By: Sunil Noronha
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
India has had itself represented musically and acting wise abroad in a no strings attached manner. The recently concluded 6th American Idol brought forth a pleasant surprise in none other that Sanjaya Malakar. He came and didn't exactly stun the world with his looks and his just ok considered vocal talent. He didn't sing ragas or Bollywood film masala numbers. He had his inspiration clearly cut out - Ray Charles on of them - but his presence in the competition surely raised a few eyebrows in a good way. In the same club also come Norah Jones - sitar maestro Pandit Ravishankar and Kal Penn.
This is not the first time that India has ben represented from shores abroad. You have the ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) films in which the trials and confusion of ABCD's were documented. After a trend of these films like Where's the Party Yaar?, American Desi etc, you saw something more mainstream in Mira Nairs Bend It Like Beckham in which now Parminder Nagra had the limelight on her. She managed to take that success and eventually get a role in US TV medical drama ER. The film also had desi film regulars from Bollywood like Anupam Kher acting in it.
Then the desi film took a big jump to films like actor Rahul Khanna and actress Lisa Ray's Hollywood Bollywood and Aishwarya Rai's Bride and Prejudice - an adaptation of the novel Pride and Prejudice with an Indian twist. Now taking that further, you have Bollywood going and doing full fledged Hollywood films - examples are Aishwarya Rai in The Last Legion, Mallika Sherawat in Jackie Chan starrer the Myth and Irrfan Khan opposite Hollywood beauty Angelina Jolie in the mighty heart.
Time has shown that this trend is not going to give up until India gets some recognition in the international movie scene. Soon we will see actor John Abraham opposite actress Rachel Weisz in a Hollywood film titled Luna. It will be directed by none other than Mira Nair, a risen pioneer of this kind of filmmaking.
Proof of the fact that Bollywood is not going to give up is in the efforts that it has made at film festivals like the Cannes Film Festival - something that hasn't been rewarded with reciprocation. The last three years there has been buzz like no other about India's entry to the Oscars. First Lagaan, then Rang De Basanti and then Lage Raho Munnabhai - which producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra even entered as a separate entry for the Oscars '07.
Not only has intrest has been shown from our shores towards exposure of our cinema but people from Hollywood and other film industries have also shown some intrest towards our cinema. Will Smith even came forward to ask Aishwarya Rai if she'd fancy a Hollywood career. Shilpa Shetty has already signed on for a Hollywood project and rumours were rife that she would be shifting over to Hollywood.