‘Bollywood: India’s most moronic cultural export’

lagaan2

Besides software, Bollywood has emerged post-1990s India’s most recognisable signature. The movies open to full houses; the trade papers quote the oodles of dollars made by them; its stars are the toast of the town from Cannes to Macau; the big studios are opening shop and making films, etc.

For many, this is a source of pride: an indicator that rising, shining, growing India has attained cross-continental cultural clout, a little like Hollywood uses its movies to flex its muscle.

Not for Sathnam Sanghera. He writes in The Times, London, that he finds it depressing that a country that has produced so much important music, literature and philosophy has become synonymous with its most moronic cultural phenomenon.

“In what ways are Bollywood movies moronic? Well, leaving aside the lipsynching (the actors rarely do their own singing), the plagiarism (writers habitually copy tunes and plots from other films), the nepotism (relatives of Bollywood stars often get given choice roles), the crap sound (it is rarely recorded on location), the crap writing (dialogue and lyric) and that Bollywood movies are as predictable as a can of Coke, with their mindless use of love triangles, moustachioed villains and star-crossed lovers dancing around trees, I have two main problems, the first of which is the ceaselessly melodramatic plotting…. My second issue with Bollywood: the ridiculous length of the films.

“Bollywood fans, including members of my family, are constantly telling me that the films have improved, but I can see no sign of this. I watched Border, a blockbuster based on the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, when I was in India a few years ago and have had more enjoyable operations. A few years later I bought a DVD of Lagaan, encouraged by rave reviews, and found it about as engaging as a set of washing instructions on a cardigan.”

Read the full article: There’s nothing good about Bollywood

Also read: Bollywood’s a scam. Farah Khan‘s a big, fat con

Adoor: Do only Bollywood beauties possess glamour?

Mammootty: Is Hindi cinema Indian cinema?

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52 Responses to “‘Bollywood: India’s most moronic cultural export’”

  1. Jeyanth Says:

    Absolutely true!

  2. Alok Says:

    For someone who calls Bollywood plagiarised and nepotistic and predictable… this article says nothing new, casually treats family as “source”, and makes the most predictable argument a foreign critic can possibly make of “Bollywood”…

  3. mayura Says:

    Bollywood movies of today are straight lifts(read inspired) of hollywood movies or copied from south indian movies. The music is jarring and tries to imitate (c)rap or western music most of the time. The less said about the talent of actors/actresses the better. The only thing is loads of money is being spent now in producing the same trash year after year.

  4. Abhi Says:

    Bollywood celebrates India’s mediocrity in its truest form.

    Its not (just) Bollywood which is moronic, its people. In fact Bollywood is mediocre, its people who are stunningly dumb. Dumb people enjoy mediocrity. Can we not come to terms with that?

    Now, come on you “patriots”, bash me :)

  5. sandesh karanth Says:

    I completely support Sathnam in this regard… Though one might find some quality movies here and there rarely, major chunk of it is just CRAP!

  6. Desi Says:

    Very true!!! To be fair, even Hollywood has its share of ‘moronic’ movies. However, they make a few movies every year based on some solid theme/story. It’s time we call out Bollywood for their lazy work.

    ***

    Just to be clear – This is applicable to Indian movie industry, not just Hindi cinema. Except for occassional good songs, our movies seem to lack content and quality.

  7. Vishwas Krishna Says:

    Generalisation at its worst! One look at the title of his original article, one can say that the author is heavily biased.

    I wish he had more sense in selecting movies for bashing them in his article. Of all the movies hindi movie industry churns out, did he not get any other movie other than Lagaan?!

    His article is equally applicable to most of other languages too, including Hollywood. Good and bad movies are part of any movie industry. He selected few movies here and there and has bashed them.

    At least, Hindi movie industry comes out with good movies like Dev D, A Wednesday, Taare Zameen Par, just to name a few. Observe, all these three movies are what one calls “off beat”, but still all of them were commercially very successful. How far is this true to other languages?

