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So one of the great things about South Asia is BOLLYWOOD!! Unlike Hollywood, Bollywood isn't actually a place - it refers to the Hindi Film industry here in South Asia. The films totally ROCK! Well, not all of them rock, but they're great fun! Now, to go see a movie in the theatre, it takes dedication :) The films are usually about 4 hours long (but they do have an intermission in the middle). They are full of drama, dancing, singing and more drama. In my opinion, the best part of a film is the dance/musical numbers that are in them. Crazy enough, a film's success usually depends on the quality of these musical numbers... So here is a good one for you to check out if you have time - it's fun!

There's one movie that has an even better song than the one shown above, but it was a little provocative at the beginning, so I didn't want to put it on the blog - but anyone that wants to check it out - it's awesome!! - Kajra Re. I have a few favorite bollywood movies... I LOVE the movie Lagaan - it's GREAT! It's a movie that takes place during the British Rule and is all about Cricket! It's awesome! Some other great movies: Kal Ho Na Ho ; Bunty Aur Babli and Salaam Namaste. Bunty Aur Babli is actually a copy of "Bonnie and Clyde". There are actually a bunch of bollywood movies that are copies of Hollywood movies - check it out here: Bollywood films and plagiarism .
So here's a few fun facts about Bollywood:
- The first "talkie" film (film with sound) was in 1931 and was called: Alam Ara - which means "Light of the World" in Urdu - cool hunh?
- Most Bollywood stars CAN'T sing and they lip-sync all of their musical numbers. Actually, back when the film industry first started, a woman named Lata Mangeshkar and her sister did all of the women's singing voices. They both had really high-pitched voices, and that is why women sing so high today - they set the trend!
- When Bollywood first started up, they would write the films as they went (and they still do that sometimes!)
- In the 1950's they made the first Bollywood color films but most of the film were Black & White until the 1960's
- Being in Bollywood is really like a family business. There are many Family Film Clans where the entire family and relatives are actors.
- So in 2002 (sorry, it's the earliest statistics I have), Bollywoood had revenues of $1.3 Billion and Hollywood had revenues of $51 Billion - even though Bollywood sold over a billion more tickets to their movies!
- Average cost per Hollywood film: $50 million. Average cost per Bollywood film: $1.5 million.

One of the biggest Bollywood actors is Shahrukh Khan - he is in a lot of films and even some game shows. He's the host of the Bollywood versions of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader". He's a huge heartthrob here:
Then... there's "BIG B" and his family. Big B - or Amitabh Bachchan is a HUGE actor here in Bollywood. He's been in a million movies (that's an exaggeration, but if you click on his name you can see all the movies he's been in - quite a few!). His son is Abhishek Bachchan who is quite famous too and just recently married Aishwarya Rai - former Miss World and a famous Bollywood actress.
And my one Bollywood claim to fame... I've met one Bolywood actress - Hazel. She's not a very big actress - but was in a movie that made it to the theatres this year :) When Adam and I went to the Hindi school in the mountains, she was there taking classes too :) haha! English is her first language and she wanted some help on her Hindi.
OK, so that was a lot of stuff in this post - hope I didn't bore you :) If I did, then check out that video above - totally fun!


Roberts said…
Okay you KNEW I'd have several comments, right?

1. Bollywood rocks!
2. Didn't know that about Lata M. and her sister setting the trend for the high pitched singing. I did know she's done the voices for like 1000s of movies, which is amazing!
3. Kajra Re! Thanks for the link. I've heard that song at some sangeets and other parties, but never knew what it was. Now I know! I love it!!
4. But...kinda ooky how Aish is dancing provocatively toward her now father-in-law, huh?
5. YEA for Hazel having a Bollywood connection!

Fun post!
Cool trivia! I heard South Asia makes more films per capita than any other country in the world. That true? Seems believable to me!
SouthAsiaRocks said…
yeah, they make TONS of films!
Bronie said…
such a fun post! i'll check out some of the links!
Erin G said…
I like bollywood, too. I took a class on south asian english lit at furman (sounds awesome, but don't get your hopes up... it wasn't as good of a class as it had the potential to be), and the best part was watching bollywood films and eating indian food once a week! I love all the colors!

do you read much by john irving? He wrote a book called Son of the Circus that takes place mostly in India, and one of the main characters is a Bollywood star. I like his books, even if I am disturbed at times, he's a great novelist.

Anyway thanks for sharing! this makes me want to go watch monsoon wedding again! or bend it like beckham (not bollywood but whatever).
allhisblessings said…
That's awesome! I've never seen a Bollywood film, but I thought the clip was actually really fun!! I'm a sucker for musicals anyway. Must be why my daughters like High School Musical so much. :)
SouthAsiaRocks said…
yeah, I love musicals (and High School Musical) :)
Aarmel said…
Great post Andrea! I need to do one like this. Hmmm...maybe I'll just cut and paste! :) Gotta love the Big B!
Jill said…
awesome! thanks for all the fun info on bollywood!

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