Saturday, July 2, 2011

There is need to acknowledge the tremendous amount of voluntary work done by the fan clubs BigB

Jalsa , Mumbai      July 1/2 , 2011       Fri/Sat  12:09  AM
There is need to acknowledge the tremendous amount of voluntary work done by the fan clubs, the EF, the TwFmXt and all other admirers and well wishers for the phenomenal work done by them all for the promotion and awareness of BHTB ! There is a very insignificant but most meaningful expression created for it in the English language - Thank you ! It is inadequate, I know, but one that has no other alternative. And so my sincere thanks to each and every individual that went out beyond the call of duty to express solidarity with the cause … the movie ..
There has been an endless barrage of compliments and good wishes coming along. From friends, from the Industry, from senior journalists and even from Shobha De ..!! I told her coming from you means that the film will succeed .. Ha ha ! She responded back by saying she and her husband were celebrating that with a drink ..
But last night in Hyderabad it was madness ! Police escort vehicles, sirens blaring .. mounted police to control the crowds … and the enthusiasm of the public for the film .. It had been some time since I had sat inside a theatre to see one of my own films and I must say the experience was altogether different. To be one with the audience, to feel their palpitations, their screams and yelps and comments, the cheering at every incident of value in the film, the applause … just another world …
And then the presence of the great Chiranjeevi, the revered and superstared member of our fraternity in Telugu cinema .. his speeches on stage, his humbleness and his dynamic presence, in his part of the world were all an incredible dream moment.
All in all a most delightful meet and a moment to be cherished forever ..
I am back this morning as you may see to the land of Mumbai and have been doing more tv channel interviews … there is great acknowledgement and joy expressed every other minute and for this I am truly honored and blessed ..
The audience reactions to me have been the ultimate judge of merit of film .. there are several pundits, both self styled and appointed to give the gory details of why particular films run or not, or what their prospects shall be in the future. By the fact that they are the yard sticks, or considered yardsticks that mould opinion in the market, they are a revered lot. Posterity shall bear witness to what they shall conclude and confirm. For an Industry that still has not been able to account for its accountability, it is quite strange to know that there are a few ‘good men’, who can actually claim to have overcome this impediment. In an almost 100 year Industry filled with so many makers artists producers, to have a couple of gentlemen that decide fate and success factors of the national cinema, does sound a bit incongruous. But there it is. Its those few and scattered designers of Italy France and USA perhaps that dictate what the fashion shall be in the coming season. They stipulate the color of the season to be black or red or grey and an entire universe follows them.
For me though the people and the masses are the true trade guiders. They make or break us. They go and spend the kind of money that gives them access to our work and therefore, they get all my acceptance marks when judgement is to be confirmed. Its what the Tv industry faces as far as their Trp ratings are concerned. The meter gauges in the shape of electronic boxes are used to give indication of which programme does what visibility in order that the ad., revenue be assessed and generated. In a population of 1.2 billion, it is shocking to learn that around 1200 boxes ( not entirely sure of the right figure, but a close approximation would be correct ) are placed throughout the country to gauge who watches what tv programme etc - viewership preference !
So what is surprising for me is that two individuals or three or even thirty have the power and capability of being able to assess the choice, likeness and dislikeness of a billion people ??!! A recognized Tv channel that runs a programme through a recognized anchor, shall review a film and give it 1.5 stars. That is bad, really bad. It spells doom for the film at the box office. But the film goes on to become the biggest successes of all time ! So where the review, where the anchor and where the genuine state !!
They tell me that perception in these exercises builds a temperament for any film and that, what emantes from reviews, needs to be paid attention to. Give an individual the semblance of being the ultimate voice and it is generally seen that they seem to choke on their own words at times. I may be entirely wrong and unguided in this matter, but does not the integrity of the reviewer come under a scanner, when it is determined that the particular review could form the commercial result of any venture. Power corrupts they say and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Would there then be elements of corruption here. Can perception and thereafter fate of the product, be subject to practices that would not entirely be above board. Would not those that depend on the verdict of these merry few, be tempted to seek approval from them at any cost. Or am I thinking that in this very closed and puritanical league there are those that do not at any cost encourage misinformation or corruption ??!! I hope that I am wrong, for in a creative world nothing even remotely smelling of such bad odor, would ever be accepted or encouraged …
In France, and I think I may have touched upon this subject before, they do not judge the success of a film by their collection in dollars or francs or rupees - they judge them by the number of footfalls there were for a particular venture .. I found that to be a more realistic practice … appreciation reflected through the number of people that visited, rather than an amount of money that it generated. Someone could buy up an entire theatre and sit alone and see a film … the money generated would go down as a collection for the bottom line .. but surely one individual against a full house capacity of 600 humans would necessarily change the equation as far as viewership value is concerned.
And moreover how do these pundits ever come to know the financials of a particular project. The accountability of every venture is under question and there is no detail fit enough to be accurate there, yet the ventures internal financials are confirmed and authenticated ?? Strange !!
I am not prepared to believe that human weakness in assessments of such order are and must be not prevalent. And which then brings me to the fact that film making gets a lot more complicated than just rolling a script through a whirring camera. The management, marketing, perception and publicizing has now begun to take over the process of creativity. It could be a welcome practice, or an ailing process. And so to the ultimate argument. Would it not be wise then to succumb to the immoral ness of the moment, rather than suffer the ignominy of perceived failure .. ??
I listen and hear and get my ears filled with talk of such substance often enough. I wish it away as inconsequential gibberish … but somewhere somehow it has begun to have meaning and value … and that for me is a very sad day. Do all creative successes carry with them the unhealthy burden of unwanted manipulation ???!! And if so how far do they assure us that they shall be successful.
Sholay has been recognized and rightly so, as one of the biggest  films ever in the history of Indian Cinema. But few shall know that on the same day another film was released called ‘Jai Santoshi Maa’, which in relative costing terms was a much bigger hit. But no one talks of it. No one even mentions it. No one cares. Is it because it has been taken care of … ? I wonder ..
And there shall be endless stories and realities and facts that shall remain unsaid and unspoken. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes with cause …
It would suit some I guess to keep facts away. Others would not accept that. And that I believe is the dichotomy that we all share our lives in …
Think about it …
Amitabh Bachchan

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