Bollywood: A Cynical Deconstruction :)

Western philosophy has often used architectonic termsβ€”metaphors of base and superstructure, foundations and edifices, and founding moments and founding fathers…

– Of Grammatology, Derrida

Bollywood: Successfully Selling Shit For Almost 100 Years!

The last Bollywood movie I saw was called Sarkar Raj. I saw this in the month of July, and it was a forgettable experience. I broke a self-imposed rule of Bollywood abstinence and watched the movie, shelling out an unbelievable amount of money for the night show. Over time, Bollywood has churned out crap after stinking crap, and I find it amusing (and slightly disturbing) that the industry still exists and is dubbed as the richest film industry in the world.

A few years ago, there was a sudden increase in “item numbers” in Bollywood, a low-budget version of underground soft porn, and this revolution kicked off probably the biggest number of flops ever recorded in any film history. Of course, I wonder where the directors and producers find the time to make these movies while battling plagiarism suits from Hollywood.

“Bollywood’ – the very name is somewhat of a joke. What the fuck does it mean anyway? Dictionary.com told me that “boll” meant the pod of a cotton plant. Apt, don’t you think so? Add to this the miserable Lollywood of South India, and we have a lousy bunch of losers who want to make movies under the garb of originality, creativity and hope! πŸ˜€

Coming back to the interesting point of plagiarism, I’m sure one in every three movies have been lifted from their Hollywood counterparts. Isn’t there such a thing like a copyright anymore? I think not. The films themselves are comparable in quality to the dirt in our belly buttons, and very rarely is a movie made that can be watched without cringing. And what’s the deal with the bad spelling, anyway? Kkkkkcompany? Singh is Kinnnng?? Gimme a break! πŸ˜€

Put together a bunch of washed-out actors and directors, throw in a round or two of tequila shots, make them believe that they’re Mankind’s last hope and what they come up with is a screenplay like Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav! This 3-hour load of fragrant shit was a sensation among the less-sophisticated audience.Β  πŸ˜€

Whatever’s been said and done, I know for a fact that it’s going to take something really sensational to make me watch a Bollywood movie again. I’ve had enough of second-rate droll to last me a lifetime. Hollywood has it’s misgivings too. I’ll save my rantings about the world’s second lousiest film industry for a later post. Yeah, I’m not a big movie fan. I like books and plays better! πŸ˜€

Image Courtesy: Cartoonsunder30seconds.com

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Errata: Lollywood is the Pakistani film industry, and not a South Indian one. I sincerely apologize for the mistake.
Kollywood, however, refers to the Kannada film industry in Karnataka! Holy Shit! πŸ˜€

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56 thoughts on “Bollywood: A Cynical Deconstruction :)

  1. Yes. YES, I agree. Imagine my torment when time and again I am asked here in France if I know dancing. Why should I know how to dance? Because every woman in India can dance sooooo well. We have seen in Hindi movies. We loooove Hindi movies.

  2. don’t call your post cynical, because it isn’t! Even though I love “bollywood” movies, I agree with you whole-heartedly! I think you are being realistic. I mean, it’s fact that bollywood does churn out a lot of crap…but maybe one movie in ten is worth watching, or maybe one movie in 15 (I am sure you won’t agree even with this!) but really most of the films are copied, I would say 2 out of 3 or rather 1 out of 50 movies is absolutely clean, without anything copied – neither a song, a scene, story or whatever. I don’t blame people when they swear off bollywood movies, I went through this phase when the violent amitabh bachchan movie phase was on. Movie after movie dishum dishum and I think I didn’t watch a hindi film for at least a decade! πŸ™‚ in a theatre I mean. But in the last 10 years or so I started liking bollywood again and it was that madhuri dixit movie with salman khan, whats the name…ummm, i think its got an acronym. then i saw some really good movies like ddlj, and the kajol movies, and I liked satya, and one whodunnit from RJv, I think with saif as the villain. after these movies I got hooked again…but I agree, most of the movies are rubbish. Some are on the borderline, and I have watched some of these.

