Why didn’t Bollywood directors think of ‘Slumdog..’? They don’t read.January 17th, 2009 - 9:22 am ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Jan 17 (IANS) Ever since “Slumdog Millionaire” shone at the Golden Globes award, everyone is asking why no Bollywood director thought of it.While Sriram Raghavan of “Johnny Gaddar” fame missed the chance because Vikas Swaroop had given the movie rights of his book “Q & A” to eventual producers Film Four, directors Anurag Basu and Imtiaz Ali say other Indian filmmakers didn’t think about it because they are not in the habit of reading.
Sriram Raghavan: I loved the book “Q & A” by Vikas Swaroop. I wanted to make a film on it. I even met the author, but the film rights were already with Film Four. He mentioned that a couple of other Bollywood directors had also approached him. It’s a terrific book and I’m happy that the film is so successful.
Govind Nihalani: I very much wanted to adapt Vikas Swaroop’s “Q & A” into a film. I met the author and he told me the film rights had already been sold to Film Four even before the book was published. The matter ended there.
Santosh Sivan: I haven’t seen the film. But from what I’ve read about it, “Slumdog Millionaire” is quite a different sensibility and perspective of portraying the extremes.
Dibakar Banerjee: I haven’t read Vikas Swaroop’s novel, but if I had read it and liked it, of course I’d have made it. At the moment I’m negotiating the rights for three novels, old and new. Incidentally Sriram Raghavan was talking to the author of “Slumdog Millionaire” for the longest time for the rights. Ask him if you don’t believe me.
Anurag Basu: Given a choice most Indian directors would watch and copy from a DVD and remake a film rather than read a book and be able to see a film in the written word. I think my namesake Anurag (Kashyap) would be a good alternative to make “Slumdog Millionaire”.
R. Balakrishnan: Why didn’t any of us in Bollywood think of making it? We read less. If the book was a DVD we’d have made “Slumdog Millionaire”.
Imtiaz Ali: Not many of our filmmakers have read Vikas Swaroop’s “Q & A”. A good alternative choice to make the film would be Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.
Rohan Sippy: But it’s not true that filmmakers in Mumbai were not interested in the novel. Sriram Raghavan was interested, but the rights were already taken. Sriram would’ve made a fabulous film out of it.
Rahul Dholakia: The reason why none of us thought of making it here is because we don’t want to use our imagination. Most of us want to play safe. The only filmmakers here who could’ve done justice to “Slumdog Millionaire” would be Mira Nair and Saeed Mirza.
Shekhar Kapur: I think Danny Boyle is a good choice. I consider “Slumdog Millionaire” India’s most successful film. For me, “Slumdog Millionaire” is an Indian film. It will get the Oscars and do a business of $200 million.
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