Bollywood Research Paper
Bollywood Research Paper
Bollywood film industry is a complex and sophisticated phenomenon with a number peculiar features.




Introduction Bollywood film industry is a complex and sophisticated phenomenon with a number peculiar features. It is not only business and successful management with increasing revenues over the past ten years but it is also a dream factory, as it is often called, making people admire all kinds of Indian films all over the world. Domestic Indian entertainment market is greatly based on movie production and this massive branch of entertainment has evolved much since the time films were first introduced in this country and started gaining popularity both in India and abroad.



Despite moderate funding according to Hollywood standards, this area is well balanced and is considered to be the most fertile film factory in the world producing up to a thousand movies annually. Not in vain Matt Rosenberg calls Bollywood “world’s movie capital” (Rosenberg), as it is as popular in America as in Europe or Asia. The secret of its triumph is in keeping audiences happy, Indian filmmakers prefer to shoot films with happy ends. Movies for Indians are like football for Brasilia, baseball for the USA, and corrida for Spain. Life and movie production in India are so interrelated that they flow together and will not be able to exist without each other. Bollywood industry globalization is inevitable in terms of the 21st century. Though it has certain drawbacks such as partially insufficient ability to compete with more fundamentally funded industries using modern technologies, such as Hollywood movie industry, to conduct effective regulations not to fall behind. Still globalization opens new horizons, leads to larger markets and brings enormous flourishing.



Bollywood, containing the experience of the whole Indian entertainment industries, has already been effected by globalization in all its manifestations, as no system can exist without integration into the rest of the world and interconnection with it, Bollywood did not escape from this factor too. In one of his interviews Amitabh Bachchan, an outstanding Indian actor and producer, told that Bollywood industry is on the edge of changing, every year it gains more and more profit, recently it has been estimated that Bollywood films’ audience is about four billion viewers in comparison with Hollywood’s three. Hence, Bollywood has considerably adapted to contemporary society demands and in the course of time it changed and became more liberal and versatile.





Indian Film Industry Pioneers As a matter of fact Indian film industry is considered to be the most extensive in the world concerning ticket selling and the amount of films made every year. According to the data disposed by the Central Board of Film Certification of India only in the year 2003 the number of films produced was more than 2000 comparing with about 500 movies in the United States (Chanda 25). Indian cinematography is popular all over the world especially in those countries with a great number of Indian population. Nowadays in the age of information technology prosperity it is hard to imagine that cinema appeared in India in July of 1896, “when the Lumiere Brothers’ Cinematography unveiled six soundless short films at Watson Hotel, Esplanade Mansion, Bombay” (Shamsie). Harischandra S. Bhatvadekhar was the first to shoot an Indian film in 1899, the film was entitled Wrestlers and as mostly known under the title Save Dada. Then there appeared two more films in the year 1900, they were Splendid New View of Bombay and Taboot Procession. Their director was F. Thanawala. One more pioneer of Indian cinematography was Hiralal Sen, who also made short films in Bombay. In the year 1905 J. F. Madan founded the Elphinstone Bioscope company which greatly contributed to the development of the film industry of India of that age and was like basis for its future progress. This company became the biggest importer of films from America after the World War I. A little later in 1912, N.G. Chitre and R.G. Torney created a silent film Pudalik. Still the following year the fame of a vernacular filmmaker went to Dhundiraj Goving Phalke who made Raja Harishchandra(Bhalla 70). The first Indian cinema houses appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, a number of shows were organized in marquees, the example of such a show was in at the Azad Maidan Bombay and at the Calcutta Maidan. Touring cinema was very popular among audience at that time. They toured around small settlements and towns of the country. One of the famous production companies was Pathe. In 1920s Indian film industry achieved significant results, it began to exist as a regular industry. Among the outstanding filmmakers of the period one can name Baburao Painter (Savkari Pash), Chandulal Shah (Guna Sundari), Dhiren Ganguly, Ardershir Israni and some others (Arti).



