Acclaimed actor Kabir Bedi, who has featured in international projects like The Bold and the Beautiful and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, says the culture of song and dance in Indian cinema is its USP.
“With corporatism coming in, films are being made more in an American kind of style here which wasn’t the case earlier. Back then, we used to take a long time to make films and today we are making them much faster. But the differences have narrowed a lot,” said the 69-year-old actor.
“In terms of special effects, Hollywood is better but in the variety of content, our cinema is expanding fast. What makes Bollywood unique is its use of song and dance. That is respected a lot today. Nobody can do song and dance better than Bollywood. Not even Broadway,” he added.
Talking about the song and dance sequences, the veteran actor also shared that currently, the young crop of filmmakers are making more realistic films which can be understood by the global audience.
“It is not just about singing and dancing around trees, but younger people are making more realistic films and those which appeal to international audiences,” said Kabir.
The actor, who has been in the industry for over four decades, launched the DVD of his popular Italian TV series Sandokan in India — the show was a massive hit in Europe and Latin America in the late 70s.
Asked if the content of films has gone down as compared to the old era?
“I have been in the business long enough to know that in every era we have made good films and we have made bad films. But the only thing is, the films of the old era… we remember the ones which were good, not the ones which were bad,” the actor said.
“It seems that we have made more good films in the early days, but it’s not true. Ten years from now, we will look back and see that we have made as many good films today, as we had before,” he added.
With more and more film festivals springing up across the globe, Kabir believes that it is a good platform for filmmakers of different countries to meet one another.
“The more film festivals there are, the better it is. These festivals are great also because filmmakers meet each other and talk… People think that we are in the same industry so we meet each other; we don’t. Meeting filmmakers from other parts of the world leads to interesting ideas and collaborations,” he said.
“It’s the joy to know people in the community and also by having film festivals in a city, people get to see different kinds of films,” Kabir added.
Talking about his upcoming projects, the Octopussy actor believes that “talking about something in the pipeline can end up in the drain”. He added, “It’s best that I talk only about the tangible as here it’s more words than actions”.