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Bachchan: Bollywood needs to adapt

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  • Amitabh Bachchan says Bollywood needs to move beyond traditional movies
  • Bachchan: Indian audiences demanding movies with "greater meaning"
  • Bachchan: I don't think there is a great amount of versatility in my performances"
  • Amitabh Bachchan
  • India

(CNN) -- Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan has told CNN that Indian cinema needs to move beyond traditional song-and-dance musicals amid increasing international competition in the Mumbai studios' domestic market.

Bachchan, India's favorite film star and a regular presence in Bollywood productions for four decades, said that Indian audiences exposed to Western television and cinema expected Indian movies to be "at least on a par with is happening in other parts of the world."

"Technology means the common man has access to the very best in entertainment from other parts of the world almost instantly," the 67-year-old told Connect the World.

He said Indian audiences were dictating that Bollywood move away from the studio's traditional musical love stories to deal with more serious themes.

"We do want to make different kinds of films and I think recent not-so-successful releases have indicated that audiences in India are now wanting to move away from the traditional format of escapist commercial cinema and see cinema with a greater amount of meaning," Bachchan said.

Bachchan said his latest movie, "Pa," in which he plays a teenager with an aging disorder which means he looks older than his own father -- played by Bachchan's son, Abhishek -- was an example of a new style of film with broader appeal which Bollywood was capable of making.

Asked whether he would ever consider roles in Hollywood to show the world his versatile talent, Bachchan said: "I don't think there is a great amount of versatility in my performances."

But he added: "If there was an offer that was of interest then I would most certainly look at it."