Bollywood! Why oh why!

I remember my flight from Dubai to India. There was this guy from Africa sitting beside me. We got talking and spoke quite a bit. This was his first visit to India and he was coming to study engineering in Bangalore. After a while, all common topics died and we switched our attention to our personal screens.

As I sat watching for a while, I heard muffled laughter from beside me. I turned to my side to see him positively in fits of laughter, watching his screen. My eyes flitted to the screen and I felt my ears turn red with embarrassment. He was watching Thuppakki. He was watching Vijay wearing the army uniform and dancing with soldiers. God! Such a facepalm moment! 

He told me the last movie he watched was Iron Man 3. He had also watched the Fast and Furious movie. With Robert Downey Jr and Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. And now he was watching Vijay stick his toe out to send a bulky guy flying 20 feet away. Ridiculous! I warned him about movies in my country being full of such ludicrous stunts. I promised him full on entertainment from these kind of movies for the next four years, because of course, the cinema industry isn’t going to improve and stop making such mindless movies.

You know, from time to time, such pointless movies might be fine. It just sucks that mainstream cinema in India is so mindless! I believe that a day watching three movies is a day well-spent, that there is a lot one can learn by watching movies. But if you consider watching Bollywood movies, haha! Watching a cow chew cud for three hours will be more informative. Seriously!

What’s worse is the irony surrounding the whole country and the industry! ALL movies involve romance! Even the most serious film must have a love story in the background if it has to run. Why the irony? Because the country spits on love! If you have a boyfriend you have to hide your love for years until that one day when you’ve decided you’re ready to get married so you can tell your parents about him. Because of course, your parents can’t digest the word “boyfriend”. The word passes through their mind, and gets broken down somehow into “fiance” or wait, “would-be.” Ew! Although this might not be the case in a few families, I’m sure it is in most, at least in South India.

I don’t get why we can’t make some good movies to educate people. Kannada film industry is so horrendous! I feel yucky even writing about it. More often than not the story line involves a hero and heroine, the villain attempts to rape the heroine in a cheaply executed scene (which most definitely gives people cheap thrills) and the hero steps in after half her blouse is off. Plain disgusting! And who watches these movies? According to my cinema professor: uneducated, unemployed lower-class men. So this is what they learn. And people wonder why the number of rapes in the country is always on the rise.

It’s high time art movies turned into mainstream movies. Not like I have watched many. But I did watch a couple movies by Rituparno Ghosh, inspired by an obituary I read of him. Noukadubi (Kashmakash in Hindi) is one of them. Such a well executed love story! It is so full of elegance and subtlety. Unishe April is another movie that speaks of nothing but a mother-daughter relationship. How nice it would be to be able to watch more such movies!

Wow! I’m finding it so hard to even think of a good Bollywood movie to give you as an example. Oh! Rang De Basanti! That’s a great movie! At least has some message in it. I’m basically writing this post with Chennai Express, Ra-one, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and such garbage in my head. Why, when he seems so educated, must Shahrukh Khan make such terrible movies? Think about it, he is the biggest star that India currently has. Imagine he starts making good movies with some solid stuff in them? Like Swades. That was a great movie. Or Chak De. At least with such movies he’s making things click in a few brains and not just providing gossip material about the colour of the pants he wore while dancing on a train in Chennai. Ugh.

I just wish we could watch better movies. So dear Bollywood, a good place to start would be to stop insulting our intelligence and get your mind functioning for a change. Thank you very much.

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