When the American actor, musician and heartthrob of millions, Johnny Depp, walked up the red carpet at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival here the other evening, it must have given this 12-day cinematic extravaganza exactly what it had wanted. Well, yes, the Hollywood hoopla that comes excitingly packaged in all the merry hues.
Depp was here to promote his movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It screened outside competition. As the crowds screamed, "we love you Johnny", as he was walking along the carpet, the Festival must have felt a strange sense of elation. Come on, all said and done, the pull of Hollywood is magnetic.
In India, we recently saw Depp in The Tourist, along with Angelina Jolie, a delightful romantic thriller set in Paris and Venice.
This evening, there will be another Hollywood hero on the famed Red Carpet, Brad Pitt, whose film, The Tree of Life (helmed by Terrence
Unfortunately, The Tree of Life was not well taken by the journalists here, and one heard boos after the screening.
As much as Cannes loves Hollywood and vice-versa, the major American studios sometimes worry about the presence of their movies at the festival. With close to 4500 journalists, many, many tough critics included, Cannes can be a double-edged sword. The festival can be a great launch pad, and help those films that succeed here to make pots of money. But if a movie is ripped apart by critics, it can really find itself shamed and exposed in front of the whole world, so to say.
However, many major Hollywood studios are willing to take the risk, because 67% of their box-office revenues come from overseas territories. Hence, if a movie is well received and well reviewed, the chances are that it will go laughing to the bank.