Monday, May 16, 2005

Made in India

I recently read that 20th Century Fox is going to remake Munnbhai MBBS in English. I found it quite amusing. When I first saw Munnabhai MBBS, it came across as a remake of a Hollywood movie -- Patch Adams. It was adapted to Indian tastes extremely well, and definitely added dollops of humour that was absent in the Hollywood film (which was more trying to potray a real life story than make a comedy). In any case, this game of Chinese Whispers amuses me. It reminded me of a joke I had heard when I was much younger -- where nations compete to create the thinnest wire made of steel; each nation continues to improve upon the previous one till it reaches India where we stamped it with "Made in India."

Every other movie I see in theaters is "inspired" by something I have seen earlier. My Bollywood-crazy cousin was in town last week and we checked out a couple of movies playing in theaters. "Main aisa hi hoon" -- a dull, manipulative tear-jerker of a movie -- was copied from I am Sam. Most of "Kya Kool hain hum" -- and all of the funny part -- is a rip-off from the incredibly funny Roberto Benigni movie Il Mostro. Originality be damned.

I recently picked up a coffee table book about Bollywood cinema, despite the fact that it had Aishwarya Rai on the cover. The book has a pretty good coverage of India cinema. I wish the cover featured the famous photo from Sholay (the two dudes on the motorcycle, one riding on the other's shoulder), or anything else that was a bit of a landmark in Indian cinema. Aishwarya Rai? The doll that can barely act and comes across as someone with no brains in her interviews? Is she the identifying face of Indian cinema?

By the way, I saw a photo of a much younger Prithvi Raj Kapoor. I think the guy was extremely dashing. All of his progeny sucked in the looks department compared to him.

1 comment:

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