  3. Haha!The comments on padmashree yadav were great!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    Really,sitting for 3 long hours and watching a movie is too damn boring…

  4. LOL.
    Every actor/director should read this post, get disgusted and ip their face in cow dung…
    Agree…every other movie is plagiarised, has very very dumb names with extra alphabets…
    I’m really fed up of SRK, AB, and every other person doing the same thing over and over again….
    I’m waiting to read others comments…

  5. I watch Bollywood movies only if they have a good review. It is too risky as most of them are crap. The only ones that I can confidently watch is if it is played by Aamir Khan. He does a good job and choosing a good story. What is the other movie Industry? It better not be Tamil because I feel a lot of Tamil films are original and much better than Bollywood.

  6. @Nomad
    Hehehehe… So, can you dance? πŸ˜€

    @Nita
    Yeah, I guess you can call this reality… I had watched Sholay when I was a kid and I was quite perplexed when the bad guys died when Amitabh Bachan and Dharmendra were shooting and when the bad guys were shooting, these two miraculously escaped! πŸ˜€
    But, it is quite sad to see the state of the indian film industry… I think someone should put a rule against them! πŸ˜€

    @Ameya
    LOL… Yeah! πŸ˜€

    @Priya
    Hehehe… Yeah.. SRK seems to be nauseatingly omnipresent these days! πŸ˜€

    @Dinesh
    I think Lollywood is the Pakistani film industry!! Sorry for the error.. I’ve added the errata… πŸ˜€

  7. Crap it is !
    and ripping of a script from a hit hollywood movie is just sick….
    Songs are ripped from Korea.
    Actors are asked to wear costumes no one in this world wear. Not even at the naked beach in the US.
    They are paid a fortune.
    And we pay a fortune to watch them.

    Crap !

  8. One of the things I enjoy most about Bollywood movies is the fact that, unlike Hollywood, where every movie must be in one genre (Action! Drama! Sci-fi!), there are so many movies that combine two, three, or even six of these genres. From my perspective, Bollywood seems to have a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” mentality…and I kind of like that.

    And yes, “Sholay” comes to mind. It’s a Comedy/Western/Drama/Musical/Buddy-Movie — how can you top that? In addition, I myself (as an American who at the time had extremely limited information about India’s history or culture) also found it extremely perplexing to watch for the first time.

    I found myself watching the musical number wherein everyone throws colored dust on each other over and over and over again looking for some clue as to what “Holi” is all about. Nothing could be that random.

    Can I finally respectfully ask the question of someone who’s seen it? What’s up with that?

  9. Oh, I agree with totally!
    See, this is why I say…movies should (esp hindi ones) be watched in the comfort of your house…rent a dvd, download it from torrents…but never never go to a theatre…all that ransom you pay to sit thru 3 hrs of shit will make you feel guilty and will prevent yu from walking out after the first 15 minutes! Why torture yourself this way??? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    BTW, Amitabh Bachchan sucks! (Ah, I finally said it in a public forum — and am confident I wont die an instant death! πŸ˜› )

  10. Yaar maana ke most of them are bad, but u got to make ur choices right… think before u watch a movie, or read reviews on other blogs…cuz rediff and indiafm are already sold…
    u should try films like aamir, rock on, etc. to re-affirm ur faith in bollywood

  11. Hi !!! Ya Bollywood films are bad most of da times.. I like very few of em .. like rang de basanti , chak de india, taare zameen par (didnt like these ones too??).. all others are quite similar ..
    I dont know much about Lollywood or Kollywood πŸ˜€

  12. I’m studying film making amongst other things, and differ with you on a few things, some of which have already been talked about-

    The reference point for ‘good’ movies are hollywood movies for most of us. Most of these are in turn copies of European films. Why they don’t talk about in the open is some thing to think about. So plagiarism isn’t our problem alone.

    The average movie watcher wants to be entertained (rhetorical but important from the film-makers’ perspective). If he doesn’t have a scene that has the front benchers whistling, there’s a problem.

    Before the new ‘low-budget’ movies started making it big (only in their first weekends) at multiplexes, the lowest common denominator was the masses’ satisfaction. And as with other products, films too need to be customized to customers’ wants. While we snicker at such films, their success and the heady box office numbers have global studios hankering for a share in the pie.

