This page will tell you why Bollykings.com exists on the internet and why a few excited and troubled souls work hard to make sure that people know ‘exactly’ why movies are important in our lives. Since we’re only but a few, I have chosen to concentrate my focus on Indian films. To make it easier to initiate this analysis of movies in the cultural backdrop of modern Indian society, I chose Bollywood – the Hindi Film Industry. It is the largest, most influential film industry all over India and the trends dictated here are followed pretty much everywhere else I think.
Okay. So I will begin with the “why” first.
The Importance of Movies
Movies play an important role in an individual’s life. They provide a visual source of entertainment. We watch films with our favorite movie stars performing roles with expert skill. We laugh and cry and sing and dance with them. There are times when we are motivated and de-motivated by watching a movie. If you have watched ‘Requiem for a dream‘, chances are you were inspired to not do drugs. You watched ‘Titanic‘ and wanted to love another person as Jack and Rose loved each other. You watched ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge‘ and you craved to be loved like Simran or Raj. If you watch your favorite icon smoking a cigarette, you immediately feel like grabbing one yourself. ( At least one decent act in Bollywood – they banned smoking on-screen).
Hence, movies play a significant role in determining our emotions and thoughts, even if it’s for 2 or 3 hours.
However, movies play another equally important role in the cultural back drop of the society. As it is with all other art forms such as music, dance, theatre and the likes, movies tell us the kind of thoughts and trends which prevail that society. For example, during WWII, Nazi-propaganda movies were a hit; During the Vietnam War, movies which showed the war in its totality, and the peace movement in America led by its youth were being made. Post-Independence India has a host of films which emphasised on the importance of one’s duty to their country. Major events, popular historical figures, accomplishments in sport, war and death, and of course the most important theme of movies across all ages and times, love – Movies have been made and are made which reflect what the society thinks on the whole. ( Read this article in Time Magazine which talks about Movies that have a message.)
Bollywood – An Accurate Measure of India’s ‘Actual’ Progress
Today, only a tiny fraction of Hindi movies that are made in Bollywood (or for that matter anywhere in India) have any value to them – commercial or cultural. According to a statistic, nearly 800 films are produced in Bollywood on an average every year. Yet only 5 or 6 of them make a significant impact or are talked about days after their release.
This definitely proves one thing – that something critical has gone wrong in Indian society. It was probably the effect of the Mughal invasion (which actually was not that deteriorating for India since Mughals considered India an equal home) or 300 years of the British Raj which had such a negative impact on India’s people and society, that the very lifestyle of each and every Indian was affected for decades to come. However, the kind of movies that are made by Indians do reflect the mindset of our society today.
Why do I say that Bollywood is an exact measure of India’s real progress and not just economical growth?
You’re probably living in a city or a small town if you are reading this. I am sure most of India’s rural areas (conservatively about 70% of the population or 84 million Indians) have no access to decent electricity, leave alone a computer with an internet connection. , look around you. Look outside your house. What do you see? A slum or a hawker? A beggar kid selling cheap candies? Or perhaps a cow walking merrily? That is just a glimpse of the real India.
And Bollywood movies have a habit of depicting Indian life as it is. They show all strata of society without bias and sometimes with judgement. In an effort to make better movies, filmmakers often end up showing the ‘actual’ Indian society. This picture is cleverly hidden by corrupt political leaders, but Bollywood does not hide it.
For example, India’s scientific progress has been slow ever since the British Raj and even today, after 63 years of Independence, we rarely have movies with scientific themes or characters. In a country where millions still die of malnutrition, who will want to make films of boring science?
We rarely have hard-hitting movies on our current leaders. Perhaps, this is because our leaders have rarely done anything noteworthy in recent times. Even ‘Gandhi’ was conceived by Richard Attenborough, a Britisher.
Why Was Bollykings.com started?
Bollykings was initially started because I was tired of all the useless reviews lying all over the internet about Bollywood Movies. One sunny day, when I was bored, I decided to make my own website – reviewing and analyzing the trends in the Hindi Film Industry a.k.a Bollywood. Since I was passionate about movies (loved watching them!), I could correctly analyse the good and the bad. Honestly, for every 100 bad movies, there was only 1 good movie. Not that these 100 bad movies were not watchable, but then they were quite mediocre in comparison to that 1 stroke of genius that sparked once in a while.
Initially, I had planned to talk just about movies, reviewing them and telling my readers which films to watch and which to avoid. But the state of Bollywood movies is just too pathetic.
> Out of 700 Hindi films released every year in Bollywood, only 150-200 odd films manage to get a decent amount of publicity.
> Of these 200 films, 100 manage to cover the production costs, 50 earn back their money with a little to spare and 30 are hits. Of these 30, only about 2 or 3 are block busters.
Where is Bollykings Going Now?
Bollykings is going on a different kind of journey now. We will continue to analyse and check Hindi films to the best of our ability. Along with that, we will also highlight the best movies of our times, why they were so good and what should be done by filmmakers to make better movies.
However, we’re planning to bring about an addition to the blog’s objective.
In addition to helping Bollywood make better films, we want give aspiring filmmakers (or anyone who wants to make a career remotely related to films and writing) a platform to discuss and possible showcase their work.
Films show what’s going on inside a mind. An artist’s creative capacity determines how well those thoughts are put on the screen. Now if only 1 in 8 films manages to grab the attention of the entire nation, it would be safe to say that only 1 in 8 individuals is successful. This one film usually manages to make the maximum money, grab the most media coverage, locally and globally, and also manages to influence human thought for more than just 3 hours. Such films, much like books, manage to reveal the dark and pure interiors of our minds and provides solutions to existing problems.
We will try to highlight these movies from Bollywood in the dim hope that someday Bollywood as a whole will listen and realize their responsibility to the nation. If you, by any miracle, feel that you could help us get this message across to our stupid filmmakers to sit up and make better films, please join us, even if it’s for a few hours of your life.
Consider it to be your good deed of the day 🙂
Peace & Love.