21 Comments

Guns Blazing: Bollywood Attack!! feat. Shotgun Uncle, Bipasha, John & SRK!!!

Attack #1: The Shotgun Comedy Show

shotgun

Well, Shatru Chacha had quite the week wreaking havoc all over YRF’s studios. As far as asking him to the unveiling of Yash Chopra’s statue for the Walk Of Fame, they can officially file that under WORST INVITE EVER.

In case you haven’t heard, what happened is he made quite the EPIC “faux pas” (I say he totally did this on purpose) when he failed to mention Aditya Chopra’s name in the list of family members he was reciting from apparently his awesome head, instead of a much-needed teleprompter. When this was pointed out to him, bullets were at the ready:

“…Rani Chopra ka naam liye hai toh zahir se baat hai Aditya Chopra ka naam leta…” (If I’ve mentioned Rani Chopra’s name then it goes without saying that I’ve also mentioned Aditya Chopra)

RANI FRIKKIN’ CHOPRA! That’s not a faux pas friends. That’s an old-desi-uncle sniper attack.

Anyway, the matter didn’t end there. Rani was either giggly or shocked beyond measure depending on which report you read. What’s clear though is that Aditya Chopra definitely had a panic attack after he got home, because YRF then ISSUED A PRESS RELEASE on the whole situation.

No no, not over-reacting at all. I mean, dudes don’t bother to clarify the title of the SRK film the whole world wants to know about for months  but mention a little Rani Chopra and the YRF elves are all over it.

“While paying his respects to the memory of Mr Yash Chopra during the unveiling of the statue, he (Shatrughan Sinha) inadvertently made a comment which was completely unintended and a slip of the tongue. We should request you to treat it as such. There is nothing more to it.”

This is further proof that nobody at YRF has ANY BRAINS WHATSOEVER. They do realize, don’t they, by denying this shiz, they just keep confirming it more?

I mean, here’s the thing. Nobody cares if Rani & Aditya Chopra are married, not married, dating or singing love songs to each other on a snowy mountaintop. But they’ve made such an issue of denying stuff every time a picture or a report or something is published that it’s really hard to remain sympathetic. JUST GET ON WITH IT. Whatever it is.

Shotgun Chachu, was not done however. Khamosh applies to everybody but him. Basically, YRF, do not mess with this man. And safe to say, from here on out, they won’t:

I only stated the truth. Either you should not ask me to speak in public. If you do, you better be prepared for some frankspeak. I was asked to speak on the great Yash Chopra. While I was mentioning the family members my wife reminded me that I had forgot to mention Aditya Chopra. To this I replied, ‘I have mentioned Rani Chopra and that is as good as mentioning Aditya Chopra too.’ I see no harm in this. I didn’t think it would become such an issue.

It wouldn’t have been such an issue if Adi wasn’t such an wuss. Sorry. But it’s true.

Attack #2: John Abraham Joins Twitter

….on the same day Bipasha’s Aatma trailer comes out.

I mean, I dunno. Just saying.

So while John was all “oooooh, check out my motor bike and fancy helmets” and simultaneously pushing I, Me, Aur Main at a press conference (guerilla warfare via twitter), Team Bipasha released the trailer that’s been getting lots of buzz in snobu circles for a while now. And it’s fair to say that the fate of this movie – either critically or commercially – is key for Bipsu’s career at the moment.

Frankly I’m a little underwhelmed by it but it could be simply because horror isn’t really my genre. Let’s just say we’re glad this is miles apart from Vishesh wala horror which is always horrifying for all the wrong reasons. Plus NAWAZUDDIN. Anything he’s in, I’m in.

Later, Bipasha did another one of her hazaar interviews on loving yourself and loving other people and whatnot and in case anyone thought I was reading too much into the whole Bipasha versus John situation, when asked about Mr. Permanent One-Eyed Squint, she said -

Who? I don’t know that person.

Which reminds me, Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Attack #3: Hollywood!!

So I’ve written about this before, how I disagree completely with SRK’s assessment of things on the whole Hollywood front.

Ten years down the line, SRK believes, Indian film-makers will be toast. Hollywood will take over, like they did in Japan, Korea, Europe and other parts of the world. By way of examples, he talks of Christopher Nolan’s Inception and James Cameron’s Titanic.

