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Bollywood Through The View Finder

April 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 168

Bollywood is the term used to refer to the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry, which is the largest film producer in India and the world. The term was made from a play on words between the former name of Mumbai (which is Bombay) and Hollywood and was inspired by Western Bengal's allusion to its film sector, which was conveniently labelled as "Tollywood". The term has been identified since the 1970s as synonymous to Indian film. But since it is not really an existent place, it is otherwise referred to Hindi cinema, to relieve confusion.

It was around the late 1940s to the 1960s when the Indian movie industry flourished, just after the country gained its independence from British colonizers. This was regarded as the "Golden Age" of Hindi films. It produced some of the most critically acclaimed motion pictures in history including Awaara (1951) and Pyaasa (1957). Both tackled relevant social issues, which is a recurring theme in most Indian flicks. As proof of their prowess in filmmaking, Indian movies have received several nods from the Academy, from Mother India to Slumdog Millionaire. But it was during the start of the new millennium when Indian moviemakers were able to transcend cultural barriers and appeal to audiences around the world.

Year 2000 breathed a new life into Indi films, with improved cinematography techniques and storylines. There was a marked difference in the products that were distributed abroad, which made releases a huge success even in hard-to-please countries like the United States. Some of the movies that were able to garner recognition from viewers over the past eleven years were Lagaan (2001), Ghajini (2008), 3 Idiots (2009) and My Name is Khan (2010). Cross-over Indian actors included Amir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto, to name a few. But there are a lot more Indian artists, both old and new, that have been produced by Bollywood. In fact, they are so numerous and popular that photo albums are retailed today with a collection of their portraits.

Prosperous as it may seem, Bollywood is not free of criticism. Aside from the language barrier and polarizing stereotypical expressions, one of the biggest flaws attributed to it has been plagiarism, with numerous accounted film rewrites based on foreign pictures and dramas. Most Indian writers and directors, however, justify the act through globalization and rationalizes that the similarities were a product of America's strong influence on local culture, outlook and creativity. Regardless, conventional influences (ancient Indian epics, ancient Sanskrit drama, traditional folk Indian theatre and Parsi theatre) were still observed. And one cannot take away the achievements that Indian film has acquired so far, despite the failure of a few producers.

A few upcoming Indian movies for 2012 that show promise include Joker by Shirish Kunder, Once Upon A Time in Mumbai 2, Talaash with Aamir Khan, and An Yash Chopra, whose musical score will be composed by Academy Award Winner AR Rahman. This should make Indian cinema's 99th year of existence one for the photo albums.

Source: EzineArticles
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