    Take for example, Kannada movie industry. It is difficult to find one good cinema in a year. The super hit of the year Savaari, is a remake. And we are still in the world of hero worshiping. And sensible movies like Dweepa rarely make it to theatres and even if they do, they vanish even before you decide to watch it!

    He says hindi movies are replete with “love triangles, moustachioed villains and star-crossed lovers dancing around trees”! I’m not sure if he is watching movies of 2000s or 1970s! He cites V.Shantaram’s Do Aankhen Barah Haath and Mehboob Khan’s Mother India as hindi cinemas’ best contribution till date! Of course, they were. But after that Sathnam Sanghera stopped watching good hindi movies!

  8. Metaempiricus Says:

    One more fact about Hollywood actors. Most of the them look like Iranians rather than typical Indians. Very fair complexioned and sometimes even blond hair. The movie sets which are usually located in US, UK and australia does not have anything Indian in it.

  9. Doddi Buddi Says:

    A second-rate critique on Bollywood by a first-rate NRI moron!

  10. harkol Says:

    This writer is totally biased. He has a fixed notion of what a movie should be, and tries to compare everything to that.

    Let’s consider Lagaan. It is a classic, because it tells a simple story in a powerful way, appealing to the Indian Sentiments very well. Most people who watched that movie came out totally satisfied with the way they spent 3.5hours – something this author hates.

    Why should India with its 1.2billion population care what are the sensibilities for silly England resident?

    We can find equally dismissive statements about Chinese movies (Which are mostly martial arts based) and Hollywood movies which are fun-filled, happy ending, escapist fares.

    But, I like Chinese movies and Mindless action flicks of Hollywood equally. All that matters in case of a movie, is if it captures your imagination for the duration of the movie. Not its content.

  11. critic Says:

    I agree with the article in Times, London. What a waste of money. 25 people dancing behind the hero and heroine. A guy sees a gal and they dance ,sing,,,,grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Waste of time. All the so called big directors do this carap. of late i have seen some movies with reality…..i fnot its crap.

  12. range gowda Says:

    Total crap.

    Most of Bolly movies of these days are like B grade movies. Sex is very much common with no sensor.

    I personally believe tamil, malayalam movies are doing great for all times.

  13. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    This dude thinks Arundhati, that new gult movie, is a bollywood product!

    With English subtitles, all Indian movies are Bollywood’s :D

    He’s not even a passive observer of Indian cinema, how come he decided that he had the credentials to damn the whole industry!?

  14. Simple Says:

    Harkol

    I have no problem with mindless song and dance dross in films. My problem is the one dimensional mind of bollywood directors. Why should all films be musical and melodramatic?

    India has only one genre of movies. Musical melodramatic.

    Example,

    If it is a suspense, it will be Suspense musical melodrama

    If is romance, it will be Romance musical melodrama

    if it is adventure, i will be Adventure musical melodrama

    if it is drama, it will be drama musical melodrama

    if it is historical, it will be historical musical melodrama

    if it is patriotic, it will be patriotic musical melodrama

    if it is comedy, it will be comical musical melodrama

    if it is action, it will be actiona musical melodrama.

    You can’t put the same spice in every dish.
    Different occasions demadn different dresses.
    Likewise, you can’t use the same song and dance kitsch for every film.
    you also cannot have the actors melodramatic dialogue delivery.

  15. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Simple,

    If it is Simple, it will be Simple musical melodrama!

  16. mayura Says:

    >>And we are still in the world of hero worshiping>>

    Not necessarily. Some do heroine worshipping too. Some people in TN built a temple for Kushboo who reminds me of a oil drum when she walks around. I do not know if a daily archana and abhisheka is being done at this temple :)

  17. Salty Says:

    When a Bollywood (or for that matter Tollywood etc.) song is on play on your TV channel, simply “mute” the sound and watch the song & the actors. Nothing can be more ridiculous. I do it often to give myself some comic relief on a serious day.
    As they say, Bollywood movie is pure brainless entertainment.

  18. Madhu Rao Says:

    To add to Simple’s comments, it is not just the melodramas. It is the same cess pit of actors doing the same fare. Johar/Chopra/Farah Khan directed ventures have a set of actors in predictable roles ; with usually the ageing Dr.SRK(ahem) romancing a female lead 1/2 his age ; SRK being SRK and not the protagonist.

