February 16, 2010

Bollywood Blues

Loved this review of Bollywood.

"(Bollywood is largely estranged from the realities of modern-day India".

"Since the liberalisation of the Indian economy, Bollywood's divorce from contemporary realities has been complete. Pretty-looking films with prettier faces, lilting songs and noisy soundtracks shot on foreign locations are good "timepass" - as they say in India - for most audiences."

Further "the "diaspora film" is partly to blame for killing the industry's imagination. "The diaspora, wants to see an urban, affluent, glossy India, the India they imagine they grew up in and wish they could live in now."

There is more...

"And when Bollywood attempts to wrestle with contemporary issues - like the plight of Muslims after 9/11 - the results can be embarrassingly naïve and comical.
What could have been a gripping film becomes vapid and silly - the professor, for example, is shown teaching a class full of white, American students in an American university in Hindi."

"Bollywood is mythical, not historical. It works at the level of the myth. There is no engagement with history."

"(Bollywood is) essentially an industry of shopkeepers trying to sell their products at any cost".

Here is the full text.