of this Community to listen to the songs of movies like Guide, Shree 420, Mera Saaya, Teesri Manzil, Mere Mehboob, Waqt, Kashmir Ki Kali, CID, Hum Dono, Naya Daur, Pakeezah, Howrah Bridge, Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Solvah Saal, An Evening in Paris - just to name a few. I'm absolutely sure that after you listen 2 the songs of any of these films, you guys will be astounded to imagine such Enchanting music was a part of Hindi Films. And please make a note of the fact that at that time there were no Computers (in India) and so it were the hard working ever so dedicated players of the Orchestra that toiled hard day and night to give us such Gems. And also please make a note of the brilliant Cinematography during the song "Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya" from the movie Mughal - e - Azam (an Overrated movie though). Theres a portion in the song where Madhubhala (who plays Anarkali) whose dancing in the Sheesh Mehal (Glass Palace). Her reflection appears on all the small mirrors of the sheesh mehal while she's dancing. It is even considered almost impossible today with all the Digital Handicams to take such a shot. But Kudos to the brilliance & craftsmanship of Cinematographer R.D. Mathur, he used a 1950s Camera that didn't have any Zoom or other high end features and yet manged to capture those shots & immortalised them. It was such a cinematic achievement for us Indians which we have sadly forgotten today. And, what a tough job it would have been for the Art Director to construct such a Royally Extravagant set back in d 50s. You feel I'm being exaggerating, then please watch this video especially watch the last 2 minutes of it carefully and marvel the brilliance & creativity of the makers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plsRqFDk-2A I'm sure after watching this video, some of you will really be proud of Indian Hindi Films. Even if you don't want to appreciate the music or the creativity of the technicians, I urge all members of this community to watch a few films. Maybe that will give you a Clearer Picture about Indian Hindi Films. Sholay is No Classic, its not just a Copy Of Japanese Film "The Seven Samurai" but also Hollywood films like "How the West Was Won" and "The Last Race".
But there have been better & more enjoyable movies, which (much to the dismay of some opinionated or uninitiated members of this community) have been FAR FAR better than even many Hollywood movies. Look at Guru Dutt's movies, some of them were tragedies, some entertainers. But he sure made Avant-Grade Masterpieces. You will be shocked 2 know that he was very ahead of his times. His stories were on Divorces & children’s custody in the times of Joint Families. He made films on Live in Relationships & Extra Marital Affairs, something no one had the courage to make on back in the conservative 1950s. Thats why most of his Masterpieces went over the regressive audience’s heads. I strongly recommend his movie "Kaagaz Ke Phool" to all of you. I will only say that it was perhaps the best Hindi movie on a Man-Woman relationship and was a melancholic masterpiece & highly engrossing. I would recommend Guru Dutt's movies to anyone who is not seeking just entertainment but look forward to debate and discussion not only over the film’s theme but the filming process in general. Also watch some Bimal Roy films if you can, especially Do Bigha Zameen, Madhumati and Bandini. Those movies were in your face Realistic and talked of whats wrong with the Society without any sermons on Reforms by some larger than life protagonist. The struggle of the characters in Do Bigha Zameen is so heart melting; it will surely make the most stubborn cry. How unfortunate for Bimal & Guru that they didn't live in the Age of Globalisation, they would have won Multiple Oscars. And if you don't like the Heavily Melancholic movies of Guru Dutt or Bimal Roy, then I recommend you the movies of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. He was perhaps the Greatest Director Hindi Cinema produced. He was the Rebel filmmaker of his time. When all other Directors of his era started making mindless larger than life films where The Hero & the Heroin ran around tress and wept like babies, his movies were light hearted, believable and had mostly Simple Middle Class Characters, something we can identify with. His movies were so refreshing; a viewing of them gets tranquility to the viewer. Look at his Rajesh Khanna - Amitabh Bachchan starrer ANAND. A cinematic triumph so tender, so gentle yet so powerful. I’m at a loss of words to describe it. I cannot explain in simple words how such an economic work can be so breathtakingly beautiful and powerful at the same time. That was Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s magic. I just cannot stress enough how wonderfully gentle and beautiful this movie was, and such a wonderful character study. And yes, it was a purely original movie. Or you can watch GOL MAAL (not the Ajay Devgan & Tusshar Kapoor bakwaas but the Utpal Dutt-Amol Palekar comic caper). It proved how versatile Hrishikesh was. It was a Comedy without loud expressions or stupid facial gestures. This film is an absolutely
