Tuesday, December 25, 2007

'Kaushik Roy' vs. 'Aamir Khan'

No more than a couple of months ago, first-time director Kaushik Roy made his foray into independent cinema with "Apna Aasman"- a real-life tale of an autistic child.
It was very well received and while the film didn't have a lot of box-office success(of course it didn't..after all, who's Kaushik Roy?!), it definitely made an impact, however small.

Last night, one of our team-mates reported back to me about "Taare Zameen Par"- a similarly constructed tale...only this time, the plot centers around dyslexia.

I know of Kaushik Roy personally, and I love Aamir Khan. But I don't see why "Taare Zameen Par" pulls heartstrings, and "Apna Aasman" has to worry about being commercially responsible.
While Aamir's brand value as a director and an actor carries 'dyslexia' across, does Roy's lack of brand value necessitate the relative insignificance of 'autism'?

That Indian mass markets are drive by hits and brand value is no surprise- what IS a surprise is that Mr. Roy is shocked at the lack of backing for independent cinema and double standards in the industry.

I write this post in the fervent hope that it reaches Mr. Roy and hundreds of other independent film-makers across India who are trying to make films that sing to the masses.

I say to you:
"Please don't sing to the masses! Please make the masses sing to you. You have brilliant ideas, and you are covering issues that need to be covered.
We are here to help you monetize your work. We will show you a mass market you wouldn't ever have dreamed of.
We are India. We welcome you."