Friday, June 08, 2007

Bollywood ya "Bakwas"wood?

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Few months back one of my friends and his family was going to watch the movie “Umrao Jaan” at the theatre. I was telling him that the review of that movie was not that good. For that he replied. "I know the movie is bad. But my wife wants to see the dance and costumes of Aishwarya Rai in that movie and that is why we are going.” This statement sums up the mentality with which most people go for Hindi movies. They know the final product is bad but still go in the name of entertainment. For my friend’s wife seeing Aishwariya’s costume is the best form of entertainment. My friend (a Tamilian) won’t be going for this movie if it was made in Tamil with the same costumes and same dress and most probably he might have told “Why waste money on such a crappy movie”.

If you are a bachelor you go to a Hindi movie to watch the heroine who always reveals more than she covers and to increase your blood circulation to some parts of the body. For a teenage girl she goes to the movie to see the bare chest of the hero and gets satisfaction from that. These girls are also interested to see the latest fashion represented by the costumes of heroines. Very few go to watch a good movie. If they get what they want everyone is satisfied. They don’t care if the movie in totality is good or bad.

I always used to think. What are the qualifications needed to become a Bollywood hero or heroine. To be a hero you should be chocolate faced, should be able to dance well, have a well built body and more important should be in the middle of one or more controversy. The controversy can be created by having links with terrorists or killing people by driving under influence or by changing girl friends every other day. To be a heroine it is easier – be lean, should be willing to show all your assets, should be a passionate kisser and again every other day should stir up some controversy or other. Did I mention you need to know acting to become a Bollywood hero or heroine? The least acting you know the better hero or heroine you become in Bollywood. To understand the dearth of acting talent in Bollywood just see all the movies remade by Priyadarshan in Hindi from Malayalam and compare it with the acting of Malayalam actors in the original version. Then you will understand what I am talking about.

Now coming to the quality of Hindi movies – I agree a “Black” here or an “Omkara” there come once in a blue moon. But majority of the Hindi movies are just old wine in a new bottle. Now the latest trend is shooting all the movies abroad. If one sees all the Hindi movies that are getting released these days and get the false impression that all the Indians have migrated to Western countries he cannot be blamed.

Now why are Hindi movies moving from reality? People who defend Hindi movies argue that movies are a form of entertainment and no one wants to pay and see a movie full of tragedy. They want to enjoy every moment they spend in the theatre and also want the hero and heroine to do stuff which they fantasize every day but can’t do.

I feel to make people enjoy and get the worth of the money you don’t have to move away from reality or shoot the entire movie abroad. Just see the South Indian movies especially Tamil movies. Most of the stories are based on the people/story we can easily identify. You can easily identify with most of the characters in the movies. I recently saw a hit movie “Chennai 600028”. Each and every scene I could identify with my childhood days. If such a movie gets released in Hindi it will be a great flop (remember movie Iqbal). Another movie that comes to my mind is “Autograph”. No price for guessing it correct – if this great movie was ever to be taken in Hindi it will be a great flop. The reason – Hindi cinema audience don’t know what a good movie is, for them more the masala the better the movie.

Nanditha Das, the award winning actress has beautifully summed up about the state of Hindi movies in one of her interviews –
In fact, if you see the Hindi films, which we call Bollywood films, they represent not even one per cent of the Indian population because it is all about South Bombay. Even within that, everything is abroad.
Thanks to my friend Jai Mayil for his inputs for this post.

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Blogger Ajith said...

There r a few movies here and there which U can enjoy.. Especially on certain subjects like corporate world ( page 3 , corporate ) and underworld ( company , sarkar , Ab tak Chappan etc ) I think Hindi movies are a level above the remaining Indian languages...

June 08, 2007 10:25 AM  
Blogger Praveen said...


I totally agree with you.

