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Posts Tagged ‘Bollywood’

The Puzzle & Launch Of Sunny Leone

February 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Funding Sunny Leone: Not knowing Hindi or Bollywood, deep into porn industry, would Sunny Leone risk her own capital on a uncertain Bollywood future?

Not knowing Hindi or Bollywood, deep into porn industry, would Sunny Leone risk her own capital on a uncertain Bollywood future?  |  Cartoon by Satish Acharya in Santabanta.com

Not knowing Hindi or Bollywood, deep into porn industry, would Sunny Leone risk her own capital on a uncertain Bollywood future? | Cartoon by Satish Acharya in Santabanta.com

Stardom in Bollywood is an uncertain creature. It takes a mix of the following three factors to come close to success in Bollywood: –

1. Talent: Like Amrish Puri, Om Puri, Madhuri Dixit, last and not the least Amitabh Bachchan had significant talent to make their screen characters come alive.

2. Audience Connect: Rajesh Khanna, Rajendra Kumar, Joy Mukherji connected with the audience mood of their times. A few like Dharmendra could change from being a romantic hero in Blackmail, Jeevan Mrityu to the famous action hero (कुत्ते मैं तेरा खून पी जाउंगा; Kutte main tera khoon pee jaonga).

Google’s high search-rank for Sunny Leone is probably due to combining porn-search and Bollywood search.

3. Family-Other Connect: To decode deal-making clues in Bollywood needs insider information – which is many cases means family support or a sponsor. Dev Anand, Subhash Ghai launched many heroines between the two of them. The Kapoor family has been integral to Bollywood for the last 60 years. Is there any commercial logic for a Bollywood entity to sponsor Sunny Leone’s career? None I could imagine!

Is Mahesh Bhatt dumb enough to fund and launch Sunny Leone? It staggers my low-opinion of Mahesh Bhatt to believe that he can be so stupid.

Is google aggregating Sunny Leone's porn search with her Bollywood linked searches? | Cartoon by Satish Acharya in Santabanta.com

Is google aggregating Sunny Leone’s porn search with her Bollywood linked searches? | Cartoon by Satish Acharya in Santabanta.com

Twinkle, Twinkle

Sunny Leone has no Bollywood-related talent, no Bollywood-audience connect or unlikely to have a Bollywood sponsor.

A Bollywood career in the initial stages needs an estimated Rs.3.0-5.0 crores – to pay for people who will do the public relations, press management, contract negotiations, scheduling, coordination, deal-filtering. After spending Rs.3.0-5.0 crores, success in Bollywood is uncertain. It seems unlikely that Sunny Leone is funding her own career in Bollywood.

It has long been rumoured that some wanna-be superstars (Hint: A garment-exporter, a second-rung film-star, SS supposedly) fund movies to get a role.

This begs a question.

Dumb, Dumber

Who is funding Sunny Leone? Who is spending the nearly US$600,000-1 million that it costs to launch a Sunny Leone in Bollywood? What is the motivation behind launching Sunny Leone?

Sunny Leone has once again got the tongues wagging with her controversial tweet. This time it is quite more sensitive.

According to a leading news agency, the pornstar turned actress tweeted, “Rape is not crime, it is a surprise sex.”

In no time the starlet realized her mistake and deleted her tweet, but by then it got retweeted by her followers.

Later on Sunny even clarified her tweet on the micro blogging site and tweeted, “Who ever has said this rape comment is an idiot. I never said this. Grow up!!!!!!!!!?”

via For Sunny Leone, rape is not a crime but ‘surprise sex’ – Indian Express.

Bollywood Powers Ahead

May 26, 2012 9 comments

How and why does India produce as many films as China and US put together?

Cinema in China is booming. In 2010 box-office revenues grew by 64% to just over 10 billion yuan.  |  Image source & courtesy -  economist.com  |  Click for image source.

Cinema in China is booming. In 2010 box-office revenues grew by 64% to just over 10 billion yuan. | Image source & courtesy – economist.com | Click for image source.

Cinema in China is booming (see chart). In 2010 box-office revenues grew by 64% to just over 10 billion yuan. More than 520 films were made—about as many as in America. Only India produces more. (via China’s film industry: Kung fu propaganda | The Economist).

What The Economist does not mention is that India alone produces as many as China and US together. And that Nollywood comes in at No.2 position.


What does BAFTA celebrate?

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Probably the difference between non resident British and non-resident Indians!