Between the years 1917 and 1931 only silent Indian films were produced. The characteristic feature of the cinematography of that time is that it became more or less independent from other film industries. The two most famous epics of these years were the Ramayana and Mahabharata, which influenced the films’ content. Yet in 1931 the first talkie Alam Ara was made, after that music became a leading part of each Indian film. At times there were even too many songs in a movie, up to 70 items in each. The thirties gave rise to new era in the industry, there were a kind of social protest and led to the rapid growth of movies’ popularity. Films with social themes included Franz Osten's Achut Kanya, Damle & Fatehlal's Sant Thukaram, Mehboob's Watan, and others (Ganti 120). In 1937, the first color film was released. Raj Kapoor was a pivotal figure in Indian cinematography, which would have been impossible to fathom without this brilliant producer, director, and actor. Raj Kapoor is sometimes called “Charlie Chaplin of India”. He stared in such movies as Aag (1948), Awara (1951), Shri (1955), Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960), Mera Naam Joker (1970), Sathyam Shivam Sundaram (1978), etc. Generally, the industry was influenced by the West and film preferences changed together with the political and social waves in India itself.



The Golden Age of Indian Cinema In 1950s Indian film industry positioned itself as a form of art. This period is rightly called the golden age of Indian films (Wadhwani 14). As India is versatile country with a number of languages spoken, hence, films were produced in major languages. These languages are Tamil, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam and some others. Different regional film industries can be distinguished, they are: The Bengali film industry; The Hindi film industry, often called Bollywood; The Kannada film industry; The Malayalam film industry; The Kashmiri film industry; The Marathi film industry; The Tamil film industry and The Telugu film industry. This period “gave birth”



To such masterpieces as Awara (1951), Pather Panchali (1955), Pyaasa (1957), Shree (1955), Apu Sansar (1959). The international fame of the films came gradually and it was clear then that film business can bring considerable profits for the whole India. It seems that then Indian film industry achieved new international level, the first International festival was held in Bombay and influenced the whole industry. Pather Panchali became the greatest film recognized on the World Film Scene (Wadhwani 21). Malayalam cinema for example received President’s Gold Medal. In 1973 the film festivals became annual and they gave an opportunity for people of all nations and ages to enjoy Indian movies. The industry continued the process of commercialization and television station of the country was now separated from radio. Aradhana, Sholay and other films were influenced by the political and economic circumstances of the period. Later on in 1980s the wave of violence showed up in the film art. Films became more available to broad audience, common people could watch TV at home. Dramas raised in popularity among the lower middle-class (Bhalla 74). Some of the famous films of this period were Coolie, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, etc. Numerous awards were won by the director Ray Satyajit who was only one out of a number of talents. Actually, movies became more dynamic and versatile they could now satisfy even sophisticated tastes.



The Concept of Bollywood Bollywood is another name for the Mumbai-film industry which appeared first in Hindi language in India. Sometimes dilettantes misconcept Bollywood for the whole Indian movie industry. But indeed it is only the part of a huge complex system with various elements which closely interact in it. Indian entertainment market is greatly based on movie production and this branch of entertainment has evolved much since the time films were first introduced in this country and started gaining popularity all over the world. According to the Business Week Magazines statistics, this massive film industry produces about 1,000 films annually(Gurbir).



A combination of two words Bombay (now Mumbai) and American Hollywood film industry’s name formed the new word Bollywood, which still had what to improve and where to make changes in order to become the world’s largest industry and the one in demand all over the world. Bollywood is mainly made up of three languages, they are Urdu, Hindi and of course English. A few movies even combine several languages in each.



The Observer Magazine underlined the fact that “there is no Bollywood sign on the parched hills above Bombay and, even if there was, it would be too distant to be seen by most of the city’s 16 million inhabitants, too wreathed in heat haze and sea mists”(Kalita). Matt Rosenberg writes in his article Bollywood that “the world’s movie capital is not Hollywood but Bollywood”(Rosenberg). He adds that Bollywood films are made according to a similar angle, called “masala”, a number of spices. Their characteristic feature is happy end. Rosenberg also gives interesting data concerning statistical attendance of cinemas with Indian movies all over the world. “Fourteen million Indians go to the movies on a daily basis (about 1.4% of the population of 1 billion) and pay the equivalent to the average Indian’s day’s wages (1-3 dollars) to see any of the over 800 films churned out by Bollywood each year”(Rosenberg). It is twice bigger than the US amount of films made. That is how Bollywood films began to be regarded as international “obsession”, rapidly spreading like a kind of a modern disease. Bollywood films are shown in America and Great Britain much more often than it used to be. Nowadays only in Mumbai there are about 250 theatres.