I think Ajith should correct his statement by saying 'Hindi movies are a level BELOW the remaining languages'. Good Hindimovies are only numberable. But you can list out a huge number of good movies in Malayalam, Tamil, Bengali etc.

June 08, 2007 12:22 PM  
Anonymous sarath said...

Yeah...this might be your first blog where I agree to most of the points raised!

There are other things which irritate me nowadays. The so called Hindi/'Bollywood' movies are being marketed all over the world as 'Indian' movies...they have this award festival called IIFA..its called International INDIAN Film Academy! Mammooty was the only actor who had the guts to go on the podium on one of these IIFA fest. and said this should be called International HINDI/Boll. Film Academy!! In fact he was absolutely right...only Bollywood stars/movies get the limelight in this festival. Also, they have the venues setup in places like South Africa or market the 'Bollywood' movies in these places.An actor like Mohanlal with so many excellent performances in Malayalam, had to act in a Hindi movie(Company) to get an IIFA award!!

There are some really good movies which get released in Hindi...but they don't do well because they don't have a good star cast...ironically most of the people who complain about the poor quality of the Hindi movies also wouldn't have seen these movies because it didn't have any of the khans or bachans!! Few examples released recently are... Black Friday (excellent docu-drama), 1971, Iqbal etc.

June 08, 2007 3:46 PM  
Anonymous sarath said...


There may not be a HUGE NUMBER of good mal/tam movies...but if you consider the HYPE given to the Bollywood for the quality of the movies that it produces now...these other film industries definitely deserves much better HYPE!!


I don't know how many different language movies you have seen to make that statement.
In case you haven't seen, watch movies directed by padmarajan,bharathan,sathyan anthikad,priyadarshan,fazil etc in malayalam(mostly 80's & 90's movies).

June 08, 2007 3:59 PM  
Blogger Jaimayilvahanan said...

I believe Bollywood movies give more importance to Style over Substance. But on the same note, I loved movies like Dhoom-2. As Brijesh had pointed out, movies have to be more representative of the whole country not just NRIs alone. In the Flip Side, why is not any regional language movie able to create a stylish movie. By style I mean look and feel of the movie.

June 08, 2007 7:18 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

can you please tell me what you mean by “Hindi movies are a level above the remaining Indian languages”. If you mean technical perfection you may be correct. Hindi movies have a huge market and they can afford to spend money lavishly.

At least in one post you agree to my views.

I wanted to include that comment by Mammotty also. But I thought that it will be a blog by itself.

Bollywood can make stylish movies because money is not a problem for them. They have a big market while that is not the case with other language movies.

June 09, 2007 1:28 AM  
Blogger silverine said...

You left out the star children who are the only ones who keep getting films even after numerous flops. Newcomers rarely have a chance. I am fed up of seeing a Hema Malini and a Jeetendra clones. Wish fresh faces had a chance. Like Indian cricket Bollywood films have also become a money making industry ruled by some convoluted calculations and business tactics.

June 09, 2007 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bollywood movies are just hot air.
I pity people who pay their hard-earned money to torment themselves with this non-sense. I can't remember the last time I watched a complete Hindi movie - I just don't have the patience.

That being said - I admit I like to look at bare hero chests ;-) And for that I watch the songs & trailers that keep getting repeated so many times on MTV that it creates nightmares. So long as MTV is around, I pay no more to see what I need to see - and I see it at home when noone's watching me ;-)


June 09, 2007 2:42 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

that was a good observation. I never realized that. You are correct. If you are a kid of an actor/actress it is very easy to establish in Bollywood and you get movies after movies even if all are flops.

That was very candid. Most people wont admit this in open.

June 09, 2007 5:43 PM  
Blogger rathi said...

