I have a friend who, along with her mom and sister, enjoy watching some Hindi films.
I have not yet gotten a chance to watch any of them, but I have been wanting to since they first mentioned it.
Because they had seen a few films, I had the most minimal knowledge of Hindi Film. Really, this means that my knowledge extended to, ‘The women sing in very high falsettos, and the same guy is in every film’.
I can explain the reason for the second one, now that I have read this book. It has to do with many factors, including what makes a ‘good’ movie in India, as well as connections between actors, directors, family, etc.
I am very interested in the Arts, and I also love seeing things be analyzed and explained. History about how things came to be the way they are is also welcome.
Don’t Call It Bollywood had all of those things.
It explained why the Hindi Films are so different from our Western ones. It gave a few of the differences as examples.
Hindi films also use a lot of symbolism. After watching many of these movies, you come to recognize certain recurring symbols. These may give insight into a character, or they may forewarn you of upcoming trouble in the plot.
I could tell you a lot more about the Hindi Film universe after reading this, and I am very glad that I was able to read this book before actually watching any of the films. Now, when I do watch one, I will be better able to understand and appreciate it.
And that is what the author wanted when she wrote this book. She wanted peopel to have an appreciation for what is commonly called ‘Bollywood’. Only that isn’t the best name. Because, even if it isn’t intentional, the name tends to degrade Hindi Films, insinuating that the entire franchise is a Hollywood knockoff.
It isn’t. Hindi films may be different, and very different, from Western films, but not because they aren’t as good. It is simply that India has a culture different from ours, they look for different things in their films. In India they have a different basis for judging whether or not a film is ‘good’.
They aren’t a Hollywood knockoff. And that is why we shouldn’t call it Bollywood.
~~ Giveaway ~~
The publisher has given me an e-book copy of Don’t Call it Bollywood to giveaway to one of my readers! I’m running the giveaway through Rafflecopter; click here to go to the giveaway page.