Bollywood

The Hindi film industry based in Mumbai is popularly known as Bollywood. Each year a number of Hindi language films are produced in Bollywood and in terms of number of films produced, it is often considered as the biggest film producing center in the world.

Bollywood films are very popular among the Indian masses and they enjoy watching these films regularly. People are so fond of watching Hindi movies, and also love to watch their favorite stars in different characters. A large number of people love to read Bollywood News to learn more about their favorite stars and their upcoming films.

There are several reasons behind the immense popularity of the Bollywood films:

1. Bollywood Storyline: The majority of the Bollywood films are melodramas with several songs and dance numbers, which is popularly known as Masala Films. These Masala Films are the mainstream cinema and the larger part of the Indian populace love to entertain themselves by watching these popular types of films. A film’s songs and the popularity of the Bollywood Celebrities acting in the film largely determine the success of a film.

2. The World of Stars: Bollywood films have a great influence over the Indian society. People love to emulate their favorite stars and the lives of Bollywood Celebrities are always under the scanner. People love accessing Bollywood News that can enable them to glance through the inside story of the famous stars. The curiosity to know more about a famous film star is another great reason of Bollywood’s everlasting fame.

3. Bollywood Styles: Bollywood Celebrities are often considered as the style icons. Many people follow their stars closely and love to wear the dress that their favorite stars wear in popular films or in real life. Besides dressing, hairstyling and accessories etc are also closely followed by the fans that their favorite stars flaunt in films.

4. Bollywood Songs: Songs of Hindi movies play a great role in popularizing a film. Songs are usually released before the movie release, and before the movie comes to the theater, its songs have already become popular among the movie lovers. People are very fond of melodically composed Hindi songs and they love to consult popular Bollywood News channels to learn about the music release of the films.

5. Bollywood Dance Numbers: Hindi movies and their stars present their own style of dancing that people love to watch and follow as well. These popular dance numbers are very much part of Indian occasions, such as marriages and birthday parties etc. All fans love to dance to the tunes of the famous Bollywood Celebrities. In the recent times, Bollywood item numbers have become a very well-liked way of popularizing a Bollywood movie.

Bollywood movies are very popular, and its fame is primarily because for a large number of people, Hindi films are the primary source of entertainment. People love to watch Masala Movies where an evil person is defeated by a good soul. They consider this their own victory and forget their own sorrows and problems by watching a three-hour long movie.

Dance Like Shilpa Shetty

Feel the Bollywood heroine you’ve always dreamed of. Yes we’ve all seen the Bollywood films in exuberant style, showcasing the sexy female lead actress dancing with her floppy-fringed and hero busting some moves with his tight fitting trousers and freshly-oiled torso. And don’t we women love to get into the zone of feeling like a Bollywood heroine just for a couple of hours in our lifetime. Yes we do! So opting for a Bollywood dance class, where you can wear the costumes, the bangles and the bindis and pose in front of the mirror, dance to some funky Bollywood dance numbers would be of top appeal to many.

Food, Bollywood Food

Most people wouldn’t automatically acquaint Bollywood with food. But food is the bedrock of Indian culture. Long gone are the days of seeing our mothers or grandmothers slaving away in the kitchen, 20 pots steaming all at once and a rolling pin at the ready. Indian food as we now know it has gone through a renaissance. Chicken tikka masala, a British invention and Bollywood canapes are the choices of our sophisticated palates now. We’re not afraid to experiment with spices. The horrifying thought of filling your store cupboard with 101 spices has gone. You can now cook up a decent three course Bollywood meal easily with a fun attitude and sit down with your hen party and enjoy the fruits of your cooking. Not everyone loves cooking though so you can always hire someone else to do the cooking. Imagine fresh Bollywood canapes which are mouthwatering bites. No pain and no gain on the waistline either. Canapes Bollywood style are easy to eat and digest just before a big night out on the town.

Look Bollywood Beautiful

How many of you would love to look like a Bollywood actress? Be honest. It’s the ultimate fantasy which most women aspire to. If you are blessed with Bollywood looks why not make the most of it. And even if you’re not, what’s wrong with treating yourself to a Bollywood makeover fit for the stars. Give yourself the red carpet treatment just before going out to a special hen party. Make an event of it. Get Bollywood sumptuous and glamorous. it will make you feel the part. After all, you don’t do it every day. Just like going to the spa, getting the girls together and having a Bollywood Makeup party is perfect.

