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New to Bollywood? Appreciating its art is simply a matter of understanding the Indian unique way of making films. Our primer describes the basics:
What is Bollywood?
Bollywood is a term for the Hindi-language film industry based in the Indian city of Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. Bombay + Hollywood = Bollywood. The name is believed to have been coined by a Western journalist in the 1970’s. Latest Celebrity Wedding Malayalam Many Indians deny the name because it means that Bollywood is a small branch of Hollywood, and in fact, India produces more films every year that attract more viewers worldwide than the US Also, the Indian film industry is older than Hollywood- one year.
Are all Indian films produced by Bollywood?
No. Bollywood is one of the many film industries in India. Imagine if the U.S. It had a well-spoken Spanish film industry that gave Hollywood a chance to make a fortune, or a regional film industry in Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle that opposed LA. Latest Celebrity Wedding Malayalam That is the case in India. The various Indian film industries both deal with language and geography. Including Kollywood, which refers to Tamil language films made in the Kodambakkam district of Chennai; Mollywood, a Malayalam language cinema from the state of Kerala; and Tollywood, referring to both the Telugu films from the Andhra Pradesh region and the Bengali language films made in the Tollygunge area of Kolkata.
While some Hollywood and Indian film industries primarily produce commercial movies, India also has a strong and respected culture of film art, called “the same cinema.” The distinction between commercial and art film in India is stronger than in the U.S. However, that line is starting to fade as Bollywood is exploring artier projects and Indian art films aimed at attracting more attention.
Are all Bollywood films music?
Many Bollywood films include music numbers. Modern movies usually have fewer musical numbers than older films. While the 10 musical numbers in the film were uncommon in the past, four to six are very common today. And more and more Bollywood movies have no music numbers at all.
It is important to remember that Bollywood films are not music in the American sense. Bollywood has more in common with opera than Broadway. The main function of music numbers in Bollywood films (and operas) is to express emotions. Latest Celebrity Wedding Malayalam Broadway music numbers, on the other hand, primarily drive the structure. While Broadway music numbers are included in the narrative, Bollywood music numbers are often not. Instead, the metaphors, taken from the passage, show how the character feels, not what the character is actually doing.
Do the players sing the songs?
Rarely. Many movie songs are sung by actors, who are famous for themselves.
The movie and music industries in India are inextricably linked. Almost all Indian pop music comes from movie music songs.
Why do so many Bollywood actors have the same surname? Is it all related?
Nepotism is common in Bollywood and many actors and filmmakers come from a royal family that has been in the movie business for generations. However, there are many celebrities with similar surnames, especially Khan and Kapoor, who are not related.
How come there is no sex in Bollywood movies?
Two reasons: social and artistic. Physical intimacy on screen is popular in India — even kisses are rare. But more importantly, Indian filmmakers are masters of deceptive art. There may be no sex in Bollywood movies, but they are sure to be unpopular. In fact, it is because no sex is filled with shocking contradictions, which are completely lacking in Hollywood movies these days. In the words of film critic Roger Ebert, “it’s less a matter of 60 minutes to wake up than to spend 60 seconds wondering if you’re going to be caught.” He was talking about Bollywood.
Sometimes Bollywood music numbers take the place of sex, not expressing themselves in any way, but clearly, and by analogy. Characters are often so affectionately portrayed that they suddenly appear in strange places around the world — Egyptian pyramids, canals of Venice, Swiss mountains — places that are not related to the episode but that affect all thoughts.
Why are Bollywood films so long?
First, the Indians were used for long forms of entertainment. Cricket matches last for days. So are Indian weddings. The three-hour movie is by no means the norm. Also, Indians tend to see value. They expect a perfect afternoon or evening of entertainment at the price of a ticket.
But the main reason Bollywood films are long artfully. The time commitment required by viewers increases their emotional investment in the story. (The same is true of opera, which is often longer or longer than Hindi films.) The effect can be dramatic, even for Americans accustomed to short films.
Bollywood movies are declining, however, mainly because there are fewer music numbers than ever before. Whereas three and a half hours were normal, three hours or less is now normal.
What is the main art difference between Bollywood and Hollywood?
One word: “masala.” The concept of remains is the key to understanding Bollywood films. It is a cooking word meaning “bitter mixture.” The making of the Masala film incorporates more than one genre into the same movie, comedy, romance, drama, and drama. The goal is to attract as many people as possible. Thus there is something for everyone in all the films — grandparents, parents, teenagers, young children — because Indians tend to go to the movies as a family more.