Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bollywood for Beginners

From Mother Jones:
"Hindi cinema, long dismissed by the West as melodrama with a soundtrack, is the largest film industry (by volume and global popularity) in the world. Those so inclined can laugh, cry, and swoon their way through three hours of lush scenery, arch comedy, and catchy music in theaters across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the former Soviet Bloc, not to mention Canada, the UK, and the borough of Queens."

"So why have so few Americans ever seen a Bollywood movie? If you're daunted by the prospect of sorting through 900 films per annum, consider this your beginner's guide to Bollywood."
A wonderful post complete with clips from ten must-see Bollywood movies along with commentary.

Here is a clip from Chak De! India (2007): Chak De is Punjabi for "go for it," and this 2007 movie about the Indian National women's hockey team certainly has that spirit.

Synopsis: Once-great men's field hockey coach Gabbir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) is determined to turn a rag-tag group of girls from all over India into a World Cup winning team. But language, class and communities divide them, and besides, who cares about a women's league? As feminist a film as you're likely to find, and a lot of fun.

Bonus: Nothing beats girls beating boys, except possibly the movie's title song. Chak De! was, for awhile, literally the catchiest tune in the world.