Rajesh Kumar Singh, Glamsham Editorial
The film was supposed to showcase the strengths of Indian films to the rest of the world at the biggest event on art, craft, and business of cinema - the Cannes Film Festival. It certainly has achieved just the opposite. It is the worst ever documentary made on Indian cinema or Bollywood and instead of doing proud to the Indian film industry, has in fact shamed it.
After having watched the Shekhar Kapoor and UTV produced film, the only impression one gets is that Indians cannot even make a good documentary on their kind of cinema. It is obviously a hurriedly assembled and organised film with the footage consisting of whatever the directors could easily lay their hands on. It also seems to be an obvious attempt at cheating the global film community by using material from films like Gandhi, and other documentaries, that have nothing to do with Indian cinema. The helmers of the film, R. Omprakash Mehra and J. Zimbalist appear to be extremely ignorant and ill informed of India's great cinematic traditions. They do not even seem to be inspired by it. The film betrays the lack of study and research on the subject. It neither has a coherent narrative structure nor theme. It is a pathetically incompetent and an appalling piece of work. When I spoke to other Indians here, they shared similar sentiments. The suffering for all of us was greater because it was happening on a foreign turf. After the end of the press show, I heard no applause except a solitary attempt at clapping. This is for now. We shall discuss the film in detail later in a full-fledged article.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)