Carried away by Bollywood
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Hindi movie plots—covering star-crossed lovers, sacrifice, siblings separated by fate, rapists, rebirths, mistaken identities—ignite diverse emotions in us. Continuing the saga of "Suresh! Tumne mujhe dhoka diya!" summarising Bollywood fantasy for me, let's get into themes beyond the melodrama kick-off scene, dance song, crime, political drama and fights you've read about last week.
Hate: Bollywood storylines can flow to establish extreme jealousy, greed and passion. This hate factor is Western imitation. Bad and good are not culturally prominent in India. Even our mythological stories convey that something bad for one could be good for another. In contrast, Catholicism that the West largely follows clearly demarcates good and bad. Hindi films have adopted hate, so the hero or heroine, villain or some side actor has to choke over hate.
Love: Triangular love is a much loved theme. Different men can show overbearing love or secret attraction for the heroine but a woman can't openly have many boyfriends. The girl should love the good man, never the villain.
Foreign tour: Sitting in India, spectators enjoy a visit to exotic countries. In this globalisation era, an overseas setting has become obligatory. Shooting abroad makes the film relevant for the extended audience of foreign-born Indian-origin children. Experience shows that a scene shot in a developed country upgrades the film both in terms of its acceptance status and production quality.
Betrayal: Betrayal anchors more or less every movie. It can happen between the hero and heroine, with two friends, in the family, in business, in politics. When the betrayer is caught and punished, there's applause in the cinema hall.
A lecturer's dialogue: This is an all-too-frequent Bollywood attempt at education. One character talks directly into the camera as though preaching. The camera zooms into the actor's face without stops so the gyan (lecture) giving session can become one long shot. This translates as the film director's social conscience.
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