Will Hollywood Kill Bollywood?

Miss R. , 14 Dec 2011
Jaya Bachchan
Jaya Bachchan, aka Mama B (she deserves a nickname too!)

Jaya Bachan, “Hollywood is here to repeat what the East India Company did to India in the colonial days… It will plunder all sectors of Indian film industry.”

I came across this quote when browsing through filmigirl.blogspot.com (a favourite read of mine!) and it got me thinking, could Hollywood’s interest in Indian films be detrimental to the Indian film industry?

Saawariya Poster (source: chakpak.com)
Saawariya Poster (source: chakpak.com)

When I say Hollywood, I am not referring to the actors, I don’t believe for one second we’re going to see Paula Patton or Tom Cruise in a Bollywood movie anytime soon. I am referring to the powerful Hollywood studios, who basically control the lives of Hollywood actors. We have seen Hollywood Studios backing Bollywood films, an new market for them. While these ventures are not always successful (Saawariya, anyone?), the sheer number of people worldwide who watch Bollywood films (the NRIs, fans in Indonesia, Thailand, Malayasia, Poland, Germany, etc.) make Bollywood films seem like a good investment.

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan

However, it is not just foreign investment in Bollywood films, I’d think Hollywood studios would want their Hollywood films to be more successful in India as well. Many times, films are not successful in the United States and cannot cover production costs, but their saviour is profits from international markets. That is why we see Hollywood actors trot the globe from Munich to Mexico City to promote their films. In all fairness though, Bollywood does this too, as NRIs love Shah Rukh Khan love-stories.

Do Dooni Char
Do Dooni Char

I am all for Bollywood success stories, for instance, I love how Ekta Kapoor has moved beyond the mother-daughter in law soap operas into gritty films like The Dirty Picture. She has made Balaji Telefilms into a major Bollywood player. So, I am afraid foreign interest in Bollywood would prevent success stories like Ekta’s. That being said, one of my favourite films, Do Dooni Chaar, was backed by Walt Disney Studios. Maybe Hollywood studios can be the ones to back really good un-apprecitated scripts?

MissMalini readers, what’s your take, do you agree with Mama B’s opinion?


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