A still from Kaante: Who cares for originality'
Has “follow the leader” become the Bollywood funda' A good Hollywood film is usually quickly followed by a few desi remakes. And with so few films faring well at the Big BO, we have to wonder if this is a winning formula. So, last month Time to Talk asked if Young Metro readers were “sick of Bollywood ripping off the west”. Here are the first voices. More to follow.
lThis is quite true. Earlier, people used to watch Bollywood movies with much interest. But now, tastes have changed. They are bored with the same old stories. Audiences want change and it is up to the directors to come up with new ideas, and they don’t care where they come from. So, with no laws to stop them, and with the dearth of artistic vision, filmmakers desperate for shortcuts resort to ripping off the west. This has become the craze, with every director borrowing stories from super-hit Hollywood movies, like My Best Friend’s Wedding (Mere Yaar ki Shaadi Hai) and Reservoir Dogs (Kaante).
lBollywood directors never tire of lifting ideas from Hollywood, calling it “inspiration”. Can we expect something original from our directors' Probably not. There are only a handful who think for themselves. The wisdom of copying foreign plots is suspect. Most such movies do not do well at the box office. A look at the Oscar-nominated entries highlights the originality of Hollywood. Our movie-makers may be equally talented, but they lack ideas and the willingness to venture into unexplored territory. Farhan Akhtar tried to be different with Dil Chahta Hai and it proved to be highly successful. Can this set the example for the industry' We are sick of Bollywood ripping off the west.
lIt looks as though Bollywood has lost its charm. Its ability to attract an audience is withering day by day. Ripping off Hollywood is the latest trend, and we are tired of watching these second-hand movies. That has caused a loss of interest in Bollywood in general.
Mahadevi Birla Girls
lBollywood movies have taken a new turn with western inspiration. In fact, clubbing together bits and pieces of various Hollywood flicks and coming up with something “new” has become endemic among most Bollywood directors. That the audience is not taking it well is proved by the enormous losses faced by the industry in the past few years.
Class XII, Shri Shikshayatan
lThese days people like fast action as much as melodrama. Hollywood is good at both. So Bollywood is trying to make big-budget films with a western touch, which audiences seem to like. Not only have rip-offs emerged, fusion films are also a trend. Movies like Bend It Like Beckham and Hollywood Bollywood have made their own place in the film industry.
Class X, Modern High School for Girls
lAre we really sick of Bollywood, or do we just like to say we are' Hindi cinema is undergoing a sea change. After films like Lagaan, Aankhen, Company and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, it would be unjust to say such a thing.
Class XII, St Thomas’ Boys’
lEvery culture is unique and has certain features that distinguishes it from the rest. We have enough things to be proud of. Why should movie adaptations irk us' It is not like we are losing our identity to the West. This is just another form of cultural interaction.
Raj Gaurav Bhandari
Some remakes of Hollywood films did create waves in Bollywood. As long as the film is good, nobody really complains. Humraaz, which was similar to The Perfect Murder, was a huge hit. A film that is original but has a weak script doesn’t make sense.
Can it be helped' Even if one of our scriptwriters tries to come up with an original story, later, some Hollywood ‘inspiration’ is discovered.
Action for a cause
A gala with a goal. Manzil, the District Interact Conference, 2003, combined sense with sensation. A review of the social activities of the Interact chapters in city schools, presents for children’s homes, song and dance, claps and kudos… the annual meet was the biggest ever.
Kala Mandir was bursting at the seams on June 20 and 21, hosting 1,200 energetic Interactors from 20 city schools. Day One featured one major event — a special performance by children from Ashadeep and Ashadeepti. Abhinandan recognised the efforts of the heads of various NGOs with which various Interact schools have been working through the year. Swamiji from Siddhartha Welfare United Ashram, Brother Illyas from Don Bosco Ashalayam, Sister Jaya from Ashadeepti, Sutapa Chakraborty from Vikramshila and Indrani Sinha from Sanlaap were honoured. That was followed by a homage to Mother Teresa.
