Boyle urged to make films beyond crime & poverty in India
Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oscar winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) is planning to make a Hollywood-Bollywood fusion movie called “Bombay Velvet", according to reports.

Focusing on Mumbai city in India, it is said to be thriller set-up in 1940s based on real incidents, and will be directed by Anurag Kashyap (Black Friday). Boyle has reportedly signed up Filmfare Award winner Aamir Khan (Lagaan) for the film and is reported to have approached Filmfare Award winner Shah Rukh Khan (Chak De India) for a role in it. This film, which is divided into three parts and shall be produced by Boyle, is expected to go to the floor next year.

While this India-trend of world film industry is welcome, Boyle and other world filmmakers are also urged to explore many finer and deeper things India offers, instead of just focusing on poverty and crime.

India is home to not only Hinduism which is well known but also Buddhism which is not so well known (ex. Bodh Gaya is in Bihar in North India). It has ancient ties to Europe through the Mauryan Empire and the Greeks of the pre-Christ era. The country is home to the world's first Republic (Vaishali, also in Bihar). It is possibly planet’s most multidimensional country with a fast growing economy, is an emerging world power in technology, and is already a large democracy. And not just slums, it has snowcapped mountains, palm-fringed and sun-washed beaches in the Southern coasts, glorious temples from Amarnath and Amritsar to Madurai and Rameshwaram, colorful festivals, rich philosophy and spirituality, abundant historical sites, wildlife safaris, recharging treks, historic trade routes, and other forms of cultural wealth which can be explored on global celluloid as well.

While Boyle may know of Indian stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Shahrukh Khan and Anil Kapoor; global filmmakers like him can also help make new stars out of newcomers and lesser known faces like Dev Patel who wouldn't otherwise typically get chance in Bollywood which is trapped into an archaic star system to its discredit. This is an area where western filmmakers beat Bollywood ones and are very good at.

But they need to broaden their own views and understanding of the larger India and the opportunities it presents for a global cinema audience first as well.

 

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