February 22, 2010

Bollywood goes Hollywood

Posted in Art & Culture tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:42 am by potofcallaloo

It is rare to find major Western film corporations backing Bollywood movies.

So 20th Century Fox has arguably set a precedent by putting its stamp on My Name is Khan.

But exceptional efforts should ideally reap exceptional rewards.

And Shah Rukh Khan does a prodigious job of playing the protagonist, Rizwan Khan, who is afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism characterised by eccentric and anti-social behaviour.

He stars alongside the gorgeous Kajol who plays a Hindu single mother.

Produced by Hiroo Yash Johar and Gauri Khan, the film unearths underlying issues that are relevant to today’s happenings all around the globe.

Khan’s seemingly perfect life goes haywire in the wake of 9/11.

Among the unfolding tragedies, his son is killed supposedly because his surname is inconveniently Khan, in post 9/11 America where there is growing hate and mistrust for Muslims.

Khan sets on a mission to meet the U-S President to affirm that he is NOT a terrorist.

Epitome of Compassion

The plot might seem overly simplistic but the film awakens the deepest human emotions dormant in all of us until tragedy strikes home.

Khan’s persona epitomises the raw humanity and compassion that every good human being should possess.

He lives by his Mother’s words – that in this world there are only two kinds of people, good and bad.

And this simple mantra leads a man, deemed different because of his condition and stereotyped because of his religion, to embrace a life of such pureness and servitude unto others that it seems almost naive at times.

The producers did an excellent job of developing the story without creating corniness about it.

Definitely a must see!

And if you need any more convincing, last week the BBC reported that the film became Bollywood’s most successful box opener in the UK, grossing close to £1m! And over its first weekend in the US, it earned £1.4m.

Hopefully, we’ll see more of Bollywood making it to Hollywood.



  1. Charlo said,

    Will definitely have a look:)…

    Question though, I am a fan of bollywood films and I have noted that most bollywood productons fall in the musical-drama genre. Don’t you think the genre is one of the major contributing factors for ‘Bollywood not making it to Hollywood’ apart from the politics?

    Usually movies of the above-mentioned genre (despite its origin) rarely make it to Hollywood and they can only be viewed via cable-television. Therefore, I think the reoccurrence of “Bollywood making it to Hollywood” is more so dependent on its prospective ‘attractivity’ or ‘marketability’ to the masses, which is determined by the powers that be.

    • Interesting food for thought.
      I never thought of Bollywood films as falling into that category, so I googled the category and found several web definitions that said a musical-drama is “opera in which the musical and dramatic elements are equally important; the music is appropriate to the action”

      With that in mind, I would just call it a musical. Can we then consider whether musicals are successful in Hollywood? Think of classics like the Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, to recent hits like Moulin Rouge or Dreamgirls.

      I personally have always thought Bollywood needed to get more daring, original and dig a bit deeper with its plots to have wider appeal.

      When I was growing up, I was able to predict exactly what would happen in Bollywood movies. Surprisingly I didnt know what was going to happy in My Name is Khan.

      On the contrary, I saw the preview for an upcoming Bollywood film which I said I would not see since it seems to overuse the Matrix’s stunts we have all grown accustomed to. But would I have wanted to see this new film had it shown prior to the Matrix? sure! And that’s what I mean when I say that the plots could do with some more originality.

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