Monday, April 28, 2008

Jackiechan @ audio launch of Dasavatharam

Experience of Jacki Chan in audio launch of Dasavatharam.

"I have just returned from the most amazing and wonderful trip to Chennai, India, where I went to attend the audio launch of Oscar Films’ upcoming movie Dasavatharam.

I should tell you that Oscar Films is responsible for distributing my films in India and has been doing this for over twenty years, since Battle Creek Brawl. It’s because of them that I’m so well known in India and they are very old friends of mine. A few months ago, Mr. Ramesh Babu from Oscar Films and Mr. Vikram Lamba, brother of my Myth screen companion Mallika Sherawat, came to Hong Kong to personally invite me to this function. At the time, I looked at my schedule and winced. I was booked almost every day in April in Beijing, doing public service announcements and other events for the Olympics. How in the world would I fit in a trip to India? But I was so touched by their sincerity, and missed India so much (it’s been three years since The Myth) that I shifted things around so that I could squeeze in a very short trip.

As I told you, the purpose of the Chennai trip was to attend the music launch of Oscar Films’ latest production, Dasavatharam. In Indian films, the music is a very important part of the production, and these events are quite extravagant. The organizers had also added a fund-raising element to it, and I was there to present a check to the charity organizers.

Oscar Films was extremely generous in providing me with everything I could possibly need on this trip. Since I was only going to be in Chennai for about twenty-four hours, I didn’t think that anyone would know of my arrival and I was completely overwhelmed when I arrived at Chennai airport. So many fans and friends came to greet me, and it was at that moment I knew this would be the beginning of an amazing trip.

The premiere event was incredible. I saw so many friendly people, and so many famous faces! Many stars of Indian cinema were there and I recognized their faces, but I didn’t know how to pronounce their names (you know I’m much better with faces than with names). I was surprised and happy that so many people seemed to know me and wanted to talk to me. Oscar Films obviously did a great job promoting and distributing my previous films! I was really overwhelmed and I did my best to talk to as many people as possible. I hope I didn’t offend anyone by not giving them enough attention.

The movie, Dasavatharam, is truly a sight to behold. The story, directing, acting, camera work, special effects, everything about it is amazing. It really opened my eyes to modern Indian cinema. Of course I had seen Indian films before; I admire many of the actors, and really like the music and dancing. But this movie is really something else. Every element was amazing to me; and all the elements together just made a perfect and incredible movie! I won’t spoil anyone’s surprise by revealing the story now, since I think everyone should watch this movie. But I will say two things: watch for the environmental message, and all you directors in Hong Kong and China, watch this movie and start working harder than ever, because very soon now, Indian cinema will overtake us in the eyes of the international audience!

Because of my busy schedule, I had to leave Chennai the same night, after the event ended. I arrived in Beijing early the next morning and imagine my surprise when I was greeted with, “We heard it didn’t go too well; are you okay?” I honestly had no idea what everyone was talking about. I’d had such a thrilling and interesting trip and everything had gone quite smoothly.

When I saw some of the news reports on the Internet, I was extremely upset. One article accused me of ridiculous things like refusing to drink India’s bottled water – they said I brought my own imported mineral water - and of traveling with my own personal chefs because I refuse to eat Indian food. There were also reports of my so-called offensive behavior, dismissing the Indian stars and not talking to anyone. What complete nonsense! I have nothing but respect for Indian culture and Indian cinema, and even though I may not know all the stars by name or how to properly pronounce the names of the ones I do know, this has nothing to do with my admiration for them. And saying that I won’t eat Indian food! Nothing could be further from the truth; I adore Indian food, and in fact had two excellent meals on this trip and was so full I could barely leave my seat!"

I never knew that Jackie Chan would share his experience with all of us. To read Jackie Chan's day to day experience visit http://www.jackiechan.com/message_view?cid=1048

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