With an inimitable repertoire of films including the likes of Life of Pi, Jurassic World and Slumdog Millionaire in his kitty, every film aficionado and critic worth its salt takes what Irrfan Khan has to say about the world of cinema with a deft seriousness.
When he addresses the root cause of younger Indian audiences gravitating towards western cinema, one simply listens and contemplates.
According to Irrfan, who has carved his name in Hollywood with his work, youngsters in the country are “not watching Indian cinema or TV”.
“If the TV is on in the room, they don’t even come in, they go back. They are watching Hollywood series, films (and are tuned to) YouTube... They are following people on YouTube,” said Irrfan
His voice grew serious when he said, “I sometimes think what are our films doing? I wonder if we are able to engage them (the youth) at all?”
“Until and unless we pull up our socks, we might lose them (the younger audience) to Hollywood,” Irrfan added.
After discussing the core issues, there arrived the need to point out at solutions. According to Irrfan, the “approach” towards creating the content and developing an audience needs to be changed.
“I think the approach has to be completely different. Now the shows we have coming from Hollywood are much superior. We have to cultivate a different audience which is not coming to television.
“For a new audience, we need to have a new approach to make them and a new approach for the channels as well. The channels have to come up with something. If they don’t do it, the digital thing will come. Besides films, Irrfan is no stranger to international TV either. Speaking at a special screening of his film Madaari,the actor also shared his views on the menace of piracy piracy has become a bigger threat to films than Hollywood.
“That’s a huge threat, biggest threat. Piracy is a bigger threat than Hollywood, the way it is leaking online.
“I wish all the film industries of different regions can come together and ask the government that we need to stop it,” Irrfan said.