It's the Oscar Awards season again and I have not yet seen any film nominated this year in any of the categories. Not even Meryl Streep's Julie/Julia. This is something unusual for me since I enjoy watching free movies a lot. But as they also say 'when God closes the door, He surely opens a window.'
I am now, on the other hand, discovering the beauty of Bollywood. It was actually duty and our boys that introduced me to Indian films. Since our boarders watch movies every Saturday evening--which I guess is one of the highlights of their week as well, and I have to 'assist' (i.e. be present with them) them even at this time. Of course, having been so accustomed to Hollywood movie-making, I also had my initial shock and dissatisfaction with Bollywood.
Here, films are generally longer (often more than 2 hours) with songs and dances interspersed within the scenes and dialogues. They also usually have slower phasing in their narration with several (or maybe more than the usual) subplots interacting and affecting the entire storyline. Little by little though, especially when I started picking up familiar Urdu words (Hindi is very related to Urdu) I also began to appreciate Bollywood production. They are rich and fascinating.
I can still count on my fingers the number of Indian films that I have seen--from the classic Lagaan, to the more contemporary Qurban, Paa, Taare Zameen Par to Johnny (which is about Don Bosco), to the more controversial My Name is Khan and of course, my favorite Three Idiots (thanks to Br. Castilino for leading me into this film) among others whose title has now escaped my memory.
Everytime I watch these films, I had to enter as well into a different frame of mind in order to understand and appreciate them better. And since films--art forms, mirror reality, they also provide me with a closer glimpse of their culture, life style, traditions--their ways of perceiving and interpreting the world in which they live in and which I am now trying to be a part of.