Sunday, April 5, 2009
If you've never seen a Bollywood film, rent one right now.
Irresistible pop beats and cheerful dancing appear out of nowhere. The main character will passionately burst into a mournful song on a crowded train and nobody around him or her will bat an eye. Oh, and the sarees bursting with tropical colors and romantic pinks will take your breath away.
I have to admit though, I have a personal interest in promoting the Indian cinema. My grandfather was a film producer and screenwriter in Bombay for 40 years. He produced films starring Nutan Behl and Amitabh Bachchan. My dad and his siblings grew up on films sets and attended elaborate weddings of Indian movie stars. It sounds like the perfect life to me, but my dad grew up pretty unhappy. His father was never around. His siblings grew up spoiled and arrogant. As soon as he finished college, my dad took off to the U.S. for graduate school and became a physicist.
And he hates Bollywood films. He thinks they're silly and unrealistic.
That's why I love Bollywood films so much. They remind me of old Hollywood musicals--the kind people watched to get away from life. My life sucks and if I wanted to watch dismal reality, I would just turn off the television and live it. But I want to lose myself in a magical world where it's okay to break out in song and dance when you're happy. Where everyone is beautiful and rich. Where hilarious things happen all the time.
Oh, and here are a few suggestions:
Bride and Prejudice
Fashion (not a musical, but still pretty fab)