Friday, April 30, 2004

Critics trash Bombay Dreams - The Times of India:
"The other critics were even harsher. USA Today begins with 'How do you say 'mind-numbing bunk' in Hindi? I couldn't tell you, but after attending a certain preview performance last weekend, I'd like to propose a new English-language synonym: Bombay Dreams.'

The Toronto Star calls it a 'Broadway nightmare' and adds that 'There's no other way to describe the misbegotten monstrosity, which opened in New York last night.'

The plot has come in for scathing criticism from most critics. The Washington Post said 'It's such a bubbly piece of kitsch, such a torrential downpour of showbiz cliche, that it almost qualifies as a lark...what sends the show spinning, spinning down the drain -- isn't the terminally dumb plot (a parody of the filmic conventions of Bollywood) or the insipid characters (stock figures from every romance you've ever seen). It's a tone deafness in the humor, a comic cluelessness that's hard to fathom...' "

Friday, April 02, 2004

Desi masala, foreign mix:

"What would make it abroad, according to Dweyer, is not the aspirational Yash Chopra cinema, but a movie rooted in identifiable Indian modernity. "I think a Dil Chahta Hai could have made it," she expresses. "A tightened version of Ram Gopal Verma's movies have international potential," says Delacey.

"A Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, for instance, was a magnificent canvas. But everyone sniggered when they tried to pass off Budapest as Italy," smiles Dweyer. "So while you can't make boo-boos like that, the song and dance routine works just fine. Don't compromise on the Indianness of it; that's what makes Bollywood so unique," chips in Delacey."

Monday, March 15, 2004

Hi Pakistan: Hindi cinema and us - By Asghar Butt:

"At least strong enough to meet the challenge posed by the onslaught of the Indian movies. That does not imply that most of the Indian movies are of a very high standard. They are not. Most of them are in fact unwatchable. But those that are watchable or good and are far better than those which are our watchable movies. Their technical quality, their story line, their music, their direction and their acting level is better. Granted that they spent a lot more money on each film than we do, especially on the cast, sets, production and music but for a story, direction and acting one does not need more money, only more brains and know how. Our cinema industry has not attracted real expertise or better brains.

Those who disagree with this thesis should have seen the Zee TV programme of film awards for Indian movies, telecast on the night of the 27th February from Dubai. Apart from a large number Indian film personalities some film directors, actors and actresses from Pakistan were also there. No harm in that. But when our people were invited by the hosts to speak on the occasion, the comparison between our people and the Indians in the level of education, command over expression, self confidence, stage presence, etc was so markedly in favour of the Indians that any Pakistani watching the programme would have felt embarrassed. Watching that show would also have explained where we miss out is in manpower quality. And without quality in manpower to hope that we will ever be able to compete with the Indians or anyone else will be futile. Our policy makers should keep that in mind. "