India Entertainment
Another banal Bollywood fare as biggies refuse to change
Apr 30, 2007 - 8:57:38 AM

New Delhi, April 30 - Yash Raj Films latest offering 'Ta Ra Rum Pum' doesn't have anything new to say. This Saif Ali Khan-Rani Mukerji starrer is just like old wine in a new bottle with the same rich-girl-meets-poor-boy and falls in the classical love formula.

As usual director Siddharth Anand, of 'Salaam Namaste' fame, creates a situation where Saif, a small-time car tyre changer who later transforms into a celebrated car racer, meets Rani, daughter of a rich businessman - with the US as an attractive setting.

After two chance meetings, they fall in love, get married and live happily with their two kids until an unexpected financial crisis spoils the tranquillity of their lives. Self-respecting Rani refuses to take help from her wealthy father. In the end, Saif fights off all the odds to bring happiness back in their lives.

Similar themes were quite common in the movies made in late 1960s and early 70s. Whether it was K. Asif's magnum opus 'Mughal-e-Azam' or showman Raj Kapoor's 'Aawara' or master craftsman Guru Dutt's 'Aar-paar' - love between the rich and poor protagonists formed the central theme.

Some other examples are 'Kashmir Ki Kali', 'Jab Jab Phool Khile' and 'Mere Humdum Mere Dost'. Later in the 80s, films such as 'Betaab', 'Sunny', 'Dil' and more recently 'Raja Hindustani', and last but not the least Shah Rukh Khan's 'Chalte Chalte' toed the same line.

Yash Raj Films is one of the oldest and most prestigious filmmaking banners in Bollywood and one expects them to provide a fresh impetus to other directors and producers.

One wonders when filmmakers like Yash Chopra, who started his career with meaningful films like 'Dharmputra' and 'Ittefaq', will get rid of such market-tested formulas?

A film reveals the contemporary cultural, political and economic trend in a country. But most of the mainstream Hindi cinemas rely on tested formulas. While technically Hindi films have improved, their technological advancement has failed to bring any emphatic change in the content.

Compared to Bollywood directors, whose films are far removed from reality, regional filmmakers like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Jahnu Barua and Gautam Ghosh are doing a better job and their films show a range of artistic and innovative craft as well as emotions.

It's high time Bollywood filmmakers evolve and take a much-delayed cinematic leap beyond their self-imposed borders.

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