Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Bollywood Talent

Before I start the post, a disclaimer - "Neither an I a Movie / Bollywood Buff nor am I a Movie / Bollywood critic".

As any Bollywood follower / lover would know, Bollywood completes 100 years of Indian cinema in 2013!

100 years is a long time.. It is a century.. Many of us cannot even imagine what the world would have been like way back then (1913) - How movies were made, How actors / actresses could / would have been / looked, How movies were distributed, How money was made? (& Who made the money?), What was the end-to-end movie industry value chain?, Where and How people watched movies? How was the pricing done?... So many unanswered questions for the curious and inquisitive mind

Coming to 2013 - Bollywood is a flourishing thriving "money making" "creative" industry.

The first fact is this | Not all "creative industries" make money.
And the second fact is this | And not all Bollywood movies make money..
And the third fact is this | But those movies which make money are laughing their way down to the coffers!

Its easy for "Bollywood outsiders" (including viewers) to critique, comment and judge the "Bollywood insiders" (including actors / actresses / directors / producers / musicians / and the zillions of other creative staff who work endless hours to create that one "single movie"; just for your viewing / entertainment) at every opportunity they get. After all, passing free judgment is easy, especially when a 'creative piece of work' is out in the open, and open for public display! How many of us actually ponder to think about or even understand the basics of how a movie is made?

But that's not why I'm writing this post.. There are ample articles / views / perspectives / opinions on films / movie-making, history and evolution of cinema, famous dialogues / movies / actors / actresses - All doing the rounds this year!

I'm really writing this post about what makes it all possible - The Bollywood TALENT

Every industry needs talent - To exist, to grow, to thrive, to survive.. And Bollywood is no different

So let's try to define what TALENT really means.. I tried to find a suitable definition, and sharing one that was most appropriate "TALENT is a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied." The emphasis here is on the word "recurring" and "productive application".I agree!

Talent in any context, especially in the context of Bollywood is around these two words. And mind you! The recurrence to a large extent in Bollywood is determined by others, not by YOU! Because the next opportunity / movie / film that a "Bollywood insider" can / may be associated with depends on the work you did in the past ;and of course, to some extent your lineage and own personal networks, and whom you know in the Bollywood industry!

And here's the other fact | Talent exists in abundance in India, and Bollywood is no exception.

From the very beginning, the Bollywood industry has identified and nurtured its share of talented people and individuals - Be it in acting, singing, direction, story telling, writing lyrics, cinematography, etc. These stalwarts in turn provided a baseline / benchmark for talent; and so began the journey and evolution of Bollywood talent. If you quiz anyone from the previous generation to reel out the names of people who epitomize Bollywood talent, you'll most likely hear the following names - Raj Kapoor, Madhubala, Nargis, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Helen, Lata Mangeskar, Javed Akhtar, Rekha, Rajesh Khanna, Rishi Kapoor.....And all of them have proved their talent again and again.. Movie after Movie.

The thing about the commercial success of the movie is that it depends to a large extent on the audience. And hence, for any film-maker / actor / actress, he / she should be able to connect with the audience. Otherwise, the chances of a movie being a commercial failure is significantly increased!

The new generation of movies released from the start of this decade (2000) have changed the face of Indian cinema - They are on new topics / ideas , innovative in design / technique / presentation / rendition, more rooted in the "real-world" as opposed to a "make-believe" ideal world.. There are just so many differences...

And yet! Two things remain the same
(1) A movie needs creators (talented actors / actresses / directors / musicians, etc.)
(2) A movie needs consumers (viewers / audience)

So who are the new Bollywood Talent who defining / have re-defined Indian cinema?
Aamir Khan
For his perfection, for his ideas, for being able to "walk the talk"

Amitabh Bachchan
For his unparalleled acting, for "re-defining" what it means to be a star, and that age is not really a variable in the equation if you have the passion to act, and the talent to deliver

A R Rahman
For the soul-stirring magical music he is able to render.. again and again

Farhan Akhtar
For the uniqueness in the diversity of talent - Both in front of camera and behind the camera, and a the power of the message in all his movies

Javed Akhtar
For the words which make you think, make you feel, make you wonder how he says it so well -  every single time

For the way she can touch your heart with a smile, a word, a tear or a gesture - And its so natural!

Karan Johar
For the knowledge, range and depth of talent on all aspects of film-making; and for re-defining Bollywood cinema in terms of topics, budgets and movie-making

Konkana Sen
For the "realism" and "depth" she brings to every role and character

Priyanka Chopra
For being able to truly innovate her personal style and (re-)present in every single movie; and for the phenomenal growth as an actor which is demonstrated in every single movie

Ranbir Kapoor (One of my personal favorites as of date)
Oh! What can I say? There is something about the way he acts which sets him apart. All I can say is "He is truly gifted, and talented"; and every time I watch him act - I feel its coming from his soul!

Shah Rukh Khan
For his ability to connect with the audience minds and hearts in a way that no other actor really can!

Vidya Balan (One of my personal favorites as of date)
Superb and Fabulous actress who is again "divinely talented", and very "connected" to her talent. Beauty, grace and talent all rolled into one

 And what really stands out among all these individuals is this!
They are GIFTED
They are AWARE of their TALENT
They have AGAIN and AGAIN "repeatedly" been part of COMMERCIAL SUCCESSES
There is "SOMETHING" (which is hard to describe) about they way they deliver - which makes you wonder "JUST HOW DO THEY DO IT"

That's my view.. Would love to hear yours. Leave a comment to let me know

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