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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Would Indian movies ever match up to the level of Hollywood Sci-Fi movies?

From Raja Harishchandra, the first silent movie feature film made in India in 1913, to Sarabjit, a recently released motion picture, Indian film industry has witnessed various movies and genres over the years. Some emerged as successful, long lasting ones like romance and comedy, while others failed to create a space in the hearts of the viewers.


Science fiction falls into the latter category. It is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative concepts such as futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. With the exposure of other films from across the world, the expectations of the Indian audience have undergone various changes. Hollywood's sci-fi flicks have made a major impact on our mind and we can’t help but compare it to that of Bollywood's. Those superheroes, complex plots, and breathtaking visuals merged with the highly satisfactory technical effects have only increased our appetite and demands.

Thus, there are a few questions which the youngsters seem to be asking the Bollywood filmmakers:
  • When will Indian cinema ever produce something as breathtaking as Hollywood?
  • Will there ever be a time when Indians will get to gloat over the technological advancement and mind blowing storyline in a movie produced in their country? 
  • Or they would simply have to satisfy themselves with the outstanding flicks of the Hollywood?
Now, there are many aspects to these questions. Some would say that Indian film industry lack resources while the other would simply say no one is ready to take that risk when they’re happily earning more than enough from the regular genres.

But the truth goes beyond all this.

For starters, a movie requires 'n' number of resources and if the audience doesn’t like it, a producer would simply crumble down. Youngsters might be favoring Batman, Superman or Ironman but when it comes to masses, Indian audience will think twice before going to watch such a movie. They would much rather prefer to spend their leisure time in watching a light, simple, and less complicated movie in a theatre with actors dancing and cracking silly jokes. It will take a while for them to change their preferences. Although this change is happening and the taste of the viewers is changing, the process is rather slow and we will have to wait for a few more years to witness more people demanding sci-fi movies.

Bollywood filmmakers have tried to appease Indian audience with such pictures. Mr. India (1987) being one of them. It is one of the few movies which employed this concept and was successful enough to garner appreciations and money. After that, we came across Robot (2010) which again earned money and fame. It received 7.1 rating on IMDB. Other than these, and few more, the remaining simply emerged as a laughing stock. Filmmakers even tried to entwine it with the romance genre but it was simply not enough. Love Story 2050, Action Replay, Aa Dekhen Zara, etc failed to even cover the making cost of the movie.

On technological grounds, Indian cinema is not lacking behind. Ra.One (2011) won a national award for special effects and it is notable because the movie is solely produced in India by the techno team of Red Chillies VFX. Recent movies have come up with better and more appealing visual effects. The only place where the movie seems to be lacking is the story and characters.

The next hurdle which is worth mentioning happens to be the “inspired from” tag which seems to be the recent trend in the industry. So much has been borrowed from the Hollywood, that it makes the movie we see on screens a copied version of some or the other successful American movie. Even the posters are “inspired”. What audience want is the creativity, and self-employed ideas of the Indian filmmakers and not an assembled flick featuring different scenes from different movies.

Also, it takes two to tango. If the audience will show some support and encourage the budding ideas of the creative teams, filmmakers will be more than glad to bring in your requested type of films on-screen.

Since Rome wasn’t built in a day, we might as well wait patiently for the golden era of Indian sci-fi movies to arrive.


Written by Priyanka Chauhan
A bibliophile and an aspiring writer who lives with a  dream to travel the world.

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