original, Indian story, and does not owe anything to the west. Every aspect of the film is top-notch. Watch Utpal Dutt, whose Effortless Comedy and obsession with moustaches brings everyone from Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler etc to shame. And talking about comedies, who can forget Padosan. David Dhawan & Priyadarshan make absolute trash. Padosan is such an amazingly hilarious movie, I bet all of us can watch it Infinite Number of times without getting bored for a single second. Its music is equally hilarious, the track "Ek Chatur Naar Karke Shringaar" can bring the house down with laughter with the FUNNIEST LYRICS in HINDI FILMS Ever. The movie has an ensemble cast and everyone is equally competent. But the USP is singer Kishore Kumar, yes he acts in the movie and his comic antics are SO FUCKIN AWESOME, he makes Sir Peter Sellers & Charlie Chaplin look insignificant. This is perhaps the only Hindi film that has not even a Single Dull moment in it, and its a comedy that will make you laugh like a Hyena. And if Padosan is not enough, you can watch other Kishore Kumar comedies like "Pyaar Kiye Ja" & "Sadhu aur Shaitaan" and he surely lives up to the hype in all the movies. Also there’s a Highly Underrated & Under-appreciated movie on Student Politics, not 3 Idiots. Its a 2003 movie called HAASIL. Its sad that the careless youth of today doesn’t remember this Masterpiece. If we do a survey in any Metro or Mini-Metro of India, 9 out of 10 people would certainly NOT have seen it, and in fact 5 out of 10 people would not be even aware of the fact that such a film was ever made. And the reason for that issimple No Khan (Discount Irrfan), Kapoor, Bachchan, Dutt or Deol in the Film, no Ash, Rani, Preity, Kareena, Priyanka or Katrina in it and no item song like Chamma Chamma, Chaiya Chaiya or Mahi Ve. Haasil is a simple tale of the ugly world of Student Politics set in the Semi-Urban Allahabad. The Hero here doesn’t sport Six pack Abs, and the heroine doesn’t run around in a Bikini on Brazilian Beaches nor wears Chiffon Sarees in Switzerland. So we know why people gave it a miss. The film shows us the reality. The film has done what it can do though, to stand up and be counted, and that is to achieve a level of brilliance in film making experienced only few times a decade, or sometimes in a lifetime. Irrfan Khan makes Rannvijay Singh the meanest villain in Hindi Cinema, even Gabbar dwarfs in front of him and Darth Vader has some serious competition. The change in the protagonist Jimmy Shergill’s thought process, from the peace loving, to the extremist, to the Betrayed and finally as the Rebel is depicted wonderfully. See it to believe the Hype about Irrfan Khan's performance. And I'll come to my Favourite Filmmaker in Indian Hindi Cinema, Vijay Anand, the younger brother of actor Dev Anand. Vijay Anand was versatility par excellence. He could make a romantic movie like "Tere Ghar Ke Saamne", a musical like "Teesri Manzil", a Social movie like "Kala Bazar", an Action- Adventure movie like Johnny Mera Naam and even a Thriller like "Jewl Thief" (which was his only unoriginal movie as it was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief", but only basic theme of both d movies were similar, as the story and characters
were entirely different from each other). However Vijay Anand created Indian Hindi Cinema's by far Greatest Motion Picture, GUIDE. And the good news is, Guide was an Adaptation from an Indian English Novel of the same name by RK Narayan (one of the 1st & best English Authors India has produced). GUIDE had a completely INDIAN story. In d conservative 1965 it dared to show its protagonists engage in Extra Marital Affairs and Live In Relationships. Guide is the film, that on repeated viewings grows on you. And its perhaps the only Hindi Film that I’ve been obsessed with. I’ve watched tons of Hollywood, European & Asian movies, but Guide scores over most of them. Guide is an impeccable work of art, not simply a movie. I see it as an epic, a lifetime achievement for all those who were a part of it. Its perhaps the only movie where the protagonist goes through almost every experience human life can bring - Poverty, Struggle, Falling in Love, Getting Rich, Becoming Corrupt & Debauched, Relationships Breaking, Life getting ruined by getting Convicted & languishing in Prison, getting released from Prison and achieving Sainthood because of Superstitious villagers, a battle with the conscience whether to help the villagers or not, getting re-united with the loved ones & finally attaining salvation There are Hardly much International movies with a Story & Performances that are even half as Affective and spiritually awakening as GUIDE. Though I'm not saying its the Greatest Film in the world ever, but certainly Hindi Cinema's best. And the music of the film, I don’t think there has ever been any Hindi Film with Music as DIVINE and MEGA MELODIOUS as that of the Guide. Just Listen to Mohd. Rafi's rendition "Tere Mere Sapne" and Lata's rendition "Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai" or even the movie's composer SD Burman's rendition "Wahan Kaun Hai tera Musafir". Raj Kapoor may have had incompetent Grandchildren in the form of Kareena & Ranbir, but he surely Directed & Acted in many Socially Relevant films that achieve great international acclaim and were huge hits in India. His films Aag, Barsaat and Awaara were huge hits in CHINA & USSR ( I guess he would have been a Communist, I'm certainly NOT 1 though). And their music was Unforgettable. But the most Delightful product was his 1955 Film "Shree 420". One of Hindi Cinema's greatest films, it talks of how a poor & naive small town boy experiences the Duplicity, Deceit & Manipulations of the Big Bad City of Bombay. This movie provides a sublime pathway to love of Hindi movies; for one thing the music is completely enchanting, beginning with the first song, sung by Raj Kapoor in his role as a university- educated ("B.A. passed") young country fellow garbed as a hobo on his way to Bombay--he sings
