Thursday, July 10, 2003

Bollyflops {url courtesy: guru subramanian/lazygeek}

6 months. 117 releases. 8 hits, and 109 flops. Do some math, and that's 6.83% success, unless you want to count the flops as positive indicators. That's Bollywood so far. MPKDH was a box-office downer in India, but soared up the charts in the UK and the US. Indu Mirani, assistant editor of Box Office explains, "I think they look for only gloss and stars abroad." Well, of course. What is even more distressing is that our filmmakers (read: purveyors of sleaze, skimp and skin packaged in the crumpled gaudy gift paper of family values[sic]) are fully aware of this and continue to churn out one puke cake after another packed with gloss and stars, just for these audiences in the UK and the US, who are willing to spend precious $$ and ££. Sanjay Gadhvi, Chopra camp dog and director of Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi (aka the Hindi-ization complete with titular translation of My Best Friend's Wedding) {more here} dismisses allegations of plagiarism (which is on the rise in all this gloss-fest) saying "we don't have good writers". Veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt (whose meteoric rise with Saaransh was matched by an equally creative cop-out/sellout ...) defends this saying "When you take an idea and route it through the Indian heart, it changes entirely. You cannot pin a person down on an idea.'' As for originality (something he and his family -- especially Vikram Bhatt -- have long since abandoned) he comes up with an ace like "I've had discussions on original art with the greatest thinkers of the world including the Dalai Lama. They all agree only god is original." The latest Bhatt camp release, Saaya (which incidentally made it out on DVD in the US the day after it hit theatres!) is a straight lift of Dragonfly. The director of this lift, Anurag Basu, sings a different (read: outrageously dumb) tune: "Saaya is neither Dragonfly nor Ghost. I have seen those films. I am not a Film Institute graduate, but I have learnt how to make films. Watch Saaya and judge for yourself. ". Producer Bhatt says it's a "product of his paranormal experiences". More raucous laughter.

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