Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hooray for Bollywood!

Yup, my India phase continues.
Now I am getting Bollywood flicks from the public library, curling up on the couch and checking out of my American life via DVD.
I have heard about the Bollywood phenomenon; I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
Preparing myself for endless high pitched whining songs, lots of dancing and hoping to catch a glimpse of Switzerland (I had heard lots of Bollywood movies include Swiss scenery) I checked out the above six DVD from the local public library last Thursday and finished watching them last night.
The represents a considerable investment of my time by the way. Hindi movies run around four hours, and midway through the film a screen with the words INTERMISSION pops up...just to give you a chance to catch your breath, go to the bathroom, refill your beverage or whatever.
Verdict: Oh yeah...I am TOTALLY loving this genre!
The movies are all in Hindi, with English translation under the scenes. It is quite amusing that the actors often speak entire lines or paragraphs in English, then go right back into Hindi without missing a beat.

What do like so much about these movies?

For starters, they are romances. The guy falls madly, MADLY in love, captured by an innocent faced woman who is both modest and gentle in her demeanor.

He seeks her out; she is shy, or bold, or comedic by turns. They sing and dance in inexplicable exotic locations (in one movie the couple race away from a religious celebration on his motorcycle, and apparently are able to ride on a boat, go to the alps, eat at Macdonalds, and see a movie together in one evening, and still have her home when the band packs up for the night....he is in the band, by the way...)

While all this singing and dancing is going on (sometimes solo, sometimes large number of dancers also appear)the girl keep appearing in different outfits, sometimes she has four or five outfits in a single song! How fun it is that?

This was the first movie I watched. I was quite surprised to find that the movie begins with a gangster like shoot out which endangers the girl, and allows the boy to rescue her.

I never imagined Hindu people being gangster-ish.

The very end has some awful "Rocky" like scenes of "our hero" being beaten to a pulp but still arising to save his woman, over and over again. I figure the fight scenes are in there to keep guys willing to go see romantic plots.

I sat through the movie smiling like a teenager in love. It sort of reminded me of the old "Gidget" and "Tammy" movies of the '50's.

I thought this one was pretty interesting too.

As the back cover explains, a widower is tasked by his dying wife with befriending his three "of age" daughters and to see them wed.

You want to see old fashioned family values promoted in a movie?

Try this one. It has it all...and I found myself longing for such sensibilities and wisdom being written into English language movies.
The first four movies were pretty lightweight, comedic and just plain fun.
Then I popped in the DVD pictured in the top right hand corner of the first picture of this post, the one with two guys in black and a woman in white.
Entitled Mohabbatein, all I knew about it was what was written on the back: It was the story of Love verses Fear.
Three couples have to chose how they will live: in love or in fear.
It didn't sound particularly appealing.
Ever heard the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover"?
You would think I would know better by now...
This movie was AMAZING!
It is still haunting me.
Bernie joined me in watching it too. We were both entralled by the poetry of the dialog, the beauty of the dances, but mostly by the message of the movie.
How much did I like it?
I plan to buy a copy.
I almost never by copies of movies.
But this one...I want the sound track too.
After watching the movie, I had to know more about it, so I did a little research.
The movie had won all kinds of award. It launched the careers of several of the performers, and the clean shaven guy is arguably the hottest actor in the Eastern film market.
I dare you not to love the character he plays.
I dare you not to love this movie!
At the end of the movie, I turned to Bernie and said "Isn't that the way it should be?"
We both should.
Since it won so many awards, a lot of libraries own a copy.
If yours doesn't, consider buying it online. Trust me...
I guess I am quite lucky; the SLC public library has an extensive collection of Hindi romance movies (and surprisingly, Hindi Horror movies...that might be worth taking a peek at too...)
The library has movies from everywhere: Swedish, Bali, China, Italy, Iceland....

I had no idea that Iceland had its own language.

Did you?


ellen b. said...

I must confess I have not seen it yet. The closest I've come to something Bollywoodish is Bend it Like Beckham. :0)

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Interesting! I wonder if I would have the patience to sit through a four hour movie with sub-titles. But you put out a maybe I will it.

Sara said...

You have certainly sold me on Bollywood....I already had a strong leaning in that direction though I haven't seen any Indian films in quite a while. Too long, in fact. I must find that last one....guess it may be time to reinstate my Netflix account. Thanks for the recommendations.

Vee said...

I believe you. I truly do. I just don't think that I can make my hubby believe you. LOL!

Lovella ♥ said...

Surely not. .about the language.
OH goodness. never cease to amaze me. . .
I'm laughing here. Vee's comment. .me too!. .
still chuckling.

Vicki said...

I'll have to admit I've never seen a Bollywood movie, and I really didn't know all that much about them. I wonder if our local libraries carry these movies?

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