Film critic and author Bhawana Somaaya joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on 100 years of Indian cinema.
Q. Why standard of music in Hindi films is taking back seat in Hindi films? Asked by: shailesh sharma
A. That's not true. 'Kai Po Che' has super music and extraordinary lyrics. There are some melodies but mostly they are good.
Q. Why comedians and villain and vamps are now loosing their place in Hindi films? Asked by: shailesh sharma
A. The lead stars are doing what they did in earlier films. It reflects our changing times - characters are a combo of good and bad.
Q. Now a days Hindi filmmakers do not show courage for making any film which have some social message in its story? Asked by: shailesh sharma
A. Wrong again. What about 'Paan Singh Tomar'. What about 'English Vinglish'? Even 'Dirty Picture' has a social message.
Q. Is going back to the 80s to remake masala genre favourable in your opinion or is it regressing? Asked by: Anup Pandey
A. Not regressing because it will be done differently - but I disagree with remake remix trend. It reflects paucity of ideas.
Q. What has been the best and worst periods in the history of Indian Cinema? This question is not in regards to commercial success. Asked by: P Nagarjuna
A. I feel 50s was golden times. 80s was the worst time. 70s was changing times and 2000 was new age times. I forgot 60s was celebration times.
Q. There is always talk of figures of few hundred crores at the start of release of film but that does not translate into better quality of scripts and movies in India. Asked by: Manush
A. Commercial figures have no direct connection with content. Sometimes both are a plus point. Today I find our heroes obsessed with 100 crore club when Bachchan made 100 crore ( by today's inflation) in all his films and nobody ever talked about it.
Q. The sustainability of small producer has become questionable in Indian film industry from South to North. In this situation, can we expect Hrishikesh Mukherjee/Basu chatterjee kind of films? Asked by: Kalyan
A. I feel all kinds of cinema exist today simultaneously. The inspiration comes from Hrishida and Basuda but the styles vary be it 'Parzania', 'Dor' or 'Wake Up Sid'.
Q. When will Indian cinema going to mature and apply innovative scripts and style to make movies hit rather than use of item songs and hype of few actors for success of films? Asked by: Manav
A. Hindi cinema has evolved blossomed and is more mature than most films made in the world. Why must we get rid of our song and dance when our culture is all about that.
Q. How do you view dominance of few families like Kapoors and few actors like Khans in Bollywood unlike west where there is far more democratisation of cinema and it is not considered as family business. Asked by: Hitesh
A. There is no domination. Nobody gets films coz of their surname. This profession acknowledges all who have talent and charisma be it 'Ayushman Khurana', 'Anushka Sharma' or 'Tomar Sushant Singh'.
Q. Do you think regional film industries like Bengali and Malayalam have done much more than Bollywood to enhance the prestige of Indian cinema around the world? After all, Ray, Ghatak, Adoor, etc are recognised as masters of international cinema by the whole world. Asked by: Kalyani Shankaran
A. Ray and Ghatak are legends but so was Bimal Roy, Hrishida, Yash Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani and they are all Hindi film directors.
Q. Can the money earned from Box Office be considered as success of movie as many good films without proper marketing do not get due appreciation like in art cinema? Asked by: Manav
A. Success is a relative word and depends on budgets/ tickets sold/ number of screens/ number of theaters and shows. Today we make and break a film on social site.
Q. Why is it actors take all credit in the film when it has lot to do with other elements like good script, director, producers and other artist working in the movie and supporting the movie? Asked by: Shailesh
A. I disagree that actors take credit. They are desperate for a great team and never fail to acknowledge that while working or winning trophies.
Q. Why is Indian film industry be able to make quality films that also do well in the box office. The ones that do well in box office are normally run of the mill ones. Is it to do with the kind of audience that we are? Asked by: Narayan
A. Every theory can be destroyed with an example. 2012 is an example of breaking rules. 'Gangs of Wasseypur', 'Vicky Donor', 'Kahaani'- look at the variety and all were successes.
Q. Indian cinema entered its 100th year this year. How has the journey been? Asked by: Farhan
A. I think it has been a fascinating journey in content, techno, vision and performances.
Q. Do you think that though the current films have improved drastically technique wise as compared to the old movies but the content is missing as we used to have in olden days..very few films satisfy the critics. Asked by: Rohit
A. This is a debate at all the seminars that content is the king. I believe that some films are to be watched for form and performances too even if the script is weak. Critics can say what they want finally audience is the king and if they like murder and race we should respect their choice.
Q. South films are being remade in Bollywood. How long shall it continue? Asked by: Sandeep Rao
A. This is an old trend. Gemini Ganesh, MGR, NTR were borrowing as much from Hindi films as much as Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar were looking at their films.
Q. Telugu films were sidelined in the recent functions. Don't you think Tollywood has brought huge sums into Bollywood due to the remakes? Asked by: Sandeep Rao
A. Telugu films have never matched in content with Malayalam or Tamil films. Let us decide are we discussing money or art.
Q. I have been the editor of a south entertainment portal. I want to work under you, so what should I do? How to approach you? :) Asked by: Sandeep Rao
A. Contact me via mail/ twitter or FB and we will take it from there
Q. That's a good point you made. Arundhati, Eega (Makkhi) are fine examples in the recent past. Asked by: Sandeep Rao
A. Cinema in Bombay or outside has never been static, in the worst times there have been some great films and in the best times there have been rubbish films. I guess quite like life - Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.
Q. Hahaha..Ma'am I appreciate the way u are answering. Yes, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, I hope it doesn't turn out to be 'Kabhi Khushi Hamesha Gham' :) Wishing the best for Indian Cinema! Asked by: Sandeep Rao
A. How am I answering? You are a cinema lover I can see that. Cheers to our films.