18. jul, 2014

Bollywood Heaven

As a child growing up in a grey-skied working-class suburbia town in The Netherlands, I unfortunately had to watch a lot of sports on television. I argued with my father that watching an old Hollywood musical would be important for my emotional development, but alas, my plea fell on deaf ears. So it would be an absolute joy if my parents went out and I had the television at my disposal. Occasionally I saw a Bollywood movie, and after a few minutes watching a bunch of sari clad dancers cavorting on a mountain, I knew I was in heaven. Bollywood Heaven that is. I didn't understand the plotlines half of the time, but that didn't matter to me. There was so much drama, colour, dancing and music, I didn't know where to look and what the hell was happening. Who cares about proper dramas about housing estates and single mothers. I needed escapism. But peeps, there is more to Indian Cinema than just Bollywood. As the years went by, I started to look more towards the regional cinema, for example Tamil and Marathi, who are exploring more bold themes. And yes, I also watch proper dramas about housing estates and single mothers these days. But there is nothing better than watching a Bollywood musical, like for instance Farah Kahn's Om Shanti Om, which is set in the 1970's -2000's, and pays tribute to, and pokes fun at the Indian film industry. That movie really combines the best of these eras.  And although Bollywood is often criticized for their ' assembly line ' movies, I still love and enjoy them tremendously. I wish life was a Bollywood movie.