Bollywood in Peruvian Andes

February 13, 2012 5 comments

How Bollywood’s idiom, deeply rooted in India’s culture, takes root in different parts of the world.

Hot gusher

Like molten lava, flowing in underground channels, bursting in unexpected places, Bollywood fires people’s imaginations in the most unlikely places.

Among the ruins of Machu Pichu, in the remote fastness of the Andes, there is an unlikely love affair blossoming between Hindi films and Spanish-speaking locals. Cuzco, the ancient  capital city of the Incas, today comes alive to the sounds of Bollywood.

People have become Krishna-bhakts– and Indian trinkets are bought at huge prices.

Any Indian is Shahru or Kareena in Cusco or Machu Pichu  |  Image source and courtesy - backpackingninja.com |  Click for source image.

Any Indian is Shahru or Kareena in Cusco or Machu Pichu | Image source and courtesy - backpackingninja.com | Click for source image.

In Andean peaks and valleys

Unlike, usual Bollywood markets, there are no NRIs, or any historical connection between these mountain remotes in Peru and India.

An American academic traveling in the Amazon villages, reports.

visiting a small rural community in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon, and suddenly heard the strains of a Bollywood film song wafting out into the street from a transistor radio in someone’s home. Villagers assured me they loved these songs! I was in the village working on a project to strengthen community-based environmental conservation initiatives. As an anthropologist born in India but working in Peru for the Field Museum in Chicago, I get a lot of questions from people I meet here. South Americans are just as fascinated with India as many other people around the world. Most of the Peruvians I meet—whether professionals or small rural farmers have encountered India through Bollywood. Movies (accessed through pirated and legitimate DVD markets) are highly popular, as are dance videos and film songs played ubiquitously on radio stations. Indeed, the attraction to Bollywood goes back a long way. Colleagues in their forties and fifties talk of the affectionate memories they have of watching “Haathi Mere Saathi” and other classic films when they were young.

So, even though the South Asian populations in most of South America are small and scattered, aspects of Indian culture permeate the continent. Of course, some readers might roll their eyes at the thought of Indian culture seen through the fractured lens of Bollywood, but my anecdotal and totally non-scientific assessment is that India has a better image here than the United States. (via Bollywood in Peru | NetIP North America Blog).

Cuzco – Under ‘Indian’ rule again?

An Australian, Glen Short, while shooting a short film, Aussies in the Andes, discovered that Bollywood rules. Associated with Bollywood, having done some bit roles, Glen Short was no stranger to Bollywood.

As this story spread, it was no surprise, when it was announced that

Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Guzaarish is expected to open in cinemas in Peru and France.

The romance drama had its India, UK and US theatrical release in November 2010, reports The Times of India.

Amrita Pandey, Senior Vice President of International Distribution and Syndication at UTV Motion Pictures, stated: “Latin America as a new market is a focus for us.

“The Indian population is limited in Peru, which makes it even more significant an achievement to have managed a release for the film there.”

Bollywood actor-turned-director Glen Short recently unveiled the documentaryThe King of Cusco about the popularity of Shah Rukh Khan and Bollywood cinema in the Peruvian city.

The production house is also currently in talks with a European distributor to have the project released in France. (via Hrithik Roshan’s ‘Guzaarish’ to release in Peru, France – Bollywood News – Digital Spy).


Categories: BRICS, India, Media, Social Trends Tags: , ,

Staying “Ahead” with the News

January 31, 2012 10 comments

Knowing trivia about Western entertainers is uber-cool – implies The Hindu, (Chennai, India). But knowing anything about Indian Bollywood stars in infra-dig. Duh?

What’s hot …

This recent ad (above) for The Hindu group of newspapers, implies that for an Indian, knowing answers to  questions like “which band was Paul McCartney part of” or “who is the author of the Harry Potter” is “staying ahead”.

But knowing which Indian actress is size zero isn’t.

What’s not …

Sorry Kareena, your diet and yoga are futile (below).  For The Hindu, unless you make news in England or America, you have not moved “ahead.”

Russia’s Population Problem – Indian men the answer?

January 29, 2012 14 comments

Across Russia and Central Asia, women seem to perceive Indian men through the prism of values that they have seen in Bollywood movies.