Globalization Background of Bollywood According to the research conducted, the word “globalization” is “the most abused word of the 21st century” (Chanda 53). In Webster’s dictionary it is defined as a complicated process, “worldwide in scope or application”. Long before the world “globe” became frequently used in the language, our forefathers conquered the world, spread everywhere, inhabited all the continents. This process of inhabiting continents may be called as “proto-globalization”.(Chanda) According to the history scale the term globalization is a new one. Actually, globalization leads to unification, to the increasing scale of the film industry, growth of it popularity, fame and demand. But according to the history scale it has various definitions in terms of different sciences where it is applied. The Columbus voyage to the New World influenced the formation of the new concept as a lot of people came from different places and became a global union (Chanda 61). As 1970s and 1980s were hard times for Indian economy, it could not long avoid a certain control and was influenced by Latin America’s crisis. All the economic problems interfered with the successful development of film industry in India to the full. Later on Indian government solved major financial problems with the help of the World Bank (Pal). Only a dozen years later, India underwent considerable changes with the development of the highest technology devices in the world on the whole. Bollywood was strongly affected with all these changes and revised its politics in the world film market. With the rise of economy middle-class improved its positions and began to prevail thanks to the globalization. Indian citizens who lived abroad founded a massive audience for the movies shown in different countries of the world.





Factors for Bollywood Globalization It is obvious that Bollywood takes its place of honor on the world arena cheap essay writing service, it has already prospered after the latest temporary crisis and grew to incredibly huge scale, its remarkable popularity is obvious, but still it is necessary to analyze the factors, to see the causes under the influence of which Indian Bollywood industry emerged centuries ago and prospers in the 21st century.



The availability of TV programmes in India It goes without saying that in the 1970s the cable TV began its way to development and this gave rise to the popularity of native-produced films among the Indian audience. India sharply needed a state run television network. At the time CNN television has already emerged and formed a fundamental basis, Indians were to create something of the kind to meet the requirements of their nation and not to fall behind. That is how cable television started spreading in throughout the country. Then, in 1990s, Star TV and Zee TV was made and it was an important moment for the whole development of Indian TV of the time. These channels brought TV into masses, laid a road to the Indian audience, which wished to be aware of everything happening, all the current events. With the improvement of cable TV opportunities it became more versatile and a number of channels also raised. Cable TV offered a wide range of programmes from local minor events highlighting to Hindi movies, songs and world news (Thoraval 30). In the year 2002 the public sector grew, but the revenue of Bollywood film industry began to diminish.



Social strata of the country By all means the Indian middle-class grew rapidly. But according to Devadayal middle-class is further divided into lower middle class (about 110 million), middle class (150 million), and about 40 million upper middle class (Devadayal). A large number of people comprising this middle-class were brought up on cable TV movies and programmes. Devoted filmgoers suppose that Hollywood is a serious rival for Bollywood in its popularity. It is clear that English language movies shown in the cinemas are more popular among English speaking audience.



Bollywood and Hollywood Management Newsweek Magazine points out that though Bollywood may not develop as broadly as Hollywood, it seems that Bollywood more and more finances and manages global products, produced in India and oversees. The media Indian tycoon Ronnie Screwvala is often compared with the American Jack Warner, the man who made US film industry become as it is, global, profitable and extremely popular. Screwvala is working actively on new films, his movies were overwhelmingly in demand not only in India and America. His film “the Sixth Sense” has 57 million dollar budget and can set a new level for the development of Bollywood movie industry. In his interview for Newsweek International Screwvala mentioned that “Our ambition is to be a global Indian entertainment company, there is no reason we cannot make big-budget Hollywood movies, too”(Screwvala). “Our growth rates are far faster than Hollywood's, but in terms of value, we are much below the US movie industry,” Timmy Kandhari said of Bollywood cinema (Kandhari).



