I love Bollywood. With all its ups and all its downs, with all the movies, good and bad, I love watching most Hindi movies. Yes, they are corny and cheesy most of the time. Spicy and masaale-daar even. And every other week they tend to insult your intelligence with lame jokes, stories or scenes. But I still love Bollywood movies. They make me smile, give me hope, make me sing and dance and laugh.
Why do I dig Bollywood movies? These are my top 11 reasons for loving Bollywood:
Bollywood entertains us
Seriously, this is the number one reason why I absolutely love the Hindi film industry. If there’s one common thread that strings together all films that are released in Bollywood, it has got to be entertainment. Just think where our lives would be if there were no films. We would never get that weekly dose of entertainment in theaters and on television. 6 out of 10 people prefer watching films for passing time and getting entertained. Ever wondered why films made in Bollywood are double the length of Hollywood feature films? I think it’s because there’s hardly any other source of mass entertainment available which manages to enthral audiences in the way Bollywood invariably manages to and therefore, they don’t mind taking out three hours just to watch a movie.
Popular Bollywood music has been around since 1950s and ever since then, the audience for it has increased exponentially. People might not know who the Prime Minister or President of the country is but they will, in all probability, know the lyrics of “Aalu Chaat”.
Weddings, parties, radios, gyms, road trips, iPods, mobiles, ring tones, caller tones. All these things would probably be really dry and unhappening if Bollywood didn’t come up with good music, consistently. Music is the soul of Bollywood. It’s what gives Bollywood that singular uniqueness which perhaps no other film industry has. It’s what makes it Indian.
Bollywood music is definitely one of the reasons why I love Bollywood!
The ‘masala’ films
Like our food, our movies are extremely hot and spicy. Yeah, that’s make some of the super-spicy ones
Tees Maar Khan difficult to digest. Dialogues, music and action sequences – Producers and directors have a tendency to exaggerate these, make them more entertaining and commercially viable at the same time. They amplify the sound of a slap or a punch to remarkably high levels. More adventurous film makers make fine actors pull out hand pumps and use them as bats to fight a wild mob!
Even though they are slowly turning away from beauty into sleazy, item girls, one cannot deny that Bollywood is still a bevy of beautiful babes. It’s a male dominated industry and female centric roles are rare. But we all know who the males are dominated by. Sensuous, sexy and super duper hot. Bollywood babes have never been better!
Dialogue-baazi is just too good
One of my personal favorites. I am a sucker for Bollywood dialogues. Even though they have toned down in recent years, the Indian televisions is replete with old films where you get to hear dramatic comparisons, punch lines and “effects”. In fact, filmy dialogues seem to be making a comeback. Blockbuster masala movies such as Singham and Dabangg had a bunch of them.
Read more : Top One Liners From Bollywood Films
Action-baazi is super spicy
Bollywood action movies are a class of their own. Every classic action movie follows the centuries old formula of the typical Bollywood villain who is hideously crafted, the damsel in distress, and the macho dialogue spitting action hero. Yet, we manage to hold on to our seats whenever a Bollywood action film is released. These Bollywood villains seem to be making a comeback. Look at Sanjay Dutt’s bone-chilling avatar in Agneepath.
Some of the stunts in our films are beyond deadly. This one from Singham is an apt example:
Salman Khan, who is on a roll with his commercially successful blockbusters such as Wanted, Dabangg, Ready and Bodyguard, is the current king of Indian masala action movies. Check out this scene from Dabangg when Sallu’s shirt starts ripping off under the weight of his bulging muscles:
Now, that is Bollywood in it’s pure glory!
We copy everything about the firangs. We copy their clothes, their fashion, their choice of music (we all love Hip Hop, Trance, House, Electro and whatnot don’t we?). And we, of course, copy their films. Inside out. Heck, we even rip off their posters once in a while.
But we always add our own desi ingredients to it.
Take for example, Munnabhai M.B.B.S. It’s clearly a rip off from the 1998 Robin Williams starrer Patch Adams. In Patch Adams, the protagonist is troubled man who voluntarily commits himself into a mental institution. However, in our version, the crazy creative doctor ain’t some psychotic. He’s a local goonda who’s made his parents believe that he is in fact a reputed doctor running a charitable clinic. When his folks find out, their heart is broken and abandon him. But he vows to become a doctor and have fun at the same time.
The topic of pyaar
We are suckers for love stories and this shows in all Bollywood movies. Comedy, drama, action, fantasy, romance, thriller. The theme of love is woven in Bollywood movies across all genres. Out of the last few good movies that have released in 2011 and now 2012, The Dirty Picture, Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl, Don 2, even Players (it’s good if you compare it with strange movies such as Lanka, Pappu Can’t Dance Saala, etc) – All of them had a strong love angle in them.
I like about Bollywood films – this pyaar ka factor brings in a lot of cheesy fantasy and optimism in our lives. It gives us hope that even we will fall in love and live happily ever after.
Extremes in stories and impacts
Bollywood doesn’t always come up with masaale-daar films meant to satiate our hunger for entertainment. Filmmakers often come up with hard hitting cinema which totally open our eyes. If we have trashy comedy films such as Housefull and Tees Maar Khan, we also manage to come up with genuine satire such as Peepli [Live] and Phas Gaye Re Obama.
If Salman Khan can manage to churn money with an idiotic Ready, Aamir Khan can better him with mindful movies with moral messages such as 3 Idiots. While we have a song such as Sheila Ki Jawaani which takes the nation by storm and makes people take up dancing lessons, we have a film such as Rang De Basanti which empowers them to rise up to a cause and fight for justice! If more filmmakers had a conscience which wasn’t ruled merely by money and sex, we would have a better country I think. That’s the impact Bollywood films can have on us.
The Bollywood Triumvirate of the Khans
Hollywood has Brad Pitt, Leo Dicaprio and Tom Cruise. And we have our Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan. Funny coincidence or what? There are three leading actors in each film industry and all three have been around since the 80s. And they’re still on top of their game. For all the crap of Bollywood, one of these Khans invariably comes up with a film that pulls us right back up. They support charities, dance at marriages, help in sending socially significant messages and do a whole bunch of things which makes a difference to a lot of lives. Isn’t it just (insert powerful adjective here) that we have em?
Selling dreams and fantasy
In a country where millions live on the roads, die of hunger and cold, cannot get 2 square meals a day, how do they still manage to have smiles on their faces?
I think Bollywood films help all these unfortunate souls get on with their lives with that priceless smile. After a hard day’s work, of fights and arguments, of grabbing and pushing through lines and offices, when they come back home, they have something which puts a bright smile on their tired faces. A simple, cheap medicine which transports them to a totally difference universe, helping them forget all their present worries and problems. Many get drunk and sing and dance to tunes from old Hindi movies. They get a chance to dream and live in a fantasy – even if it’s for three hours.
And that’s why I love Bollywood!
There is something about Bollywood films which Hollywood films just don’t have. Hollywood is colder, more precise, less flexible and adjusting. Bollywood on the other hand is freeform, very warm and welcoming to change (our doors are always open to foreign actors!). If you prod beneath the surface, you realize that Bollywood films characterize a lot of essential traits of India. It is totally messed up on one hand – noisy, idiotic, senseless, chaotic, sleazy. On the other, it is cheerful, warm, colorful, happy, hopeful.
What do you think? Why do you love/hate Bollywood? Please share with the film community in your comments below. Oh and if you liked reading this piece, do share it with your friends on Facebook. I’d really appreciate it!