    The film industry earns its true profits from the ‘cow-belt’- including UP, Bihar and parts of central India. These have the maximum no. of single-screen theaters that make up the numbers for them. That’s why a totally sci-fi hopeful like Love Story 2050 has all shades of bollocks placed in it, haphazardly like the buffet dinner at a wedding.

    About the reviews- Only the reviewers and their editors believe them these days. Bachna ae Haseeno got 4 stars in TOI, ostensibly the largest selling English paper. The learnings from the film-

    The DDLJ tune (tanang-tanang-tanang) would soon be incorporated as the swiss national anthem.
    A singlet-and-hot-pants wearing Bipasha always moves in with the hero wherever in the world he steps.
    A totally committed B-school Student-cum-Taxi Driver-cum-Cashier at a super market decides to forego everything she’s stood for, by doing the same exact thing that she didn’t do in the first place, for which the hero did something that took the entire 2nd half of the film. Sounds dense? Let’s go beat Nikhat Kazmi and his ilk.

    And to further bolster my point :D, Here’s a small list of what you may watch to reaffirm your faith-

    Ek Haseena Thi, Samay, 16 December, Hero No. 1- Mostly movies you may not have heard of, but show what hindi movies can be.

    Mumbai meri Jaan, Rang De Basanti, Rock On! as some one mentioned.

    I know this is long winded, but since I’ve learnt a great deal from what you write, I thought it was apt that I shared back. May be about time you started giving us your take on new releases in form of reviews. I’d sign up for sure.

  13. There seems to be a glitch again… Kollywood is tamil film industry… Kannada’s is called Sandalwood…

  14. “I wonder where the directors and producers find the time to make these movies while battling plagiarism suits from Hollywood.”

    Which suits, man? The one I have heard after many days is Warner Bros suing Hari Puttar. I think Hollywood tends to ignore the rampant plagiarism.
    “quality to the dirt in our belly buttons” Man!! go and have a bath. how many days it has been since ur last bath? πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    “very rarely is a movie made that can be watched without cringing”
    it all depends on the movie and the type of audience and their taste. One may criticize buses but its the transport of the average Indian. Likewise many movie makers wants to appeal to the masses not people like u and me who know good English, pay 120 bucks for watching a movie etc etc and I think they are correct in doing that. The choice lies with the audience to see a movie or not. The cringing part really depends onone’s taste and one’s expectations from a movie/its director and star cast.

  15. I thot kannada film industry is called sandalwood! πŸ˜• and tamil/telgu is tollywood!! OMG!! add wood to everything and you get a film industry for a region. What a cheap lift.

  16. I would agree with Reema on the the audience taste and choice aspect, and lawsuits – the only suit I have heard of is the Hari Puttar one, and that has nothing to do with plagiarism. On the other hand, it is a fact that almost every single Bollywood film is a copy. As for Karan’s point – he has omitted to mention the fact that when Hollywood remakes, it is a duly acknowledged and legal remake. Unlike in India, which is plagiarism. And there is a difference between remaking (with permission) and plagiarism.

    As for audience tastes, there’s little one can say. You and I hated SIK. People loved it.

    Cheers,

    Quirky Indian
    http://quirkyindian.wordpress.com

  17. Hehe nice post! I agree most hindi movies are crap. I think the decline started when Rajshris “Maine Pyar Kiya” became a huge hit. The whole period from there, through the nineties and well into the early 2000s were just different imitations of the “boy-meets-girl-girl’s-dad-angry” type of story. There’s no professionalism in Bollywood. Until very recently dialogues would be written on the spot at the time of shooting. There were no bound scripts even(compare this with Hollywood where the actors have to memorize all their dialogues before the first day of shooting). But things changed with the rise of multiplexes and corporate houses like UTV and ADLABS which gave niche filmmakers a good chance for their movies. There have been some off-beat movies in recent times which were good like Khosla ka Ghosla, Mithya, Omkara, Maqbool, Amir etc. There’s slightly more professionalism now. But we still have a long way to go to make sensible cinema.

    Barring its name(Kollywood) the Tamil movie industry is far more original than Bollywood. While it does have its fair share of “masala” flicks, there are also lots of sensible movies which do well too, defying the excuse that sensible cinema wont find mass appeal. And this is true of other regional cinema like Malayalam and Bengali and Marathi etc. Sadly such regional movies don’t get recognition on a national scale.

