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The ever increasing dominance of Hollywood in India


From a point of view of kid born in late 80s

It was the early 90s , when a family buys a VCP. Two kids and their father go to a video cassette parlour and browse for films. They get 3 films. 2 of them were Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee movies. Video cassette guy recommends that if they want to see some real bad ass action , go for JC and BL movies.

Then came in Commando , Spanish connection [ or French connection ] , more JC and BL movies. Kids suddenly started talking about the movie called  Jurassic Park. We were exposed to a new world of Dinosaurs. Never seen before kind of graphics and action.

Things were getting better and interesting with years to come.

1995 : Jumanji

1996 : Indepedence day & Twister

1997 : Titanic ,we all know what this film did to us and is still some of ours most favourite film.

1998 : Armageddon

1999 : The Mummy , James Bond : The world is not enough , The Matrix etc

2000 : Gladiator and MI 2 , remember that music theme…….

2001 : Lord of the rings and Harry Porter trilogy begins ( here is where an average Indian kid in his teens is introduced to the concept of a sequel , trilogy and film series…

These were not just films. They were events..

Back to 2015. A lot has happened. Like Terminator , Spiderman , The day after tomorrow , Oceans series , Christopher Nolan also happened , Pirates of carribenan series , We were introduced to the world of Zombies , Robots , Super heroes , Intelligence and spy agencies , Marvel comics got popular ( not to forget Iron Man and Thor ) , Mind blowing Avatar , Black Swan , an array of animation movies ( frozen , toys , brave etc) , should we mention : Argo : fuck yourself , Fast and Furious series , birdman , gone girl , Mad max and the latest Jurassic World.

The number of Hollywood films release in India has increased many folds , so is the number of viewers and hence the Dominance. Explained in brevity :

Always ahead of their time : Hollywood films have always been ahead of their time . Be it science fiction with ET or Star Wars / Star Trek , Independence day or Action movies like Speed , Die hard , James Bond films , Arnold Schwarzenegger films. At the point of their release they were truly never seen before kind of films.

Variety : Take it any Genre , Hollywood will give you umpteen number of films to prove that they are better than most of the films ever produced. Action and science fiction is already mentioned take a look at some of the genre Hollywood excels in that is hardly present in India.

  • Fantasy : Harry Potter , LOTR , and god knows what
  • Adult comedy : American Pie , Euro Trip , The Hangover
  • Conspiracy films : The enemy of the state , The Manchurian candidate , 3 days of condor , Blow out etc
  • Disaster/Zombie/apocalyptic films , Epic , Slasher , mystry , biographical etc are some of the forms of movies that are not often seen in Bollywood. Over the years taste have grown and people have evolved. with the exposure to internet , travelling people are aware of such genres but sadly Bollywood pays less attention to these genres.

Respected Star Cast : Imagine a Martin Scorsese film featuring Leonardo Di Caprio & Ben Kingsley  or Christopher Nolan directing Christian Bale or Avengers movie featuring an array of  super heroes . Hollywood actors and directors are not only worshipped but also respected. Their reputation precedes their persona. Hollywood films are not about just macho man heroes it is only about acting.

Real : Somehow Hollywood films looks real. No matter how insane things they show in science fiction movies , they look real , believable and most importantly they don’t look cheap. Acting , star cast , Film locations , speed of the film , minute details of the film , editing , screenplay , everything just seems to gel in the moment of the film. Even the sex scenes look fitting in the film not like in many bollywood film where it is just inserted to glam up or put in an item number just to spice it up a little.

Bollywood , too much of a drag and hard to digest : Talk to a foreigner about Bollywood film and first thing they say is that they have dances and songs in the film and suddenly everyone knows all the dance moves in the chorus. How is that even possible ! Old storylines , lack of novelty , actors and directors showing no respect for gravity ( cars and people flying around and thrown around ) looks a little odd. Action scenes look sub par and quality of acting is not at all comparable to Hollywood actors.

A complete experience  : Mostly movies are well edited , screenplay is smart , audience is usually engaged , useless scenes are cut off , lack of songs makes it small and just apt in size to watch , hardly lacks plot , a lot of movies have some point to show ( either ethics , morals , struggle in a biography , good v/s evil , we can go on and on) , movies have proper ending , movies are well researched , content is original ( or if they are adapted , they are properly acknowledged ) , importance to keep audience in mind and many more points. It makes a complete experience to watch a Hollywood films and there not usually not loose ends.

One can argue that not all Hollywood movies are better than Bollywood films or Bollywood films are also dominating US and UK regions , There is crazy following of SRK and Salman and AB etc , or Bollywood lacks budget or Bollywood is still evolving but it doesn’t take the fact away that Bollywood has a lot to catch up , youth audience has increased who understands English well , and is definitely being lured by Hollywood more and more , time for Bollywood to catch up fast as the next thing we see is TV Series ( refer Prison break , Sherlock , Breaking bad etc) is eating up youth TV audience very fast.

What Bollywood did to regional cinema , Hollywood is doing to Bollywood.

The Thinking Chum


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