Saturday, November 25, 2006

Branding arrives in Bollywood.

Once upon a time, there was no Bollywood. There was only the Bombay film industry. Then too there used to be remakes. Mehboob Khan remade his own Aurat as Mother India without fuss. Mehmood’s Do Phool was remade as Aankhen by David Dhawan. Also, his Hero No. 1 a reincarnation of Bawarchi. The new avatar of Chitchor was Main Prem Ki Diwami Hoon. Those days, the dastardly deed was called copying. A lot of Hollywood stuff also used to be copied. Then, post globalization, the Bombay film industry was remade into Bollywood. Remakes became the flavour of the week. Branding became the norm. Farhan Akhtar’s Don. Ram Gopal Varma’s Sholay. You see the difference? The brand is everything. Hype is all. Glitter is the thing. Sizzle is what matters. The steak may be chemically treated. Sizzle will sell. Tongues must be made to wag. Get the audience salivating well in advance. Raise expectations sky high. Old wine in a new bottle with a smart label. Way to go, baby.

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