But, as more people flock to cinemas, Hollywood’s finesse will eventually win them over. India may make the most movies in the world, but “With all due respect, the production values are s***. Why will my kids watch that kind of crap when Hollywood offers something slicker?”

His calculations indicate an Indian family spends roughly Rs 2,000 for each outing at a multiplex. “That’s one helluva lot of money for a family to spend.” And what’s more, “They spend more on pop corn, samosas and fizzy drinks than on the tickets. If Indian films can’t offer them a great experience for the money, it is inevitable they move to Hollywood, because they know Cameron or Nolan won’t cheat them out of the experience they’re looking for. I want them to come to me, not go to Hollywood. [Source: Forbes India]

I just don’t understand why he thinks Bollywood is going to disappear in 10 years. Business is booming. Content is improving. Genres of all shapes and sizes are working. Where is the threat?

No doubt, what SRK is thinking of is his children – like okay, maybe Aryan and Suhana aren’t going to break out the popcorn for Himmatwala anytime soon but there is a HUGE population in India and abroad, made up of both desis and non-desis who like Indian films because they are, well INDIAN. We don’t want Cameron or Nolan in Bollywood. We have Hollywood for that. And I didn’t feel cheated at all last year when I watched Kahaani or Student Of The Year or English Vinglish or Shanghai or Agneepath.

Can production values improve, can screenplay writing be tighter? Of course. That can be said for Hollywood too, where good work is matched equally with studio-driven crap with no artistic merit whatsoever. The point is, these are two different industries, two different cultures. Why the need to pit them against each other?

And you know why kids from every generation will still watch a Bollywood film, no matter how slick a Skyfall or a TDKR is? Because no other industry in the WORLD does what Bollywood does – because it still has an identity all of its own unlike any of the other industries whose styles have always been more or less influenced by Western tropes of storytelling. Bollywood storytelling emerged first and foremost from India’s own literary canon, mythology, traditions, poetry and music. I would rather he talk about preserving these traditions than worrying unduly about how un-slick our films are.

I’m sorry, I’m just not seeing the connection. Lemme know if it makes sense to you guys. To me the two industries are culturally, artistically and stylistically so many universes apart, there isn’t even any common ground for competition or comparison.

Final Attack – Gangs Of Social Media

If you haven’t seen this, you must. JUST DO IT.

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21 comments on “Guns Blazing: Bollywood Attack!! feat. Shotgun Uncle, Bipasha, John & SRK!!!

  1. Indians Film Makers should focus more on INDIAN MASSES rather than competing with Hollywood movies, if they will compete with Hollywood they gonna lose BIG TIME. NOLAN SPEILBERG CAMERON and SCORSESE are GOD OF FILMAKING.

  2. First of all Shatru has no right to talk about someone’s else personal lives. Thats an attack on privacy. What if someone does the same with his daughter?
    Secondly, I did like Bips once, but this Aatma trailer is a big bore. Its completely evident that it will sink commercially. Not even half as good as last year’s kahaani.
    Thirdly, why do Srk speak so much? Lol. But anyways, if you look at the way the current generation has interest in hollywood films and the way its bussiness is booming in india, you can safely say bollywood is at threat. My 15 year old nephew says he and his friends have lost interest in bollywood films as they try to copy a lot from hollywood.

  3. I agree with what Shahrukh has said. Just compare his past movies and the movies he is doing now. Quality is declining. People dont have respect for bollywood films now. SOTY is cheap copy of High school musical. Kahaani’s climax is copied from an Angelina Jolie movie. Then there are bhatts who just copy every thriller film from various countries. Where is the innovation? Shahrukh should himself try doing good films. His thinking is right, but can not apply it in doing good films. Sometimes I wonder does he read scripts at all?

  4. Hollywood movies have higher budgets, sophisticated technology and skilled technicians. India has neither. That’s why the quality of movies there are much higher.

    And most of the Indian audience want entertainment. Not intelligent cinema. Of course times are changing in urban/metro and some cosmopolitan cities, but in the rest of India, films like Inception either won’t be understood or liked.

