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Pabitra Mukhopadhyay


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What do you think Bollywood is doing to world culture?

For decades, Indian music meant sitar and Ravi Shankar to the west. The mainstream popular music from India, produced by play back singers and artists of Hindi Cinema primarily was of little interest outside of the subcontinent. It was known for its melodrama and garden rains and super human heroes chasing nubile desi beauties with those songs. Freddie Mercury, originally Farokh Balsara, a Persi from Bombay or Cliff Richard, an Anglo-Indian from Calcutta did not appear to have a future in India in the 50s.

70 years down the line, Bollywood stands as the world’s 2nd largest Film industry and a popular culture of a musical and dance genre. So much that Baz Luhrmann’s musical film Moulin Rouge! (2001) was directly inspired by Bollywood musicals, complete with a full song and dance routine. In 2008 another less known American comedy-drama movie Ghost Town featured a complete song sequence from a 60s Bollywood movie in the title track. The same song features in the interesting Heineken Ad, The Date.

The Bollywood is invading the west, they say, in a good way of course. From bridal party music and dance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFZb422DUFE) to Ice Dancing Championships (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRh2dm4Ptls), there is a talk in the air that it is transforming the musical and cultural expression in other countries in a way deeper than one will imagine.

Are we seeing a reverse flow from the time of Freddie Mercury and Cliff Richard?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVWej7iuVNA ??


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=totoO0WBeBc ??

Can it influence anyone from anywhere?

Is it just music/dance or something else?

What do you think Bollywood is doing to world culture?


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    Jul 31 2013: In my opinion, Bollywood is not something I would choose over any other kind of movies. I find it highly detrimental and having a monotonous feel. I bet 99% of Indian movies are musicals and how is musicals fun to watch, it just makes no sense. You know exactly what I'm talking about. And every movie focuses on love and relationships, i mean, how can anyone be satisfied watching the same story in a difference scene/situation everytime. Its weird.

    Bollywood is also why independent artists and musicians do not it gold in India. Not everyone wants to sing for the big screen. Some prefer being like normal artists creating their own music and getting famous which is not always readily available for artists in India which is why most musicians fail in getting where they wanna be.

    Finally, I want to say that I don't hate bollywood and its not like I don't like any bolly films. I do like some movies and some songs but that happens rarely but 'hate Bollywood' is the word I would have used if you had asked me that in person.

    In regards to what it does to World Culture, I'm not really sure about it in respect to the masses but tbh, none of my friends in abroad or in India like Bollywood. So technically, it has no effect whatsoever.
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      Aug 1 2013: Interesting response.
      Honestly, I am not a huge fan of Bollywood either, if one talks about it purely cinematically. I am not a huge fan of Hollywood too. When films count as films only, I like European films, mostly Polish, French and films made by world famous directors.
      But that's besides the point. I know Bollywood movies have low penetration in the eastern states of India. Manipur doesn't allow Hindi movies in cinema halls. In Nagaland, Korean movies are fairly popular.
      But when one takes into account the sheer popularity of Bollywood movies all over the world, the amount of business it does - it is difficult to dispose of Bollywood as 'it does not make sense.' Apparently it makes sense to many people.
      The most interesting aspect of Bollywood is that it nourishes a band of rarely talented artists of music and cinematography.
      I know about about such Bollywood movies that can keep me interested for months back to back.

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