Four young Ukrainian women went topless on the balcony of the Indian envoy’s residence in Kiev with placards pronouncing “Ukraine is not a bordello” and “We are not prostitutes”.  The Femen quartet are 'famous' for topless protests against topics ranging from sex tourism to Silvio Berlusconi’s peccadilloes. This time they were protesting the alleged tightening of visa rules by the Indian mission in Kiev for Ukrainian women in the 15-40 age group.  |  Image source & courtesy - femen.info

Four young Ukrainian women went topless on the balcony of the Indian envoy’s residence in Kiev with placards pronouncing “Ukraine is not a bordello” and “We are not prostitutes”. The Femen quartet are ‘famous’ for topless protests against topics ranging from sex tourism to Silvio Berlusconi’s peccadilloes. This time they were protesting the alleged tightening of visa rules by the Indian mission in Kiev for Ukrainian women in the 15-40 age group. | Image source & courtesy – femen.info

One label for One Nation

A few weeks ago, some women from Ukraine protested when the Indian External Affairs Ministry (MEA) decided that it will restrict visas to Ukrainian women.

The  ministry expected (as per news reports) that some of these women were being purportedly recruited on a short-term basis by political parties to ‘motivate’ party cadre in election bound states of UP and Punjab.

So, the Indian Government decided to scrutinize visa applications from Ukrainian women in 15-40 years age group as ‘probable’ prostitute-candidates.

The Indian embassy in Kiev denied this report.

STOP Press!

Saturday, 18 February 2012 17:57 | PTI | Moscow
The Ukrainian government has decided to press charges against the Femen group for their protest in the Indian embassy.  The Charges – hooliganism and desecration of state symbols.

Active since 2008, Femen Group members have never faced imprisonment – worst being fines or brief arrests.

Wah! Taj

Around the same time, a court in Siberia was hearing arguments on why the Bhagwad Gita was a threat to Christianity in Russia – and must be banned.

Russia has less than 100,000 ‘Hindus’ who spontaneously converted from Christianity to Hinduism under the aegis of the American guru’s Krishna Consciousness Foundation – popularly known as Hare Krishna devotees.

The Tomsk court finally decided that the ban was not justified.

To complete the chain

And then the older story (from 2007) which amused a lot of Indians – and promptly forgotten.

Desperate to reverse a steep decline in their numbers, Russians are coming up with some bold ideas on how to overcome Russia’s demographic crisis.

A Russian feminist has proposed a radical solution to the falling birth rate — importing Indian bridegrooms for Russian girls. Maria Arbatova, writer and TV moderator, who married an Indian businessman a few years ago “after 25 years of keeping marrying Russians”, thinks Indian men make ideal husbands.

“They are crazy about their family and children,” she said presenting her new book, ‘Tasting India’, here. “What is more, Indians, like Russians, are Indo-Europeans, and many Sanskrit and Russian words have the same roots.”

Indian bridegrooms can help ward off a Chinese demographic invasion in Russia, says the feminist: “If we do not balance off the Chinese with Indians, Africans or aliens, by 2050 China will annex Russia’s Siberia up to the Ural Mountains.”

Russia has a population of 142 million spread across a territory five times the size of India. Its population is shrinking at one-third of a million a year. Under a federal programme launched this year, women who give birth to a second or subsequent child are given certificates worth $10,000, which can be used for education, mortgage or pensions. (via The Hindu : Front Page : “Import Indian bridegrooms for Russian brides”).

Joining the dots

Are

  1. Ukrainian women coming to India
  2. To find ‘good’ Indian husbands
  3. Based on an image built by Bollywood movies, very popular in USSR region

Far fetched! See this video.


Shakti goes to Hollywood

May 21, 2011 4 comments
Publicity poster for Shakti.

Publicity poster for Shakti.

Going Hollywood

Shakti, a 1982 film, directed by Ramesh Sippy (of Sholay, Seeta aur Geeta fame), was an acclaimed commercial and critical success. In the India of the early 80s, with chronic shortages and near-zero opportunities, Shakti was about the interplay between ethics and expediency. The climax scene became a legend with the fugitive son (Amitabh Bachchan) dying in his cop-father’s arms (Dilip Kumar) – shot by the father.

Imagine my acute feeling of déjà vu, when a similar story, with a similar scene was recreated in a Hollywood film Heat. Al Pacino an upright policeman kills the escaping criminal Robert De Niro. Apart from minor changes in the script, the plot follows Shakti lines – right to the casting level. Even the length of the movie is Shakti-like – three hours for a Hollywood film?

Unheard of.

