Okay, so I’m not exactly a Bollywood addict, but when I’m feeling down the glitz, glamour, and over the top song and dance numbers can definitely pull me out of my funk (or at least make me forget about it for a while).
I’m a relative newbie to the genre, and I’m gradually learning about what types of films I enjoy and which ones I don’t. Some of the older films really are classics, but the way women are portrayed gives me hives, but, at the same time, there are intriguingly inaccurate historicals such as Jodha Akbar that present a few scenes through the female gaze. Oddly, two of my favourites, Band Baaja Baaraat and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, are very different in how women’s roles are portrayed (Shruti wants to be a business woman and generally has control over her life while Rab’s Taani is essentially forced into marriage with a stranger to appease her dying father). However, both are a lot more accepting of women have identities beyond just wives and mothers even if pairing up is the goal (most Bollywood movies have serious romance angles, so is anyone really shocked?).
I haven’t reached the point where I check out the latest Indian films in any dialect in theaters since there’s so much I can access from home, but maybe I will in the future. One of the theaters near my house screens some of the new Hindi releases (at least I think they’re all Hindi, but I might be wrong). The length is a little daunting since I frequently have a hard time staying still for more than an hour long TV episode, but if a film is good enough I could be on board. My main geekiness is just watching at home, following a few blogs, and trying a podcast about the genre to learn about films I haven’t heard of.
Sure, Bollywood has a bad rap with some people in the US, but I say bring it on!