The day had its share of entertainment as well. With a stunning set as backdrop, Channel [V] VJ Yudi — emcee for Day One — kept all eyes glued to the stage in between performances, with his jokes and commentary on each event. The Rs 20,000 he received as a “token” from Interact will be donated to a leprosy home in Bangalore. The inauguration featured a performance by national roller skating champion Kaustavi Sarkar. A competitive dance event was also held, with each school putting up well-choreographed shows.
Day Two — Saturday — began with the “partners-in-service” talk. Issues facing the sub-continent were the focus for this panel discussion on ‘Give Peace a Chance — Progress will follow’. Vishnu Som of NDTV was moderator, with educationist Barry O’Brien, industrialist Harsh Neotia, journalist Utpal Chatterjee and Interactor Chandni Varma voicing their opinions as panellists. A bus trip to Pakistan, global military alliances, the UN Security Council, Winston Churchill were flying through the charged air, and finally, the house voted in favour of the motion.
Rampage followed soon, with schools showcasing fashions ranging from beach wear to Bengali saris.
But the event that everyone was waiting for was the Annual Interact Awards. Interactors were recognised in various fields, with around 250 awards being given away, including Best Club of the Year (shared by Don Bosco Park Circus, St Thomas’ Boys’ and Welland Gouldsmith), Best Community Service (Welland Gouldsmith), Best Club Service (Don Bosco Park Circus), Best Theme Project (St Joseph’s College’s Each One Teach One), Best Project of the Year (G.D. Birla), Best Secretary of the year (Nidhi Bawaria of MBG) and Best President of the year (Pooja Anchalia of MBG). Siddharth Saraogi of DBPC and Neha Patodia of MBG were crowned Mr and Ms Manzil ’03.
After months of preparation and a year of hard work, the Interactors really let their hair down when KK, the guest performer for Manzil, took the stage. Pyar ke pal to Bardasht nahi kar sakta, Koi kahe… to O hum dum… Kala Mandir was transformed into a disco. A brief song-and-dance routine to Mera joota hai japani by Navneet, a young boy suffering from thalaessaemia, was the other “guest” performer of the meet.
Next year’s district board was also announced. Swati Dalmia from G.D. Birla is to take over the reigns as District Interact Representative for 2003-2004.
— Sangeet Shirodkar
The stage comes alive at Kala Mandir for District Interact Conference 2003 on Friday. Picture by Pabitra Das
Indrapramit Das, a student of Calcutta International School, has bagged the first runners-up position in the University of Sheffield Writing Competition 2003. The 18-year-old, who will be appearing for his ‘A’ Levels, tasted success with his 500-word entry on ‘What Makes an Inspiring Teacher'’ Indrapramit, who received his award from University officials recently at the British Council, has already seen some of his short stories in print and even two novellas.
“A teacher of biology may influence a pupil to become a geneticist, and a teacher of literature may breed the next John Keats. Nelson Mandela is teaching the world to be tolerant and feminists are teaching women to be emancipated. They are gods in a world that lacks divinity. And they don’t even know it,” wrote Indrapramit, in his prize-winning entry. Congratulations!
Fit for fun
On Sunday, June 15, a show was held at the Hyatt Regency by Padatik Contemporary Dance & Fitness Centre. The programme showcased the theatrical, creative and dancing skills of over 250 students. The line-up featured skits performed by students of the theatre workshop as well as eastern dance choreographed to Hindi film music and classical tunes. There was quite a range of mood and melody, with songs from films like Saathiya and Devdas, tracks like Grease lightning and Shakalaka baby creating an exciting mix. Finally, Usha Uthup took the stage, with all the participants joining in for Kolkata Kolkata and Babuji.
— Suchi Arya
One and counting: Prerna Montessori cum Playhouse turns one on Tuesday. And its children are in celebration mood. The toddlers have put brush to canvas and come up with their own set of paintings. These artworks will be put on display at the Lake Road institute in the morning during the two-hour party.