Movie reviews

Bollywood – we can love it or hate it, but we just can’t ignore it!

I love Bollywood (so much for originality?). Bollywood, a portmanteau of “Hollywood” and “Bombay” (now called Mumbai), is home to the Hindi film industry. It regularly churns out hundreds of movies every year spanning drama, action, comedy, thrillers and any genre you can think of. While films are a medium to escape reality, many of them push the limits of rationality.

While I will always remain a fan, there are some things I can never understand no matter how much I try!

  1. You can fool anyone anytime: Just by dressing up as a woman (Shola aur Shabnam) or adding a mere moustache to your look (referring to Rab ne bana di Jodi) people around can’t recognise you. Never knew camouflage was so easy.
  2. It is very simple to conceive: Sleeping with a man once or two flowers coming together at the end of a song can get the woman pregnant. All those promoting IVF will be out of business if that were actually true.
  3.  Mother is ultimate: “Mere paas maa hai”, gave all temple priests a run for their money. For a mother can solve all issues and is truly the superhero. A mother can literally sniff you as shown in K3G where Jaya Bachchan realizes her son is around.
  4. Rich or poor all girls look pretty: This social message is actually the one I love. Irrespective of your economic status, in movies all women dress up well and look good. They may not be able to afford food but they have flawless skin and their pink lipstick is intact.
  5. Bullet hits and kills a bad man faster than a hero: Bollywood is supplied with special bullets. Whereby a hero can deliver a profound thought provoking message before passing away! But a villain dies instantly.

But the other side of the coin is films are inspiring, evolutionary and breaking stereotypes in many  ways–

  • Women empowerment is here to stay – From times immemorial; Bollywood has provided many women centric movies and highlighted the theme of women empowerment. Right from Nargis in Mother India; Tabu in Astitiva taking a bold stand on infidelity to more recent movies like Queen, Neerja, Pink, Tumhari Sulu and Mom; women are seen in pivotal roles. They don’t just portray bold characters that are the decision makers and independent thinkers but can also be tagged as the so-called Heroes of the movie!
  • Breaking stereotypes in professions – Gone are the days when Businessman, doctor and engineer were the only professions portrayed by men in Bollywood whereas women stayed at home. Nowadays, on one hand
    Dangal, Sultan, Mary Kom and Chak de portray women’s growing popularity in sports. On the other, male actors take on unconventional professions as Saif ali khan takes up the role of a Chef and Abhishek Bachchan a male nurse in Dostana. Ki & Ka took it a step further and did away with the typical gender roles. 
  • Moving away from taboos to addressing many important issues – Dear Zindagi spoke about the issue of mental health. Then Taare Zameen par addressed dyslexia, Phir Milenge AIDS and Ae dil hai mushkil cancer. Bollywood is finally touching upon delicate issues in a mature manner. They are instrumental in creating awareness.

 Any messages that I missed and you would like to add? Share in comments below.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla, and happily SPONSORED BY RRE Studios and SHOWCASE Events.





52 thoughts on “Bollywood – we can love it or hate it, but we just can’t ignore it!

  1. Bollywood is a make-believe world and we should leave our brains at home while watching a movie is what I know of Bollywood. I am smiling reading the points u stated that just don’t make sense..mere paas maa hai, or the bullet for the villain but the hero never dies even after taking 10 shots at point-blank range. The cross-dressing is ultimate and yes all girls are pretty. the flowers bobbing and conceiving at first shot at virginity is priceless. Compared to these there have been very few Mary Kom or Chak de type of movies, isn’t it?

  2. Bang on Prerna. One point, how they managed to sleep with full make-up and hairstyle and when they wake up, everything is intact. Bollywood has served its viewers in many ways. And brought awareness by touching unconventional topics as well.

  3. Yes, sometimes or maximum the time there are things that we don’t like or the plottings are really silly but still, we watch them. We watch them because we enjoy them. Obviously, there are movies that break stereotypes and they are an inspiration.

  4. If you want to understand Bollywood this what I do. I keep my brain to one side and see the movie. Yes you are right about inspiring people. Women for example. Before woman used to stay at home and even if they wanted to work they did not have the courage to do so . It is different. I feel indian cinema is the mirror image of society.

  5. Film is a powerful visual medium. Depending upon how we decide to use it, a film may leave a lasting impression. Most Indian films used to be box office driven, not that there is anything wrong with that, and cared little for logic in the story. It was said non masala films did not make money so no one liked to put their money in those films. These days films are becoming more realistic and reflect society better. What I dont like is a hero taking on many bad men, much bigger than his size, almost single handedly. I wonder if that is possible outside the silver screen where the dice is stacked heavily in favor the the hero.

