Experiencing Bollywood Up Close

Bollywood is the world’s largest film industry — larger than hollywood.

If you’re not familiar with Bollywood you haven’t visited your local video store recently. It’s huge. A Bollywood film’s distinguishing characteristic is a lot of song or dance. There will be drama, drama, dialogue, action, and then suddenly, a three minute music video. All the characters will start singing and dancing. And then they return to the plot development.

It’s a hoot.

Bombay is Bollywood. One afternoon I went to see the big Bollywood hit "Don" with a blog reader. I really liked it, even though 75% of the lines were in Hindi. Good music, good action, and a twists and turns plot that reminded me of the tv show 24.

The most interesting part of being in Bollywood while watching a Bollywood hit:

a) Old and New — Globalization and the export of promiscuous western culture is affecting keep-your-clothes on societies like India. Don had a lot of raunchy images with women showing way more skin than is generally accepted in Indian society. And yet there were 60+ years old men and women in the theater watching it. When I asked my blog reader companion how they reconciled the value clash in the movie and their own practices she said people just watch the stuff and then automatically bounce back to the old-style culture. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure. You watch in the darkness of the theater and then forget about it.

b) Tech vs Poverty — Nice, nice theater in the middle of a mall. Huge screen, sound, seats, etc. Posh mall. You step outside the air conditioned mall and you face once again the dire poverty. What a clash.

2 comments on “Experiencing Bollywood Up Close
  • I wish you guys would make an attempt to “understand” more and “criticize” less. A country with a billion plus people cannot be as antispetic as the US of A, you are used to. Why bother visiting different places if you are not willing to accept different ways of living………..So typical

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