This is the kind of film that changes the international public's opinion in regard to Bollywoodian motion pictures.
While Slumdog Millionaire essentially presents the central character as he undergoes a series of adventures filled with intense colors and feelings coming straight from the slums of Mumbai, most Bollywoodian films focus on concepts such as dancing, singing, and surreal stunts performed by characters that appear to have supernatural powers. These are the motion pictures that are generally associated with the Bollywood film environment.
In contrast to Slumdog Millionaire, Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island puts across elements characteristic to Western culture in general. The film relates to concepts such as the Second World War, Nazi prisoner camps, and American cultural values. It is basically the result of some of Hollywood's most renowned individuals and it manages to address an international public without actually focusing on the importance of the actors playing in it, as it is actually concentrated on the storyline.
With Scorsese directing it and Ben Kingsley and Leonardo DiCaprio starring in it, Shutter Island is a typical Western film addressing an international public and using elements that are Western in character, but that are likely to have people coming from diverse backgrounds identify with the characters and their experiences. This film is not necessarily meant to be American or Western, as it simply follows a recipe that is considered to be effective in the case of individuals who want their motion pictures to receive support from viewers. It uses a clever script, efficient filming techniques, and renowned characters, virtually having everything that it needs in order to attract crowds in large numbers. This is why Hollywood is in some cases better than Bollywood: it has access to a wider range of renowned actors, directors, and film crews.
When considering both Shutter Island and Slumdog Millionaire, one is likely to think that they are similar because of the fact that they employ suspense, adventure, and intrigue with the purpose of captivating audiences. However, these two films are different because of the traditions that they follow, the name of the actors playing in them, and the fact that the international public is more probable to express interest in a film made in Hollywood than in one made by the Bollywoodian film industry. Bollywood experiences significant detriments as a consequence of the fact that people have come to associate it with the concept of a cheap Hollywood. As long as it will continue to produce films like Slumdog Millionaire, the Bollywoodian film business is going to experience success in the future and recognition from the public. However, this would practically mean that it would deny the local public the right to be presented with films that it enjoys. It is thus a question of interest: does Bollywood want to address an international public or does it want to stick to making films meant to be appreciated by audiences that are predominantly Indian? It is certainly difficult to determine whether Bollywood would mature through making motion pictures for an international public or whether it would simply lose its uniqueness.
All things considered, Bollywood has proved itself capable of rivaling Hollywood and it has a lot of chances to surpass the Los Angeles giant if it continues to concentrate on making films that can be appreciated both by Indian audiences and by international viewers. Even with that, the fact that Hollywood has the resources and the tradition needed to provide people with some of the best films available makes it increasingly difficult for a national film industry to compete with it.
Desai, Jigna, Beyond Bollywood: The Cultural Politics of South Asian Diasporic Film (New York: Routledge, 2004)
Khatami, Elham, "Is Bollywood coming to Hollywood?," Retrieved December 5, 2011, from the CNN Website: http://articles.cnn.com/2009-02-23/entertainment/bollywood.hollywood_1_indian-cinema-french-new-wave-cinema-mumbai-based?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ
Tyrrell, Heather, "24 Bollywood vs. Hollywood," Culture and Global Change, ed. Tracey Skelton andTim Allen (London: Routledge, 1999)
Dir. Danny Boyle. Slumdog Millionaire. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures (U.S.).
Dir. Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island. Paramount Pictures