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Amitabh BachchanIndia's progress helped films to be noticed globally: Amitabh Bachchan
03rd Dec 2006  14.00 IST
By Agencies  

The burgeoning economic progress of the country has given a huge fillip to Indian films globally, Bollywood mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan has said.

"I always believed that when a country does well economically, everything about it gets noticed - its dress, culture, language and the films", the 64-year-old actor said on Friday evening in London while launching the album of his latest film Babul , which will have a world premiere on December 8.

Sharing the platform with the film's director Ravi Chopra and one of its actors John Abraham , a UN ambassador for Asia against Drug Abuse and Crime, at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Bachchan said 'Babul' dealt with the progressive subject like widow remarriage.

"The success of Bollywood films like Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna - Never Say Goodbye - shows that the Indian audience is also beginning to mature and are prepared to watch films with different topics and different subjects," he said.

Asked whether he planned to move over to Hollywood films, Bachchan said such presumption gave the impression that acting in Hollywood films was the ultimate thing. "We are happy with Bollywood films and we would like to see good films being produced in Bollywood which are universally acclaimed."

Answering a question on different types of roles he had been playing during his illustrious career, the "Big B" said that "we move with the time and adopt ourselves to the changing times, values and perception."

"May be a film like 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' which deals with extra marital relations might not have been so successful a few years back."

To a question why the launch was being held in London, Bachchan, voted star of the millennium in a BBC poll, said the audience for the Bollywood films was no more restricted to India alone as "there is a very large number of NRIs living all over the world, particularly in the UK. Besides, there is concentration of Media in London."

Asked whether there was any move to produce Bollywood films in English, Bachchan said some efforts were made to do so but found it was not commercially viable.

To a recent controversy over a billboard depicting him smoking a cigar, Bachchan said the issue was sub-judice. "I did a shot where I was supposed to smoke a cigar and the producer, I think did a deal with a brand which makes electric switches and they put up a hoarding and they put certain words which were not mine. I was not involved in it really and somebody has taken offence to it and gone to court. The court will decide."

Agreeing with a questioner that the plight of widows in India needed sympathetic consideration, Bachchan said the "theme" of "Babul" is "quite thought-provoking and progressive."

Bachchan lauded the effort of Chopra for choosing such a bold subject, which is socially relevant.

'Babul' features, besides Bachchan, Hema Malini , Salman Khan , Rani Mukherjee and John in pivotal roles.

The film in essence is the story of a father-in-law who gave up all relationships to make one - it is the story of one man who overthrew traditions, broke conventions and questioned superstitions to bring happiness to his daughter-in-law.

Amitabh Bachchan
Ravi Chopra
John Abraham
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
Hema Malini
Salman Khan
Rani Mukherjee

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