Friday, September 26, 2008

India's Future with Priyanka Chopra

NDTV. Earlier tonight. Priyanka Chopra? Actress? Actor? Whatever. Not me, not normally interested. So, no thanks. But wait a minute! This is India's Future! How can I give this a miss? Especially when she is a former Miss to the whole World?

To my surprise the lass was fairly coherent, didn't flick her hair too much, and could put more than five words into a sentence! I was pleasantly surprised, so I stayed on. For some reason the show was conducted in an odd, deserted looking place, with young people sitting in odd formations facing the stage at odd angles. Lack of creativity doesn't surprise me any more, but creativity going in some crazy direction really bothers me - that's where a lot of serial killers come from.

Back to topic. This Chopra girl is quite lively, and can look good once in a while on screen if her own self confessed metabolism wasn't so high. I loved it when she commented that Indian women are naturally voluptuous, and she did not approve of dieting. Wow, she is cool I thought, till in the very next breath she said she had found a way of eating low fat Punjabi food! All good, how savvy can a twenty five year old actress in
Mumbai be, I asked myself and since there wasn't much else on other channels I was hoping this woman wouldn't hang herself shortly, like all Mumbai actresses are famously capable of. Not often that I am this forgiving of people called upon to represent India's Future.

Then came all the politically attractive views about how great India's soldiers were, and how she has come to take criticism, and then I was woken up - did she say she had to work hard on Love Story 2050? Okay, this is one of my big grouse points with people in the entertainment business? Whoever told them that life was easy? I wouldn't really be complaining about any "hard work" if I was getting paid several
lakhs more than a teacher or a police officer. And where does all the hard work go if the movie is all crap? People don't go to theatres to count the calories burnt in the name of making a film. They want to enjoy themselves, and if you have to work harder at doing that, please do. It isn't as if the money people pay at the box office grew on trees!

I was beginning to get bored when the classic twist came - audience questions! There was a bright young man who thought movies were not environmentally friendly because they printed scripts on paper! What paper? And what script in a Hindi film? Never mind my sarcasm! Chopra was ready with an answer saying in all her productions they are always very careful towards the environment. They switch off all lights between takes and were indeed "saving" something! How about killing the actors who needed more than two takes to deliver a simple scene? That would be easy when the lights were off! Bump! Off you go! No! That would be too harsh! So, why not shoot the whole film in daylight?

Who is this girl fooling? Most film productions trash locations, and that is why there is such a thing as a location fee for shooting on public property! The temporary nature of every film production gives very little leeway to think about anything beyond finishing the film on time and under budget - that's the bloody truth. It isn't as if our actors' don't know it, they just don't want to look like global villagers when they have to project something they don't have!

Before I could bring myself to laugh out loud, she said something even more alarming - that actors' clothes were recycled! No way, I thought, before she blurted out that in many films of the same producer, you could see the lead actors' clothes of one film being worn by extras in the next film! Well, that's definitely environmentally friendly, considering many of the song sequences are wasted on us in the first place! Why not just make shorter films? Or fewer of them? It would be good on the environment, our senses, and on the world of art!

While we wait for India's Future, could we ensure we put on a much better show for India's Present? It isn't like quality can kill us just because we aren't exposed to much of it.

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