Subtitles – a blessing!

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In spite of being educated in English medium institution right from childhood, I never understood most Hollywood movies for the simple reason that I never understood what they tried to converse. It remains the same till date. Today probably the only difference is I can understand 10 per cent of what they mumble. For this very reason, I never had any inclination towards Hollywood movies, and thought watching Jackie Chan’s would suffice. I could have never understood the power of Hollywood movies if I had not met this client of mine.

In the very first conversation about Hollywood movies we had - my friend (client) warned me not to watch Hollywood movies. Out of curiosity I asked why, and he replied – you will lose respect for vernacular movies. I refused to agree then.

I am a movie freak myself, and should have watched 70 per cent of all the Hindi and Tamil movies that have released so far in India. And I thought we make good movies.

I told him, I never understand their dialogues, and he said sub titles are for people like me. I asked him a list of Hollywood movies, and he sent me one. And from that day, I collected one movie everyday from a DVD library, and started watching it.

He was very right. After watching them I have lost a lot of respect for Indian moviemakers. I am not saying they are bad. They are in fact too good. They are good at copying, they are good at lifting the plots as it is and say they got influenced, they are good at not acknowledging the source, and they are good at taking home credits and awards by using someone else’s original idea.

Our movies don’t win Oscar Awards - not because we make bad movies, it is because we don’t make original movies. We don’t experiment. We always want to work with plots that are used and that which are safe to handle. Moreover 90 per cent of Indian movies are tailored made to target the unintelligent auto drivers. No wonder actors like Vijay in Tamil Nadu is a star now, with zero potential or ability to perform.

I happen to watch 1983 release Al Pacino’s Scarface yesterday. And I didn’t like the movie. Not because the movie was bad, but because it was like watching some 15 Hindi movies, and some 20 Tamil movies together. Scenes, plots, sub plots, and dialogues have been picked so many times in so many Indian movies, that the original movie looked so boring, and guessable.

Here are few well-known Indian movies, which went home with credits after being lifted from the West. I have discovered very few, and I am sure I will find many in days to come…

Remembering the Titans - Chak De (if you watch both compare Shahrukh and Denzel you will know the difference yourself)

Godfather – Sarkar, Sarkar Raj, Nayagan (I know it is an old comparison)

Scarface – Agneepath, Nayagan

Memento - Gajini

And if you watch them closely you can see many plots, and sub plots being lifted as it is. Kaka Kaka, which made waves in Tamil Nadu has a scene which is lifted as it is from the movie Se7en of Morgan Freeman. And I thought Guatam Menon was original.

So I pass on the warning to you. Don’t watch Hollywood movies, you will only lose respect for Indian moviemakers.

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