What Is Bollywood?

Saturday, July 23 by S.L.Dickinson

What is Bollywood? Well, some people will say Bollywood, like Hollywood, is a state of mind. But, what Bollywood really is, is one of the largest and most popular cinemas in the world. Millions of people watch the Hindi language films which come out of the studios in Mumba,i India each year. In fact, by many reports, more people buy tickets each week to Bollywood films than peole who buy ticket to movies made in Hollywood. The name Bollywood is derived from a combination of the names Bombay and Hollywood.

  1. Most films made in Bollywood are strictly Hindi language but there are some with English language subtitles and even a few with some English phrases. In many ways, the movies are the same, but in many was the movies are also radically different from those made in Hollywood. Most of these differences reflect the moral, religious, and ethical differences in the cultures that watch the movies, and some differences are more a matter of taste. Just as in Hollywood, the movies people enjoy and go see will dictate what is put in subsequent movies. Things like kissing, common in Hollywood films, is very rare in Bollywood films, reflecting the varied morals of the Bollywood viewing audience and their views.
  2. There are many subtle meanings in many of the actions and words used in Bollywood films. This is a cultural body language and slang which is common and meaningful to the viewers of these films. The newcomer to Bollywood films and the culture they represent will need to learn to recognize these things and their meanings in order to fully understand and get the fullest experience from the content in the films.
  3. Just like in Hollywood, there are huge stars in Bollywood. The biggest stars have loyal fan bases and followers. And they, just like their Hollywood counterparts, are probably more well known, by sight, than most politicians and other influential personages in their countries. As one can see, Bollywood is very similar to Hollywood, but with a different fan base with different needs and tastes in movies. Even for the non-Hindi viewer, it can be interesting to watch and see the differences in the cultures and learn to understand them, even for those who do not practice their lifestyles. The biggest obstacle of course is the language barrier, which one can hope will one day be bridged so that other language speakers can fully appreciate Bollywood for what it is. Check out Bollywood films, you may enjoy them.

- S.L.Dickinson

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