    But agree with your point too. There is no comparison between both the industries.

  5. “I just don’t understand why he thinks Bollywood is going to disappear in 10 years.”

    I don’t think he really means that Bollywood will disappear, he just means that Bollywood will start losing the dominant share of the market, what with HW movies invading it (thanks to the new generation).

    “And I didn’t feel cheated at all last year when I watched Kahaani or Student Of The Year or English Vinglish or Shanghai or Agneepath.”

    Yes, but the majority of films that come out of BW are “who needs a script?” or “leave your brains at home” vehicles (including SRK’s very own JTHJ). I don’t think he wants to put down the entire industry, he just understands that quality-wise and script-wise BW needs to step it up.

    But I do agree with you, that he is too pessimistic about BW’s future. BW is not gonna disappear anytime soon. However it does need to change the quality ratio of films it’s producing. Now it’s about 70% guilty pleasure/bad quality content and only 30% actual good films, imo. Can BW survive on this ratio? Yes. Will it be able to keep its majorly dominant market share in the long run? I’m not sure.

    • THe real problem I have with his argument (one also being spouted at every chance by Anil & others) is that, as Filmi Girl points out, it paints a distorted image of Hollywood – Michael Bay and Adam Sandler still have viable careers, and dross like “This is 40″ keeps getting churned out. The BW doomsayers are cherrypicking in their presentation of the mythical Hollywood against which they contemn Indian cinema.

  6. Bollywood and Hollywood can never and should never be compared with one another. They are of two different league! I’m a non-desi and I like Indian films because they are simply Indian! Only in Indian films there are the song and dance routines like how it has always been. That’s the specialty and entertainment from an Indian film which I don’t get from Hollywood films. It was just recently that there was celebration for 100 years of Indian cinema. I doubt Indian film cinema or Bollywood as it is called will ever disappear unless all the actors start to abandon Bollywood to make it big in Hollywood.

    I watched the Final Attack – Gangs Of Social Media but as it is in Hindi, can’t understand it. Any where I can find the same video with english subs please? :)

  7. I’m with you, GF. The market for Hollywood and Hindi films are COMPLETELY different. It would be nice for Hollywood to give the same respect to Hindi films that they give to films from Korea and Japan but that’s not Hindi films being bad, that’s about Hollywood being too narrow-minded to understand an alternate style of filmmaking.

    I’ll also add that one of the things I hate the most that the “Hollywood-ized” Hindi films have borrowed from contemporary Hollywood is the lack of a sense of place. Films from South still have a real sense of the cities/cutlures they are taking place in. Hollywood has lost that in an effort to cater to every market on Earth and some of those newer Bolly-films do the same thing.

  8. I think Rani and Aditya need to stop denying it (although I don’t believe they are married) but Sinha had no right invading someone privacy in front of the media on such an event if it was on purpose & then give a statement like that. Look how private he is about his daughter! But agree there was no need for a YRF statement.

    Bipasha… I like her but these horror movies need to stop. Will watch only for Nawazuddin.

    Srk annoys me with statements like this. Its his industry. Sure bollywood has a 101 flaws but he just attacked it in a “I am SO above this” way. Sorry I know you love him but sometimes he makes me so mad

  9. Shotgun’s Rani Chopra fauxpass looked totally intentionally. And Adi Chopra has NO BRAINS. I just dont understand, why so much drama about their marriage. Come out in open guys, the whole world knows about it.

    I had zero interest in the Bips-John’s post break up hoopla, but it seems Daal Mein Zaroor Kuch Kala Hai. Regarding the Aatma trailer, it doesnt have a B-Grade horror vibe, thankfully! Lets see how it works out for Bips.

    Lastly, SRK is really intelligent. He has such a sharp mind & acute business sense, then why that stupid statement? I so agree with you regarding the Hollywood – Bollywood thing. There should be no comparison at all. For this, we need to blame our own film critics & snobs (to some extent). Thay are the ones who mostly rant how hollywood is great and how bollywood sucks. Its just UNFAIR to compare the 2 industries.

