You’ve Come a Long Way, Bollywood
It’s a genre that needs no introduction. You know when you’re watching a Bollywood movie—even without the presence of 100 colourful and finely choreographed dancers. As an industry, Bollywood has exploded, becoming a source for dreams, scandal, and talk shows—much like its American counterpart. But such was not always the case.
Once upon a time, Bollywood was synonymous with shoddy production, garish costumes, and worse make up. The cinema that entrances people around the world with slick sets, designer clothes, and haute bodies has undergone its own personal renaissance, blossoming into an industry that generates huge revenues—even outside of India.
And people have noticed. The world watched breathlessly as Oprah interviewed Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachan, Bollywood celebrates are regularly spotted at the Oscars and Cannes, and many of Hollywood’s finest are publicizing their intentions of entering Bollywood. It’s even rumoured that the Queen of England, known for her love of decorum and tradition, recently hosted a Bollywood-themed party.
So what’s behinds the industry boom? According to many experts accessibility have has key to the rise of Bollywood. Learning about Hindi cinema and celebrities was once difficult outside India. With the growing popularity of the Internet, people all over the word now have free and easy access to foreign movies and new celebrity crushes. In Germany, for example, the media has touted Shah Rukh for being as popular as the pope—only with more sex appeal.
Of course, the driving popularity behind Bollywood is probably money. The demand for Hindi cinema is fuelled by a middle class population that exceeds the entire population of the United States. In the UK, where Bollywood dominates a huge chunk of the entertainment scene, there are agencies and companies who exclusively publicize films, stars and related events. Bollywood, according to Managing Director of Sterling Media, a PR company in London, generates more than 200 Million Pounds towards the UK economy.
Bollywood has arrived. And as long as there’s money to be made, it’s likely this cinema featuring pelvic-pumping tunes is here to say. Hooray for Bollywood.