So what was the last sci-fi film from Bollywood you really liked?
a) Krrish 3
b) Taarzan the Wonder Car
c) Love Story 2050
d) What is sci-fi?
Whatever option you choose, I rest my case. Bollywood has just got sci-fi all wrong. Sure, they are masala blockbusters that rake in the moolah, but if you try to make any sense out of it, you'll need more than two Disprins.
Here are the mantras we follow in Bollywood, which also explain why we won't make any credible sci-fi films any time soon:
1. Bollywood sci-fi films are made with the assumption that audience intellect = zero. Goodbye, intelligent plots.
2. This is what futuristic people look like. Torn clothes, weird coloured hair and lots and lots of metallic bling make things 'futuristic'.
Case in point, this super sci-fi couple.
3. Forget scientific imagination, an item number is the most important element of a Bollywood sci-fi flick!
4. The fate of Bollywood sci-fi depends on 'stars.'
Never forget this one.
5. Ripping off Hollywood action scenes and visual effects, is pretty much like Anu Malik all over again, just a little worse.
6. Sci-fi in India is a family owned business.
Every time you see a "Roshan", have a drink.
7. We spend a lot hiring VFX experts from Hollywood, stunt directors from China, but when it comes to getting a good writer on board, we're quite chindi about it.
8. And yet, somehow we end up with gems like these.
9. In Bollywood, sci-fi does not mean 'science fiction'. It means 'melodrama + comedy + suspense + thrill + maybe an Einstein wig'
Because, you know, science.
10. We don't use sci-fi as a medium to talk about real issues plaguing the world. We use it to launch/re-launch the careers of actors.
Spot the difference.
But at least Hollywood and Bollywood have one thing in common when it comes to sci-fi films. They've given us two of the most annoying creatures EVER.
Yes, this was a rant and yes, we've had some nice sci-fi films over the years. Films like Mr. India still get us excited when they air on TV. And it's not like we don't have a sci-fi culture in India. Satyajit Ray wrote about Professor Shonku, S. Rangarajan wrote about robots which inspired the Rajinikanth film Enthiran , Samit Basu has made quite a name for himself in the fantasy/sci-fi genre. If only we'd encourage more sci-fi writers and small-time filmmakers and bring out their works into the mainstream, maybe one day, we can come up with our own space opera.