Banking on the big screen

Phata Hollywood, nikla hero
For several years, we’ve been getting unnecessarily excited about Indian actors foraying into angrezi films. For the record, we haven’t arrived yet. Irrfan Khan’s role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was as good as nothing. The same can’t be said about his part in Life of Pi though but then the film is not remembered for him. No, not even for Suraj Sharma.

Waiting for the day when Irrfan Khan does a full-fledged role in a Hollywood film, instead of bit roles in movies such as The Amazing Spider Man 2 and 'Life of Pi'

Technology won hands down. So, against such dismal track record, hopefully, we’ll see a real breakthrough in 2014. And this will happen, courtesy someone who will play the lead role in a Hollywood potboiler helmed by Oscar winners and preferably those who know there’s more to Indian cinema than Bollywood. The film would be set in the US and the protagonist will be an Indian who has nothing to do with software or medicines. He’ll be your average Joe with brown skin and a much higher IQ.

Sky’s the limit
2013 saw a couple of Hindi blockbusters reaching the R200 crore mark on domestic turf. The exact figures these megahits grossed is a matter of high probability (and secrecy).

Let’s not get into that. On second thoughts, let’s get into that. The current inflation rate of India is north of seven per cent -- certainly not a healthy number. However, the concept of inflation works wonders for Bollywood provided it sticks to the box office statistics voiced by the trade over the weekend.

The small films suffer while the big banners make hay. 2014 might be the year when economics will roll on its head as expectations are too high with Dhoom 3 pushing the commercial frontiers. And oh, who can forget Salman Khan?

The actor didn’t have a single release this year so he must be raring to come back with a bang. Or Dabangg. Whichever results in inflated ticket sales and footfalls.

Year of the PR
While you’re reading this, there is an invisible wall that’s growing day-by-day. Between the media and the Bollywood personalities. This Great Wall of PR is nurtured by public relations -- the cool guys and gals who handle the terrestrial stars. They play a significant part in a majority of the filmi stories that you read. Guessing why this piece of useless info is being dispensed to you on a Sunday? It’s because their effort is seldom recognised. The skills they put in while selling a story to a journo and doing damage control at times deserve credit. And an award. In an ideal world, there would be a separate category for the PR firms at all those self-serving award functions. Its ultimate aim would be to recognise the thankless (but well-paid) job they have done in making sure their clients remain in the news for no particular reason or accomplishment. High time, yes.

RGV can
Last millennium, Ram Gopal Varma was a name to reckon with. And then 21st century dawned leaving the maverick filmmaker in a state of disarray. If you’re awesome enough to remember Kaun (1999) and the way it single-handedly redefined the genre of thriller in Hindi cinema, you might have an idea what we’re trying to convey here. You are wrong. We’re talking about horror actually. And the way RGV has abused the genre beyond repair. None of his horror endeavours have managed to scare us. Even a bit. In fact, the only thing scary about them is that they are all directed by him. Sorry, we didn’t mean to be mean but we want change and we know RGV can. If not the adults, we hope to see his next horror film scare the daylights out of the kids (who have no idea how great his films once were) at least.

Emperor Khan, someone?
When you have too much money, you turn into angel investors. The keyword here is investment, not angel. Well, that’s what a lot of Bollywood stars are presently doing. The money has to roll, right? A decade ago, would you have believed if someone told you that Shah Rukh Khan was going to be the co-owner of an IPL club? Obviously, “IPL what?” might have been your first response. Anyway, what if King Khan decides to become Emperor Khan in 2014? Having dabbled in cricket, wouldn’t he turn to the next available option -- football? And wouldn’t he aim for the most popular club out there; which happens to be Manchester United? Wouldn’t he try to co-own that too much to the delight of Malcolm Glazer? Would he cartwheel when the team lifts the trophy? Lastly, would he get into an altercation with a groundsman there as well? Just speculating.

Messing in action
2013 has been a year of item songs minus the item girls. Everyone from Priyanka Chopra to Sonakshi Sinha to Mahie Gill thought they should do an item song in a film. And they did. What they didn’t notice, however, is they were systematically destroying the slots originally meant for the so-called item girls. In other words, they were rendering somebody else jobless just because they could. In 2014, the item girls will unite against this gross injustice by the industrywallahs. Rakhi Sawant, Kashmira Shah, Mumaith Khan and the ilk will trigger a movement that shall say: “Let our talent display!” Whatever that means! Moved by their state of unemployment and unity, Helen aunty too will join in to support the cause half-heartedly. Ultimately, the right conscience will take over and the item girls will be back in business. In other words, the same old horrible item songs will play but the pelvic thrusts will be performed by non-stars.

Children of 11
For a nation that is so enamoured by fillums, isn’t it a bit weird that cinema has no place of its own in the school curriculum? It makes sense actually when even our Constitution places cinema under the same entertainment category as gambling. Sad.

Filmmaking at a young age? It’s possible

But then, shouldn’t our children today be learning their Rays, Ghataks and Kurosawas within their classrooms? Early birds and all. And what next? Is there a possibility of little kids turning into prodigious filmmakers at a very young age? Let’s assume there is. If there can be little Indian kids upsetting the Chinese in science and math, why not filmmaking? Let’s stick with the assumption. 2014 sees the nationwide introduction of cinema and within a few years, we see a crop of 11-year-olds coming up with some of the most heartbreakingly innocent films ever made. Wouldn’t that be incredible? Besides, why should filmmaking be a domain of the privileged dynastic lot?

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