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Sean Connery, now in Tamil!
Arthur J Pais |
August 11, 2003 13:13 IST
Sean Connery uttered a few Hindi words in the recent The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Soon, you will hear him speak in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu as the dubbed version of his James Bond classics will roll out across India.
In the four decades since the debut of James Bond movies, the super spy who loves glamorous girls and excels in dangerous missions has been dubbed into over 25 languages ranging from Finnish to Brazilian Portuguese.
Now, Connery and his successor Roger Moore will be declaring, "My name is Bond. James Bond," in three Indian languages.
Ashok Amritraj, who recently acquired the rights to dub the vintage Bond hits into three Indian languages, might have begun thinking about it while playing tennis. Every time Amritraj played tennis with the current Bond Pierce Brosnan whom he admires greatly, he says he could not help recalling Sean Connery and Roger Moore.
"For many people, Pierce is James Bond," Amritraj says, chatting over the phone from his Hollywood office. "I love him in the Bond movies, but I also remember with great nostalgia the films of Sean Connery and Roger Moore. They had tremendous charm and they were very entertaining."
While growing up in Chennai, he loved watching old and new Hollywood movies. "I would not have been in the movie business and in Hollywood but for those movies," says Amritraj, whose latest hit, Bringing Down the House, has grossed over $180 million worldwide.
"Like in America, the younger generation in India does not know the early James Bond movies," he says. He also believes the older generations who have grown up watching many desi imitation films such as Farz, the film that made the careers of Jeetendra and Babita in the late 1960s, will be drawn to the original spy adventures.
By dubbing such films as the 1977 Roger Moore Bond hit The Spy Who Loved Me into Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, he says, a very wide section of the audience, especially the new generation, will discover the classic action films.
The Bond movies still thrill, he says, even if one has seen the recent high cost sci-fi films. If the venture succeeds, he intends to dub the movies into more languages, including Kannada and Bengali.
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"Commercially, the time I have spent on this venture is far, far less rewarding if I used it (the time) in Hollywood," he says with a chuckle. "But I am doing this (distributing Bond movies) more for the fun of it. In a way, I am reliving my young days in Madras [as Chennai was earlier called]."
"People get to see these films on the television," he says. "But seeing them in theatres is quite an experience." He is aware that people have begun going back to the theatres to see movies, in a significant way, in India.
He says he has approached the venture "cautiously." If the response is very good, he says, he would go for dubbing many more films from the Metro Goldwyn Meyer library. "It is one of the richest film libraries anywhere in the world," he adds.
He is also considering dubbing many action-packed films including the early Clint Eastwood films for exhibition in India. "Whenever I see old films on Turner Classic Movies, I admire their timeless appeal," he continues. "And I wonder can we have this film dubbed in India?"
He would also like to take classic dramas such as The Magnificent Ambersons to India.
The dubbing of the Bond films so far is "excellent," he says.
"I have seen my own films dubbed into French, Italian, German and many other languages," he continues. "I would say the dubbing done in Chennai is as good as the one you could find in Hollywood."
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