Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Freddy goes Hindi

I know you missed me and I’m sure you would just love for me to say that I missed you too, but truthfully, I didn’t. Flattery is usually a one-way street, so if it’s headed in my direction, that’s all there is to it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pay you back someday. Maybe. Let’s just hope that this time I’m able to stay afloat.
So I was watching a Hindi movie. Yes, so what? freddy needs to be entertained, anyway anyhow. That aside, it still amazes me, decades and decades of Bollywood and they still maintain the authenticity and purity of the Indian culture. Granted the dance scenes have become a little hip, but it takes nothing out of their culture.
As I was saying before I interrupted myself, I caught one of such Hindi movies on TV3 one Sunday. I’ll give you a moment to purge your minds of high-jumping/diving, drumbeat-punching, acrobatic dancing-fight scenes, and high-pitched singing solos that might be etched into your memory.
This time my friends, we’re talking Robo-Bollywood – space ships, aliens, flying saucers, ET Phone home and such.
It wasn’t your everyday love story between two rival families. Or two lovebirds separated by the evil and cruel uncle with the men crying over their women. No, this one was unlike any of those. Yes the men were crying, but not like we know it to be. Apparently, some alien had crash landed through the Indian airspace, had found a family to be with and had given a “deficient” young man “powers” that rid him of any handicap. Then there was this display of love and friendship between the two as the government tried to capture the alien for experimentation (ah, the usual). You know how these things go, if the alien leaves, his “powers” go. What makes it so heroic was that this “un-handicapped” young man agreed to allow the alien who by the way was called Jadoo (a very Indian name for an equally Indian alien) to leave and be with his alien family knowing that he would lose his “powers”.
It was just refreshing as it was surprising to see a different side to Hindi movies.
Trust me, if we had to do something like this in Ghana, we would call it “Aboa huhuuhu bi” (literally translated as: “some scary animal”) and it will run for at least 3 parts. I kid you not. Or we would twist the entire story and make it superstitious. Saying how the gods of the land want to punish its inhabitants for not giving them enough yam or plantains after the bumper harvest. Or maybe they gave them the yams but forgot to the stew that goes oh so well with it. We would just distort it. Everything has to land on superstition, why? And it’s never in the positive light. Never! Now I don’t believe in UFOs or that sort of thing, but I enjoy the stories when they tell it. I admire the employ of the human imaginative mind. And I can understand why some people might hope of another life source out there. Anyway, back to earth.
I’m saying is that the choice of movie titles have become as cheap as sand on the beach. Perhaps, because the content isn’t much to work with. I saw an advertisement for a new television show “Apata kese ase” (under the shade of a big tent)…I think. But that title in its self shows we have no desire to extend the show to viewers other than the narrow confines of GTV’s coverage. Our movie titles have run the gamut of all female hip-hop and R&B stars. Soon we’ll be looking at Diddy, Fat Joe, and 50 Cent.
Maybe they should do a movie about me; how I am able to make you read my column week after week, and how I’m everyone’s hero (or at least, I’d like to think so). That should be fun to watch.


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big mak said...

hi Freddy,

The lack of creativity that runs through the entire production of ever green movies ( am still filled with nostalgia when i reminisce on ever green movies like "Love brewed in the Africa Pot", "Heritage Africa", "Road to Kukrantumi"), is the basic fact that there's no long term financial investment into the arts and literary industry in Ghana. Juxtapose our "Ghallywood" with Hollywood, Bollywood, and even Nollywood and u'll catch my drift. u'll see clearly how all the stakeholders; including the government consistently support and invest into the arts. Until Ghanaians begin to appreciate the arts as a serious business entity i do not see how the arts will evolve into a vibrant and competitive industry. Great article ...keep it up