  10. *SIGH* This Hollywood vs. Bollywood debate pisses me off so much!
    Why? Because the people belittling Hindi cinema in this whole attack tend to totally ignore the obvious. For gods sake, the Indian economy is SO much smaller than America’s. While the Indian economy may be growing fast, it’s still a fraction of the US economy. This permeates into ALL sectors of the economy…including film.
    Hindi cinema makes a lot of money, but again, it doesn’t work with the hundreds of millions and billions that Hollywood has at it’s disposal. When you are working with THAT type of money, the scope for special effects or action increases tremendously.
    Could Hollywood make a film with the type of production values and style of a commercial Bolly film with just 20 million dollars? I’d really like to see what they’d come up with….and the flack they would get (if any).

    Secondly, I’d expect SRK (even if he doesn’t accept the monetary logistics), to see that his kids are NOT representative of the rest of the world. His kids may be up over their heads on Hollywood, but most Indians aren’t. I come from an educated family (Classes, not masses SRK! loll) and despite having more reach to Hollywood films, my family, cousins and friends still watch Indian film. Even back in high school, I remember the Desi kids (mind you, born and raised in the USA) LOVED Hindi films. They would flock to the theater together and go ga-ga over it the next day at school. That’s youth, SRK. Yes, youth that could have just as easily watched a Hollywood film and not be “cheated”. hehe

    People really need to give Hindi cinema credit, when needed. There has been so much growth in the past ten years. Plus, in the coming 20 years the Indian economy is expected to be the second or third largest in the world. I’m positive that the added prosperity will permeate into the film sector’s profits and budgets. It’s only a matter of time.

    Secondly, I always describe Hindi cinema as my child. Sure, my child has some shortcomings, could improve on some things but it’s still MY child. I love it nonetheless. The emotional connection that I have with my kid is one that I can never have with my neighbor’s kid, no matter how “perfect” they are. In a crowd, I’m ALWAYS going to think my child’s the best of the lot. Now, this is also where I believe the film industry loses when compared to Hollywood.

    I think there are very few current filmmakers that actually love Hindi movies, like we do! Very few. I’ve seen much more of that “junoon” in Holly filmmakers and actors. The Hindi newbies seem like they’re in it for the money or because their chacha or daddy was in the business too. And most of them are in the head-space of the commenters above. LOL which is a sad fact because their work is going to reflect that.
    The kind of Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra or even SLB passion is rare in today’s time. We do need a dose of that. :)

    • MINDBLOWING response Kavs. Everything I wanna say, you said it better! :) “I think there are very few current filmmaker that actually love Hindi movies” <– that is the truth. Everyone is only looking to HW for inspiration instead of closer to home.

  11. Hi,

    I’ve been lurking your blog for quite a while now and I love your blog. :)

    And on to the Bollywood vs. Hollywood discussion. I think I can see where you’re coming from. I’ve been grown up watching Hindi films since I don’t know, when I was 10 years old? (I don’t quite remember :P). I’m not an Indian and I’m not living in India. But yeah, I love Hindi films with its kitcshyness and all. We all do love our traditional formula of Hindi cinema. We also love them even today. However we can only speak on the behalf of our generation. The kids of today are unpredictable just like we were back then. :P Their tastes of films maybe varied but as they grow older their film preferences will change ten years from now. Maybe for the better or worse. I would like to assume for the better. And when we say better, they also like something new and interesting to them. Our favourite Hindi films that we used to watch all the time may not be a favourite for them too.

    I also can see where SRK’s coming from. He’s been working in the film industry for over 20 years. He knows how the industry works right from the beginning of his career. The working environment, the technical requirements into making a film in India, the production values of a film, the scripting of a film, the markets in India, the works. He has seen the good, the bad and the ugly on producing a film in India. He has seen how the industry has changed over the years. In short, he’s an insider in terms of how films are being produced and released in India.

    And for someone who has been in the film industry for many years expressed his worries about the future of the industry he’s working in, that’s quite disturbing. He knows that Hollywood production houses are looking for market in India. They already set foot in India and Fox being the largest distributor in India today. He also knows that in terms of production values, Hollywood is way ahead of Bollywood.

