Diary of Hobbitt

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bollywood Movies- Ever so predictable

Like all fellow Indians (well , the majority of them anyway! ) I am also a fan of Bollywood movies. If one has been a regular watcher of Hindi movies (my reference here is to commercial or mainstram cinema ) over the years, one would be familiar by now, with certain situations and certain traits in characters, which are constantly repeated in most of these movies.

The Chase- Talking of movies of 60s and 70s , one very common scene would be the car chase and the arrival of police at the end of the movie when the hero would have (what the police should have done ! ) chased and caught the culprits ! The car chase would invariably have all the important characters bundled into several vehicles (cars, trucks,motorcycles, jeeps, & sometimes even a tonga ! )and following the hero’s car who in turn would be chasing the villians ! The background music would be one of 100s of violins screeching ! ( not playing !) to give the desired climax effect ! The cops would arrive on the scene just in time to wrap up the movie , with the inspector ordering “ inke haath me hathkadi pehna do “- needless to say ,the actor in the role of the officer would have only this dialogue ,which, he would deliver to the best of his ability (in the hope that some director would notice him and offer him the hero’s role in his next movie !).

The Heroine’s costume Yet another oft repeated scene would be the transformation of the very westernized heroine ( if a wealthy one ) into a complete desi nari for a sad scene ( due to circumstances playing the villian and ruining her chances of getting married to the hero !). Draped in a plain chiffon saree she would break into a heart wrenching solo, bringing tears to the eyes of all the female population watching the movie ( most women would mentally make a note at the same time to add a similar saree to their own collection ! ). Being in one such situation myself (during my teens ),there I was crying (and enjoying every moment of it !) watching the scene when I was rudely jolted back to reality by a violent poke in my ribs -the poker being my brother ! ” Stop crying like an idiot -remember this is only a movie and she is being paid to do that and anyway those tears are glycerine induced and not real ” he hissed ! At that instant I decided all big brothers were bullies !

Cho Chweet Kids - The role of children in these movies was clearly defined too. They would be angelic looking and” “cho chweet ” and Precocious !. Death of someone would be explained to them as ‘ woh bhagwan ke paas gaye hain ” so as not expose them to harsh reality of life because of their age. However when a scene demanded it the director would have them making wisecracks way beyond their age ! Exceptions to these stereotypes were movies like Masoom, Parichay, Amar Prem and several others which portrayed children as children and provided a refreshing change .

Ramu Kaka - Bollywood could never do without this character ! Most movies would have this faithful and devoted servant whose family would have served the wealthy hero’s family for generations ! Think all studios must have had a costume for this character in their collection permanently . Ramu Kaka would always be dressed in a dhoti and a Ganji (banian-like top ) with a red checked towel strewn over his shoulder ( always removed hastily in deference, in the presence of the master of the house) . One very ghisa pita dialogue of Ramu Kaka used to be “ beta (ie. hero) maine tumhe apne gandhon me sulaya aur paal pos kar bada kiya “

Bollywood movies have evolved even though some of the above mentioned factors do appear in some movies. Todays car chase has all the latest high speed cars chasing one another. Todays heroine rarely ever wears a saree and neither does she break into soulful singing - the songs in such situations are passionate rather than just musical and soulful. Ramu kaka no longer exists- in his place there is the faithful attendant who is dressed smartly in uniform (Asrani- Parichay , Amitabh Bachan-Namak Halal, )The kids shown in movies toda y are smart, trendy and as mischievous as any kid. (Kuch kuch Hota Hai, Taare Zameen Par, Kabhi khush Kabhi Gum, Cheeni kum ).

However we Indians (and I am no exception to that !) as a rule are quite an emotional and romantic lot & as much as we sit on our high horse and mock at Bollywood movies , we still enjoy watching them- see for yourself the crowd outside any movie theatre on any day, you’ll agree that I am right !

PS- A couple of Americans on official visit to my husband’s company expressed they desire to see a typical bollywood movie before they left !


At 8:59 AM , Blogger s.j.simon said...

I love bollywood songs! Check out this site… it has awesome lyrics from thousands of songs.

At 10:11 PM , Blogger hobbitt said...

Will check out the site you have mentioned . Thanx for looking up my post,s.j. Simon


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