Written by Sonup Sahadevan | Mumbai
Amitabh Bachchan feels the threat offered by Hollywood films to Hindi cinema is real and alarming. In 2016, big budget Hollywood films released alongside Hindi films raking in big moolah while trouncing their Hindi counterparts at the box-office. Agreeing that the threat from the West is an alarming one, Bachchan believes we need to fight it out to keep stiff competition from Hollywood at bay.
“We have to fight them. This is competition. We know that Hollywood is very powerful. Wherever it has gone, it has destroyed the local film industry. Be it United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain or Japan, everywhere they go they just take over and that’s what is happening here. So we have to fight. Competition is good,” said Bachchan.
While Hollywood’s ascendancy may have started shocking many now, Bachchan understood their ambitious ways when he had a meeting with a chief of a giant studio in America way back in 1995.
Recollecting the meeting, Bachchan narrated, “I have been on several holidays to the US. Every time I used to go there, all these big corporations like Warner Bros, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox used to send me letters saying they wanted to meet me. I used to ignore them. ‘Why would they want to meet me when they don’t even know me,’ I used to ask myself. Why are they sending me these letters? I had a lawyer friend in New York and he used to say, ‘Why don’t you go and meet them. There is no harm.’ So I finally went and for more than an hour, the chief who I met spoke non-stop about the entire film industry of our country. He had every knowledge of how we do our films, how we produce them, the financials, the distribution, the actors who they are and what they do. I was shocked. I came back and asked my lawyer friend, ‘How did this happen?’ He said, ‘Mr. Bachchan go back home ,go back to your country because the Americans are coming. So get your house in order.’”
Commenting on how he had foreseen American studios and films making a killing in India way back in 1995, Big B said, “I predicted that in 1995 when I made ABCL (Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd) that the Americans will come and they will have so much money that we will only be a drop in the ocean. So let’s get our house in order.”