Mani Ratnam, one of India’s most respected and successful filmmakers, recently expressed his views on Hindi cinema and its use of the term “Bollywood.” According to Ratnam, if Hindi films stop calling themselves Bollywood films, people will stop identifying Indian cinema as Bollywood. In this article, we will explore Ratnam’s statement and the implications it may have on the Indian film industry.
The Indian film industry is one of the largest and most diverse film industries in the world. It encompasses several regional film industries, such as Bollywood (Hindi), Kollywood (Tamil), and Tollywood (Telugu), among others.
However, the use of the term ‘woods’ to refer to these film industries has been a common practice for a long time. Mani Ratnam, who has been a part of the Indian film industry for several decades, has recently expressed his distaste for this nomenclature.
Mani Ratnam’s Views on Hindi Cinema
Mani Ratnam believes that the term “Bollywood” is a misnomer that has been perpetuated by the media and the film industry. He argues that the term refers specifically to the Hindi film industry, but it has come to be used to refer to all of Indian cinema. This, he believes, is problematic as it erases the contributions of other regional film industries in India.
Ratnam further contends that the use of the term “Bollywood” reinforces the notion that Hindi cinema is the only legitimate form of Indian cinema. This, he believes, is not only inaccurate but also detrimental to the growth and development of other regional film industries. Ratnam suggests that if Hindi films stop calling themselves Bollywood films, people will stop identifying Indian cinema as Bollywood, and the industry will become more diverse and inclusive.
Mani Ratnam’s Philosophy on Cinema
Mani Ratnam is known for his nuanced and complex portrayal of Indian society and culture in his films. He believes that movies should not only talk about issues but also feel them deeply. According to Ratnam, a good film is one that reflects the complexities and contradictions of the society it portrays.
Ratnam’s films have often dwelled on the many complexities framing Indian society, and he is often referred to as a chronicler of contemporary times. His latest film, “Ponniyin Selvan – I,” is his first historical drama. In his philosophy on cinema, Ratnam highlights the importance of feeling the issues rather than just talking about them.
Implications of Ratnam’s Statement
Mani Ratnam’s statement on Hindi cinema and the use of the term “Bollywood” has significant implications for the Indian film industry. For one, it highlights the need for greater inclusivity and diversity in the industry. The dominance of Hindi cinema has long been a source of tension and controversy.
The Media Interaction
In a recent media interaction, Mani Ratnam was asked about his opinion on the term ‘woods’ being used to refer to the Indian film industry. He expressed his dislike for the term and stated that it is a colonial hangover that should be done away with. He further added that the use of the term ‘woods’ undermines the diversity and richness of the Indian film industry, which has several regional film industries that are unique in their own ways.
The term ‘woods’ to refer to the film industry originated from Hollywood, which is the hub of the American film industry. It was coined in the early 20th century when most film studios were located in the wooded areas of Hollywood, California.
Over time, the term became synonymous with the American film industry, and other film industries across the world began using it to refer to their respective film industries. However, the use of the term ‘woods’ in the Indian film industry has been a matter of debate for a long time.
Mani Ratnam’s dislike for the term ‘woods’ has sparked a discussion on finding alternative nomenclature for the Indian film industry. Some film personalities have suggested using terms such as ‘Indian Cinema’ or ‘Regional Cinema’ to refer to the film industries in India. However, the use of these terms is yet to gain widespread acceptance.
Who is Mani Ratnam?
Mani Ratnam’s entry into the film industry was through his friend Rajeev Menon, who was working as a cinematographer. Mani Ratnam joined Rajeev Menon as an assistant director for the Kannada film “Pallavi Anu Pallavi,” which was directed by Mani Ratnam’s uncle, B. R. Chopra. Mani Ratnam then worked as a dialogue writer for the Tamil film “Nenjathai Killathe” before making his directorial debut with “Pallavi Anu Pallavi” in 1983.
Mani Ratnam’s rise to fame began with the release of “Roja” (1992), a Tamil film that was dubbed into several languages and became a huge commercial success. The film was also critically acclaimed for its portrayal of the conflict in Kashmir and its message of national integration.
Mani Ratnam followed up with “Bombay” (1995), which dealt with the communal riots in Mumbai, and “Dil Se” (1998), which was set against the backdrop of the insurgency in Northeast India. All three films were both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, cementing Mani Ratnam’s position as one of the leading filmmakers in India.
Mani Ratnam’s dislike for the term ‘woods’ to refer to the Indian film industry is a reflection of the changing times. As the Indian film industry continues to grow and evolve, there is a need for a nomenclature that is inclusive and reflective of its diversity. While the term ‘woods’ may have been in use for a long time, it is time to move away from it and adopt a more appropriate nomenclature that does justice to the rich and diverse Indian film industry.
What is Mani Ratnam’s opinion on the use of the term ‘woods’ to refer to the Indian film industry?
Mani Ratnam expressed his dislike for the use of the term ‘woods’ to refer to the Indian film industry in a recent media interaction.
Where did the term ‘woods’ originate from?
The term ‘woods’ to refer to the film industry originated from Hollywood, which is the hub of the American film industry.
What are some alternative nomenclature suggestions for the Indian film industry?
Some film personalities have suggested using terms such as ‘Indian Cinema’ or ‘Regional Cinema’ to refer to the film industries in India.