Interestingly, this film also did very well on the international circuit – and not as well in the USA.

At the same time, any movie with Pacino, De Niro, and Val Kilmer is bound to be a commercial success. Heat had a budget of $60 million, and ended up grossing over $170 million worldwide. $107 million of the box office revenues came from non-US audiences, as the movie was particularly successful in France, where 1.3 million tickets were sold.

Am I the only one

My first reaction was to assume my judgement as biased. But then Monsieur Google prevailed. A 30 minute trawl yielded excellent catch. One of the first comments that I could track back came in 2005. When Humble Rafi pointed out

Did you know HOLLYWOOD copied this movie as “HEAT” ?

AL PACINO is there.

Read this chat on Youtube on this same scene two years ago (extracted below).

Search for “dilip kumar kills amitabh bachan” in youtube videos to see the original inspiration of this scene shot way back in 1982 at Bombay Airport, India! (sunnytravels 2 years ago)

this ending scene is copied off 1982 indian film shakti starring dilip kumar and amitabh bachan search shakti dilip kumar kills amitabh bachan (qezza22 2 years ago).

haha it kinda is copied isnt it (secretlover12 2 years ago).

You are right . . the inspiration for that scene came from that movie Shakti made in 1982 at Bombay airport.. so either Michael Mann just loves Shakti or it was an incredible coincidence! 🙂 (sunnytravels 2 years ago).

At a movie forum, on 28-11-2008, Guillaume P pointed out

Re: Heat (Michael Mann,1995)

Before “Heat”,there was “Shakti”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfxemtLGGZE

The next day, at another forum,

Mannfan – 29-11-2008, 13:37 said,

Before HEAT there was SHAKTI!:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfxemtLGGZE

Hollywood Cartoon - Courtesy - http://www.bagagedrager.nl/. Click for larger image.

Hollywood Cartoon - Courtesy - http://www.bagagedrager.nl/. Click for larger image.

DesiMusicClub hesitantly says that Shakti (1982)

reminds me of the Hollywood movie ‘Heat’ – also a cop movie that put together 2 legends in one movie (DeNiro & Pacino).

Satya, in another film-review site pointed out in 2009

Amitabh bachan and dilip kumar starrer Shakthi (1982 ) had exact same climax as Heat !! I still wonder if for once the hollywood copied from bollywood ?!. please see for yourself to confirm.

SearchIndia.com Responds:

Will do.

Now, wouldn’t that be something – a Robert De Niro/Al Pacino movie being a lift of a Bollywood film.

In 2009, a fan of Amitabh Bachchan also commented in Amitabh Bachchan’s blog, how Heat was so similar to Shakti.

a full 13 years ahead of the Pacino vs De Nero face of in Heat, looks like Micheal Mann must have seen Shakti as ending is too similar!

The same fan (probably) of Amitabh Bachchan followed up with a review. A few months ago, in a webzine he linked the films together saying, Shakti was a “highly recommended film to watch for all real Hindi film fans and yes the film is so much better than the clash between Pacino and De Nero in Heat!”

Michael Mann’s muse?

Michael Mann’s first claim to fame was a short film, that won him awards at Cannes, Melbourne and Barcelona film festivals – a film with a ‘succession of hypnotic images and colours are cut to haunting Indian jugalbandi music.’

Name of the movie – Jaunpuri.

Related articles

Abbottabad does not quite add up

May 11, 2011 2 comments
The difference between 'civilized' West and 'barbaric' Islamic world. (Cartoon by John Cole; courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for original image.

The difference between 'civilized' West and 'barbaric' Islamic world. (Cartoon by John Cole; courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for original image.

Things go bump in the night

In the early hours of 2nd May, 2011, an obscure twitter-user started tweeting  about the US raid on Osama Bin Laden’s safe-house – 35 km from Islamabad, 200 miles south of the Afghanistan border, in Abbottabad. In a city, which houses Pakistan’s equivalent of Indian Military Academy.

But Pakistan’s police, para-military, military forces claimed ignorance, showed surprise, feigned outrage. Par for the course. Was it abject failure or a cover-up in Pakistan , by the powers-that-be?

US triumphalism is misplaced. But then Osama's death will surely get Obama many votes. (Cartoon courtesy - http://jeffreyhill.typepad.com). Click for larger image.

US triumphalism is misplaced. But then Osama's death will surely get Obama many votes. (Cartoon courtesy - http://jeffreyhill.typepad.com). Click for larger image.

