Friday, August 3, 2012


By Mansor Puteh

I hate the term ‘Bollywood’ as much as ‘Kollywood, Pollywood’ and what other description of the cinemas in India and Pakistan which copies from Hollywood.

They are Hindustani films. Are the Bollywood superstars ashamed being described as Hindustani films?

Do they equate Hindustani films as backward and Bollywood films as glamorous? The truth is it is just the opposite.

Hindustani films of old had a certain charm, whereas Bollywood films of today, are crude, with the characters in them behaving in such fashion, and aloof to the common decency practiced by any sane person.

Whereas Hindustani films were made mostly in India, many Bollywood films are shot abroad.

But alas the foreign locales are used only as a convenient backdrop, for they do not offer the films any real meaning with all the characters in the film being Indians who speak loudly and who dance and sing everywhere. They don’t care for local traditions or customs and lifestyle, they impose theirs on them.

And Bollywood songs are also not as great as those that were featured in the Hindustani films of the 1960s when Mohammad Rafi and Lata Magheskar were the doyens of the music industry in India.

The songs in Bollywood films are those with the 1970s disco beat and they are performed not by the main characters alone, but in a group.

Nothing can be more unreal than a group of Indian dancers with the actors performing in the streets and everywhere they like, seven or eight time in any Bollywood film. They are a pitiful sight to behold by people in the films who pretend to be Amerindian, or Fake Americans.

Yet, their supporters in India are entranced by that, like they had not seen such acts before.

What is most sickening is how Bollywood films depend on the poverty and depravity of its supporters to survive. Don’t the superstars it created want to feel guilty for misleading them to their false nirvana?

I pity their supporters in India who continue to support the production of such films and who continue to watch them by parting with their well-earned rupees, even when they know that the films are nothing but the same, with the same plot – the love triangle – that is favored by all Bollywood directors and actors.

In fact, I feel sorry for the supporters of Bollywood films in India for not realizing how they have caused them to be left in such despicable situation they are in all their lives with no future.

They who continue to live in their own fantasy-land, while their idols live in their own fantasy-land full of affluence, while their supporters continue to eke a living simply to support the fabulous lifestyles of their idols.

Bollywood actors and directors have no guilt. They are insensitive. But I feel sorry for the poor Indians who have few rupees that they spend most of them on Bollywood films as their daily fix.

If the Bollywood superstars have even a small amount of guilt, they would not have continued to produce films and rake in millions of dollars per year, while those who clamor for more Bollywood films continue to live in the slums.

Why would anyone want to spend their few hard-earned rupee just to see films produced by the film industry in Mumbai otherwise known weirdly as Bollywood films?

The two hours they spend sitting in the cinemas, is perhaps therapy of some sort – which allows themselves to be immersed into another world one of fantasy.

They sit in air-conditioned halls and marvel at the splendor and especially at the larger than life sizes of the characters in the film, all of whom play almost the same parts.

Bollywood films thrive on the sameness of the themes and characterization.

In fact, most Bollywood actors do not need to act much; they only need to be themselves all the time.

There is hardly any realism in Bollywood films.

Realism is not needed by their viewers in Mumbai and all over India.

Realism is too stark and can cause the viewers to be depressed.

Going to the cinemas for them is not to confront with reality.

They want to spend the few rupees they have being suspended, and taken away into fantasy land.

And this is what they go to the cinemas for, to get their daily fix, of being in another world.

No wonder many Bollywood films are shot in exotic locales in India and often-times abroad, where the lead actors would frolic in the snow and everywhere in the major cities in the countries, where they speak loudly and who do not care for everybody else around them.

This is how the characters in many Bollywood behaves; that they own the places and surroundings they are in.

They who are jobless, yet, who can go anywhere in the world in their pursuit of the women of their fantasies, the women who are old enough to be the mothers-in-laws of some men in India.

It is therefore strange how all of the lead actors and actresses in all Bollywood films are too old to play lead roles, in a country where the parents of the men and women who would have them married at such a young age.

In fact, if they are not married when they are in the mid-twenties, they are considered to be old.

Yet, in Bollywood films, they are heroes and heroines.

This leads to one to ask why the viewers in India do not realize this, that they are being lied by the films they see everyday.

The problem is that they want to be lied and conned.

They want their actors to misbehave, like they are those characters the actors play.

Bollywood cannot go on pretending and lying to the whole world that the people in Mumbai at least live in palaces, that each of them own few expensive cars, that they also do not work.

They cannot pretend to be too western.

They cannot pretend that Bollywood is India.

Bollywood is not India. It is Bollywood, a film industry created by so few to hoodwink the hundreds of millions of ordinary Indians to part with their hard-earned rupee, so that they can live royally from their earnings working in such films.

It is too sad how the film critics in India do not care for the personal angst of the viewers, by re-educating them on how to look at such Bollywood films and condemn those who produce them as it is a sin to cheat the people for too long.

Producing Bollywood films is cheating the Indian masses of their hard-earned rupees by offering them the False Nirvana.

There is not one Indian in the whole of Mumbai or India who can behave or have the kind of lifestyle that is portrayed in any of the Bollywood films one who pretends to be too western, but who dares not to sideline the Hindu religion of the majority.

So no wonder these films often-times have references to the religion in some ways, with some of the top actors who are supposed to be Muslims having to or being forced to take up roles as Hindus.

Bollywood films can never change India. And India can never change Bollywood. They deserve each other.

We can only feel sorry for Bollywood and India for not being able to rise above parochialism and fantasizing all the time.

The day Bollywood embraces realism, it is the day the whole industry will collapse.

But it will be the day India will rise.

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