Russell Peters hasn’t had the nicest things to say about Bollywood. Forget nice, he’s downright nasty with his opinion about the films that Bollywood churns out. In 2011, when Speedy Singhs released in India, Russell in a press conference coolly commented about how bad Bollywood films were and even took pot-shots at Aishwarya Rai‘s poor acting skills.
To quote him, "I hate Bollywood. The movies are all garbage, just terrible. It’s my opinion, obviously there are billions who like and love them. I don’t like all the singing, dancing and all the dramatic crying. I have never seen a Bollywood film in my life. I have refused doing it earlier and will do so in future. But I hope some filmmakers take a chance of making real movies." Nasty, indeed.
He then spoke about how bad an actor Aishwarya Rai is, "Aishwarya is the biggest example of bad acting. She has proved it time and time again that in Bollywood, people can become superstars just by having a pretty face.”
Peters didn’t stop at that and said things about Abhishek Bachchan as well, "She (Aishwarya Rai) hasn’t become a better actor. She is still good looking, isn’t that good enough? Good job, Abhishek, you finally knocked her up.” Oopsie.
But hey, aren’t we as Bollywood fans taking our cinema too seriously? Every film industry has made bad as well as good films and so has Bollywood.
In fact, some of the points the Russell brings out in one of his stand-up acts are not just hilarious but valid. 😀
Note: I am not questioning the credibility of Indian Cinema. I’m an Indian and I love Indian Cinema.
"When I walk out of the theatre I wanna be able to look at my friend and go, ‘Shit! That’s crazy, that could probably happen.’
Whoever walked out of an Indian movie saying, ‘That’s possible’.
For which point do I see you guys are gonna get up start singing the same song and dancing in the same f***ing time"
Now we’ve just got to accept that the only good that the whole song and dancing sequences in Bollywood has done is given us dozens of songs, year after year to dance at discos, sangeets, weddings, Ganesh Visarjan, Durga Visarjan, Holi, Annual Day functions in school and colleges and housing societies. Sometimes even the most sane film will turn into a disappointment because it has a completely irrelevant or "pathetically abusing logic" to fit in a song in it. I don’t want to point out to any particular song-dance sequence because there are so many! I rather single out films that don’t have song-dance sequences.
"…if you’ve never seen an Indian movie in your life, I’m here to save you 12 hours."
Imagine what will happen if Indian filmmakers started to make films that aren’t longer than 120 minutes. All hell will break loose, Indian audiences would come out of the film, demanding a refund. I can totally envisage someone arguing with the cinema manager, "Arey bhai interval ke baad, picture dikhayi hi nahin tumne." 120 minutes is too short for Indian movies, until 120 minutes we’re still trying to figure out the conflict of the actor, so there’s no way an Indian film can make money if it lasts for only 120 minutes.
Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra‘s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag lasted longer than 3 hours. Three freaking hours! Not saying that it’s a bad film, but 3 freaking hours of watching a chiselled Farhan Akhtar run in a forest, run in a desert, run in a field, run on top of trains, run everywhere is too much of patience-testing.
"A girl is running through a field in slow-mo, crying… and suddenly it starts to rain… and she doesn’t react like a normal person… she starts singing and dancing in the rain… the boy she’s in love with, appears out of nowhere… and at some point when he got there he planted a tree… cause there was no tree there before… and they start running towards each other in slow-motion and his boobs start bouncing… and they run past each other… because she thinks that it would be more fun to play a game of f***ing hide and go seek around this tree…"
And how true is this! Although the whole dancing in fields and around trees era has ended. Indian filmmakers have found novel things to dance around for example temple steps, cars, atop embellished elephants etc. as shown in Chennai Express.
So the great Indian filmy saga continues. And as long as we will be making ridiculous films, we’ll have people like Peters making fun of them. We just need to learn to take criticism with a pinch of salt and accept that yes, we do make films that sometimes lack logic.