New to Bollywood? Appreciating its artistry is just a matter of understanding India’s unique way of filmmaking. Our primer explains the fundamentals:
Bollywood is a term that refers to the Hindi-language film industry located in the Indian city of Mumbai, which was previously called Bombay. Bombay + Hollywood = Bollywood. The definition of is believed to own been coined by way of a Western journalist in the 1970s. Many Indians take issue with the word because it suggests that Bollywood is a lesser offshoot of Hollywood, when in fact, India produces much more films annually that attract far greater audience numbers globally compared to U.S. And, the Indian film industry is older than Hollywood-by one year. bigg boss telugu vote
Are typical Indian films created by Bollywood?
No. Bollywood is just one of several film industries in India. Imagine if the U.S. had a thriving Spanish-language film industry that gave Hollywood a function for its money, or regional film industries in Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle that rivaled L.A.’s. That’s how it is in India. The various Indian film industries are generally language- and location-specific. They include Kollywood, which refers to Tamil-language films produced in the Kodambakkam district of the town of Chennai; Mollywood, which will be Malayalam-language cinema from the state of Kerala; and Tollywood, which refers to both Telugu-language films from the state of Andhra Pradesh and Bengali-language films produced in the Tollygunge neighborhood of Kolkata.
While Bollywood and India’s other film industries primarily produce commercial movies, India also includes a strong and respected art-film tradition, which will be referred to as “parallel cinema.” The delineation between commercial and art film in India is stronger than it is in the U.S. However, that line is just starting to blur as Bollywood is delving into artier projects and Indian art films are aiming for broader appeal.
Are typical Bollywood films musicals?
Most Bollywood films include musical numbers. Today’s movies generally have fewer musical numbers than older films. While 10 musical numbers in a film wasn’t unusual in the past, 4 to 6 are far more typical today. And more and more Bollywood movies don’t have any musical numbers at all.
It’s important to remember that Bollywood films aren’t musicals in the American sense. Bollywood has more in keeping with opera than with Broadway. The main function of musical numbers in Bollywood films (and operas) is to express emotion. Broadway musical numbers, on another hand, primarily drive the plot. While Broadway musical numbers are incorporated into the narrative, Bollywood musical numbers are often not. Rather, they’re metaphors, taken off the plot, that show what sort of character feels, not what the smoothness is clearly doing.
Do the actors sing the songs?
Very rarely. A large proportion of film songs are sung by playback singers, who’re famous in their own right.
The movie and music industries in India are inextricably interlinked. Nearly all Indian pop music arises from movie soundtracks.
Why do so many Bollywood actors have exactly the same last name? Are each of them related?
Nepotism is common in Bollywood and many actors and filmmakers result from family dynasties that have been in the movie business for generations. However, there are lots of celebrities with exactly the same common surnames, particularly Khan and Kapoor, who’re not related.
How come there’s no sex in Bollywood movies?
Two reasons: social and artistic. Onscreen physical intimacy is frowned upon in India-even kissing is fairly rare. But moreover, Indian filmmakers are masters of the art of seduction. There may possibly not be any sex in Bollywood movies, but they sure are sexy. In reality, it’s precisely because there’s no sex that they’re full of so much incredible tension, which will be missing entirely from Hollywood movies these days. In the words of film critic Roger Ebert, “it is less erotic to snoggle for 60 minutes than spend 60 seconds wondering if you’re going to be snoggled.” He was referring to Bollywood.
Sometimes Bollywood musical numbers act as an alternative for sex, depicting it not in just about any crass, overt way, but implicitly, even metaphorically. The characters tend to be so overly enthusiastic with passion they suddenly appear in exotic locations round the world-the pyramids of Egypt, the canals of Venice, the mountains of Switzerland-places which have nothing to do with the plot but have everything to do with the limitlessness of fantasy.
Why are Bollywood films way too long?
First of all, Indians are used to longer types of entertainment. Cricket matches work for days. So do Indian weddings. A three-hour movie isn’t long at all in comparison. Also, Indians tend to be value-conscious. They expect a complete afternoon or evening of entertainment for the price tag on a ticket.
But the largest reason Bollywood films are long is artistic. Enough time commitment required of the audience heightens their emotional investment in the story. (The same will additionally apply to operas, which can be so long or even longer than Hindi films.) The effect can be powerfully moving, even for Americans accustomed to shorter films.
Bollywood movies are becoming shorter, though, mostly since there are fewer musical numbers than there used to be. While three and a half hours was once typical, three hours or less is now the norm.
What’s the largest artistic difference between Bollywood and Hollywood?
In a word: “masala.” The concept of masala is key to understanding Bollywood films. It’s a culinary term meaning “spicy mixture.” Masala filmmaking combines more than one genre in exactly the same movie, blending components of comedy, romance, action, and drama. The goal would be to attract as many folks as possible. That way there’s something for all in most film-the grandparents, the parents, the teenagers, the little kids-because Indians often head to the flicks as a family.
Hollywood filmmakers do the opposite-they do super-narrow niche marketing to target the demographic groups they think are the most profitable (and then ignore everyone else). One exception to this can function as the James Bond movies, that have been enormously successful for decades. There’s action, obviously, romance, some campy comedy, and even a little melodrama when James feels bad about his companion betraying him or his latest lover dying in his arms.
That’s not to imply that Bollywood films are masala. Many strictly fall into one genre or another, but even then, there’s often a sprint of masala thrown in.
Do Bollywood actors work in Hollywood?
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the initial Indian actor to significantly crossover in the West. She appeared in The Mistress of Spices (2005) with Dylan McDermott, The Last Legion (2007) with Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley, and Pink Panther 2 (2009) with Steve Martin. She has additionally garnered more high-profile publicity in the West than every other Bollywood actor, having appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and 60 Minutes.
Two Bollywood actors appeared in the Oscar-winning British film Slumdog Millionaire (that’s right, it’s a British film): Anil Kapoor, who played the sleazy game-show host, and Irrfan Khan, who played the police interrogator. Kapoor has since appeared in the hit American television series 24, which stars actor Kiefer Sutherland. Kapoor played a Middle-Eastern leader in the show for just one season. Prior to Slumdog Millionaire, Khan appeared in the English-language films The Namesake (2006), A Mighty Heart (2007), and The Darjeeling Limited (2007).
Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat will star opposite Avatar actor Laz Alonso in the upcoming Hollywood political comedy, Love, Barack. Sherawat will play a volunteer coordinator on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, who falls in deep love with her counterpart on John McCain’s campaign, played by Alonso. Sherawat is also appearing in another upcoming Hollywood film, Hisss, along side Irrfan Khan.