Hindi ,being the national language , Hindi films are promoted even by the Government.Otherwise cant the Govt. impose restricitions that all the films should be shot in the beautiful locations in India.Thereis lot of hype about the actors, tech.gimmicks , music and what not.There are so many Hindi channels.The South Indian population is fairly more aware and appreciative of the depiction of realities of life.The Hindi films are for the masses who want to forget the problems for which they cannot find solutions. So we may conclude that let was watch Hindi films for pure entertainment(technical, songs & locationsetc) and satisy our intellect with our near to life South Indian movies. Finally Films are for entertainment, mental or material.

June 10, 2007 6:13 AM  
Blogger silverine said...

Hindi films are no more just an entertainment channel. The Bollywood movie industry supports many other ancilliary 'industry' like designers, Auto makers, foreign locales, accessory makers etc. The masses get entertained and the classes get pointers to keep up with the Jonses, the Lalwanis and the Singhs :)

June 10, 2007 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Industry makes movies to make money. There is plenty of talent in Bollywood and if artsy movies were to make money they would do lot of those too.

Anyway it is just my opinion.

Vote for this story on


June 12, 2007 5:58 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

@ rathi

good observations

I have put this in

June 26, 2007 2:47 AM  
Anonymous NC said...

im sure u wud like to comment on the extraordinarily "realistic" rajnikanth movies as well?? pls dont generalise! each industry has its own pros and cons. the hindi movie industry is aware of what the audience wants to see and churns out movies accordingly. and the last 6-7 yrs have churned out amazingly off-beat and realistic hindi movies as well..

August 16, 2007 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sivaji was not only pure entertaining but did have realistic themes. So that was good, but i liked the previous movies with rajinikanth where its purely his style in every aspect of the movie. Whereas in sivaji, the makeup, wigs, and getups that rajinikanth wore especially in the "style" song reminded me of current hindi hotshot actors.

November 06, 2007 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why bollywood has dozen of awards each year, all of them have the same concept wher juries/members of awards choose nominees and fan chooses the winners. The nominees, not suprisngly, are the same in all those awards even in jury based awards w/o fans in the case of filmfare for hindi movies. Yet according to bollywood directors and artists, national awards are of no interest to them. I don't why is that, b/c more south indian and other language film based industry besided bolly are winning more awards than them?

November 06, 2007 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Shekhar said...

I want to share my view about the Indian Movies
Whether its a Hindi movies or a Any another Regional movies doent matter.
Probably indian movies are having second largest viewership after Hollywood

We have lot of stries in our litrature or from our daily life
Ex: Lagan, LIFE in a Mero, BLACK but these movies are exceptional and can be counted on fingures
Most of the india movies I believe they are suffering from some kind of inferiority complex kind of thing
or they are trying that only indians should watch indian movies, They dont really
want to carry the good things of india ex music culture relationship or any thing.

I was watching a serial on the E4 (UK channel) and a promo of a UK serial
was on the TV,The music was similar to the sound track of shahrukh Khan's DON's movie

I told them this music is from A boolywood movie, they told that it is from an english song
They have stolen it.
Yeah They have stolen it, this is not the first time they are stoling music form
the english song tracks (example Deewar Hey BABY lots more hat off to annu malik kind of music directors)
hoping that the public in india will be haapy and wont notic that.

But they are not doing any good for the India Image worldwide

And Indian movies suffering from the Street dansing hysteria see
any movie ex AASIK BANAYA APNE or any damn Indian movie you can see the
foriegners staring them like wathing Monkey or charmer show on streets,

Good work Indian directors Making India shning

and third regional movies Shiwaji was a SUPERHIT
the story is he dont like his skin colour (what a theme)
anither one i have seen a hero was sitiing still on his tractor after that
he was sorrounded by lot of enemies alsoon the tracters so he
taken a hugh jump with his tractor passing over athor trackters
I think most super bikes won't be possible to do that. But tracker was made
in India so any thing is possible.

India is having lol of talent, viewewrship money offcourse
Why they can't make movies rationally on the logical subjects.
If this wont change other will treat Indian movies as B grade Lousy stypid vedios.

December 11, 2007 1:15 PM  

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