    If you are looking for logic the joke’s on you. At times music is palpable and salvages the movie. Just when you thought Farhan Akhtar was a good director — thanks to DCH, he decides to be a 3 rd rate actor and a singer ! Farah Khan’s mediocre ventures are pushed to hits — majorly thanks to NRIs.

    Sans for a Teen Deewarein, Taare Zameen Par, Dil Chahta Hai, personally most other films I have seen have been utter disappointments.

  19. Simple Says:

    Fed with a staple dumbed down song and dance kitsch in film after film, as a nation our collective IQ level plummets down with each film release.

    But I don’t blame the filmakers.
    Their only intention is to make money.
    They can only make money if the cater to the masses.
    Masses don’t have evolved tastes.

    So the tiresesome cycle of gobble-digest-excrete, gobble-digest-excrete, gobble-digest-excrete will go on endlessly.

    I’d like to make a more pertinent point.

    A film called Khambakt Ishq is released.
    The chattering classes deride the film and make fun out of it.
    Reviewers slam the film in paper after paper.

    The reviewers should understand that the FILM IS NOT made for their kind of socio-economic strata ( SEC A, suave, English speaking, working in an IT company, wears branded clothes, drinks in swanky pubs, is into novels, English movies, etc)

    THe film is made for SEC C in the small towns of Bihar, UP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, etc.

    The reviewers of films have nothing in common with such small town people in small jobs.

    These two sets of people are from the opposite side of the spectrum. Both have vastly different perspective of life, their tastes are different, their aesthetic sensibilities are different, their intellectual depths are differetnt they eat differntly, dress differently, think differently, holiday diffferently, everything is differnt. so obviously even tastes in films will be different.

    So the reviewers should stop reviewing such films which is not meant for them.

    Simple.

  20. Abhi Says:

    “THe film is made for SEC C in the small towns of Bihar, UP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, etc.”

    I do not agree with you Simple. These films make most of their revenue from urban cities, IT crowd or equivalent. Worse, these movies do better amongst NRIs. I do not think small town people have a lesser/inferior taste either. All classes/all cities and towns are equally numbed by the constant bombardment of mindless song/dance melodrama.

    I go a step further and feel there is something inherently wrong with the artistic sensibilities of Indians, I know this comment does not go well with many of you. If not, what else explains Italian, German, Swedish or even Iranian movies being way better compared to Indian movies? It is not just money which makes Bollywood Bollywood, it is cinematic qualities and sensibilities which are stunningly poor.

    Reason? I don’t know. It may have something to do with the fact that we do not give or can not afford to give importance to subtlity and art, being a third world country. Importance, if it exists, is put on science and mathematics kind of intelligence, artistic aptitude has no place where survival is a challenge. That might explain why majority have not developed artistic sensibilities.

    PS: When I say Bollywood sucks, I mean entiry Indian movie industry, which includes Tamil, Telugu, Kannda, Bengali, Assamese, Tulu and so on. One could be slightly better than other, but on a scale of 1 to 10, all of them are below 1.

  21. Gaby Says:

    Simple you’ve put suave- into reading novels and working in an IT company in the same group= a little bit like elephants, camels and rabbits in the same herd.

  22. ravi turuvekere Says:

    This was an interesting piece:
    Indian cinema = Hindi cinema?
    http://karnatique.blogspot.com/2008/06/indian-cinema-hindi-cinema.html

  23. tarlesubba Says:

    most of the good stories have been told in the bestest possible ways. in the meanwhile, while i wait for somebody else to make a good movie i like my daily dose of masala, the way it is served. it can always be better, but what i have is good. in anycase, i am not going to complain bcoz, i cant tell a story if my life depended on it. biTTi Teeke and TippaNi is all fine.

    what i would like for ka movies do is tell some great stories for kids. and some good comedies. drama, action and other nonsense like describing the “human condition”, “social message” etc… is all old and frankly beyond what can be done on film unless you are manufacturing a documentary. if you want a message listen to a politician. why go to a movie for that?

