Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

Courting Bollywood

Posted by litdaily on September 15, 2010

In this article, one of the main questions the writer asks is: Is Bollywood misrepresenting the real India? She considers the appeal of Bollywood to NRIs…more>>

The transnational popularity of Bollywood is uncontestable. Although this popularity is truer  in other parts of the world (Britain, Middle East, Africa), even American culture and society is catching on.  Shows like “So You Think You can Dance” are incorporating Bollywood numbers while stars like Aishwarya Rai have made appearances on Oprah and The Late Show with David Letterman.

What’s fascinating about the popularity of Bollywood is that no one can really figure it out. Why has Bollywood gained such sudden appeal?  Is it because of the support of NRIs or is it something else?  Why would Indian Americans born and raised in other countries care about cheesy story lines that incorporate the same old class/caste differences, family feuds, and an ending where love conquers all…

For me, it’s the “love” part that gives it away.  While watching Bride and Prejudice a couple years ago, it hit me – no one does LOVE better than Bollywood.  Who cares whether these love stories represent the “real” India when the love portrayed by Bollywood is unabashedly pure, light and something to believe in and hope for?  I can’t even remember the last time I saw a Hollywood film where you could feel the love falling off the screen, misting up your eyes.  How can it even be possible when Hollywood wants people to buy into notions like “starter” marriages or no marriages at all.


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