Bollywood Hungama
Last Updated 22.08.2019 | 10:09 PM IST



Rakeysh Mehra speaks about his Bollywood documentary from Cannes

The Bollywood documentary The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Shekhar Kapoor was screened at Cannes. Even before its screening in the filmy French town, the documentary had already been invited to four other international film festivals as the most definitive look at Hindi cinema offered in a capsule. And Mehra and Kapoor are still counting.

Rakeysh Mehra seems somewhat stupefied by the spell that the documentary has cast on the foreign critics and audiences at Cannes. “The documentary’s journey started on May 14. After the red-carpet walk, we had our first sold-out screening at 8 pm. Ever since then the curious inquiries about our cinema have not stopped.”

A beach screening of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Shekhar Kapoor’s documentary left the entire congregation gasping for breath. Earlier an indoor screening at Cannes was attended by over 2,000 people.

“It’s been an incredible experience,” says Rakeysh from Cannes. “When we made this film, we had only one target in mind. To connect Bollywood cinema with the socio-cultural events of the country was not an easy task. We didn’t want to put forward the usual Bollywood formula in a touristic documentary.”

Now after several screenings of The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, Rakeysh feels the Western perception of Bollywood cinema is changing.

Says the director who was last in Cannes with his film Rang De Basanti, “Everyone here in Cannes is saying in one voice, ‘We didn’t know Indian cinema ran so deep’. After one screening the press kept asking us questions on Indian cinema for hours. The documentary has introduced to Cannes facets of Hindi cinema that they didn’t know existed…to Shri 420 and Pyaasa, to Shammi Kapoor and the anti-Establishment Angry Young Man played by Amitabh Bachchan. The perspective offered by the documentary is different from the one that Bollywood cinema has so far given to the West.”

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