  18. @Xylene
    Maybe if we both say the word “Crap” loud enough in unison, someone in Bollywood might hear!

    @Katya
    Hahaha!! WTF is that??

    @Jimsmuse
    Hehehe… When you watch Bollywood movies, I hope for your sake that there are subtitles!
    And holi, well, its the festival of colors, where its customary for people to throw color on others and sing and dance and eat yummy food… There’s some mythological significance to that, but I don’t know what,…

    @Scorpria
    Way to go! Well done! Finally, someone with the guts to say it out loud..!! AMITABH BACHCHAN SUCKS! (Ok, you can arrest me now!)

    @Perx
    Hmmm… Lots of people seem to be of the opinion that Amir is good… Maybe I should watch it.. But, understandably, I’m a bit skeptical!

    @Anu
    Hehehe… Lollywood… the name cracks me up!

    @Karan
    Welcome to MirrorCracked!
    Yeah, I agree but as Quirky Indian says above, Hollywood acknowledges its remakes… We don’t..!!
    And well, as a rule, I do not write movie reviews…

    @Swat
    Hahahahaha!!! Sandalwood!?
    I live in bangalore and I didn’t know that! Hehehe… Sorry for the mistake!

    @Reema
    Of late, Hari Puttar is the only one that comes to mind, but producers of Hollywood superhit Hitch, Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures, are reportedly considering a multi-million dollar suit. And this is against the producers of Govinda-Salman starrer Partner. The movie Partner is a direct lift from the Hollywood hit Hitch and such plagiarism has been prevalent in Bollywood since long. Few years (3 years) back Bappi Lahiri stayed in Los Angeles for a year to sue the Hollywood producers of the album Truthfully Speaking, which contains the Truth Hurts song Addictive because it had Lata Mangeshkar’s song Thoda Resham Lagta Hai in the background. Bappi Lahiri won the suit !! Bappi, who has copied innumerable Hollywood songs all throughout his career had no shame in going after them.
    Now, you tell me if I was justified in making the statement or wasn’t it?
    I do agree that it’s more of an individual choice, and my personal opinion is vehemently against Bollywood!

    @Lively
    Hehehehe… yeah! How about we start one of our own called Cheapwood!? of Flickwood? or better still, Loserwood!

    @Quirky Indian
    Yeah, thats something bollywood should do. Humility to accept that they’re not creative enough and that the movie is a remake of a Western film… I guess ego plays a role here…
    As for the point you raised about lawsuits, I respectfully defer you to my reply to Reema’s comment

    @Ulag
    Welcome to MirrorCracked!
    Yeah, most of the movies from tollywood are quite good… I don’t understand the language myself and I’ve never seen a single one, but I’ve got a whole gang of people here who swear by these movies… Kannada film industry is fucked up and Bollywood is utter crap… And the script you mentioned lacks “boy-poor-girl rich”..!!

  19. I agree with Karan when he says that we have been conditioned by what a good movie is by hollywood. And a prime example of this is that for a movie to be good it has to be realistic. This is brainwashing, and I don’t agree with it at all. For realism I prefer a documentary.
    Also I know a lot of hollywood movies which are technically Food but completely without soul. They ring hollow. Some of them are downright sick. I think I forgot to say that in my comment because we were mainly talking about bollywood. Hollywood movies may nto copy but the bad ones are really make me sick to the stomach. A bad hindi movie may just about bore me. So if I have to choose, I choose bollywood. πŸ™‚

  20. how many people have lamented on this subject in the blogosphere…

    lets face it guys….majority of the population seems to be content with shit.

    BTW
    Tamil Film Industry – Kollywood (coz most studios are in kodambakkam)
    Malayalam Film Industry – Mollywood
    Telugu Film Industry – Tollywood
    Kannada Film Industry – Sandalwood ?? (is that some creativity i sense..even though its a ripoff.)