Adorn and Decorate Bollywood Style

When do you get a chance to really dress up? When it comes to the special hen party out with friends, there’s nothing quite like getting dressed up for the part especially if you’re going to a glamorous event like a ball. Draping a sari is very elegant. Getting mehndi done on your hands and feet is great before your best friend’s wedding as well. Get your hen party to dress up from head to toe and feel Bollywood glamorous.

Bollywood Nights on the Town

Do you like dancing to cheesy Bollywood tunes? Well why not make your hen night different from the ordinary run of the mill down the nightclub and head for a Bollywood night out? It’s a bit like going out to a 70s night or an 80s night you get into the spirit of that era of music. Well Bollywood nights are no different. You can dress up or dress down as much as you like. The key is in letting go and dancing till the early hours.

New to Bollywood? Appreciating its artistry is simply a matter of understanding India’s unique way of filmmaking. Our primer explains the basics:

What is Bollywood?

Bollywood is a term that refers to the Hindi-language film industry based in the Indian city of Mumbai, which used to be called Bombay. Bombay + Hollywood = Bollywood. The term is believed to have been coined by a Western journalist in the 1970s. Many Indians take issue with the word because it implies that Bollywood is a lesser offshoot of Hollywood, when in fact, India produces far more films annually that attract far greater audience numbers globally than the U.S. And, the Indian film industry is older than Hollywood-by one year.

Are all Indian films produced by Bollywood?

No. Bollywood is only one of many film industries in India. Imagine if the U.S. had a thriving Spanish-language film industry that gave Hollywood a run for its money, or regional film industries in Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle that rivaled L.A.’s. That’s how it is in India. The various Indian film industries are both language- and location-specific. They include Kollywood, which refers to Tamil-language films made in the Kodambakkam district of the city of Chennai; Mollywood, which is Malayalam-language cinema from the state of Kerala; and Tollywood, which refers to both Telugu-language films from the state of Andhra Pradesh and Bengali-language films made in the Tollygunge neighborhood of Kolkata.

While Bollywood and India’s other film industries primarily produce commercial movies, India also has a strong and respected art-film tradition, which is referred to as “parallel cinema.” The delineation between commercial and art film in India is stronger than it is in the U.S. However, that line is beginning to blur as Bollywood is delving into artier projects and Indian art films are aiming for broader appeal.

Are all Bollywood films musicals?

Most Bollywood films include musical numbers. Today’s movies generally have fewer musical numbers than older films. While 10 musical numbers in a film wasn’t unusual in the past, four to six are more typical today. And more and more Bollywood movies don’t have any musical numbers at all.

It’s important to remember that Bollywood films are not musicals in the American sense. Bollywood has more in common with opera than with Broadway. The main function of musical numbers in Bollywood films (and operas) is to express emotion. Broadway musical numbers, on the other hand, primarily drive the plot. While Broadway musical numbers are integrated into the narrative, Bollywood musical numbers usually are not. Rather, they’re metaphors, removed from the plot, that show how a character feels, not what the character is actually doing.

Do the actors sing the songs?

Very rarely. The vast majority of film songs are sung by playback singers, who are famous in their own right.

The movie and music industries in India are inextricably interlinked. Nearly all Indian pop music comes from movie soundtracks.

Why do so many Bollywood actors have the same last name? Are they all related?

Nepotism is common in Bollywood and many actors and filmmakers come from family dynasties that have been in the movie business for generations. However, there are many celebrities with the same common surnames, particularly Khan and Kapoor, who are not related.

How come there’s no sex in Bollywood movies?

Two reasons: social and artistic. Onscreen physical intimacy is frowned upon in India-even kissing is fairly rare. But more importantly, Indian filmmakers are masters of the art of seduction. There may not be any sex in Bollywood movies, but they sure are sexy. In fact, it’s precisely because there’s no sex that they’re filled with so much incredible tension, which is missing entirely from Hollywood movies these days. In the words of film critic Roger Ebert, “it is less erotic to snoggle for 60 minutes than spend 60 seconds wondering if you are about to be snoggled.” He was talking about Bollywood.

Sometimes Bollywood musical numbers act as a substitute for sex, depicting it not in any crass, overt way, but implicitly, even metaphorically. The characters are often so carried away with passion that they suddenly appear in exotic locations around the world-the pyramids of Egypt, the canals of Venice, the mountains of Switzerland-places that have nothing to do with the plot but have everything to do with the limitlessness of fantasy.

Why are Bollywood films so long?

