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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hollywood, Bollywood and Tollywood

Here is a comparison between the class, style, material of movies made in Hollywood, Bollywood and Tollywood. By Tollywood I mean the Telugu film industry not the pathetic Bengali film industry which some over protective bengalis would believe. Trust me Tollywood produces more films in a year than even Bollywood though the money flowing in Tollywood is less but its still far ahead of any other Indian regional cinema. Only Tamil film industry Kollywood comes close, that too because people in Tollywood invest there.

Though I am by no means an authority on Tollywood movies having watched just a handful of them, I am more than qualified to comment on Bollywood and Hollywood movies having watched almost every well known, unknown but critically acclaimed, Box-Office hits, etc till date.

First and foremost Hollywood movies........ Though the general perception of the people around here who obviously suffer from a colonial hangover, is that English movies have far better quality, storyline, screenplay, direction, effects, etc, this is only partially true. The mainstream Hollywood movies boasting of A- Grade celebrities starring in them do have great effects. No doubt all the money flowing in from the big studio houses- Columbia pictures, Village roadshow pictures, New Line Cinema, 20th century fox, to name a few are well utilized by the directors to create exceptional effects which are getting better day by day with the advent of newer computer/animation techniques. But the real question is do they have the storyline to backup the flashy presentation? Or the enrapturing acting skills that can hold an audience enthralled for two hours? The answer is only a few of the hollywood flicks can really do that. Take the summer of 09' for example. Three heavy budget movies were released after so much anticipation: Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen, Terminator Salvation, and Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. All of them had the state of the art effects. But none of them had even an average story to tell. Though Harry Potter is based on a book by the same name authored by J.K. Rowling, and what a story it is- full of thrill, comedy, romance, action, betrayal, friendship, the highly paid crew of the film pathetically fail to capture all of that and seem to have tried to make a "Romeo-Juliet" love story out of it. Then the Transformers sequel of which so much was expected especially after its much appreciated first movie, failed miserably to recreate the aura and only had the computer generated imagery that was worth cheering. Of course nobody should underestimate the value of Megan Fox. As one of my friend's status message was :"I would go fight Sauron, Voldemort, Darth Vader, the machines, the Decepticons and even Satan for Megan Fox posing for me on a motorbike like that", I second that. But despite the scene I thought she looked hotter when she popped the hood of Sam's car Bumblebee in the first movie. For that I can take on all of them together from Sauron to Satan. But while the first movie had the element of awe, situational comedy ( The scene of Sam facing his parents with mikaela in his room is surely a laugh riot) the sequel does not. All the dialogues of the twins are actually poor jokes offered in a flashy package. And about the Terminator story: what to say? It was utter rubbish despite the calibre of Christian Bale ( He looked the lamest here and that's saying a lot considering he is my favourite actor). So to conclude very few Hollywood movies really live upto their name, fame and anticipation. But since there are so many movies being produced even the few I mentioned actually consist of a large number of movies. After all nobody can debate the quality of The Matrix, The Shawshank Redemption, Sin City, The Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, and a lot of others.

Now about Bollywood which turns out more movies than any other city of the world, not even hollywood. And without doubt all of them turn out to be crap or some other version of crap. Its not that Brad Pitt is a better actor than Shah Rukh Khan (or better known as King Khan- apparently he is the best we have). I am sure SRK is equally good if not better when it comes to acting. But while Brad Pitt chooses to do Inglourious Basterds, SRK chooses Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. While the tarantino flick is not exactly the best of the lot it still has more to offer than the obvious relationship chemistry styled with dance competetion( come on! a dance competetion finally?). And about another movie SRK starred in, if all CDs, DVDs, tapes of the world were lost in an apocalypse and the only option of entertainment left was a fine copy of Om Shanti Om, I would rather die than watch it. Watching it the first time was painful enough(I watched it in about 20 minutes). Hell must be filled with theatres all showing this movie. If you are wondering if I am prejudiced against SRK, I would like this opportunity to mention the names of a few other stars as well: Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, etc etc. and even Amir Khan at times. All of them seem to be hell bent on destroying the Indian cinema. So as a result of this it was such a long gap after the watchable A wednesday that another watchable movie was released: Love Khichdi. None of these flicks I mentioned did exceptionally well at the box office, but still they are far better than the hit ghajini or the flop chandni chowk to china( what was that!) Even the movies which are critically acclaimed like fashion and kaminey don't have a good story. They are only acclaimed because even grass tastes like chicken in a desert. The problem lies in the attitude of the hollywood moviemakers who are caught in a tug of war game of pleasing the mostly rural Indian audience and the rich urban multiplex going dumb showoffs. So they try to feed "masala" with "morale". The result is Blue and movies like it. Better make a Gunda or Life in a metro. Don't try to mix them.

I am tired of bloggging now. I will write about Tollywood movies in the next blog

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