Bollywood: The invasion has begun

When Slumdog Millionaire wins the Academy Award for Best Picture on Sunday night, it will mark the beginning of a new and exciting change in Hollywood; Bollywood cinema will finally gain mainstream attention in the United States.

Slumdog Millionaire is by no means a Bollywood film; it is a British production directed by well-respected filmmaker Danny Boyle. In fact, the closest Slumdog comes to being a Bollywood film is during the musical number that closes the film. What this final dance sequence does is introduce Western audiences to Bollywood cinema without really telling them much about it. Absent is the melodrama overload, erotic sexual tension between main characters, brilliant colors, lavish sets and elaborate choreography. Still it is enough to intrigue audiences into wanting to see more Bollywood.

So why Bollywood now? These films have always been more popular internationally than Hollywood cinema, but it is nearly impossible to find Bollywood in the United States. But with a growing economic crisis, serious dramas will be tossed to the curb. Audiences, seduced by Slumdog Millionaire, will quickly discover the fantastical wonder that is Bollywood cinema.

Entertainment Weekly has already reviewed Chandni Chowk To China. It received a D-rating and was declared the first post-Slumdog Bollywood film to hit the US. If this review is any indication, we will start to see more Bollywood films in the US. And maybe, hopefully, they will be taken seriously.

Source: The Mount Holyoke News, A&E

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3 thoughts on “Bollywood: The invasion has begun”

  1. “it is nearly impossible to find Bollywood in the United States. “

    I’d argue that point.

    Bollywood films have played in major multiplexes for the past few years. In Springfield, they’ve played at both the National Amusements multiplexes in West Springfield and the Eastfield Mall. The National Amusements theatre (that recently closed) in East Windsor CT used to devote two screens to the latest films. I think they are probably still in Hartford as well.

    I once drove all the way down to Hartford to one, only to find early in to the film that it was being shown without subtitles, and I don’t know Hindi. The film was fun even without knowing the dialogue.

    There are countless DVD sites out there that sell Bollywood DVDs. One of the great things about them is they are usually only around $5 each, for a big 3 hour musical.

    Not to mention Netflix which has probably thousands.

    So, they are out there.

    The sad thing is that most Bollywood films have a lot more style than SLUMDOG (which I did NOT care for). If this is how people learn about Bollywood, it isn’t a good introduction.

  2. I completely agree. I did not care for “Slumdog” either but I’d rather people get some sort of introduction to Bollywood than none at all. I really believe that once someone sees “Slumdog Millionaire” they are more likely to see a Bollywood film, then never at all.

    Yes, you can find Bollywood films in US theaters. But only in very select locations. The places you mentioned are metropolitan areas, where there are wider film selections. I happen to live near an area in northern New Jersey where there are scores of cineplexes dedicated to Bollywood films. This is primarily because there is an audience (i.e. an Indian American population) who will see these films. However, the average American viewer – the audience that Hollywood films are geared towards – will not go out of their way to see a Bollywood film.

    When I discussed the availability of Bollywood films, I was NOT disussing online accesibility, which is completely different than actually going to the movies. So while you can rent thousands and thousands of Bollywood films from netflix, again, the average American moviegoer will not add “Devdas” or “Main Hoon Na” or “Naseeb” to their queue over “Quantum of Solace” or “The Dark Knight”.

  3. Damn Bollywood anyways, we fighting against them. :)That started with our Manifesto. However, on a brighter note, Slumdog has more style than most routine Bollywood film produced in years using the same theme and ingredients.

    No wonder it pissed- the- fuck- out of the film fraternity here to see the film nominated. Great anyways, though I’m sacred soon we will see more Slumdog clones in India.

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