Afraid of the mullah-madrasa-mujahid combine, predictably, Pakistan started denying any role in the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Truly Pakistan ‘doth protest too much, methinks’. Secret deal or not, in the past or post-facto, a deal around killing Osama could have been easily hammered out between Pakistan and USA.

It suited both the leaderships.

It is election time in USA

Pakistan was not alone in using Osama. Osama alive was source of US funds for Pakistan. Osama dead is an election ticket and a feel-good factor for the a USA being battered by the Great Recession. As Rajiv Dogra points out, on the opposite side of the world,

The timing suited Obama well. It had long been speculated that Osama would be killed around the time Obama’s re-election campaign kicked off.

Predictably, the US made a song-and-dance about the annual aid of US$3 billion that they dole out to Pakistan. Compared to the US$3 trillion that the US Department of Defence is unable to account for, this talk of US$3 billion makes for poor form.

Pakistan's soldiers patrolling the tribal area of Ditta Kheil in North Waziristan for militants and al-Qaida activists in March.| Photograph by Mohammad Iqbal/Associated Press | Picture courtesy nytimes.com /Click for original image.

Pakistan's soldiers patrolling the tribal area of Ditta Kheil in North Waziristan for militants and al-Qaida activists in March.| Photograph by Mohammad Iqbal/Associated Press | Picture courtesy nytimes.com /Click for original image.

On a lighter – and logical side

Famous for the song केम छे ‘kem che, kem che’ from the film जिस देश में गंगा रहता है Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rahta Hain, a Bollywood songwriter confidently predicted, soon after 9/11, that Bin Laden would be found near the White House or Islamabad!

Coming to India

Memories dimmed, history forgotten, India draws wrong conclusions from these Western adventures in our neighbourhood.

After WWII, as British, French and Dutch colonialists were being thrown out of Asia, in country after country, the West was in real danger of losing markets and raw material sources.

To make war palatable, Desert Bloc invented religion. (Image  source - loonpond.com; artist attribution not available at image  source)

To make war palatable, Desert Bloc invented religion. (Image source - http://loonpond.blogspot.com; artist attribution not available at image source).

A new power, fueled by a growing migrant population, USA, took the place of tired, old powers – Britain, France and the Dutch. Instead of the openly exploitative system of European powers directly running colonial governments in these Asian countries, the US installed an opaque system – which is equally exploitative. To impose its writ on the newly independent Asian countries, the US simply destroyed their  economies by war. The USA, then instituted the innovative USCAP Program and ‘helped’ these countries. These countries (Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, et al) were now ruled by overtly independent regimes – but covertly, client states of the USA.

US multinationals and home-grown oligarchs (keiretsus, chaebols, etc.) took over the economy – and sidelined British, French and Dutch companies. To impose this economic model, US armies, using nearly 1 million troops, killed 50 lakh Asians. The takeover of European colonial possessions by the USA was handled over 3 regimes of Eisenhower-Kennedy-Johnson seamlessly.

Between a rampant USA, behind biggest terror spots of the world, and a nuclear-armed, imploding Pakistan, India’s choices are difficult – and reactive policies inadequate.

Once more, Osama’s death and Obama’s antics bring out India’s policy inadequacy in sharp relief.

Wedding Season Across The World

Lady GaGa does a Sheela Ki Jawaani?

Surfing news channels, I was hit by Lady GaGa at the 2011 Grammy Awards night. For a few seconds, I was confused. To me it seemed like Katrina Kaif was doing Sheela Ki Jawaani. Till the newsreader announced, that it was Lady GaGa.

Of course, plagiarism is not aone-way street. There was the little known case of Bappi Lahiri vs Dr.Dre case, I thought. Even lesser known is the enduring suspicion, that Spielberg was inspired by a Satyajit Ray script.

India sets off a global wedding theme?

Looking back at the last 20 years, one enduring theme that came out of Bollywood was the wedding story – starting with Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (Aug. 1994). A mega-success, this film of more than 3 hours, made an impact on the Indian psyche. Old wedding celebrations like sangeet, made a furious revival. Suddenly, Marathi weddings in Mumbai started having North Indian style sangeet during a wedding.

This theme found echoes across the world – My Big Fat Greek Wedding(2002); My Best Friend’s Wedding(1997), The Wedding Planner(2001), Runaway Bride(1999), The In-Laws (2003), Meet the Parents (2000) . Hollywood has made more than 30 wedding story in the last few decades with multi-million dollar budgets.