    SRK is not trying to change the content of Hindi film formulas which are loved by many. If it ain’t broke why fix it. What he’s trying to do is how to improve the production values of a Hindi film. I think when SRK meant production values, it doesn’t have to be slick all the time. It could be edgy and raw. It could be soft and simple. And it could also be kitcshy and over the top. But it should be in higher quality at par with Hollywood. The sound systems should be good, the actions should be good, the visuals should be perfect.

    Like in Malaysia where I’m living right now, we have our own local films. Lots of them now than earlier in which Hollywood has been dominated our local markets for years now and they still are. And to be honest, whenever I am planning to watch a movie, my first preference is a Hollywood film if there’s no Hindi film (SRK specifically :P) being shown at cinema. Even though there are a lot of local films releasing at cinema near me, I have this apprehension that I will not enjoy the film because of how the film being produced. Once I watched a local film, the production values were half-assed. It kinda affected my enjoyment of watching the film. The production values of our films have been really down since 1980s. And I’m an audience who was born and living in Malaysia. Our local films really are struggling in our own country because Hollywood films still dominate the local film market. Even though there are good local films being produced, but they are very few and far between.

    So you see, it’s really not about Bollywood vs. Hollywood per se. It’s about how the people of India are changing with time. Their film-watching preferences will be different from ours. SRK’s afraid that ten years from now, all these teenagers who are growing up watching Breaking Bad, Glee and Teen Wolf, will find that Hindi films are uncool to watch. We can only talk as an audience about how Hindi films have fared recently and how it seemed rosy from the outside. But from SRK’s POV, having connections and talking with people within the film industry or from all walks of life around the world, looking through the statistics and analysis and the business of local films as well as how the scenarios in the domestic and international markets, seen the mentality of the people within the film industry, I’d say his worries are justified. I think his thoughts and visions are way ahead of our times.

    Sorry for the long comment. And hi again. Love your blog. :D

    • Thanks for commenting Ima! And no comment is too long here lol. :) I get that HW stuff is always going to be “cooler” to younger kids. I still don’t think filmmakers should succumb to that pressure though. What we lack for in production values we make up for (or used to make up for anyway) in HEART. THAT is what I want to see in Hindi films.

    • Liked your analysis

  12. EVERYBODY – YOU GUYS ARE SO AWESOME. Thanks for weighing in with all your amazing comments. I guess it’s something to think about and we’ll know in 10-15 years whether SRK is the genius he most likely is and was right about everything all along. ;)

    • Well, he made that long-forgotten-flopped Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani that was about sensationalized and commercialized of the media 13 years ago which is what Indian media is right now. So…;) And don’t worry, the HEART of Hindi films is still in the right place. Hopefully the production values will be in the right place too. :)

  13. Great analysis Getfilmy on the HW-BW debate and some awesome comments as well.

    I have the feeling that SRK is somewhere deep down having a complex about embarrassing his children. I felt this when he spoke of Ra-1. he said in Ra-1 the father tries to be cool to make his son like him. I remember thinking how warped is that!!!

    But then you see his children attend an elite school in Mumbai, where they move around with children of top business men and industrialists. I am guessing maybe they tease his son about his dad acting in Hindi movies…I don’t know.

    I think he expects his kids to be proud of him acting in Bollywood.Also I feel since he does not have his own parents to give him that unconditional love and tell him everyday how proud they are to see him as India’s superstar he expects that from his kids. Now kids are not known to do that esp when in their teens. For teens parents are always uncool.
    Its absurd that SRK should think Bollywood has competition from Hollywood.Especially now when he has singlehandedly made Bollywood famous across the globe. Yes there was a time when Hindi movies were considered embarrassing but not anymore. SRK has so many fans from Germany, Poland, Russia, Peru who say they love Hindi movies and the songs and dances. The Bollywood movie market is only going to get bigger

  14. Ok I just read the full interview and I would like to take back some of my observations esp this <<<>>>> I now understand SRK’s point of view. Earlier I had responded to just that one line, but reading it along with the entire interview, it made whole new sense.

  15. [...] too clever, honestly) on the state of Hindi cinema and the discussions it brought out in people on GetFilmy’s excellent post about it, and decided to make my own post, as I have a lot of thoughts on the topic. Here’s a [...]

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