Last week, I watched Sivaji. After that, I felt very happy, not because I am a Rajni fan or because I got to see Sivaji in the first week of release, but because I felt that Indian cinema was comparable to Hollywood movies now. Cinema to me is a world where reality meets magic. It is a world where I can fantasize my thoughts, a world where Utopia is possible. A good picture is one that can make you forget your worries and make you feel what the characters feel, ofcourse it must make the producer reap profits and reach the intended audience.
The undisputed king of cinema is Hollywood. The sheer courage that the directors there have in coming out with off beat and good scripts is alarming. Hollywood has the advantage of English – the universal language and can hence reach out to the world. The actors there are aces. I have never seen a better acting than AlPacino in Scent Of A Woman or Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, not to mention Forest Whitaker in Last King Of Scotland. What can overcome the stunts in Matrix, the technology in MI, the romance in Titanic or the class of GodFather? The animation of Happy Feet and comedy of Home Alone can spellbind kids like nothing else can. The sheer mammothness of the budget for Jurassic Park can wow anyone. Some movies dont appeal much to the Eastern audience because of the level of sensuality they have but forgetting that, they are the best. They are coming out very decent family entertainers like Pursuit Of Happyness to cater to such segments. To reach Hollywood standards in terms of technology and scripts should be the aim of any other cinema industry. 90 out of 100 for Hollywood.
Next in line is Tamil Cinema Industry. I refrain from using Kollywood because I feel bad about it. We are not desperate imitators. Courageous scripts like Nayagan and Gentleman have always been lapped up by the audience not to mention the recent Gajini, Mozhi and ParuthiVeeran. The class and offbeatness of Sethu is comparable to any such movie in Hollywood. Comedies like MMKR and Thillu Mullu are evergreen. Ofcourse, the land that produced Kamasutra doesnt produce sensual movies because it doesnt believe in screening private life. Hence its not so greatly appealing to the west. But now, Sivaji has proved that even without this, we can take movies international.
There is a problem of plenty in TCI when it comes to talent in any field of cinema. Maniratnam, Ilayaraja, ARR and SPB are world renowned. So are Padmini, Shobana and Prabhudeva. Having had such talent, we were never in the same league as Hollywood in terms of hugeness, original style or international acceptance. For a regional movie to be internationally accepted, it needs to be technically sound and have a common theme. For a regional actor to be internationally famous, the person needs to have loads of style, comedy and a bit of substance. (Jackie Chan achieved this!)
Enter Shankar (massive production) + Rajni (original style) + ARR (international). Enter Sivaji. The style and sets of Sivaji is akin to that of Hollywood, the technology is unparalleled. The crispness of dialogue and ARR music is breathtaking. Sivaji has won many international audiences. We are closing in on Hollywood. Days before we get our due recognition are numbered – Oscars are not far. I hope Dasavatharam can confirm this fact. However, we need to invest more in film making. With Sivaji, we have only touched the cost of a low budget Hollywood movie. 20 million dollars… 🙂 75 out of 100 for TCI.
Next comes Hindi Film Industry. The class of pictures like Sholay and Padosan is unmatchable. Amitabh and Aiswarya Rai have given a new meaning to the word "charisma". DDLJ was romance personified. There are no substitutes for RGV’s direction, Kishore Kumar’s and Lata’s voice can hold any audience sway. But suddenly, there seems to be dearth of new talent, new actors and freshness of scripts. I am scared of Karan Johar and Yash Chopra – how long will they make the same movies with the same actors? There seems to be a lack of new styles and there are very few honest attempts like RDB or Guru. Hugeness of sets has not been seen since Devdas. Even Devdas didnt reach the audience as intended. International audiences for Bollywood movies are becoming lesser. For all these reasons, Hindi Film Industry recieves only 50 marks from me. They have a long way to go.