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Hollyworld: Mumbai goes from Bollywood to Hollywood

A new film studio in Mumbai may attract Hollywood stars, but will it be the end of Bollywood?

Some writers and independent filmmakers, though, worry that while the quality of the studios might be stellar, the rise in expensive films is hurting smaller, alternative cinema.

“The multiplex cinema is killing alternative cinema by charging such high prices,” said writer and filmmaker Jaideep Varma.

When moviegoers must spend more than 200 rupees ($4.40) for a ticket at a multiplex cinema, they are less likely to take a risk on seeing a smaller film, he said. This forces moviemakers to only invest in commercial films with big name stars.

“What’s happening in our country is only the big budget film will survive,” he said. “What India really needs is for our own voices to flourish.”

Sidharth Bhatia, an Indian journalist who has recently written a book on the history of Hindi cinema, said that the studios will enhance the technological capabilities of filmmakers and provide better facilities and efficiency, but they are not likely to influence Bollywood to suddenly start making Hollywood-style movies.

That, he said, is already happening. Bollywood has been taking inspiration from the West in terms of themes, story ideas and techniques for decades.

“Bollywood is not suddenly going to wake up and say, ‘We have a studio here let’s get some ideas from Hollywood,’” Bhatia said. “Even without this studio, Bollywood’s been inspired by Hollywood for the past 60 years.”

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