MUMBAI: For all its special effects, pomp and glamour, Amitabh Bachchan believes that, at the heart of it, ‘The Great Gatsby’ was very similar to an Indian film.
Baz Luhrmann, known for his breathtaking visuals and masterfully created sets, has always maintained that he is fascinated by Indian cinema, and the high drama and high tragedy of it all. So it is only apt that the man has made wonderfully kitsch over-the-top films like ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is appreciated for his cinematic sensibilities by India’s foremost legendary superstar, Amitabh Bachchan.
At a specially curated event in Mumbai yesterday, Bachchan was in conversation with the editor of G2: The Global Gujarati, Abhinav Aggarwal.
“The story is quite close to the stories which we make in India. There is a poor man who is in love with this girl. He goes to war and thinking that he will not come back, she gets married to this rich billionaire. Gatsby’s belief in life to create enough wealth to bring her back,” Bachchan said in his inimitable baritone.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan, the film also stars Amitabh Bachchan in a pivotal role, playing a Jewish billionaire. “Baz felt that Wolfsheim suited my appearance. But I feel that we must look above all this when we see a film. It does not matter if an Indian plays a Jewish character. This is the first an Indian is playing a non Indian in an American film,” Bachchan said.
Speaking about the confluence of Hollywood and Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan added: “There are lots of collaborations taking place. We have many Hollywood corporations in India who are interested in co producing Hindi cinema.”
Drawing out the difference in methods Hollywood uses, Bachchan surmised, “The west is obsessed with research. It is wonderful. I don’t think we spend enough energy doing that. Hollywood is brilliant at how they promote themselves. We can’t compare ourselves to them.”
“Hollywood has a lot of money. But I think we are getting there. A great amount of the younger generation is trained in America and they bring back with them a lot of knowledge of how management needs to be incorporated,” he added.