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'Bollywood's days of glory are over'

Our surfers say regional films are better than the ever-repetitive Bollywood, with its songs and dance.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 03:10 IST

Have you always thought that Bollywood, despite being clichéd, was everyone’s favourite, with its riot of songs, colour and entertainment?

You’re mistaken if you did. For here is an eye-opener: All our surfers who responded to this week’s Vox populi on Bollywood vs Regional films unanimously declared that regional films were superior in every respect and that it was time Bollywood became more mature.

Here are some of the responses that came in: “Regional films are side lined (wrongly) for many reasons, most importantly because of relatively lesser money and funds. Nonetheless, a Buddhadeb or a Gopalakrishnan film stands far greater chance of bagging an Oscar than a Johar or a Barjatya one does,” said Joy Mukherjee from Bangalore.

Echoing him was Arnab, who wrote in from Melbourne. He said: “If you look at the records, Bengali films in the last few years have had more accolades nationally and internationally, than a Bollywood film. And I’m pretty sure films of that standard are made elsewhere in the country, especially in Kerala, it’s just that we do not get to know about it. Bollywood films get all the attention 'coz they have the money. There is too much hype, and unfortunately not much substance.”

Said Suresh Menon from Cochin: “In areas like Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh, where quality films are produced, Hindi films are no competition. Very rarely do Hindi films fare well in the South. Also, as regards storyline, acting talent, innovation in presentation, music etc, South Indian films are far ahead of Hindi movies. After all, where was the first 3D film made in India? Nowhere, but in Malayalam. In addition to this, Malayalam films have gone way ahead in film production by coming out with Digital Transmission through Satellites. This is called the ‘filmless movie technique’. Has someone in Bollywood even heard of this concept? Ironically, if this concept is introduced in Bollywood say, five years down the line, it will be widely publicized and the media will take to it with a frenzy.”

Raj from Mumbai had the same thing to say. He wrote: “Bollywood is all hype and no substance. And the media is contributing to all this hype. Give more space to regional movies you will see the difference. The so-called big stars in Bollywood are good for nothing if you compare their ‘acting’ to the ‘performance’ of regional movie stars.

An interesting comment came in from Vikas of New Delhi. He said: “Bollywood represents the unintelligent but boastful North, whereas regional films represent the brainy, yet subdued rest of India. And regional films are respected the world over. For instance, Malayalam, Bengali and Assamese films are outstanding, and have brilliant, genius directors. So if all the hype surrounding Bollywood were to be removed, we would definitely be able to see regional movies winning an Oscar.”

Now for the number-crunching. As many as 50 people were of the opinion that regional films are not being given their rightful due. This is as against 40 people who said regional films are recognized enough, it’s just that we focus more on Bollywood because of language problems.

60 people said actors in South India have much more talent and calibre than their Bollywood counterparts, while only 30 opined otherwise.

Meanwhile, as many as 70 people said regional films would never win an Oscar, given the existing state of things. Only 20 people said otherwise.

So in a nutshell, this is what our surfers had to say: Bollywood’s days of glory are over. And it’s time regional films are given their rightful due.

Voxpopuli will be back again next week with an interesting debate. Till then, happy surfing!

First Published: Nov 11, 2006 17:31 IST