I was born in and live in India, so it may come as a surprise that something needed to get me interested in Bollywood, considering I was born watching films and will die watching films…
I had read stories before of how people got interested, normally by non-desis and they interested me. I’m following on from veracious’ and Filmi Girl’s posts about this topic, they have some pretty interesting stories to tell.
I had been watching Bollywood films for 16 years of my life before I paid any proper attention to it. This was mainly because it was no more than a timepass, albeit a pretty boring one. My parents watch the old, Raj Kapoor time films and they never interested me, but I didn’t bother going to look for newer ones.
Then one day I was at my friend’s house and we watched Chup Chup Ke… this is going to sound mad, but I instantly loved Shahid Kapoor, so I could credit him for my introduction to Bollywood.
Like Filmi Girl, I always find myself siding for the underdog, Jai was that underdog. He was a destitute but ambitious guy who’s been pushed around by others far more than he deserves, I felt for him. I loved him.
Later, I went on the lookout for news about him on the internet, of course its never that easy to find everything about a star you want to know, so I browsed through articles, clicking on anything that sounded interesting, slowly I built up a foundation of other actors, actresses, directors, singers and so on. Some interested me, I wanted to know more so I’d go and buy one of their films, or if they were pretty old, have a look through my parents’ collections. I still don’t know as much as I’d like to but I seem to know enough to understand news articles and know why there is bias.
While I was on the net, I came across Bollywhat and I read comments on the forums about how Bollywood has helped people, some were touching a lot of them mentioned that it made them grow closer to their families which is sweet. I always think family is important as well as true friends, so I quite like KJo films, they are pretty good for escapism. Not that a little reality hurts.
A lot of people criticise Bollywood for its escapist nature… In all honesty, if I wanted reality, I’d read a newspaper (which I do)! Hollywood is fine if you want a break from Bollywood but I wouldn’t want to watch it as often as I do Bollywood, I think the opposite could be said for Hollywood lovers, they should try out Bollywood when they want a break from reality. Neither is better or worse, just depends on your tastes.
I personally like underdog heroes, independent heroines, cruel villains, strong plotlines and plenty of comedy or a poignant film, either is fine.