Who better to reflect on two decades of Indian cinema than the man known as ‘The King of Bollywood’ Shah Rukh Khan, a megastar who has appeared in more than 80 Bollywood films. To mark the 20th anniversary of BBC World News’ flagship cinema show, Talking Movies, Khan gave an exclusive interview to the show’s presenter Tom Brook in front of an invited audience in Mumbai.
The Bollywood star discussed his recent films, successes, and failures, the movies he most admires as well as his views on Bollywood and where Indian cinema is heading.
“I don’t think song and dance are going anywhere in a hurry from Indian cinema… singing is inherent in our storytelling style, I think we should respect it” said Khan.
Khan also opened up about poor reviews of some of his recent films, “I think we just made bad films. It’s as simple as that, you have to keep it as simple as that. With thirty years of experience of filmmaking, I cannot intellectualize a failure or a success, I cannot simplify or oversimplify a failure or a success, and I cannot get gung ho or disturbed because of a failure or success,” he said.
On how he perceives the era of streaming and Netflix, Khan said, “I think suddenly you have a platform in India where you actually can cross over… and people are liking it all over the world, and that’s really a huge plus. Soon you’ll find these [Indian] directors and actors getting jobs and calls because people are showcasing their talent on a world platform”.
Talking Movies is the only internationally broadcast regularly scheduled movie review and magazine TV programme. Every month Tom Brook presents the show which includes coverage of major film events including the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival. The Talking Movies team aims to take a global view of cinema not just concentrating on Hollywood.
The programme also broadcasts special themed shows which in the past year have included editions on women and film and how cinema addresses environmental issues. Over the past twenty years, Tom Brook has interviewed most of the leading figures in world cinema including a wide variety of actors and directors. During that time the programme has gained wide respect with audiences throughout the international film community.
“One of the things I really like about Indian cinema is how self-sufficient it is. It has its own industry, it’s a star system, and it really can get along without Hollywood,” said Tom Brook.
The Talking Movies: Shah Rukh Khan Interview Special will air on BBC World News on Saturday 7th December at 17:30 and 22:30 GMT and Sunday 8th December at 04:30 and 10:30 GMT.