More than 1500 movies are made in India every year, but how many of those Bollywood movies win Oscars? We only know a few names like Slumdog Millionaire, Gandhi and Life of Pi. What is shameful is that these movies are not entirely Indian movies. There are only 5 Indians who have won Oscars namely A.R. Rahman, Satyajit Ray, Gulzar, Russell Pookutty and Bhanu Athaiya. Except for Satyajit Ray, everyone else has worked for foreign movies.
Most of the Bollywood movies made in India are of inferior quality. Mother India (1957) was the first Bollywood film which got chance in the top 5 films in the Best Foreign Picture category. Unfortunately, it could not win the award. The other two films which went to this level were Salaam Bombay! (1988) And Lagaan (2001). It is very shocking that Indian cinema fails so miserably at the Oscars even after making about 1500 movies per year.
Bollywood industry lives in dreams, and they are not ready to come out from their comfort zone. We do not question the talent, and financial aspect as India & Bollywood people don’t lack in that. Some of the actors are mind-blowing, and directors are full of creativity, but producers or other factors do not allow them to express their talent.
Top 7 reasons behind such miserable condition of the Indian movies at the Oscars.
It is hard to accept, but the truth is that filmmakers are choosing awful scripts for Indian movies. Bollywood movies are based on the emotional concept and family drama. Those movies rarely follow the cinema making styles which are accepted globally. Drama and cliché are the only elements you can find in such movies. There are so many factors in which the film lack. Regional movies are no exception in this case. Except for some filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, no director has been able to strike the right chord with the audience.
Nepotism & Monopoly in Bollywood
Nepotism is the much talked about topic in the film industry. Influential actors give chances to their family members and other relatives. These actors are not just roped for supporting roles but also for lead roles. New actors are being launched every year, and they get what they deserve. Every deserving actor gets fair chances. Now let us come to the topic of Indian cinema. Nepotism is the factor which can never be counted separately from Bollywood and other regional film industry. The production houses claim to give a chance to new people, which is true to some extent. They do provide fair opportunities to new directors and writers but not actors. Most of the actors already belong to the ‘filmy’ background. The big production houses stand by the people who have connections. Thus, amazing and deserving people do not get an opportunity to showcase their talent and people with good looks and dancing skills with a godfather in the industry get launched. Due to this reason, good movies are not coming out as there is a lack of good actors.
Wrong section of movies
It is surprising, but it is true. The selection committee has chosen blunder movies for the Oscars in the past. In 1998, ‘Jeans’ directed by Shankar was sent as the official entry of India. It was a below average movie. The only good reason behind sending it might be that it had a globally recognized face – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The fact that it was the official entry that year received a ton of hate from all around the country. In the recent times, in 2013, ‘Barfi’ was the official entry instead of Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani and the Dirty Picture which is such a disappointment. It is not that good movies are not made in our country. Many excellent movies are coming every year, but the lousy movie selection of the committee becomes a hurdle in the path of India receiving an Oscar in the Best Foreign Picture category.
It’s All about Box office performance
Out of the five people who have received an Oscar from India, 3 of them are still alive. They are hugely misused, mainly underused. Their talent and experience are not appropriately used by the Indian filmmakers who could have worked wonders for our cinema. The reason behind it is that people in business are looking only for business and box office performance. They do not see cinema as an art but as a source of business. They dictate the directors to make movies which can enter the 100 crore club at the box office in which the stories are terrible, and acting is below average. The ‘Khans,’ ‘Kumars,’ ‘Roshans’ and ‘Kapoors’ are roped in for making such movies.
A good movie is full of mature, appealing acting, perfect cinematography, a good story with a beautiful message. A Movie should have a sincere approach which can make the movies authentic, whereas Indian film massively adopts the idea of gimmickry and spoof content which are cheap. Vast parts of the movie are plagiarized from international classics without any reference. The scripts play the side-roles in the films and the characters portrayed are far from reality and larger than life. Barfi (2013) directed by Anurag Basu had a lot of scenes copied from different Hollywood movies which can make good money at the box office but can only bring disgrace at the international level. Almost 70% romantic comedy movies have the same plot. Only one or two minor twists in most of the movies. Most of the Indian films are remakes of famous Hollywood movies. Also, some beyond understanding and waste of money.
Lack of New Stories
One of the significant factors that in Indian cinema there is a lack of creativity and new scripts. Indian director or writers are not able to produce the original stories. They are just remaking old stories in fresh taste; most of the movies are just a remake of Hollywood movies or south Indian movies. If someone has a new story and don’t have the budget or don’t have any link in Bollywood story will not be filmed.
Unsuitable to American taste
Lately, countries like Iran and China have understood that to win the Oscars, films should be made which suit the American taste the most. Unfortunately, India has still not recognized this fact. For example, Lagaan (2001) revolved around the game of cricket which is not popular in the U.S. Though, it was a potential winner but still couldn’t win the award. Also, the Americans do not like the forced song sequences and music scores. The dance and song drama destroy the realism of the film which it needs to portray. But this fact doesn’t stop the directors to showcase their love for dancing on the streets and around the trees with hundreds of junior artists in the backdrop.
In conclusion, I would like to say that Indian cinema is full of potential. If the industry utilizes the best talents accurately without any partiality, India is capable of winning numerous Oscars. Filmmaking and acting is an art not only way to earn money when our filmmakers and producer accept this fact Oscars are not far from India. As Indians, we would be so proud if Bollywood movie gets one.