Hollywood and Bollywood Offer Similar Dosages of Realism and Escapism

Bollywood’s elder statesman, actor Amitabh Bachchan, and his daughter-in-law, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who has had some crossover achievement in the West, will be the two Indian film stars most frequently interviewed by foreign media, and condescending Western reporters often inquire them why Bollywood isn’t going to make “serious” or “realistic” movies, to which they tiredly reply that Bollywood is “escapist cinema.” I can’t blame them for offering reporters the answer they want to hear. The Bachchans are most likely trying to be polite and diplomatic because they’d love to acquire new followers in the West. Or possibly they’re just sick of explaining what appears to become a baffling notion to Western critics: enjoyment is supposed to become entertaining.

But Bollywood movies are not all entertaining and frivolity. What could possibly be a lot more significant and grounded in the reality of most people’s lives than finding really like and creating relationships function? Or how about struggling to resolve domestic issues and religious differences that tear families and communities apart? The clash between tradition and modernity is another preferred Bollywood theme, as will be the expertise of Indian emigrants. Indians are fiercely proud of their culture and so they want to safeguard their values-just as American values are crucial to us-and movies are vehicles for asserting the that means of individuals values and exploring their relevance.

So the declare that Hollywood is practical because it focuses within the marginalized and degenerate and that Bollywood isn’t because it focuses on distinct social realities isn’t going to make any sense. And practical or not, on a simple level, all enjoyment is escapist-otherwise, what could be the point?

In the event the film, The Wrestler, as an example, is practical, then I’ll need to get Hollywood’s word for it because I don’t know any washed-up professional wrestlers, and I’ve no concept if Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of the narcissistic drug addict in Rachel Acquiring Married is spot-on because I don’t hang out with any person like that. And but, I watch these movies and enjoy them-but not due to their realism. Rather, they’re a departure from my typical, ordinary existence. And likewise, the main reason I really like Indian movies is because they’re so distinct from my American existence.

In August 2003, Time magazine reporter (and Bollywood fan) Richard Corliss wrote: “Movies give audiences what they don’t have. Within the U.S., an economically cozy nation, movies often deal with existence within the edge: danger and deprivation are glamorous to those who have every little thing. Exactly the same, upside down, applies in India: it is a bad nation, so the film picture is of the middle, upper-middle and fabulously-rich lessons.” I realize the latter-why would bad individuals want to watch films about social injustices they expertise every day? However the former, although plainly accurate, is unsettling to me. Locating deprivation glamorous-and fancying ourselves hip and enlightened for it-says what towards the deprived?

Indians weren’t wild regarding the film Slumdog Millionaire, partly because they have been offended through the portrayal of poverty (protesters outside Mumbai theaters carried indicators that go through: “Poverty Porn” and “I am not a slumdog”), but additionally because they discovered the story so unrealistic-preposterous even. Perhaps Indians are a lot more acquainted with the reality that such stories merely don’t take place in genuine existence. Obviously, Americans felt otherwise (myself included-I loved it) because it had been a fairy tale of determination and destiny triumphing over unattainable odds (America’s cultural myth), set within a nightmarish world of poverty (we really like cinematic grittiness)-and it made our hearts soar. Hmm, an emotional fantasy according to cherished cultural values and informed by means of accepted film conventions-kind of seems like exactly the same criticism leveled at Bollywood films.

Have you been looking for a lot more on Latest Bollywood News? Go to Fernando I. Goodwin’s blog page right now and get a lot more data on Latest Bollywood News quickly.

About drewloupsen

Comments

One Response to “Hollywood and Bollywood Offer Similar Dosages of Realism and Escapism”

Trackbacks

Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. Ken says:

    service@seaboard.californians” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info….



Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.