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Just a few days after Anurag Basu’s Barfi was chosen as India’s official entry for the Oscars, American actor Tom Cruise has expressed disappointment at the lack of recognition for American cinema in the East, especially India. Tom is miffed that Hollywood productions have repeatedly been ignored for prestigious Indian awards such as Filmfare, Stardust and Zee Cine Awards. “It’s sad that Indian films and artists have been nominated and have won Oscars but an American film has never been nominated for Indian awards. We are making good films but our efforts are not being recognized. I can’t help but call the juries in these awards panels prejudiced,” complained the actor.
Tom is a popular American actor who has played several important roles, most notable being the supporting role to international superstar Anil Kapoor in MI4. Cruise’s views have been seconded by well known Indian actor Irrfan Khan, who has worked in a few American movies, the most recent being a pivotal role in ‘Spiderman’. “Cruise is right. American cinema is growing fast and the East should look at it differently,” said the Pan Singh Tomar star.
However, Cruise’s compatriot, Sylvester Stallone, who made his Bollywood debut with a miniscule role in ”Kambakht Ishq”, believes Cruise should refrain from doubting the objectivity of juries of international awards like Stardust. “There is a system that they follow and you can not just raise fingers at them like that. US cinema has a long way to go before it can make its presence felt in the East. It is growing, but I doubt if it can make a film like ‘Ready’ or ‘Bodyguard’ to compete with Bollywood. I’m not saying it will never happen, it’s just that our audiences aren’t as mature as yet,” noted the Rambo star.
Meanwhile, the famous Khan troika that reigns over Bollywood has slammed Cruise for his ‘immature’ remarks. While Salman and Aamir advised Cruise to focus on his work, Fardeen termed Cruise’s allegations as ridiculous, saying: “Bollywood can’t be compared with film industries of USA and France. A lot of their movies are plain rip offs of Indian and Pakistani movies. Not that I’ve seen them, but that’s what I’ve heard about them.”
Critics also see this as a desperate attempt by Cruise to get a break in Bollywood. A number of American artists have worked in Indian films before, including singer Akon who tasted moderate success with his songs in Shah Rukh’s Ra.One, but have failed to secure a foot-hold in the Indian film industry.