  6. Yes, I agree to all the points you have mentioned.there are certain things which is hard to digest. But as coin has two side our film industry too have pros and cons. I feel they are the biggest influencers . so its high time that they understand their responsibilities and be accountable for everything they do.

  7. Refreshing post-Prerna, you got me laughing when you said that bullet hits and kills a bad man faster than a hero, or be it any other weapon.LOL.. and to win your love you have to literally like literally fight and win the wars and tabhi bauji kahenge ja Simran ji le apni zindagi 🙂

  8. Completely agree with your title. Bollywood movies over the period of time have undergone a lot of changes with the change in the audience and generation. Now there are many topics which originally would not have been explored or shown in the movies are being shown and then there are some movies which we so hate as there in no story line nor acting in it but still we can never ignore it. Bollywood is a part of Mumbai culture and we can never let it go.

  9. Bollywood is so much a part of our lives. Be it the songs that become so much a part of our celebrations or dialogues that come up in conversations, as you rightly said we cannot ignore Bollywood. Ofcourse, movies also teach us, share a message or act as a mirror to what happens in society. Many movies like Parmanu, Mom, Maatr show us the real world and challenges face. On the other hand movies like Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna & Hamari Adhuri Kahani dealt with a subject that we don’t speak of often – that of finding true love outside of marriage. So yes….Bollywood “hamare ragon me daud that hai” 🙂

  10. Everything has a good and bad aspects. While we blame Bollywood movies for spreading vulgarity and violence we can’t ignore it’s positive side. I would like to add patriotism and history too. Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Lakshmibai, Tanaji, Mughal-e -azam etc. are such examples.

  11. I am a big Bollywood buff; my first ebook, ‘Bolly Talkies, ‘ shows my love for Bollywood. You have incredibly jotted down the pinpoints characters and the movies’ plot and their messages to the society from different genres. I don’t think you have missed any of the corners.

  12. First of all perfect Title and pointers mentioned in the post. I really liked the fact that how a woman can get pregnant by just sleeping once with a man. ha ha. All the hospitals would close if this was true. I was a big Bollywood fan till SSR case. It kind of shook me and after that I have started binging on lot of Hollywood series and movies. I would like to see more movies on social issues and political issues too. Bollywood influences everything in this country so its time to influence for things like suicide, caste, love jihad, farmer issues, politics, nepotism in every field. – urvashi

    1. I feel you Urvashi and agree with your points. Cinema has evolved and hopefully will continue making more meaningful and important themes.

  13. What a delightful read. I am an out and out Bollywood girl. Drama is quintessential in Bollywood and whilst Cinema has seen huge progress yet Masala will always be the key element. And yeah Ma is the ultimate and pink lipstick are epic. 😉

  14. Very well written post Prerna. In India, cricket and movies are something that you can’t ignore for sure. Bollywood has produced some very fine movies which has changed the mindset of Indians. Movies like ChakDe, Dangal, Thappad have portrayed women as strong, competent and equal to men. The women in these movies have inspired and changed the mindset of the patriarchal society we live in.
    But having said this, Bollywood has been that dark alley filled with secrets that are better unknown to us. With SSR murder(or suicide), I have lost interest in keeping myself updated about Bollywood. There are hardly anyone left who actually practice what they preach in movies.

    I feel it’s time to treat movies and the actors as commoners rather than getting inspired and following their actions in life.

    1. That’s true – we needn’t hold actors at a pedestal or look at learning life lessons from their movies. It’s important to understand they are not real!

  15. I agree Bollywood is giving us all kinds of movies. In my house I am the only one who like to watch Bollywood movies. My husband like science fiction Hollywood movies and my kids are same. Loved reading your post.

  16. Love it or hate it, Bollywood is Bollywood. I guffawed at the stereotypes you listed. So true. For every Coolie No. 1, there is a Ramprasad ki Tehrvi. I just wish people gave a chance to movies like the latter.

  17. Yes all that you write sums up Bollywood pretty well. Its a World of make belief ; yet we all know how smitten & star studded we get.
    Though i feel with the advent of parallel artistic cinema more so than ever , we have quite a number of great social / entertainment movies.

  18. The title is perfect! we just can’t ignore it. For any situation, we always come out with a bollywood song, dialogue or situation, hard-core bollywood fans love their movies, Yes fictional and slightly unrealistic, but lets take the bright side and celebrate the good things it had offered to us over the years. Hope it continues to do so.

  19. Bollywood has pros and cons. Yes, when we talk about the inspirational stories then Bollywood inspires a lot and motivates us to do something for society. Bollywood has a strong existence in India which can fill the loopholes in the Indian Culture and Indian society. I like 3 idots which I can see 100 times and a motto “Bachchaa kaabil bano kabil…. Kamyabi toh saali jhak maarke peeche bhaagegii…” which inspires me a lot.

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