A few weeks ago, before the new hyped movie, Bomb, hit the screens, it was screened for the producer's friends. Everyone came out of the movie hall praising the film.. and how much they loved it.
Then, when the public rejected it, theproducer couldn't understand what had gone wrong. Everyone who had watched the film thought it was ‘mind-blowing.' Many filmmakers (or writers and artists) complain when the public dislikes their creation or the critics pan it. They also crib about how none of their friends had warned them that it wouldn't work.
This is one of the hazards of the trade. No one wants to become unpopular, so they don't express their true opinions to the creator. But if they had really been his friends, they would have gently broken the truth to him and maybe helped to salvage his piece of work.
In Hollywood, where filmmakers are not so paranoid about having their ideas filched, or about a negative buzz, they have ‘sneak peeks' for a random audience.
Saving a film
At the end of the screening, they do get honest reactions and feedback. The sneak peek has saved many a film from becoming a disaster.
But in Bollywood, film makers encourage sycophants over honest friends.. and then face the consequences. It is the ‘Emperor has no clothes' syndrome.. in the fairytale, when scared courtiers were too scared to tell the boss that his grand cos tume was just air, a kid yelled out the truth.
Why just filmmakers and artists, almost everyone likes to live in his make-believe world where everything is perfect, where they get compliments for their hideous clothes and a hairdo that doesn't suit them.
It takes a real friend to tell someone that he or she has put on weight, the bra strap is showing, the clothes are awful or their movie (or book or painting) sucks.
But then it takes a real friend to accept the criticism and understand that it was not done in a spirit of meanness, but to save him from further anguish.
Blunt or tactless people are often shunned and have no friends, when actually such people in a circle of friends are an asset. They don't care about being popular, they don't care if you hate them sometimes.. they hold a mirror to you and prevent you from living in a fool's paradise.
They call a spade a spade. The world in general, and the ego-bloated showbiz, in particular, is in urgent need of more people like that.