  21. Nikhi, Its almost impossible for me to sit through a complete Hindi movie, I swear I feel as if, I am being insulted. Now I watch only watch British, Euporean and Japanese cinema which eventually is made in hindi et al… but frankly I do miss the subtle humor in Amol Palaker movies(Gol Mal) or the Innocent romance in Smita Patel’s acting. Now its just very soft porn in the name of modernism and progression, which is again copied. We should have seen realized it when Shah Rukh Khan/Amitab Bacchan/Rajani/Venkatesh are the superstars in India Cenama! All useless.

  22. You are a bit harsh on Bollywood! Every industry has its ups & downs! Some directors are brilliant.. Similarly, some films are brilliant! Watch teen deewarein – brilliant! Or watch ‘Ek Hasina Thi’ – Saif & Urmila! But, you got to pick right – that’s the key!

    πŸ˜€

  23. I agree completely about the aspect of bollywood picking out from hollywood films and certain films being absolute crap, however not all the films that bollywood has produced are crap. Some of the cross over films have just been amazzin like Monsoon Wedding and the most recent Wednesday having a combination of actors like Nasruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. I am sure Tahaan would take the cake as well. I sure do wish that the commercial film makers take a note of this and start producing more stories and cross over films.
    And yuuuccckkks “dirt in your belly” Grrrooosss Niks! πŸ™‚ Great Post!

  24. @Nikhil
    Dude, I agree all Indian movies are shit. But there are a few in each language that are REALLY good. The ratio might be something like 1:100.

    @Dinesh Babu
    Dude, I too am a Tamilian. Please correct yourself when you say many Tamil movies are original. Because they are not. I know it hurts. But that’s the fact.

  25. Hmm I too would prefer books over movies but I enjoy watching movies also.

    In fact we catch the new release in it’s 1st week it self πŸ˜€

    Basically we as a family are movie buffs and thus I never think too much about copied and all. I should enjoy the movie. Period !!! And I guess it is because of people like me that the industry is still earning & counting πŸ˜‰

  26. it’s going to take something really sensational to make me watch a Bollywood movie again
    wise decision i took this long back..
    saw jaane tu ya jaane after a long time..
    enjoyed it ..
    before that i dont even remeber the name of the bolywood movie i saw

  27. I love Bollywood. Nothing exemplifies Indianness with all its loudness and hit-you-between-the-eyeballs like Bollywood.
    If anyone wants to think we are a great and developed country, just look at the copycat industry in Bollywood, and you realise that this is what the country’s best has to offer.
    Criticism aside, I love to watch these movies, but never with any expectation!

  28. Well, I am really really late in landing here, that everyone has already said what I feel about this entry!! 😦

  29. @Quirky Indian
    Hehehe… Ok, I didn’t know that!

    @Avionic Spanker
    Welcome to MirrorCracked!
    Sandalwood.. How chessy… And damn, your name is kick-ass!
    Literally!

    @Nita
    Don’t get me started on Hollywood… Hehehe… I’ve reserved a separate post for that one!

    @EH
    Welcome to MirrorCracked!
    Yeah, I chose a cliched topic to rant about… But then, I hadn’t done that in a long time…
    Sandalwood! ROFL…

    @Chirax
    Yes, I do enjoy french movies a bit… Amelie was a good one… Really liked it…

    @Aparna
    Help me choose, then!!

    @Deeps
    Good to see you back!
    Cross-over films are mostly stereotypical in the Conservative-Indians-Meet-Outgoing-Americans type… A bit of harmless racial humor too… Not really that big a fan of cross-over films… But then, yes… After reading 30+ comments here, I do realize that there might be a few movies I might like πŸ™‚

    @Anniyan
    LOL… yeah!

    @Smita
    Hehehehe!!! Well, ok…
    To each his/her own!

    @Arvind
    Hehehe… I heard the movie was not that great except for the songs? πŸ™‚

    @Rambodoc
    I like that – I love to watch these movies, but never with any expectation!

    Perfect…

    @Oxy
    ROFL… The diplomat!

    @Apar
    Hehehe… Well, I’d certainly love to hear what you have to say! πŸ™‚
    There wasn’t a pic in the header… It was the default one… But this one, well, I like it too!

