Saif Ali Khan: We should take Indian cinema to the Middle East, Egypt and Spain

Saif Ali Khan: We should take Indian cinema to the Middle East, Egypt and Spain

Indian cinema should rival Hollywood as its eastern equivalent, says the Go Goa Gone actor

Indian cinema, which is celebrating its centenary year, has a unique identity and should rival Hollywood as its eastern equivalent, says actor-producer Saif Ali Khan who does not believe in any attempts to cross over. “I think we should not try to cross over,” said Saif. “Our eastern identity is fundamentally different from theirs. We should look at taking our movies from India to the Middle East, or to places like Egypt and Spain as the audience there is suited to our movies, I believe. And we should rival Hollywood as an eastern equivalent, if ‘western’ is what they call themselves,” he added.

With over two decades in films and with veteran actor Sharmila Tagore as his mother, Saif does have a fair idea of how and what kind of cinema clicks. And he also enjoys watching a lot of international cinema.

The 42-year-old actor, who completed his studies in England, believes Iran and Iraq make some “great cinema”. “But I’m not too sure if they have the kind of budgets we have. We just need to pay more thought and attention to detail in what we do and build on our individual identity. We’re doing pretty well, and getting there slowly,” Saif said.

He admits the Indian viewer isn’t too easy to please. “We don’t really have a like-minded audience here. It’s difficult… and despite being so populous, we have very few writers and directors. But I see a lot of young people getting into it, and I hope it (the change) will happen. It has to happen! We will get there, I am sure,” he said.

Indian cinema is in a transition phase – backed by experimental genres, scripts and screenplays formulated by fresh filmmakers and writers – but Saif makes no bones about the fact that “action and romance” are two of the most favoured forms of filmed entertainment.

Life is also about “niche pursuits”, he said, pointing out to his latest production Go Goa Gone, a ‘zomcom’ or zombie comedy, a genre less heard of in Indian cinema. Saif, who plays a zombie killer in the movie, guarantees it is a “more mainstream film than you’ll imagine”.

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  • dhiraj bakshi

    After seeing your on-scene performances in advt. spots and the BOSTON episode we expect off-screen results from the entire Bollywood jumboree as the hollywood gap gets impatient.I hope you won and I do not lose.

  • EUindian

    Saif is right, Indian cinema has the potential to take over huge audiences in middle east, parts of latin europe like spain, greece, portugal and turkey and even the rest of the world. I live in Europe and a lot of europeans find indian /bollywood movies stupid or weird or dumb and I ask them what they think of hollywood….their response towards hollywood is also the same in europe….fact is india or USA….most movies are made for business and a few are made for talent. Good Indian movies are fewer than good hollywood movies but that doesnt mean Indian cinema cant do better….in fact the first thing they should is stop calling themselves Bollywood….come up with a unique name to describe Indian cinema…its the 100th year after all..get rid of the Bollywood tag. Its about time that India should stop copying the world and show its own originality….people like Saif Ali Khan understand this better because of their background…India should be a leader in world cinema…not a follower or a copycat. ..if we want we can easily create an eastern standard of cinema….and anyway hollywood is getting crappier by the day. There is one more problem with Indian cinema….most Indian movies that reach western audiences are on poverty, crime, misery, terrrorism etc….take for example gangs of wassseypur…all about crime….salaam bombay….sickening poverty….and the latest one by Mira Nair…the reluctant fundamentalist….about racism and terorrism….why have all these sensational themes? Why cant indians be more original and proud of their country and show Indias rich beautiful culture in an intelligent artistic way to the rest of the world? The impression westerners have of India is largely based on what they see in these films I mention above….that impression needs to be changed for a number of reasons….and the best way to do it is by making more positive themed indian films.