Reflections on a Bollywood Experience

Since I took a course on Bollywood cinema last semester I have been obsessed with anything and everything Bollywood (hello, Shahrukh Khan). Yesterday I finally saw a Bollywood film that was not screened in the classroom setting or streamed online for free. I am now convinced that there is no experience quite like seeing a Bollywood film in a theater, complete with a 10 minute intermission and an audience that absolutely adores the film. Unless of couse I was in India and not Amherst, Massachusetts.

Om Shanti Om (2007) stars Shahrukh Khan in this epically fantasic film that is hilarious, romantic, suspenseful – basically every emotion you are capable of experiencing, occurs in this movie. It is an absolute delight to watch.

What is especially fascinating about Om Shanti Om – and Bollywood cinema in general – is how these films are received by different audiences. How this predominantly Western audience, many of whom might now have seen many let alone one Bollywood film, responded to Om Shanto Om is completely different than how the Indian girls sitting next to me. Lets just say I would never raise my arms in complete excitement for Amitabh Bachchan’s camero appearance. I’m writing more on this very topic in the MHN this week, so stay tuned for my more succinct thoughts on how we watch movies.

Until then, enjoy these few clips from Om Shanti Om.

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