Academy award-winning composer Mychael Danna feels the way Indian films work, it is often difficult to break out of the commercial trappings and do something different. Mychael, who bagged the 2013 Oscar and Golden Globe for his score for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, has composed for films like Water, Monsoon Wedding, 500 Days of Summer, “Little Miss Sunshine” among others.
“There is a sort of commercial censorship in India, there is a very specific formula that has been successful for 60 years, or however long it is. To break out of that is a difficult proposition in this culture,” Mychael told. The award-winning composer says with the digital space now, there is a lot of scope for filmmakers to showcase their movies and in turn put “diverse” content across the board which is without any trappings.
“There are various platforms for delivering films now, which means things are more free, you can shoot a film on your phone and people will be able to see it. The means of delivery has changed today. In this, there are more chances and ability for the diverse voice of India to be heard within all the commercial
world,” he added.
The Good Dinosaur composer was among the jury of 18th Jio MAMI Mumbai International Film Festival with Star. Mychael, 58, says his views on the commercial formula of Indian films “is not a criticism” as he himself enjoys them. “I love that formula too, we all love watching those films. If you watch these 11 films that we watched (at MAMI), you’d realise there are so many different ways of looking at films, so many purpose of films and they can still be funny, sad, exciting, without being in that formula.”
According to Mychael, the diversity in people within the country is very well reflected in “more and more” films being made today. “The fact is, an average man or woman in India, from top to bottom is not the same. There is diversity and it should be reflected in the film community. It is there and you can see it more and more.” Mychael feels it all boils down to right distribution, as he believes there are many people in India who are equally willing to watch off-beat films but don’t get the opportunity to do so. “To me, it is a matter of distribution. There are so many people who would love to see these films if they could. I hope they get that chance, hope festivals and awards like these help it become a reality.