  24. Madhu Rao Says:

    @Abhi, @Simple,
    I do believe Indians are capable of refined tastes ; but when the fare is bland-cheap, and you have a hunger to satiate, you settle for that sub-standard fare. That in-turn rings in money, despite the hackneyed plots, and the ensuing success spawns more of the same, strenghtening the vicious cycle. Add to this movie making is no more a passion and is just a vehicle to ring in the money..

    Sometimes it could be as simple as going back to the basics ? In the past we have had good movies do well in all demographics. But if all that our directors want to dole out is a quickie instant version of a formula driven heartless product, the results cannot be spectacular..


    Legendary director Shakti Samanta showed us what we wanted and needed to see ..

    A journey that started with “Bahu”, and continued with films like “Howrah Bridge”, “Anuraag”, “An Evening in Paris”, “Aradhana”, “Mehbooba”, “Amar Prem” and Amanush”, among others, conveyed the joy of destination. He was prolific without being profligate; he came up with quality in great quantity. In a directorial career of around four decades, he had 43 films to his credit, and a vast majority were box office successes.

    Hailing from an era when the medium was clearly demarcated on the lines of socially-responsible cinema, and the other offering only entertainment, Shakti da brought all the traditional mores and values to the canvas of emerging India. And added a dash of ardour, shades of romanticism, with everlasting melody. The result? A string of films that the young could enjoy, and the seniors pick subtle messages from.

    In “Amar Prem” he showed the society’s double standards towards women it abhors as those of easy virtue, while hailing men who frequent them as ‘sahibs’. In “Kati Patang” he talked of a widow’s plight without being judgemental. In “Aradhana”, he focussed on ambition wedded to emotion: the film had stark similarity to the difficult choice his own mother had to make when Shakti da wanted to pursue a career in the Air Force after his father’s death.

    http://www.thehindu.com/fr/2009/07/17/stories/2009071750690100.htm

  25. tarlesubba Says:

    a master of the medium talks about cinema. please watch only 2:08 minutes.

    transcript:
    ——————
    Cinema is an unhappy art as it depends on money, not only bcoz a filim is very expensive, but it is then marketed like cigarette, etc …

    A filim is good if it sells well

    But if cinema is art, such an approach is absurd: i’d mean that art is good only if it sells well.

    Knowing this very well, I dont complain: i cant demand special terms for my filims since these terms dont exist.

    The filim for the large audience CANNOT BE POETICAL. some filims have been seen by millions of people BUT THIS HAPPENED AT THE DAWN OF CINEMA when each new filim attracted people’s curiosity. NOW IT IS DIFFICULT TO SURPRISE THE SPECTATOR and good filims are not seen by the masses.
    —————-

    ***

    meanwhile sathnam sanghera should try to find an emotional equivalent to: oh ja padosi ke chulhe sein aag laile. go steal an ember from the neighbor’s stove and all that it implies.

    guljar the bidi, maachis poet.

    and please sir, please to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbWbziJCPrw. coolest retelling of Othello ever. and please to inform us unwashed dark injuns if anything even close to this has been made in your neck of the enchancted woods recently.

    you watch, injuns have told atleast two of the greatest story ever and they inshagaNapathi will tell many more.

    **

    elvis had nothing on this emosinal atyachar.

    as we say sooryange torchu …

    watch gulaal

    sanghera saab is there is a reason why a night doesnot pass without that shankhanaad of the long gone but never let gone raaj – the beeb – doing an indian story?

    i mean i thought with with the senile nirad choudari gone, we were done with that kind of nonesense for a life time. but no, angrez chale gaye, par aulad kaafi hi choDgaye hein.

    **

    watch emosinal hathyachar very carefully. and see how much story is told in those 3:00 minutes. almost as efficiently as this

    (vaanaprastham malayalam color)
    the lead’s heart is poisonous like that of poothana, young turks retrieve a drum from a patriarch’s “attic” and other related stories…

  26. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Now!

