Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bollywood and Moulin Rouge

I learned something interesting in my film class about Moulin Rouge. Everyone had to either write a paper about international film, or they had to give a presentation about the same subject. Two people together gave a presentation about Moulin Rouge. I thought it was cool, so I thought I'd share.

Baz Luhrmann, the director, wanted to make a movie that would connect with all different kinds of people. Luhrmann actually traveled to India in order to see a Bollywood film. He wanted his movie to be as big as a Bollywood film.

Now, to understand further, you have to understand Bollywood film. It's probably one or at least the biggest cultural sensation in India. Bollywood films are typically characterized by tons of songs, elaborate costumes and dance numbers, as well as dealing with generations of family members, with back stories and a history for each family and character.

Before a Bollywood film is released, the songs are released on the radios. If the population does not like the songs from the films, then the movie will ultimately fail. However, if the songs create a sensation, the movie will be popular. When the movie is released in theatres, their viewing routine is very, very different from America. In India, when people go to see a movie, they talk to each other, smoke, eat, drink, and answer their cell phones. When the song and dance numbers happen in the movie, everyone stops and just sings along, having a grand old time. Of course, if you've ever been to a film in theatres in America, you know that we are the complete opposite.

Anyway, if a film is widely successful, then the movie can last in theatres for up to 10 years, maybe longer.

Now this type of viewing was what Luhrmann wanted to incorporate in his movie Moulin Rouge. That is why the songs in the film are full or at least parts of already popular songs in America. He wanted people to be able to sing along to the movie. He wanted people to have a good time watching the film.

Of course, there are significant differences between Bollywood films and Moulin Rouge, which I don't need to go into right now.

Anyway, I think this all is very interesting, and I think that everyone should see a Bollywood film at some point in their life. You will probably think it's ridiculous, but it's kinda catchy and you might just find yourself tapping your foot along to the music. I know I did.

I have only seen one Billywood film as of now. It's called (loosely translated) The Brave Heart Takes the Bride.

Have a wonderful day, and remember:

"The hills are alive.... with the sound of music..."