I don’t usually watch Hindi films because they’re predictable. Even Hollywood films are predictable because they run on a formula. But at least the story lines are somewhat original. There are some exceptional movies like The Departed – I saw the Chinese version first before they made the Hollywood version.
I like a of Indian filmmakers, they’re not afraid to be flamboyant, or explore issues that are considered “taboo”. I like the way they execute things on film. I respect the fact that they can make outrageous plot lines work – something that is essential in order for a film to be successful here.
It is such a shame though that Ghajini, the number one grossing film with a record hit of Rs. 1 billion is based on the English movie Memento. The whole country had been swept in the publicity hype and boasts of what a great film it is. But it’s not original.
In a country where there’s an actual legalized freedom of expression, Indian filmmakers should be aspiring to produce the next Satyajit Ray not wait for the next Hollywood movie to copy. I fail to understand how a whole country can be so proud of a copy movie – knowingly. Even it’s publicity campaign has “Hollywood” written all over it. Of course Ghajini is not the first movie that copied a western film. There are other popular films like Kaante (Reservoir Dogs), Josh (Westside Story), Sarkar (The God Father), Ek Ajnabi (Man on Fire), and Humko Deewana Kar Gaye (Notting Hill). If the film is not an exact copy there are the “masala” kind where plot lines and scenes are mixed and matched from various movies of the west. Of course these are predictable, too – even when you don’t understand the language. For someone who pays attention to films like me I can even identify which movie by just looking at a trailer or a scene.
From my six years of living in India, I can see that it is not short of issues to make films about. There are subjects for comedy, tragedy and romance all around in this country of a billion plus people. My question is, what are Indian filmmakers so afraid of to be original? What’s making them stop in their creative process? Are movie goers to blame or the industry big wigs? Don’t you want to see original authentic Indian stories? What’s your take? Help me understand.