29.5.15

Bollywood China

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Isn't this how Hinduism and Buddhism spread to Suvarnabhumi and East Asia?

Soft Power.

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Real-life rivals India and China turn reel friends

 

 


In the otherwise adversarial relationship between India and China, movies promise to come to the rescue. Following conversations between President Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi, the two countries have agreed to co-produce three films together.

'Lost in India', a prospective film came about after Xi told Modi that a 2012 Chinese blockbuster, 'Lost in Thailand', resulted in a burst of Chinese tourists to Thailand. (Modi could have told him about 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' and Indian tourists flocking to Spain). 'Lost in Thailand' was a Chinese slapstick low-budget comedy which tickled every funny bone among Chinese viewers and even overtook 'Titanic' in box office collections.


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Bollywood, which also specializes in an Indian version of slapstick stuff, will have to take up the challenge of making 'Lost in India' funny to both Indians and Chinese. It's not easy, but if Bollywood can crack this, it might get an entry into the world's largest movie market.
(Will the Chinese actors be forced to sing horrible Bollywood groupie songs?)

Two other films will be co-produced — one a feature film on Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang), and another on yoga. Yoga is kosher in China, and after the high level endorsement along with tai-chi at the Temple of Heaven, the Chinese will enthusiastically celebrate World Yoga Day on June 21 with over a dozen programmes across the country.
(Is Zuanzang going to sing his way from China to India and back? With Sunny Leone item numbers....if she is included, please reserve my ticket)

This year was the first time China purchased four Indian films. China buys 34 foreign films every year, most of them Hollywood blockbusters. Indian films barely get in edgeways. But the summit proved to be a good reason to do so. Aamir Khan, whose '3 Idiots' was a runaway hit in China, sold two of his big films to the Chinese market this year. 'PK' was a massive success, showing in over 4,600 screens across China and pulling in big bucks. It's important to remember that while '3 Idiots' was a hit, it never showed in movie theatres, but only on the DVD circuit.

The Chinese have also bought Aamir starrer 'Dhoom 3' and Shah Rukh Khan's 'Happy New Year' where Khan dramatically saves a little Korean boy from tumbling to certain death. Bollywood will have to feel its way in this market. Central Asia, Gulf and Middle East, even Africa have been converted to the Bollywood way. It remains to be seen whether the Chinese succumb.