Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bollywood's Future In Action Movies

To me one of the most interesting film industries to observe is Bollywood, as it churns out more movies than any other industry. There are several misconceptions about Bollywood, the most famous one being that it encompasses all Indian movies made. Movies made in the language of Hindi are the only movies that truly fall under the Bollywood category. 

Music in Bollywood Movies

Aside from the misconception that every Indian movie is part of Bollywood, there are a also stereotypes that have been subscribed to Bollywood movies, such as that every movie is really a musical. Another common stereotype is that Bollywood movies on average are around three hours long. Both these stereotypes are mainly true but over the recent years there have been several movies that have abandoned the combination of songs and movie. Another trend is a decrease in the number of songs per movie. Movies filmed during the 1980-2000 contained anywhere between five to seven songs, and these songs greatly contributed to the running time of most Bollywood movies. At the turn of the century, more and more movies ascribed lessening the running time of movies, and this was mainly done by cutting songs out of the movie. The average currently is anywhere between three to five songs per movie. Such changes are fundamentally changing Bollywood, and one of the most notable aspects of the decrease in the number in songs lies in the fact that the song is tied in to the plot, so the story continues as the song occurs. A great example of this is from the movie Don, where a character's assassination takes place as a song goes on. The link to the song is above . The question now becomes, what influenced this change?

Hollywood's effect on Bollywood

While there is not one clear answer, I personally think a lot of it has to do with Hollywood's effect on Bollywood. In many ways Bollywood has moved towards a more western approach regarding movies. Apart from several movies that drew inspiration directly from Hollywood movies, Bollywood has been trying to step up its game in the action movie department for quite some time. While Hollywood currently holds the crown as the most slickly and best produced action movies, Bollywood has been working to catch up to the standard, if not set a new one. Focusing just on action movies alone, Indian action movies are for the most part lackluster especially when compared to Hollywood movies. This all began to change in 2004 when Dhoom came out. The movie took India by storm and rightfully so, it was Bollywood's first attempt at making an action that was able to compete with Hollywood movies. Sadly the movie's impact was limited and Bollywood's action movies continued to be very few and far in between. Other notable action movies that can be thrown in to the mix include: Dhoom 2 and Don. Both those movies released in 2006 and after that Bollywood saw a couple mildly successful action movies but nothing incredible. One thing worth keeping in mind is that Bollywood movies budgets are way lesser than that of Hollywood. While the most expensive Hollywood movie cost near 500 million dollars to make, the highest budgeted Bollywood movie was produced for around 25 million dollars. This gives the directors a lot less to work with in terms of money to spend towards special effects and action sequences. This is one the reasons why Bollywood action movies cannot perform at the mark of Hollywood movies. The most recent attempt at a superhero movie by Bollywood was Ra.One. The link to the trailer is above.

Don 2 - The only action movie worth sharing

The only Indian action movie I would share with my friends would be Don 2, and there is a very simple reason for this. It is one of the few movies that combines excellent action alongside a good plot line. Of course to understand this movie you would have to watch its predecessor, Don, which was a mediocre action movie. The strides made by the sequel are monumental, and it is one of the few sequels that outdoes its predecessor in every single way. This movie raises the bar for Bollywood action movies and with only two songs in the mix, it is relatively modern in its approach. The trailer for the movie is below.