For starters, Indians are used to longer forms of entertainment. Cricket matches last for days. So do Indian weddings. A three-hour movie isn’t long at all in comparison. Also, Indians tend to be value-conscious. They expect a full afternoon or evening of entertainment for the price of a ticket.

But the biggest reason Bollywood films are long is artistic. The time commitment required of the audience heightens their emotional investment in the story. (The same is true of operas, which are often as long or even longer than Hindi films.) The effect can be powerfully moving, even for Americans accustomed to shorter films.

Bollywood movies are getting shorter, though, mostly because there are fewer musical numbers than there used to be. While three and a half hours was once typical, three hours or less is now the norm.

What’s the biggest artistic difference between Bollywood and Hollywood?

In a word: “masala.” The concept of masala is key to understanding Bollywood films. It’s a culinary term that means “spicy mixture.” Masala filmmaking combines more than one genre in the same movie, blending elements of comedy, romance, action, and drama. The goal is to appeal to as many people as possible. That way there’s something for everyone in every film-the grandparents, the parents, the teenagers, the little kids-because Indians often go to the movies as a family.

Hollywood filmmakers do the opposite-they do super-narrow niche marketing to target the demographic groups they think are the most profitable (and then ignore everyone else). One exception to this might be the James Bond movies, which have been enormously successful for decades. There’s action, of course, romance, some campy comedy, and even a little melodrama when James feels bad about his best friend betraying him or his latest lover dying in his arms.

That’s not to say that all Bollywood films are masala. Many strictly fall into one genre or another, but even then, there’s often a dash of masala thrown in.

Do Bollywood actors work in Hollywood?

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the first Indian actor to significantly crossover in the West. She appeared in The Mistress of Spices (2005) with Dylan McDermott, The Last Legion (2007) with Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley, and Pink Panther 2 (2009) with Steve Martin. She has also garnered more high-profile publicity in the West than any other Bollywood actor, having appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and 60 Minutes.

Two Bollywood actors appeared in the Oscar-winning British film Slumdog Millionaire (that’s right, it’s a British film): Anil Kapoor, who played the sleazy game-show host, and Irrfan Khan, who played the police interrogator. Kapoor has since appeared in the hit American television series 24, which stars actor Kiefer Sutherland. Kapoor played a Middle-Eastern leader in the show for one season. Prior to Slumdog Millionaire, Khan appeared in the English-language films The Namesake (2006), A Mighty Heart (2007), and The Darjeeling Limited (2007).

Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat will star opposite Avatar actor Laz Alonso in the upcoming Hollywood political comedy, Love, Barack. Sherawat will play a volunteer coordinator on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, who falls in love with her counterpart on John McCain’s campaign, played by Alonso. Sherawat is also appearing in another upcoming Hollywood film, Hisss, along with Irrfan Khan.

Do Hollywood actors work in Bollywood?

Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards made cameo appearances in the Bollywood film Kambakkht Ishq in 2009.

British actor Sir Ben Kingsley-best-known for his Oscar-winning performance as the famous Indian independence leader in Gandhi (1982)-appeared in his first Bollywood film, Teen Patti, in 2010.

Western musicians are breaking into Bollywood, too. American rapper Snoop Dogg performed on the title track of Singh is Kinng in 2008 and Australian pop star Kylie Minogue performed a song in Blue in 2009. Senegalese-American music star Akon is reportedly recording a song for the soundtrack of the upcoming Bollywood superhero action film Ra.One.

Does anyone outside of India watch Bollywood movies?

Yes! Bollywood has fans all over the world. It’s big in other parts of South Asia, of course-Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka-as well as the rest of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Bollywood is beloved in Australia, the home of director Baz Lurhmann (of Moulin Rouge fame) who’s a Bollywood filmmaker in spirit! Bollywood movies are routinely in the box-office top 10 in the U.K. And Bollywood is all the rage in Brazil (thanks to a hit Indian-themed television show there, called Caminho das Indias.) Finally, Bollywood is huge in Canada, particularly in Toronto, which has a large Indian population. And Americans are finally starting to catch on to what the rest of world already knows-that Bollywood is fantastic!

Why don’t more Americans like Bollywood movies?

It’s human nature to mock what we don’t understand. Americans are used to watching Hollywood movies, which reflect our cultural values, traditions, and storytelling techniques, and Bollywood movies reflect another culture’s values, traditions, and storytelling techniques, which are unfamiliar to us. We’ve unfairly maligned Indian cinema because we can’t take it for granted like we can our own. We actually have to do a little thinking when we watch them. Some people find thinking fun; some don’t.

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