Videos from Tanu Weds Manu or the Main toh Avian, Avian lut gayaa (from Band Baaja Barath) are remarkable extensions of this theme. Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding has an exquisite change in tempo, at the end.

If only Bollywood was not so desperate to be a Hollywood clone.

‘English titles chalta hai!’

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Way before Hinglish was even bornBollywood has rediscovered the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) rule, at least where film titles are concerned. Having had its fill of long names — Bollywood’s now high on short words, and most of them straight off the English vocabulary rack. (via ‘English titles chalta hai!’ – The Times of India).

See .. it is all in English

Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood

This is an interesting (though superficial) article on how Hindi film industry, out of Mumbai, uses English.  As far back as my memory goes, Hindi film industry (out of Mumbai) used English in all their print material. Whether it was Mother India or Mera Naam Joker, all text was in English. If the film was based on an Indian-English novel like RK Narayan’s  Guide or a Bengali classic like Devdas, the language was English.

Hindi film posters always used English. In the age of LP records, LP sleeves of Hindi film music were in English. Later cassette covers were also in English – and now CDs, DVDs also come in English jackets. Even though a vast majority of the Hindi-film audience had no knowledge of English, Hindi film industry persisted with English.

Interesting! Just why did Hindi cinema end up using English so extensively! I could think of three reasons.

The law of the land

Was it because the Censor Board certification happened in English? The Censor Board bench for South India is different – and standards and norms followed by them are different. Did the South India Censor Board accept South Indian languages – which may have allowed South Indian film industry to use local languages.

Censor legislation was introduced in India at a time (1918) when her British rulers were determined that cinema should serve, unflinchingly, their colonial interests. There was no indigenous film industry at that time and the canons of censorship targeted films imported from the west, especially the US. The British wanted these films to create a rosy picture about the west and the western people’s intentions in the colonies. The Regional Censor Boards, were constituted in 1920 and each one technically autonomous … (from From Coercion to Power Relations: Film Censorship in Post-Colonial India by Someswar Bhowmik).

Tamil industry was different ... why!

Tamil industry was different ... why!

Ours is not to reason why …

Was it because the scripts had to be typed in English. Remember, no Hindi type writers, till the 1960s and Hindi typists were rare and far in between. Or was it because multinationals controlled the Indian music scene till the late 80s – and the gora bosses did not know Hindi.

Kodambakkam (home of Tamil and for some time Telugu cinema) used Tamil and Telugu mostly on their cassette covers. Tamil and Telugu posters were also in Tamil and Telugu respectively.

That ‘insecure’ feeling

The Mumbai film industry always had a complex about not being ‘good enough’ in comparison to Hollywood. Bollywood (Bombay based film industry), Kollywood (Kodambakkam based Tamil/Telugu industry) and Tollywood (for Telugu film industry) were deprecating names used by the gossip journalists – which stuck.

The Tamil and Telugu film industry had no such insecurities – and were always clear about their audience. The look and feel of the Tamil /Telugu films is also different from Mumbai-Hindi film industry.

Chennai storms Hindi film turf with Jeetu, Jaya Prada and SrideviBetween 1967 upto nearly 1973, Chennai invaded the Hindi turf. Using actors like Jeetendra and Mumtaz, they worked on lower costs films, raunchier choreography of the songs and invited the description of ‘spaghetti’ Bollywood. Curiously, it coincided with the spaghetti wave in Hollywood. The second invasion of Chennai into the Hindi turf happened during the 1980-1990 decade. This time with major stars like Amitabh Bachchan in tow.

The glory of the English

There is the usual argument trotted out that English serves as the ‘link language in the Mumbai film industry. As can be seen from some simple data, this argument is fallacious.

The South Indian film industry is significantly insular – catering to its specific clientele, attracting artistes from its home ground. But the Mumbai film industry attracts people from all over India. Is it that they found it easier to deal with each other in English – than in Hindi? Doubtful.

90% of the movers and shakers in Mumbai film industry are either Muslim or Punjabis. There is a token presence from the rest of the communities. It would have been easy for the Punjabis and Muslims to work in Urdu or Hindi. Till about the 60s, Indian actors had to change their name – from Yusufbhai to Dilip Kumar for instance.

All this raises more questions in my mind – and maybe some readers will have answers.

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