Nothing bollywood about it!

Published On: 2016-01-17

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Nothing bollywood about it!


Source: TOI
Date: December 18, 2006

With Dhoom2, the Hindi film industry has become truly international.


'Tis true that a swallow makes not a spring and then again, there is no denying that it heralds the beginning of a lovely season anyway. Likewise, there is nothing that spells 'Regular' or 'Bollywood' when it comes to Sanjay Gadhvi's Dhoom 2 — whether when you talk of the stars, their hairstyles, the accents (including a liberal sprinkling of the Queen's language) the acting, the stunts, locations (barring a few Film City or indoor studio sets), treatment or even more importantly — content. You also can't miss out on the song and dance, which is so integral to a Hindi film. They spell anything but....


It is also a trifle ironical that D:2 should have emerged from the portals of Yashraj Films — known hitherto for the typical 'Bollywood-ish' (read formula) film — the studio which has made its moolah on love stories like Chandni, Lamhe, Silsila and more recently Veer-Zaara. But the Hindi film tag for D:2 is purely incidental, even though its own maker Gadhvi refers to it as a 'typical formula film'.


If you watch carefully, the film could have been set anywhere in the world with an international star cast and worked just as well. And it certainly won't go down in Indian film history as "a love story between two thieves" as Gadhvi would have us believe. Nothing about Hrithik, Abhishek (despite his Mumbai cop routine) or Aishwarya — from their personal outfits to their accents speaks 'Indian'. They're not Shahrukh Khan or Kajol in Kucch, Kucch Hota Hai or a Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge who wear designer stuff and espouse Indian values. Neither are they Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan in Kal Ho... where they are set in alien environs but rooted to India.


It is not a film made for NRIs or even the homegrown desi who loves only family sagas like Baabul and Baghban. It is film consciously created and mounted for the international audiences and just as well. Says Gadhvi, "We've come to a stage in Indian filmmaking where the audiences (along with the filmmakers) are willing to experiment. It may sound cocky and arrogant in retrospect to say that we always intended for D:2 to be this kind of a film, but it is true. The intended treatment, the visual patterns, styling, the editing pattern, the dialogue of the film (more than half of which is in English) and the background everything was planned so."


And Rakesh Roshan who has been responsible for giving that 'international feel' (from Kaho Naa Pyar Hai to Krrish) in Hindi films to a large extent agrees: "I rely more on content and sprinkle SFX liberally throughout my films. And that has worked. Whatever you see in Hindi films is in today's context. You can style the films the way you choose. The (only thing is that) audiences will accept anything with an emotional connect. But you can't have pure stylisation without a storyline."


One also cannot discount that these films aren't apologetic to their audiences. They dictate their language and treatment and the audiences accept it. As was the case with Homi Adjania's highly experimental Being Cyrus. "I am not from any school of filmmaking or didn't have anyone to emulate. It was my perspective of things without being structured or tailormade." Notably, its success then denotes the evolution of the Indian audiences.


So, even though the makers may disagree (citing "too soon" as a reason) that Hindi cinema has arrived at par with 'international formula cinema' there can be no taking away that Hrithik Roshan (with his blonde looks, impeccable English and daredevilry in D:2) is tough competition for any hero in world cinema today. And that, this time round, you take the swallow with the spring.