Tuesday, August 10, 2004

10 Things to Love About Bollywood Films

1. Musical numbers. Lots of Bollywood films have intricately choreographed musical numbers involving casts of dozens, and who can complain about that? Even in the most unlikely films, the most commonly-assumed-to-be-inappropriate places, there are musical numbers. Case in point: Mission Kashmir, a film about a family in a region rocked daily by atrocious violence and political scheming. A musical number featuring two of the stars reconciling sweetly, and humorously, after a fight, ends with one of them being blown up in an assassination attempt on the other. In the middle of the movie, not the end. Someone wrote that scene, and then kept writing that script. And yet, I don't hate Mission Kashmir. In fact, I've rented it twice. Let's see Hollywood try to pull that off. Pshaw, I say. Pshaw. 2. Run time. Owing to the fact that there are so many musical numbers worked into the story, they can run over 3 hours long. That's twice the filmi goodness! 3. Can Tom Cruise do the running man? Nope. But Hrithik Roshan can. Nevermind the fact that he's wearing taper-legged pants when he does it. Or that he is doing it at the start of the new millenium, instead of 1989. That's still deep. 4. French cinema often shows people the way they are, foibles and all. Hollywood cinema is a big ol' lie, showing people behaving in the ways we'd like to think we behave. Bollywood cinema is complete fantasy, often having little or no basis in truth, probability, likelihood, possibility, common sense, or anything else that would suggest a given plot would ever actually happen. And yet, they are so much fun. 5. Shah Rukh Khan makes the best faces. Okay, it's one face, in lots of different movies, and seems to be used to express amusement, puzzlement, deep thought, fear, surprise--any emotion at all, really--but hey, I'm a fan. 6. Makeup artists that can put Pammy Anderson's infomercial-product-hocking friend Alexis Vogel to shame. Never is makeup on a woman so obvious, without being obtrusive, as it is on a Bollywood starlet. Awards should be won my friends, awards should be won. Okay, that was only 6. Owe you 4.


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