Oh "Ball(s)"ywood !!


I am cynical. Can’t help being so. This is my blog, my space, I can be that way. A few years back I wrote this, yet as the years have gone by, I have witnesses world cinema progress to newer levels and Hindi cinema has drowned deeper into the abysmal depths of factionalism, self fulfilling prophecy, insecurity and crass. The more I witness these awards more abominating it gets.

This weekend brought together the opportunity of witnessing the best tributes and celebration of cinema along with some pathetic replicas at home. Don’t blame me for comparing, because thanks to the Information boom happening allround you cannot but compare. Sunday witnessed the retelecast of Screen Actors Guild awards, Golden Globes and apna Filmfare awards.

For a new entrant to the platform called Twitter, I have been witnessing a lot of hoopla around this years’ Filmfare awards, its quality, fairness, hosts etc. Jitesh Pillai, the head honcho at Filmfare was going all gag a over how wonderful Shah Rukh khan as a host is, how humorous Saif Ali khan is…how wonderful the evening was blah blah.

So for the filmy and awaara that I am, I looked forward to this Mahaa Awards Sunday followed by a few hours wink, only to wake up and continue with Live action from the Oscars.
Mouthwatering stuff. The evening begins with on time starts for SAG and Golden Globes, even the recorded Filmfare started late. And then what came out of the screen was a mix of pure discipline & celebration and complete mess and terdicous farce. Thankfully Oscars was the last one that I saw today morning, it erased all that agony that I went through and was replaced by pure joy of watching one of the best program managed ensemble of people celebrating Cinema like there wasn’t any tomorrow. Some of my observations or rather cynical rants are:

1. Can we ever, for just once come near to the standards of Oscars? Do we want to?
2. Can we ever, be so united (am sure there are differences, politics or ego in H’wood too), in the cause of upliftment / celebration of Cinema?
3. Can we ever, have the spine of awarding a Hurt Locker ahead of Avataar?
4. Can we ever, be so comfortable of being self depreciative in our humor like a la Steve Martin / Alec Baldwin and yet take on others with everyone enjoying it?
5. Can we ever be so genuine in the words we say, the feelings we express and praise that we shower? Can we at least come with a practiced speech anticipating a victory?
6. Can we ever, give the centerstage to the winners and not steal away moments of their glory? (I wish SRK / SAK learn from how the Oscar hosts just pop in and pop out after momentary appearances, yet capture the hearts of the millions watching)
7. Can we ever, give Technical Awards similar time, attention and applause as the Actors / Directors?
8. Can we ever, put Chopras, Khans, Bachchans etc. in the 10th row, if they haven’t been nominated, and give the front rows to nominated personalities?
9. Can we ever, celebrate INDIAN CINEMA, irrespective of language / region etc..as ONE and look at celebrating Cinema, not stars?
10. Can we ever, religiously stick to 5 nominations per category, and bite the bullet of excluding some leading performances, even if that hurts people?

I don’t think the answer would be YES to any of the above. Not because we can’t or its beyond us. Because we don’t want it that way. Hindi Cinema (Read the Bollywood part of it – Khans, Chopras, Johars, Bachchans and their chamchas) cannot let awards be beyond them. They want the stage for themselves and for their glory. They want these platforms to make themselves feel good. They can never let someone else take centerstage. They will never want a stage for INDIAN CINEMA where a “PA” performance will not even get a mention in the stipulated nominations. Vidya Balan, will never ever, get a chance for playing that hysterical role in PA, Aamir khan will probably grace the occasion with his presence but wont be nominated for 3 idiots…but then we will celebrate Cinema. Abhay Deol, will find a mention in the best acting performance nomination list….!!!

It’s a shame that we boast in various world stages as the largest producers of motion picture in the world, yet we can never find one of our films being recognized worldwide.

When prodded the so called custodians of Indian Cinema (Read the bollywood sharks) want to feel that this is India and we do things our way. Why should we ape Hollywood? But these same people want to adorn themselves under the new found websters phrase “Bollywood”. If this is not hypocrisy then my name is Quentin Tarantino.

I am cynical. Why should I not be? Who are these custodians? These illiterate/ unintelligent band of no-gooders, don’t even know what are the contemporary issues in the world. They cant dare to make a film on recession, present state of politics, Satyam Saga, 26/11…they can pick up glamorous topics of designer terrorists in NY and a botched up imaginary tale which hardly sembles reality. They work on hearsay clichés (Call centers are all about extra marital affairs and a temple of debauchery…my foot). They don’t want to research one bit, make something stupid and then cover it up by saying this is fictional, this is India and we make our kind of films based on our culture…again my foot.

India needs a Motion Picture academy. But that isn’t possible till a chosen few feel they run the industry. No SRK / AB or any Starry Snob is bigger than Cinema. If we can have an academy which is for Cinema and not stars, we can think of giving rise to a platform where Cinema will be celebrated, progressive and truly world class.

With the present situation, well, we can just hope cinema to be a doormat for a few households in Juhu, Yari Road & South Mumbai.

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