his song of the road about "My shoes are Japanese, my trousers are British, my red hat is Russian, but my heart is Indian" -- Mera juta hai Japani, yeh Patloon Englistaani, Sar Pe Laal Topi Roosi, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. There ain't any other Hindi Film song with Lyrics as Hard Hitting & Meaningful than this. Then there’s the rain track, "Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua Hai", its perhaps the most Romantic Hindi song of them all. And then there’s the Ballroom Club Song, "Mudh Mudh Ke Na Dekh Mudh Mudh Ke" which was one of the best Choreographed songs ever in Hindi Cinema. (Yup Farah Khan & Shaimak Dawar know nothing). Well many Foreigner friends of mine can't believe that such a classy & elegant song could be an Indian song. The transformation of Raj's character from a foolish-acting tramp/clown to a worldly charmer in a dinner jacket who makes the Rich N Famous Notice him is simply Superb. And then the track "Ramayya Vastavayya" where Raj's character realizes his faults and attains Atonement is like Icing on the Cake. I really lament the Loss of Quality Indian Hindi Cinema I talked about. Today what we have is silly Bollywood. Finally I would say that today directors like Anurag Kashyap, Sriram Raghavan & Dibakar Banerjee are doing a credible job, making Engaging Cinema for viewing, unlike most others who make it for money. Sriram Raghavan came up with a completely original Johnny Gaddaar in 2007 that left me Gobsmacked and proved that Indians can still make Good Thrillers. It is a rare thriller in Indian Hindi Cinema with more than a dash of panache, and the slightest of chuckle. Johnny Gaddaar isn’t mere thrilling escapist fare, there is that moral struggle of a mole that doesn’t beat its chest and shout but remains where it belongs, internally. And I can’t remember even a single sequence out of place. Quentin Tarantino once said that he wants to make movies for Friday nights, for audiences to have an absolute blast. This is one such film, a film that besides its central strength of the thrills and chills has plenty much to offer for the cinema lover, a hell of a lot of garnish. It is the clarity of the narrative and the ability of the filmmaker to play with audiences that makes Johnny Gaddaar a supreme film. Dibakar Banerjee has become 21st Century's Hrishikesh Mukherjee making simple & realistic light hearted films. In both of his movies – Khosla Ka Ghosla & Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, in spite of having hardly any dialogues in Punjabi, he made the audiences believe in characters. We know that the families are Punjabi. He is one of those rare talented filmmakers who know how to keep the authenticity of the characters. And both the Films entertain, Not because they have Foreign Locations, Big Stars in Designer clothing, Item Numbers or Expensive Sets, they have none of it. Instead the movies have Solid Screenplays & Excellent Direction & performances (something Bollywood seriously lacks).
And finally Anurag Kashyap is a renaissance man. I believe he will surely join the league of acclaimed Directors like Fellini, Bergman & Kurosawa soon. His films are Not Masterpieces or Epics, they are Exquisite Poetry in Motion. His 1st release, Black Friday was a Hard Hitting Realistic take on 1993 Mumbai Serial Blasts. His 2nd release No Smoking was one of those rare films that me & my friends kept thinking about for a long time after its concluded. The film seems seemingly incomprehensible it is beyond that. It is an experience; the mood is low key, the atmosphere surreal. The viewers might never be on the same page with the story concept, but it is always engrossing. The Film is abstract. The meaning of the word, in terms of art, is – not representing people or things in a real way, but expressing the artist’s ideas about them. I’m being clear and explanative because I feel it, as an obligation to be so, after the experience the audiences have been put through for this film. It is understandable; this is a first of sorts for Hindi cinema where a director is playing on his own terra firma, self-indulgently one might add, without once actually wondering whether the audience is game for it. His 4th release Dev D was an incredible/dazzling/jaw dropping experience. A Contemporary version of Devdas, it was more as a pop cultural phenomenon rather than deep study of the characters which dared to show Indian Women becoming sexually dominant & men Submissive. And the lyrics of its songs were Outrageously Amusing. His 5th Release GULAAL was Pure Poetry, He portrayed revolutionaries as folks who’re only jolted into action when their personal lives are ruffled; otherwise they’re pretty common boneheads with a born-to-lose tattoo on their chests and foreheads. He smirked at the liberals, and considers them capable of only inaction. He would rather label the authoritarians fascists. He would call the Congress/BJP scheming power mongers. Wooooooooo, I went on a Rampage. I certainly am NOT a MAN OF FEW Words. Many of you would be thinking its a Copy Paste Job, but those who spare a few minutes to read it will be convinced its hours of work and analysis. I would FINALLY (really Finally) conclude by saying that Indian Hindi Cinema has had quality motion pictures, but its unfortunate that its not being valued at all and what is instead circulated in Pop Culture is Bolly 'Fuckin' Wood. What a Disgrace for India. Yes I hate Bollywood and always will. But that doesn't mean I will look down upon each & every Hindi Film. Its not that I'm being patriotic. I'm simply being Fair & Objective and separating the Apples from the Oranges. And I request all members of this community not to generalize all of Indian Hindi Cinema as Bollywood and instead be unbiased and watch & appreciate some of the genuinely Phenomenal Stuff Hindi Cinema has to offer.
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