    Sorry to interrupt your soliloquy on Indian sensibilities. I think it is you who has not developed any sensibilities. A ‘well-made’ international film can appear perfectly moronic to an Indian audience. The reverse is also true. We are a nation of billion people and we do mindless movies. But we also produce some excellent art movies. Yes even in regional languages. Coming from a ‘garden Punjabi’ family, morons like Sathnam have all become ‘Brown Sahibs’ now and they appear quite fashionable to impressionable youth and other sundry morons the World over. So get off your Sensibilities Horse and smell kaapi.

    BTW the art, originality and situational song sequences in Bollywood, XYZWood is amazing! Admittedly some of the popular tunes have been lifted from the World’s leading songs but that in no way diminishes the ‘mindless’ appeal of Bollywood. Hey we are Indians and we are Bollywood.

    Movies like Trainspotting, Four Weddings and a Funeral are actually quite OK and they serve a purpose. But by no means they are a model to a culture like ours. We are different and we like to do things differently.

  27. Watching Says:

    Senile Nirad Choudhary? That’s an unworthy remark coming from an intelligent mind.

  28. Simple Says:

    Gaby and Abhi

    Yes, guys, i admit i was wrong on both counts

    I shouldn’t have put ‘IT’ and ‘suave’ under the same bracket. Actually it is the IT crowd which patronises such crap films.

    Also, i also agree with Abhi that films like Khambakt ishq is made for an NRI audience as much as for the small town guy in C centres.

    I guess i did not apply my mind. i mean i knew i was wrong, but i was i was just too damned lazy to change what i had typed.

  29. Abhi Says:

    DB, That’s a pretty interesting line of argument – I am dumb and I am proud of it.

    Movies are not there to serve any purpose or not a postman to send messages as TS and you pointed out. Neither are they ‘model to any culture’. You have to just enjoy the art as is, if you can. In fact its the so called *good* Indian movies (and mainstream Hollywood to some extent) which are overwhelmingly preachy. Take Taare Zameen pe or Swades for instance. There are a great number of English/German/French/Swedish/Spanish movies which are very subtle, take for instance Bicycle thief, Downfall, Lives of others, Motorcycle diaries or Pulp fiction, a quality hard to find amongst Indian movies.

    http://www.imdb.com/chart/top is a good place to start, if you didn’t know. Pretty balanced list.

  30. Anonymous Guy Says:

    DB,

    Bang on target. NRIs who complain about Indian movies which they get to see, should stop watching them if they are so offended by them.

    And stick to watching Rambo take on the Soviets single-handedly, or some cartoon dog do the moonwalk and talk in English.

  31. Anonymous Guy Says:

    BTW in the West there is a small but growing audience for bollywood, japanese kitsch, hong kong kung fu etc. movies.

    Something lost on our Brown Sahibs who only value whatever their masters deem to be ‘artistic’.

    Let them write their thoughts though – makes for funny reading, and is a good lesson for us to be wary of taking such second rate people seriously.

  32. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Metaempiricus:
    ‘One more fact about Hollywood actors. Most of the them look like Iranians rather than typical Indians. Very fair complexioned and sometimes even blond hair. The movie sets which are usually located in US, UK and australia does not have anything Indian in it.’

    Do typical Americans look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Mouse or the transformers? Same for any commercial film industry…

  33. Watching Says:

    AG, don’t arrogate to yourself the right to decide what one should or should not watch and write about what they watch.Who are you btw?? What’s so great about your own sensibilities that others must cringe before your arrogant and shitty tastes?

    The NRI will watch AND complain! Almost with the same intense twinkle in his eye that a certain AG had when he spoke of “a small but growing audience in the West..blah blah”.

  34. Abhi Says:

    AG-couple of things:
    1. Why bring in NRIs here? There are many Indians (like me) for every NRI who do not like these brainless song/dance melodrama. Its not NRI vs Indian, its about movies.
    2. Nobody should get offended by *movies*, however bad should they be, no one is calling for a ban. People are just expressing their disgust at the quality.
    3. Ofcourse not every foreign language movie is great, there are Rambos and die hards, but the difference is – every year you can count 10 outstanding movies. When it comes to Indian movies, you can not count 10 outstanding movies in all of its history.