  30. lol,don’t watch movies which dont sound interesting πŸ˜› anyway its kollywood and lollywood! lol i am bugged of those theme less movies,but then there have been a few good movies too!! roam shanti roam boy! πŸ˜› and don’t try to get more hits by tagging ur post with things like soft porn πŸ˜› u might start getting a lot of sam…and you might be getting on the wrong side of a few ppl ho land up here πŸ˜‰

  31. did you bother with that dreadful mere baap pehle aap? a perfect recommendation for enemies.
    too bad the likes of paresh rawal are being wasted.
    the new trend in keep-your-brain-at-home comedy has reached a new low.
    and, its not just the big screen. remember mtv shitsvile villa?
    and that pathetic new bullying show making youtube headlines for that onscreen slap?
    ugh.

    as for me, as long as I get my daily dose of favourite tv hostess, I dont care!

  32. I don’t like amitabh bhachhan too!!! πŸ˜› πŸ™‚ can’t write a lenghty comment as i am rushing to my meeting! will catch you again once i am back! πŸ™‚

  33. @Vishesh
    Yeah, roam shanti roam, indeed! πŸ˜€
    And well, the soft porn tag certainly brought you here!! πŸ˜€

    @Vaudevillian
    Hahaha! No dude, I haven’t seen that movie… πŸ˜€
    And yeah, I need that daily dose too! πŸ˜€

    @Sakhi
    Hehehe… Okie! πŸ˜€

  34. Point taken. All points taken actually. Though i am a devil’s advocate in my friends’ group and a pessemist, i like bollywood. But yes, hollywood is the best, hollywood is pure film making!
    Coming to the point again, bollywood has given us some amazing movies, that too recently also, among all those item number led shit! And you can watch ROCK ON! without any issues… you will like it…

  35. Well, I m a complete movie buff and I watch almost every flick in the first week only .. But yeah, 90% of them are crap, I agree .. But still I cant restrain myself from going to multiplex and to spend hefty amount on the ticket and on popcorn-cola for a stinking shit .. Just dont know why…

    By the way ,that cartoon is just awesome … Did u draw it and then clicked it from ur camera?? ..

  36. Try watching ‘Rock On’ & ‘A Wednesday’. Anything which has abnormal spellings and a pretencious poster can be shrugged off without a second thought.

  37. Oy…Kollywood is fer Chennai not Karnataka…

    Yea..its a phase…it washes over after all while u r resigned to ’em movies and watch the drivel anyway πŸ˜€

  38. @ QI and @ Nikhil:

    This observation from QI is most astonishing: “You and I hated SIK. People loved it.”

    I think you both are wise! How can there be sane people who love SIK (sic)? πŸ˜‰

    PS: I have no idea what you are both referring to, though.

  39. @Chethan
    Hollywood is NOT pure film making! πŸ˜€

    @Vijay
    LOL… It’s perfect, isn’t it? πŸ˜€

    @Soham
    Hehehehe…. No, man.. Cartoon has been sourced… Check the image courtesy! πŸ˜›

    @Kris
    Hehe.. Yeah, heard a lot about those two movies… πŸ˜€

    @Mystiquedew
    it is? Oops.. Sorry! πŸ˜€

    @Shefaly
    I think he meant SRK… πŸ˜€

    @ QI
    Didn’t you? πŸ˜€

  40. ya ur rite nikhil this bollywood, tollywood and all these thing really suck………….there is lack creativity in this field…………..donno when this thing is goin to change……

  41. @Aravind
    Yeah man… There should be a change soon… Else, more people will read this post and realize their mistake! πŸ˜€

    @Amit
    Yeah… Why is that?? Is it because the average movie-goer is dumb? πŸ˜€

  42. Nikhil, you better add another errata there about Kannada film industry being called Sandalwood.. otherwise expect few more comments iterating the same thing.
    There is a song you must be knowing, naavaDuva nudiye kannada nudi naaviruva taaNave gandada gudi, aa gandada gudi.. and you know ganda is Sandal so the kannada film industry is Sandal wood.

    okay now about the quality of the bollywood movies and the indian film industry, First thing I would like say is, There should be some law or rules which would say, not everybody can become a Hero unless he pass such an such an exam and lot of interviews like they do it for IAS/KAS.. I really can’t stand these Tom-Dicks on the screen! GOD save us.!

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