Link Ch. 8 – Great Bollywood Example

UPDATE – New version of clip with good subtitles.

I showed a great clip from the Bollywood musical Mohabbatein today in class.  It’s a wonderful way to get across the idea of what the masala or “spice” movies are like.

The masala movies feature several musical numbers, a strong male hero, a coy heroine, and an obvious villain. The movies have as many as ten separate storylines—in contrast to American movies, which typically tell one or two stories.

One reason for the musical numbers in Indian films is that they help break through language barriers. India alone has more than twenty-five languages. Anupam Sharma, who works in the Indian movie industry, says that Bollywood movies touch people throughout the world: “Because of the distances and different dialects in India, music is the universal language.”

When it comes to romance and sex, Bollywood films tend to be far more conservative than American films. “India is still clinging on to its social values, which explains Bollywood’s success everywhere but in America,” said Priya Joshi, an Indian cinema scholar. “Bollywood films don’t have any kissing in them or tend not to. Warner Bros. used to make movies like this in the past. . . . If it’s ready to return to its roots, then it’s ready for Bollywood.”

Here’s the clip.  It runs about 9 minutes and has English subtitles for some of the lyrics.

UPDATE: Slumdog Millionaire actress loses everything in slum fire.

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