  35. tarlesubba Says:

    abhi please count 10 outstanding movies in the last 2 no three years. ok ok. that is too tight, last ten years. 10 outstanding movies in 10 years. i mean outstanding like solaris, seven samurai or even in your face movies like chomanadudi, ghatashraddha or even a matha. forget other stuff.

  36. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Now!

    Your case is typical of some one who belongs to a film club and goes through the usual rota of Italian, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Japanese, Iranian, XYZ Language, and English movies or you start renting/buying DVDs :)

    Go back and read what I wrote earlier carefully. BTW the ‘great’ movies you have listed are hardly great. Pulp Fiction a great movie?!! Wow! Quentin Tarantinto’s over the top movie making was inspired by John Woo’s style –extreme kitsch in the extreme and incredulous film effects seen in Hong Kong movies–very similar to our own Bollywood!

    Motorcycle Diaries except for Gael Garcia’s presence is a highly fictionalized account of Che’s original diaries. I can understand that you a sapling is still developing your faculties in the film direction. So take it from me and here I quote TP Kailasm: ‘Yele nagara yestetthrra yagaridhrrunuve, hale vauski hathra bichbardu balaana!’

  37. Abhi Says:

    ^Have you really seen, i mean *really seen*, these movies and still feel Indian movies are better/on par with them?

    If its all about winning an argument, no point talking. For someone who assumes that I am a ‘Yele nagara’ and he is a ‘hale vasuki’, there is nothing much left to talk.

    ***

    Just reminds me of my argument with a German who lived in India for some time. He said a major problem with Indians is that they are highly nationalistic chauvinists. Chauvinists in many layers ranging from nation, to region to religion to language. So much so that it blinds their rationality and causes an illusion of superiority. I had argued it was probably only the uneducated or not so exposed group. Probably I was wrong.

  38. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Now!

    Good to see you moving on! I see that you have a blind belief in ‘others superiority in all things that matter…’ You should look for a life coach to deal with Indian-resident Germans. But I will try to help you out here: For starters you could have simply said, “You a German making this statement is simply preposterous! Everybody knows how chauvinistic and nationalistic Germans are. Should have have further problems with Indians just remind these pesky Indians you are a German and you are even more chauvinistic than they will ever be…” Next you should have thrown your shoes at the German to show that you were serious. If you want to go down the education street, you could have told the German, “Dude Sanskrit was the mother of German language.” That should have shut him up.

  39. Watching Says:

    So what is wrong with being a chauvinist nationalist? Who can deny that Hindus, as much as they like to be proud in foreign company are also flogging themselves bloody amongst themselves?

    I think the issue with this German fella is that he is not being a proud German in Hindu company. He’s simply insulting Hindus when he criticises them for being chauvinists in all circles. Why does he expect Hindus to bare all in front of a foreigner?

  40. Abhi Says:

    ^nothing more, nothing less. QED.

  41. devadiga Says:

    I have no doubt Sathnam Sanghera is the most moronic export of India.

  42. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Abhi,

    Sorry I didnt differentiate between NRIs (and people of Indian origin) like the author, who seem to judge the whole Indian film industry by a couple of movies he watched (and probably didnt get the nuances or the context it was made in) and others like you who obviously feel let down sometimes by the relatively low production values (and lower budgets) with some of our commercial offerings.

    About hindutva etc. – WTF – you did that to stir a rats nest right? Well it seems to have worked :)

  43. Abhi Says:

    AG, not to worry. We will compensate the quality with quantity.

    We are *the biggest movie industry*. Make some 800 or 1000 or whatever number of movies every year. Quality? who cares.

    Will compensate quality of life with *we are a billion plus people country*. Will see who takes over the world.

    No free, open and rational culture? Don’t worry, we can compensate by *more than 5000 years* old culture.

    okay, let me pack up and travel 15 kms in 1 and half hours. If I am still left with some time, feel pity about decadent west.

