By Rakesh Raman
Friends, lemme share something personal with you. You know, after years of my wait, I could recently realize that I love my country – India. There are not one, two, or three, but as many as 10 reasons that force me to love India. (Read: 10 Simple Reasons I Love My Country India)
When I explored further within India, I found that I also like Indian TV programs. And when I started counting the reasons for my liking, they were countless. With great difficulty, I chose the top 10 reasons. (Read: 10 Reasons I Like Indian TV Shows)
Now you must trust me when I say that I’m an excessively curious soul. On the scale of curiosity, only Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama comes somewhere close to me. So, my exploration about India continues. After all, this is my own country.
After thinking and thinking, I could think about our Bollywood (Bombay-based Hindi-language film industry in India) movies. How can I forget about these masterpieces? No, I can’t.
I started counting again, and counted 10 reasons for my true love for Bollywood flicks.
Here are those reasons:
1. Flexible: You’d have seen top international movies that run in a particular sequence on a storyline. Indian movie makers believe that those movies are not good for you. So, here they prefer not to go in any set pattern. Our movies are so flexible that they neither have any beginning nor any end. You can start watching them from any point without missing an iota of the thing. It’s all plain and simple.
2. Fun Unlimited: There is abundance of fun in Bollywood films. But you must know how to enjoy them. For example, when the actors on the screen laugh even without any reason, you must be intelligent enough to know that it’s a comedy scene and start giggling loudly. If you start searching the reason for their on-screen antics, you’ll never be able to enjoy the film.
3. Formula Films: Creativity in Bollywood films! Are you outta your head? Here we make quick, cookie-cutter films like circus shows. All of them look same – 3 hours, 8 songs, 12 dances. Story? What’s that? These are made in such a way that you can see the first half of one film and the second half of another; you’ll find amazing continuity as if you’re watching the same film. Actors may look different. But they’ve hardly any role to play in Bollywood films. Just ignore them.
4. Inspired Concepts: Some of our film makers sometimes try to create something new. Then they don’t use the traditional formula and don’t want to waste any time in thinking something original. Rather, they get easily inspired by Hollywood. Using exactly the same concept, they try to create a desi (localized) version of the Hollywood movie, and end up making a cheap concoction. Mind you, this is not lifting. This is inspiration to make Hollywood-style movies in India. If you don’t like such a promiscuous mixture, it’s your problem. Our movie makers try their best to give you Hollywood from Bollywood. See, even the ‘Bollywood’ name is inspired.
5. Lyrical: They won’t keep you waiting. Before you even think or blink, they’ll throw you a song that will take you straight to remote gardens and mountains, where you’ll see the dancers (a.k.a. actors) running aimlessly from here to there – and back here. Why songs? That’s a trade secret. But many believe it’s Bollywood’s way to give relief to the viewers, who throng the theatre loos when a song comes.
6. Therapeutic: It’s heard that medical scientists are trying to figure out the reasons of how Bollywood movies cure even the most hopeless hypertension cases. Preliminary studies reveal that most moviegoers can have sound sleep during the movies. That works like a therapy for them, relieving them of any mental tension. That’s why some forward-looking movie makers now add a blast scene, etc. at the end so that all such sleeping souls could wake up and go out of the theatres.
7. Family Affairs: It’s all in the family. Just about half dozen Bollywood families are making hundreds of films every year. As they don’t believe in rivalry, they don’t allow outsiders to enter the film industry. Sons and daughters work in perfect harmony with their parents, uncles, aunts to make films. You’ll often get the feeling that even the dogs and horses that appear in some scenes also belong to these families. It’s difficult to find such affection in any other film industry of the world.
8. Cost-Effective: It’s very difficult to beat Bollywood in the money matters. Hollywood may be spending even in excess of $300 million to make just one movie. Here, we can do it in a fraction of that amount. Bollywood film makers can make a bigger-length film in just 3 million dollars – that also gives consumers ample opportunities to sleep properly during the show without any disturbance. What a deal!
9. Blockbusters: You can’t take credit away from Bollywood films, as they can easily make a fast buck. After spending just peanuts on a film, even a third-class Bollywood movie can rake in some more peanuts. If, say, a $2-million movie earns just $4 million at the box office, it’s immediately labelled as a blockbuster. If your definition of blockbuster is different, it’s your problem. You’re free to change your definition.
10. Award-Winning: Bollywood movies are so good that most in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) don’t understand the true spirit behind them. That’s why none of our movies could ever win an Academy Award (Oscar). But the local Indian film intelligentsia is so sharp-eyed that they can pick out even a ‘dirty picture’ to bestow top honours on it. That’s why Bollywood film people never even try for Oscar. It’s their greatness.
All these reasons have made me a true fan of Bollywood films. And I hope that they’ll continue to deliver the same quality of entertainment that they have been delivering for decades.
But now I am feeling so overwhelmed with the fun of Bollywood films that I have stopped watching them. What’s your idea?
You can also read: More Articles by the RMN Editor, Rakesh Raman