The whole world swings to Naatu Naatu today. We won an Oscar, finally!
Well, so what?
India has the biggest film industry in the world, one that has many industries within itself. It has arguably the most footfalls, the highest number of tickets sold and the biggest variety among all the movie industries globally. Our film stars can dance, sing, emote, cry, make you laugh, fight and more – all in one film. The talent is that immense.
Yet, we get super excited just because we won an award that took months of campaigning just to get the people that matter to see a film that they should have chanced upon anyway. Is this recognition? Or a mere glance towards an industry that deserves much more on the global stage?
The Academy awards are seen as the pinnacle of achievement, but I don’t think of them that way. Ram Charan and Junior NTR have a fan following that the biggest stars of Hollywood couldn’t even dream of, and the homegrown Tom Cruise aka Shah Rukh Khan, while nearing 60, has still managed to keep his fan following intact. What our stars have achieved in a fraction of the budget that Hollywood provides for is exceptional in itself.
The Academy Awards recognize Hollywood cinema primarily, with categories for “Foreign Language Films”. It’s like Filmfare having a section for Hollywood movies. If they did, I don’t think Tom Cruise would be jumping up and down on his couch just because he was nominated! He sure would not come to Mumbai with a fake Hindi accent and be in awe of all the filmmakers here, would he?
I loved RRR. It showcases what Indian Cinema offers at its best – entertainment. Wholesome, unabashed, in your face, loud and crazy, dance worthy entertainment. Three hours of it. The West knew another such Indian movie that offered all of this, typical boy-meets-girl romance that ends in a tragedy. Titanic, minus the special effects, would be just in place in Hindi as it was in English. It was a typical Bollywood movie with wow special effects thanks to a bigger budget. The West loved it, and it went on to be the biggest blockbuster ever.
India has a lot to offer. Let’s go ahead and serve it hot. Oscars may come and go, but they don’t define any achievement – that scene when Junior NTR jumps out, animals in toe, flames in hand – the whistles that scene caused, the ruckus, the screaming, yes, that is one of many scenes that raised the entertainment quotient to 100% – and that is an achievement. Let’s celebrate it for what it is – not for an Oscar.
Do you know Naatu?
See you tomorrow!