Thursday, July 17, 2008
Bollywood: a tale of adoration and addiction
Our story begins on December 24, 2007, when my parents basically forced us to go down into the basement at my uncle's house and watch a Bollywood movie they liked, called Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. I was reluctant at first, but I was totally drawn in. The intense emotions, the songs, the dances, the seemingly intentional cheesiness -- it was strange and fascinating and surprisingly enjoyable. A few days later, we watched another movie, and I decided that my enjoyment of the first movie wasn't just a fluke. After several days of repeatedly watching the second movie over and over again, I decided that I loved Bollywood. The next two movies I watched weren't so fabulous, but not even the spandex horror of Dil To Pagal Hai or the boring melodrama of Yaadein could change my mind.
In February, I went online and, for the first time ever, bought DVDs for myself -- all Bollywood, of course. In the process of researching which Bollywood movies would be good, I started religiously reading the bollywhat.com forum, where I learned a lot about films, stars, and more. I've now watched 32 Bollywood films, plus one from Kollywood, and my roommates have gradually become accustomed to my new obsession. They even recognize several of the actors, although they just say something like, "Hey, it's that one guy who was in that one movie, with the bad clothes."
Recently, I discovered the joy of 70s masala films, so called because they include a little bit of everything. Consider, for instance, the fabulous Amar Akbar Anthony. Song, dance, religious imagery, miracles, tearful reunions of long-lost family members, romance, evil stepmothers, murders, kidnappings, reversals in fortune, bar fights, disguises, comedy, lots of dishoom dishoom action, fabulous 70s clothing, burning houses, damsels in distress, villainous musclemen wearing high heels and bedazzled tanktops, an unsubtle allegorical message about Indian unity and religious tolerance, and, of course, Amitabh Bachchan jumping out of a giant Easter egg.
Seriously, even my dreams don't reach this level of inspired craziness and fun.
I'm Cindy, and I'm a Bolly-holic.