“I Have Mother!”

Or, as it’s rightly said in Hindi, “Mere paas maa hai!” was, still is and will remain the most famous dialog in Bollywood for the next few decades. The 1975 classic Deewar set new standards in Indian cinema and elevated mortal beings into superstardom. Sadly, the ’70s were all that Bollywood could offer in terms of originality, innovation and pleasure. Apart from the occasional gem, a majority of  the movies made in Bollywood today are worthless pieces of stool.

There is one – just one – formula that all Bollywood movies follow nowadays:

A meets B.

Falls in love with B. 

A thinks life is all roses and unicorns. Sings a song or two. 

But, oh no! What’s this? B is in love with C! How unexpected!

A is shattered. Depressed. Sings a song or two.

C, meanwhile, is a jerk and does something inhuman, untrustworthy. 

B loses faith in C. B is depressed. Blames self for misfortune. Sings a song or two.

A swoops in like a knight in shining armor. Consoles B.

B falls in love with A. All is fine, sing a song or two.

Optional (for violence): C and A have a fight. 

If A and C are men, you have a strong romantic movie filled with songs, drama and action. If A and C are women, you have a spicy, romantic chick flick.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but every one of these so-called ‘new and improved’ movies work on these lines. This is the core formula. The unchanging storyline for any movie worth it’s salt to pass inspection. Package the formula with a college theme, a superhero theme, a gangster theme, and just about any goddamn theme – you get one crappy movie after another.

The Bollywood Crap Factory has been churning out disaster after such disaster for the past twenty-odd years. And it’s amazing how people just fall for it each and every time. Either that, or re-hashing successful old movies with more masala and lesser clothes and disgusting lyrics to excite more hapless people.

Unabashed over-the-top acting with too much drama and too many emotions and too many movements of the eyebrows, relying too much on non-Indian folk to add some elements of ‘variance’ or as the producers like to call it, ‘a global touch’ – these are few of the trends that are bound to backfire and implode sooner or later. Actors who engage in silly publicity stunts, those who sell their souls to be on a reality show and those who sell their bodies to get featured in a newspaper – we have all kinds of lunatics in this business.

I crave for the day this ridiculous trend is overturned for something better. Bollywood needs a face-lift. And soon!

8 thoughts on ““I Have Mother!”

  1. Woaah.. glad to see this post, you are an oldie too after all.. i mean you like old movies. 😀

    By the way, agree with what you say out here.. very few meaningful, original scripts floating around.. once in a while Taare zameen par, stanley ka dabba kind of movies that hit the screen.. earlier, Bengali and Malyalam films would be bracketed under original screenplays, but not anymore..

    Like you said, bollywood and other woods need a face-lift, and not a booby-lift that are floating a many

  2. This is one reason why i don’t prefer to watch movies anymore. Lack of a proper story, sloppy screenplay and haphazard direction – just the right, deceiving ingredients to waste 2-3 hours.

    ps : click on my name to know my frustration

  3. Hey there.. aah movies! my favorite topic of all time! I think the films being made in Bollywood are a reflection of the urban wanna-be lifestyle. If you say the 2women = spicy film, it’s because it’s a reflection of what the urban youth population is all about. Unfortunately though, the urban youth are not wanna-bes for the most part at least, many of them try to be counter-cultural. But when that is reflected in cinema, it makes them seem like trash because Bollywood cannot handle counter-cultural!

    That said, I loved the Agneepath tribute. I saw it twice in theater, wouldn’t mind seeing it again in cinema! It was spectacular cinematography, IMHO.

    On the other hand, some of the Tamil films I’ve seen are quite spectacular. I think tamil cinema tries to stick to it’s ‘tamil’ roots which is quite stuck in literature & a hierarchial traditional culture, which reflects in the lifestyle of madras & madurai!

    Good post though. I like that you recognise patterns so quickly.. 🙂

  4. Agree with Aparna and Divya. I mean these days, we find very few people who appreciate ‘movies’ in general. Let it alone be it a stupid commercial naach gaana girl and boy love story or a realistic parallel art movie. Think its more about stereotyping different genres here.

    Just to comment, Of late I see that quite a few Bollywood films are blatantly making some antiquated belief on South Indian’s lifestyle. The movie Dirty Picture makes the assumption that all South Indians sport a forehead with vibuthi all the time. Not all South Indians are dark and wear Veshti and vibuthi all the time. It is getting to a point that is very similar to blackface representation in the 50s and 60s in Hollywood.

    Bollywood seriously needs a facelift, oh and let me not get started on SRK and Ra.One!

    Good one Niks! 🙂

  5. I grew up in the Caribbean during the 90’s watching those flicks on a Sunday afternoon after our family meal. This post made me nostalgic ……………but you forgot to add “sing a song or two while playing pee-a-boo behind trees lol 🙂

  6. @Anu – I hear Ra.One was really ridiculous? Apparently in one scene, since he is a tamilian, he adds yoghurt to maggi noodles.. cuz that’s what tamilians do?! I haven’t seen the show myself, but it sounded so ridiculous that if I had watched it, I would’ve been more annoyed than entertained. Pffft.

  7. @Aparna- Oh well let’s not get started on that one particular scene, it evokes true South Indian emotions. SRK had the nerve to make South Indians look like caricatures to make his stupid super hero movie mint money overseas. The annoying fact was the language used by none of the so called South Indians, it’s not Tamil, nor English, but yeah it’s called Tanglish, like so ridiculous. They could just hire a translator for heaven’s sake.

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