  44. Watching Says:

    “No free open and rational culture” – Ya.

    Why? Because we produce hundreds of movies this worthy hates and produce millions of babies this worthy would rather not have blocking his path. We also have traffic that delays this worthy on his way to work or on his way to his roundevous.

    Last but not the most minor, we argue so much that this worthy finds it difficult to push his spurious drug of “rationalism”.

    Hence we are doomed inspite of our, yes, 5000 years or more ancient culture.

    Run along now..you might upset the lass.

  45. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Abhi,

    Can you really judge ‘quality’ in theater, arts, music and the like? In movies too besides technical production values (which are themselves hazy to measure), can you definitively say this movie is ‘qualitatively’ better than that?

    As an example, tell me how a black and white Rajkumar movie I used to watch on DD on weekends before cable days is in any way of inferior quality compared to any Hollywood movie of your choice.

    About population, as Russell Peters said in some show about Indians and Chinese:
    “you can run from us now, but sooner or later…we’re gonna hump you”

  46. Watching Says:

    Oh. You left out the complete quote.

    “..or get humped!”

    We’re already on this frame of the “B-H”wood movie now.

  47. Abhi Says:

    Can someone really judge the quality of art (or anything else for that matter)? I think yes.

    While I am not a absolutist (like Palahalli above, who is convinced ‘his’ culture, morals and religion are superior over others), I think you have to draw a line for relativism too, atleast when it comes to art. If we can not quantify quality, we atleast have to recognise that it exists.

    Watching – spurious drug of “rationalism”. That was a catchy one :) btw, do you have anything to counter my argument rather than countering me as a individual?

  48. Watching Says:

    The problem with rationalists is that they are anything but.

    I do not claim (my) culture and morals are superior. But I certainly say that they are an abiding sum of (my) human experiences. (I) can meaningfully progress only if (I) respect (my) experinces and imbibe its lessons.

    On the other hand you are happy to transplant even failed ideas onto (my) country from the West.

    As for countering you as an individual, what makes you say that? Your angst at my reaction to curtailing my individual right to have kids?

  49. BB@B Says:

    it is like saying chicken tikka is inferior to Pizza.. if you ask an italian, he will say pizza is the best dish in the world..ask any punjabi, chicken tikka is more than food for them.. and we fool or debating who is correct

  50. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Abhi,

    Lets leave Palahalli’s hindutva mumbo-jumbo aside for a moment. His idea of entertainment is probably reading about Ram Sene beating up defenceless women in a pub.

    To add to BB@B’s point – just because a pizza has its surrounding hype and is made with better technology, is it superior to the chicken tikka? Isnt it a matter of taste?

    And in art, since things are relative, strength in numbers (number of people supporting an art form) matter, especially when people start providing the support and money required to take the art to the next level. After all Indian movies have technically improved over the past 100 or so years borrowing heavily from Western technology.

    The NRI who bashed bollywood after watching a couple of movies may tomorrow bash chicken tikka he ate at some restaurant in New York. He may justify it based on the quality of ingredients used, and compare it with pizza he has been eating since his childhood, but will a chicken tikka eater ever agree with him?

  51. Abhi Says:

    ust because a pizza has its surrounding hype and is made with better technology, is it superior to the chicken tikka?

    AG – The point was exactly that. Indian movie industry is bigger or at least comparable to movie industries of other countries such as Italian, German, French or Swedish. We have more resources than all of them. We have Shah Rukh Khan not because we have no money but because of our poor sensibilities. Technology can not make a movie timeless, there is always going to be a better technology later.

    Forget NRIvsNON NRI debate here. I think you are missing woods for the trees here. Thats simply not what we are talking here.

    And yes, forget Hindutva. He now seems to be taking on rationalists in his comments. What next? Rationality is bad? Wait, he is already saying that.

  52. Kevin (Ket) Says:

    “We can find equally dismissive statements about Chinese movies (Which are mostly martial arts based)”

    If you’re going to dismiss the article for having a narrow scope of Indian cinema, please think before you speak about the cinema of other countries that aren’t Hollywood or Bollywood.

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