By – Niyati Singh
We have practically grown up idolizing one or multiple superheroes, either admiring them or desiring to be one. Looking up to Superman, Batman, Spiderman or any other superhero dazzling our TV screens, we expected our superpowers to kick in as well, practicing all kinds of stupid moves to help us get through with our ‘average’ agenda.
Though that didn’t happen, obviously, but thanks to the evolution of VFX, we can now experience the gigantic world of awesome superheroes and super-villains visually. Yes, we are able to practically live in that world. And yes, we are also extremely serious about what goes around in this world. We are obsessed about this world and that is why we just can’t let Bollywood screw with this concept that is so important to us.
Bollywood Doing Superhero Wrong?
I’m not trying to make Hollywood look grand by bashing Hindi cinema. No, it’s not about that. I am simply saying that Bollywood has this amazing ability where they are able to make something so ‘super’ look funny and dingy.
Hollywood super-flicks have succeeded numerous times to give their audiences the viewing pleasure that they crave. But can we say the same when it comes to Bollywood; one of the biggest cinema hubs in the world that hosts all kinds of films?
Bollywood has time and again gained ‘inspiration’ from West’s superhero game and has more than once fallen flat on its face. We have n number of films to back that statement up; Ra.One, Krrish, Drona.… ring any bells?
Again, I’m not trying to bash Bollywood. After all, Indian cinema has given us many commendable films (Mr. India being one of them) so far and continues to do so. However, let’s just accept it. Superhero fiction isn’t Bollywood’s cut of tea and whenever it has tried to excel at this game, it has failed miserably; giving us, Superhero film lovers some pretty bad nightmares to deal with.
Sci-fi/Fantasy genre isn’t a joke and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Bollywood superhero themed films’ VFX (VFX what?) works featuring an uncanny caped superhero (LMAO) flying around with his one hand pointing out as he fights an antagonist dressed in stupid flashy costume with WTF superpowers, has only drawn us farther away from Indian silver screens and it’s shallow storylines.
A Few Examples to Jog Your Memory
While Krrish looked like a cocktail of Superman and Professor Charles Xavier, Kaya (Kangana Ranaut from Krrish 3) reminded us of Mystique. On the other hand, Ra.One’s costume bore resemblance to Tron Legacy’s lead whereas the film’s main villain (Played by Arjun Rampal) looked like a character straight out of the ‘Star Wars’ series. Some very original ideas, I must say.
And let’s not forget the desi superheroes, the trend that goes way back to ‘80s, which Hindi cinema absolutely adores. Yes, believe it or not, in 1987, Bollywood gave us our very own desi Superman. Director B. Gupta’s ‘Superman’ starred Puneet Issar as Shekhar aka Superman! This desi Superman could fly, pick up a solid car and throw it on thugs, pack some hardcore punches, have a secret identity and live among common superpower-less people with ease. What were they even thinking?!
Well, wait. There’s more. Remember how Hindi cinema tried to add the sci-fi/fantasy quotient in film ‘Dariya Dil’? Yes, the dream sequence (or whatever the hell it was) showed Govinda and Kimi Katkar dancing on the beats of ‘Too Mera Superman’, dressed up as Superman and Spiderwoman. But this time Bollywood beat Hollywood, as this Spiderwoman (Let’s call her Spidernaari) was a step ahead from our videshi Spidey. Yes, our Spidernaari could fly! Forget flying, she even shook a leg with Superman on cloud nine.
How to Make it Better
And now, Bollywood has yet another superflick ‘A Flying Jatt’ starring Tiger Shroff waiting for us. After looking at the film’s teaser, I couldn’t help but picture a tacky version of Krishna fighting with a ‘sasta’ version of Magneto. Also, Tiger’s entry scene made me hopeful that I’d see Power Rangers stepping inside the frame as well and make their grand entry. I mean, with all that boom, bam and firework, it was kind of expected. But sadly, that didn’t happen either. Another disappointment, Bollywood!
Jokes apart, the core point is, right now we are living in an environment where excellence is expected because it’s achievable. So half-good mediocre work will just not do, it shouldn’t and we shouldn’t silently just accept what is given to us. After all, we are the consumers. Demand, reject, correct but do not ignore and certainly do not settle for less.
It’s high time that our filmmakers took this seriously and stopped looking at this cinema as a good box office earning bait. No, you have to be passionate about making a superhero film and making it right. If you aren’t prepared to do justice to a certain genre, just let it be. Well, maybe it is really hard to not put your foot in a genre you have absolutely no clue about when one gets ‘inspired’ so often easily.
Since saving people’s butts and being a superhero doesn’t pay the bills, Niyati Singh is also a full-time journalist by profession at ENT New Media, Deccan Chronicle. When juggling between the real and reel world gets rough, she escapes to the woods or a room full of books. She finds solace in intellectual conversations or watching people trip. An adventurous person at heart, she’s not a huge fan of parties but loves trekking and traveling to new places.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.