Bollywood’s naach gaana finally made its way to the Cannes red carpet with the premiere of Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, a documentary produced by UTV Movies on the invitation of Cannes Festival director, Thierry Fremaux (who loves our movies). The American documentary filmmaker Jeff Zimbalist joined hands with Shekhar Kapur, who was on the Cannes jury last year to create this chronicle of our cinema. Rakeysh OmPrakash Mehra who has co-directed this tribute to Bollywood song and dance had to disrupt his search for the perfect Milkha Singh for his new movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag to work on this Cannes feature.
The 81 minute long documentary is an interpretation of Bollywood’s impact on social life and a set of observations of modern Indian cinema. The documentary also features a commentary by Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on the evolution of our movies. The documentary has already managed to raise eyebrows as critics have objected to the use of Bollywood in the title which they feel is a derogatory term. However, the makers feel that the title is apt as the documentary is only a reflection of our films as Westerners see them (Hmm. That’s actually a safe thing to say).
The creators of this docu-feature who were on the red carpet for a little midnight dance at Cannes were lead by a dancer in a blue ghaghra-choli who looked like she was having a ball of a time. Her hip gyrating on desi music was a rare sight at the Cannes which hasn’t featured too many Hindi films (except Devdas) in the recent past. It was refreshing to see these new faces make up for the absence of big Bollywood stars on this red carpet premiere. Did the Bollywood brigade win a few hearts with their homage to the highs and lows of this magical industry? We can only hope that the movie accurately encapsulates the spirit of our movies (which is are not all song and dance) instead of sugar coating things for the world audience.