The Bollywood Thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by RayS, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Looks like we've had a few scattered threads on Indian movies and TV, but it was recently suggested that a general, dedicated thread would be a great idea. So here we are!

    I'm thinking Bollywood in the broadest sense, so Tollywood counts, Satyajit Ray counts, Indian-produced made-for-Amazon/Netflix shows count ... whatever works for you.

    I'll start with a shout out for "Four More Shots Please", an Amazon-produced series which has more than a little bit of "Sex and the City" in it, except the city is Mumbai. Season 2 is in the pipeline (Season 1 ended with a quadruple cliffhanger, of course).

    [​IMG]

    So what have you seen lately? What's your favorite? What do you recommend?
     
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  2. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I'm in favor of it!
     
  3. Kossoff is God

    Kossoff is God und der farten blasten from der assen hosen

    Location:
    Chicagoland
    This is all I need to see.

     
  4. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I enjoy a lot of Bollywood movies because I enjoy musicals, and Bollywood seems to be the only folks making them. But, I have a problem with their comedies - for instance gay characters tend to be a type of stereotypical Nelly Western comedies haven't featured in a hundred years. So I tend to prefer historical ones, or romances.
     
  5. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I enjoyed this year's Mission Mangal, about the Indian team sending an orbiter to Mars. The mission was drastically underfunded, and most of the male engineers considered it career suicide, so the team was primarily made of women.



    It wasn't perfect, and as a huge space geek, the science was over-simplified but as a movie for a general audience it was great to see a film about a bunch of engineers accomplish something everyone thought impossible.
     
  6. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Actually, it's not. Bollywood is one of the biggest producers of movies in the world, and they produce a huge range of films.
     
  7. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    This is often true, but there are also a number of mainstream movies and TV programs that are far more progressive. One of the four ladies in “Four More Shots Please” is a bisexual personal trainer who has a relationship with a Bollywood starlet. The male lead in “Made in Heaven”, a series about wedding planners, is gay and realistically portrayed. And this year “How I Felt When I Saw That Girl” was the first major Bollywood film in which the lead had a lesbian relationship.
     
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  8. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Vickie saw that and loved it. I need to find it and watch it.

    I don't really understand Indian censorship, that won't generally allow kissing.
     
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  9. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    The made-for-Amazon and made-for-Netflix stuff seems to exist completely outside of Indian censorship. After two seasons of “Sacred Games” my profane Hindi vocabulary has increased five fold. :)

    When I occasionally watch movies on Z TV (the only Indian channel that Sling offers that consistently has English subtitles), there is a disclaimer on the screen whenever a character smokes, drinks, or commits a violent act. Definitely over the top.
     
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  10. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    Location:
    detroit, mi
    The only Bollywood movie I own is Bride and Prejudice.
     
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  11. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    If you like Bollywood-does-Jane-Austen, I’ll suggest Aisha, which is a version of “Emma” (the same Austen novel that inspired “Clueless”).
     
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  12. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    My only suggestion is maybe having the thread renamed to be something like "Indian Cinema" or something similar as @acemachine26 pointed out in the hip hop thread Bollywood is Hindi/Bombay related?
     
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  13. Ignatius

    Ignatius Forum Resident

    I lived in Florida in the 90s and there was a local channel that would excerpt music clips from Bollywood films as if they were MTV videos. Got me into it.
     
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  14. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    My feeling was that the vast, vast majority of the people on this forum won't differentiate between Bollywood, Tollywood, Bengali movies, etc., but they know the term "Bollywood" as a catch-all, and that it will attract more attention. As one poster already sadly demonstrated, perhaps attracting attention should not have been a goal.

    I've already seen some resistance to the made-for-streaming shows that are largely in English despite being made in Mumbai, as the idea is to attract an international audience from those averse to subtitles (which seems to be 90% of the college students I know). They "aren't Bollywood", despite being made in Mumbai by Indians, to some critics.
     
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  15. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    Completely logical, I look forward to following along.
     
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  16. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I'm organizing a Holi celebration on our college campus in April, and was debating (mostly with myself) about a good choice for a very accessible "gateway" Bollywood film - one that wouldn't disappoint those expecting the typical Bollywood tropes.

    My pick, at least at the moment, is "Om Shanti Om".

    [​IMG]

    Shah Rukh Khan was a recent guest on David Letterman's Netflix show. There really is no celebrity in Western culture who generates the emotional response SRK gets from his fans. The best comparison I can come up with is The Beatles in 63/64. And yet 90% of Westerners have no clue who he even is.
     
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  17. Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson Forum Resident

    Location:
    60302
    I wish we could do away with the term “Bollywood”. I really dislike it, for some reason.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  18. antoniod

    antoniod Forum Resident

    PUSH-A-DADA-MUSH-A-MAMA-WANNA-HEY.
     
  19. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    The one that got Vickie and myself into Bollywood films was Lagaan... Although to be fair we did have to stop at halfway through in order to read up about cricket.
    Excellent choice! It does have that thing where, by the time the intermission happens, most Westerners would think they'd just seen the whole film, and it goes a completely different direction.
    I tried to watch that interview and gave up after about 15 minutes. Letterman really isn't a very good interviewer. I'd love to see somebody like Bob Costas interview him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
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  20. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I watched “Gully Boy” today on Amazon Prime. I have no interest in rap/hip hop but I definitely enjoyed this film. Alia Bhatt, as usual, was terrific.
     
  21. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    Location:
    Austria
    I watched some indian movies this year to get to know their cinema better and the one film that really stood out for me was Swades by Ashutosh Gowariker. Shah Rukh Khan stars as a NASA scientist who returns to his birthplace in rural india. Upon arrival, he sees the terrible conditions many of his childhood friends and family members have to face and uses his financial and educational backing to establish things like education for everyone, power supply, clean water and social equality among the townspeople. A wonderful movie that touches many of 21st century's most relevant topics (without being preachy about it) while at the same time also elaborating on the process of returning to one's roots and witnessing how time has changed the state of things. I really enjoyed this :righton:
     
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  22. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I also enjoyed "Swades". "The educated NRI (non-resident Indian) returns to his village" is fairly common theme in Bollywood films - I don't know that there is an equivalent in Western films.
     
  23. LeBon Bush

    LeBon Bush Hound of Love

    Location:
    Austria
    I couldn't lay my finger on a western equivalent, either. Sadly, most films with a similar premise somehow revolve around an unsolved mystery from decades ago, turning it into mediocre crime films instead of viewing the return as a possibility to get a new perspective on life and one's own origins.

    I enjoy such stories, so I guess I'll have to look for more indian movies with this kind of plot. Any further recommendations? :)
     
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  24. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Another good NRI-returns-home movie is "The Namesake" from 2006.
     
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  25. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Check out Toilet: A Love Story.
    Akshay Kumar tends to make films about social issues, like a lack of indoor plumbing. Women in rural India often have to walk miles in order just to be able to poop.
     
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