Mark Sappenfield called Bollywood the Indian alter ego of Hollywood in his article Hollywood seeks recipe to beat Bollywood in India, and they are undoubtedly two of the world's most famous and powerful film businesses (Sappenfield). The Indian "Spider-man," who breaks all records, is used as an example. In its first few days of release in theaters around the world, the film grossed 230 million dollars. However, Hollywood has “at long last established a recipe for more constant success in India: flooding Indian theatres with... copies and dubbing versions into Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Bhojpuri” (Sappenfield).



But still Hollywood films are outweighed by Bollywood blockbusters, made in Bombay. This dubbing is a considerable threat for Bollywood film production, as Anil Nagrath says (Nagrath 12). As India film industry produces more than a thousand movies a year and it is twice the number of Hollywood film production, people prefer going to Bollywood films more willingly than to American Hollywood ones according to the Brittish Film Institute research of 2004 (Bloomberg).



Yet American film industry is becoming more persistent and even aggressive implementing and distributing their films into the Indian cinemas. Hollywood revenues from the business are growing up to 40 percent annually. But Hollywood dubbed film distribution in India starts usually after the English version film has already been shown to English speaking public. So Indian citizens feel a kind of second-rate viewers. Bollywood does not have enough financial funding for equal competition with Hollywood marketing (Bhatnagar). Taking into account the scales of both Hollywood and Bollywood, giant competing industries it is interesting to point out that movie tickets are rather cheap for Bollywood movies in comparison with Hollywood ones. Statistic research informs that revenues of Bollywood film industry make about two percent of Hollywood’s(Bose 34). Sanjay Ram says that “Hollywood can spend eight percent of its normal marketing budget for a film and get the same amount of exposure as a top Hindi film”(Ram). While Bollywood movies are not so expensive. Bollywood also has its own prestigious awards, the main of which is Filmfare Awards for Hindi films which is sometimes called “Indian Oscar”. There are some other ceremonies honoring the most brilliant actors and actresses of the period, they are Stardust Awards, Starscreen Awards, Global Indian Film Awards, etc. The interaction of these huge industries are closely interrelated and they strive for superiority in this or that project.



Virtually, nobody looks for some brutal competition among them, nobody wishes Bollywood to excel Hollywood or vice versa. Bollywood surely experiences strong western impact, though it tries as much as possible to preserve its authenticity and peculiar features. Hence, western movies differ much from Bollywood ones, both kinds have their fans and admirers. It is essential to mention special features and peculiarities of Bollywood movies, as despite western influence, they still preserved their spice and individuality, remaining a massive source of emotions and feelings for people of all races and ages.





Bollywood Film Peculiarities Bollywood movies have evoluted greatly through the centuries and even the latest ten years. Changes were made in film producing on the whole, editing, cinematography, themes, their forms and context. Movie critics unanimously underlined the lack of content in most of Bollywood films. “Despite outstanding skill in all areas – acting, directing, cinematography, music, sound, and so on,” Yash Chopra, one of them, observed, “Bollywood is lacking a very vital component, which is writing.” We simply do not have good writers, which is unfortunate” (Chanda 17). Films made in 1990s could be relatively differentiated into several categories: action movies; comedies for unprovided – for audience which were in demand and one more category is romantic movie which was popular not only in India itself but also in other countries all over the world. Romantic films were so enormously successful, they had the biggest budgets and this tendency is preserved in the contemporary market, they are widely shown on TV for many years already and the biggest amount of revenues is gained with this film genre. Yash Chopra and Shubhash Ghai and other outstanding filmmakers directed these romantic films in India. As examples of this genre one can name such movies as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayange and Hum Aapke Hai Kaun.



