What began as a comment on Mutiny on a debate regarding Ghajini's effective market penetration in respect to its quality and content, has tempted me to make public my observations on Bollywood and its die-hard, ardent, baying-for-Bollywood-dissenters'-blood fans.
1) The majority of Bollywood is a fool's paradise
No Bollywood fan will admit this simply because Bollywood movies are way too convenient for the common man. Effortless 3-hour packages that give the brain a rest, Ah! Who wouldn't want that? Bollywood is a self-created, self-endorsed world of illusions, where talent eventually matters little(although there are exceptions of course) because the rust in most of our brains tells us that "My son/daughter has to be the next film star, SO let me promote him/her". Nepotism hence rules and although Bollywood families do have sons and daughters passing out of western universities, the majority of those with "acting in their blood" eventually end up with the duty of attending to the "legacy" of their father/mother/both. Few have succeeded successfully, nevertheless ALL co-exist in peace and harmony.
2) Bollywood has infested our minds. C'mon, admit it.
Scampering to download the latest mp3? Adrenaline rushing to watch a must-watch? Fear of ticketlessness haunting you and causing nightmares? Congratulations. You are officially diagnosed with Bollywoodosysis. Common symptoms of this disease include an irresistible urge to talk/gossip/glorify Bollywood during the majority of your day, discussions over latest movie releases, a craving "Why Friday isn't here yet?" whimper, calling Bollywood stars as bringers of change to society and not thinking twice before splashing Rs.250 out in a multiplex stuffed with make-up boxes imitating what they then go on to see on the silver screen. Fashion above common sense? Good Lord, save the world.
3) Bollywood wants peace with Pakistan
Read this piece [Link], of five years ago but relevant today, and you will find a Suniel Shetty giving you How can you not like Pakistan? look. Bollywood finds Pakistan to be a huge market and hence would relish peace, even if they are extremely parochial to ignore the fact that the cause of the turmoil between the two countries is not the Indian state, but the same market where Shah Rukh Khan photos from his Medusa-like hair days sell like hot cakes.
Bollywood celebrities have used WE in conjunction with "want peace" as if cross-border terrorism is a direct by-product of the Indian state's agenda. Bollywood and it's naive celebrities are irritatingly insensitive and I would appreciate their use of "I" before "We" when they want to make personal statements.
4) Bollywood is so smart, that even a flop has enough "fans" behind it to defend its idiocy and term itself a stroke of genius
Bollywood movies sell so brilliantly that even a flop concept finds backers simply because it convinces its viewers of the genius gone unnoticed by the majority. Flops also re-collect whatever was invested and in fact earn more than the capital initially financed.
If you dare to complain as to why such a movie was ever made, the horde of fans jumps on you calling you cynical and obnoxious and insensitive and you become an object of hate. Your senses are automatically termed dumb and lacking choice as you "dared" to complain against a movie and its honorable stars. How dare you!
5) Movie dekhi kya?
Such is the deep impact and penetration of Bollywood, that you are dubbed disinterested and lifeless simply because you do not have a knack for "hanging out at a cinema hall". Bollywood has taken cinema's priorities to embarrassingly low levels and created a masala mountain of a sada molehill. It is so deep in our fans that I can already sense the outrage at this piece. If you do not find it one bit sensible, kindly meet me at a multiplex. We'll "catch" the latest movie in town.
Bollywood groupies also try to promote films themselves so wonderfully. "You are missing something, you know" is what I've heard a zillion times from some of the most ardent Bollywood fans I know. Yes, like I missed brushing my teeth or taking a bath. Both of which leave me not worse than stinking filth.
6) Inflated prices, not just of tickets but even food items
Ever bought a popcorn for Rs. 5 at a cinema hall, ever drank an MRP-priced Pepsi at a multiplex? I don't think so. If you did, then you are extremely lucky that your friendly neighbourhood Multiplexman does not know his salesmanship too well. Prices of tickets and food items have not just touched the sky, but have blown well past it as if they were launched on a GSLV.
And boyfriends making up to girlfriends for having looked at a sexier girl, parents cajoling their children with weekly entertainment circuses(when museums and planetariums are such a wise option) or husbands making up to their wives for a lack of motivated life between the couple at sensitive places within their house are only going to fall for these prices. And fall flat, with a thud.
7) Yes, there is some hope
My larger opinion on Bollywood is what I've stated above. But I never see any fault in movies like Taare Zameen Par and Chak De India simply because of the natural spirit and the essence of cinema that they carry. The kind of cinema for which I would maybe not jump on tree tops like a monkey or practice dance steps of aggressively-promoted songs of that movie but earnestly look forward to watching. Unfortunately, these are few and far between. My other personal motivation is the distraction offered to me naturally at my age. Priyanka Chopra, Mallika Sherawat - darlings.
Bollywood, you are certainly not God. But you are as much a source of worship. If nothing else, at least to keep us perennially amused and entertained.
Even at the cost of our minds.
If you liked this post, you might want to subscribe to the RSS FEEDS