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Bollywood and Hollywood - when the twain meets!

By Naresh K. D.
Thu, Jan 08, 2009 20:40 IST

Sophie Dahl Never before has such a meeting of two of the biggest film industries happened as it is now.

An acclaimed British director, along with a select crew of technicians, packs his bags and flies to Mumbai to make a film about a slum boy's inspiring journey from rags to riches in search of love. A Mexican actress crosses two continents to shoot in a city that just witnessed terror attacks a little over a month back. Choreographers, action experts, cinematographers - the list is long - from the world over have descended on Apun Ka Bollywood, and our film industry - often derided for its naach and gaana - is finally finding global acceptance that was long due.

Forget about Bollywood discovering distant shores, the mountain is coming to meet Mohammad himself.




It is not that such an intermingling of talents did not happen in the past. Sophie Dahl (in The King of Bollywood ), Antonia Bernath ( Kisna ), Annabelle Wallace ( Dil Jo Bhi Kahey ) and Ali Larter ( Marigold - An Adventure in India ) have had their tryst with Bollywood. But none such collaboration worked at the marquee, leading one to believe that Kipling was perhaps right when he said: "never the twain shall meet".

But Danny Boyle, the British filmmaker who is yet to win an Oscar, has opened a new door. Last year, he flew to Mumbai and made a film that captures the contradictions and the intrinsic spirit of the city in his Slumdog Millionaire which stars not just a few acclaimed Indian actors but new faces and also kids picked right from Mumbai's shanty slums. Who'd have thought that this film would turn out to be an artistic experiment that would be viewed and admired by movie buffs in North America, Europe, Australia and the world over, winning more than three dozen awards in different categories at different events, and clinching a few crucial Golden Globe nominations and possibly Oscars too?

And who'd have thought that Shahrukh Khan would get an invite to the Golden Globes, even as our homegrown genius A R Rahman would sit in the galaxy of international stars at Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles with the hope of clinching a Golden Globe for best music score for 'Slumdog'? Cynics certainly hadn't.

Time has come when the world is turning its head and taking heed of the very film industry it scorned not long ago. The likes of Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh, Denise Richards have rubbed their shoulders with Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor in Kambakkth Ishq . Barbara Mori , the aforementioned Mexican hottie, is in Mumbai to shoot a song with Hrithik Roshan for Kites . While Lisa Lazarus, the Miss Universe-UK, pairs up with Salman Khan in Veer .

Britney Spears is already in rumours for her alleged affair with Indian choreographer Sandip Soparrkar who is choreographing a video for her, while Ben Kingsley still has plans to work with the likes of Bipasha Basu and Aishwarya Rai , who, by the way, will be seen in The Next Pink Panther movie.

The writing is on the wall. Not only are the twain meeting, they are gelling and bonding. And on Sunday, when Rahman and Boyle sit at Beverly Hilton for Golden Globes, the nation of a billion people would be rooting for 'Slumdog'.



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