Bollywood Films’ Rules Most of the stories in films should be about romance. They usually tell of vicissitude of fate and love adventures of the beloved. In any film there should be a protest or a strike of interests of the heroes. Every Bollywood film should have at least ten songs, there are heart-rending scenes of two loving youths, who have some obstacles to meet each other and to marry. There are also such stories that brothers separated in early years grow up and become gradually different, one of them is law-obedient another one is a contrasting figure. A film may be about lost and newly-found relatives, sisters or brother after a number of years’ separation. There should be at least one scene with rain, fountains or waterfalls. Selecting actors and actresses for Bollywood films is not an easy task to fulfill because they should correspond to certain criteria. Actors and actresses should be fair-skinned and Hindi-speaking, able to dance and sing marvelously and with feeling to excite people’s hearts. According to the recent data given in What are the Rules of Bollywood by D. Engber, smoking will not be allowed as well as scenes of violence, there is to be no French kissing in the films. Bollywood stars are completely against cruel attitude to animals in films (Engber 10). They, Rahul Khanna, Aishwarya Rai and Shilpa Shetty, expressed their view point concerning the unfair treatment of animals, as celebrities influence on fans is considerably strong, their movement will surely be supported by a lage number of activists (Knight 35). There are also a number of important criteria for Bollywood films production. Bollywood movies are usually musicals. Films with various elements are called masala movies. So the plot in them is melodramic and depicts life collisions. Actors and actresses are regarded as idols, they are imitated in their behavior, dancing and actions. Each century has its star-actors and actresses. They are Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Meena Kumari, Nutan Madhubala and Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Gayatri Joshi, Priyanka Chopra, Sameena Reddy, Juhi Chawla, Amitabh Bachchan, Celina Jaitley, to mention just a few. Bollywood rules have always been strictly followed but still nowadays with the changes in the demands of the society and film producers are breaking free from the firm frameworks of the previous years’ cinematography. Those films which break stereotypes are becoming more and more popular, for instance, Shahrukh Khan is known for his super hits which break all records in popularity, Bheja Fry, Just Married, Chak De! India are among the most famous movies. Sudhir Mishra, a film producer points out that Indians got used to definite life situations depicted in Indian movies, they need some fresh ideas to be included, that is how he acted in making his film Khoya Khoya Chand.



Bollywood Songs and Dancing Songs and dancing are an integral part of each Bollywood movie. Songs are usually pre-recorded by professional singers, because while most of the actors and actresses are brilliant dancers few of them are really professional singers. Such actors as K. L. Saigal, Suraiyya, and Noor Jehan used to sing their part themselves. Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar are supposed to be several of the finest singers that sang for Bollywood. The content of songs is usually various but is connected with hero’s or heroin’s feelings, emotions and they render their troubles through the words of the songs. In such a way songs in films comment on what is happening in the movie and organically agree with the plot of the film.



Dancing is also very special and is a kind of language with its definite message. In classic Indian movies dances are mostly national and folk dances. While in contemporary movie the majority of dances are typically Indian and only some of them have Western elements, though it is a rare occasion to notice traditional pop music in Bollywood movies. Bollywood dancing is a commercial name for contemporary dancing of the nation, folk dancing with some foreign influence. One of the most famous choreographers is Farah Khan. Directors who usually produce movies with emotionally-colored songs and dances are Yash Chopra and Karan Johar. Bollywood being the most famous branch of Indian entertainment industry is rapidly developing, at times breaking stereotypes formed concerning Indian movies and improving quality and consistency. Judging from Bollywood industries potentialities it has a great number of opportunities to develop and be competitive in the future world.



Conclusion Having considered major aspects of Bollywood industry development, functioning, and further perspectives, one may come to the conclusion that globalization in Indian entertainment industry is essential as it can hardly develop fully without sound competition on the world entertainment market. Though the film industry had several misfortunes, one of them in 1980s and another one not long ago in the year 2002, but still its outstanding achievements outbalance all the crisis. Such films as Lagaan and Monsoon brought Bollywood incredible profit, the film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham gave Bollywood a million dollars only for several days’ distribution. In the 21st century the popularity of Bollywood films has come to its climax, though Indian films are not well promoted in the western part of the world, audience continues being curious about them and Bollywood’s impact on the rest of the world is more than obvious nowadays.



Bollywood has potentially big entertainment market and has all grounds for becoming absolute world leader in future. But still there is much to be done to integrate easily and successfully into the international market. Bollywood industry will cooperate with Hollywood as far as it is possible. According to Bolywood Aims for Global Success recent article Bollywood “desperately wants to increase its market share of 3.5 billion dollars in a 300 billion dollar industry”, as there are only twelve cinemas “per million people in Indian compared to 116 per million in America”(Bachchan 12). Indian cinema appeared one hundred eleven years ago, and all the long period it existed on the world arena, it never stopped changing, evolving as like any living organism it is influenced by various factors which strengthen Bollywood industry as a competitive figure on the world ever-changing market which dictates its own rules and formulates people’s demand.



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