Recently in an interview published in PassionForCinema, Adoor had talked about Bollywood’s misplaced aspirations.
Q: Films like â€œ:Lage Raho Munnabhaiâ€ or â€œRang De Basantiâ€ are touted in the media as cinematic revolutions. All the time very mediocre work is done in commercial cinema, and even slight variations are billed as revolutions. How do you see this trend?
A: I have not seen these films, but it is a good thing if media embraces something different. See, the Bombay industry never has had this ambition about going abroad or doing different things. They are very happy with their business, with the NRIs watching their films and giving them money from everywhere. Now they have the ambition, but they donâ€™t have the equipment. They try to promote rubbish at international level. You take all the Bombay films to a place like Brussels and from there you have international awards for the Bombay films â€“ thatâ€™s a very stupid notion. You congratulate yourself for producing rubbish, and you do it 20 times every year. It is self congratulatory and it is a very pathetic situation. People laugh at you and ridicule you because of that.
More than 2 years back we had written on this topic.
For a while now there has been consistent and concerted push towards projecting Hindi movies as Indian movies, be it in Cannes, or for Oscars or National awards. More and more Hindi movies are trying to identify themselves closer to Hollywood rather than to India while they are just starting to get rid of stories where twin brothers get lost in childhood and meet after 20 years. Even though there are talented actors, directors and technicians in South India, Hindi cinema has always muscled them out, probably due to inferiority complex.
If the IIFA awards are to come anywhere near the league of other International festivals like Cannes/Berlin, the organizers have to take off their bias towards Hindi films and give equal footage to regional language films as well. That might mean less Hindi movies might get selected and the Karan Johar genre might not be showcased, but that is the way to make this festival truly Indian. [Hindi Films = Indian Films?]
And here’s veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee talking about Bollywood’s hegemonism in the National awards:
Awards don’t mean anything to me. They never did. Especially at this point in my life. I am completely disillusioned.I haven’t forgotten that once Jennifer Kapoor in Aparna (Sen)’s 36 Chowringhee Lane lost the National Award to RekhaÂ (Umrao Jaan ) despite having put in a much better performance than the Bollywood star.
A National Award calls for a lot of lobbyism; it is not an honest appreciation of someone’s skill. [A National award calls for lot of lobbyism]