Probably the most visible segment of Indian society, Bollywood films have a massive fan following. From its inception in the late 19th century till today, these films have played an important role in portraying different aspects of Indian culture. However, not all Bollywood movies are equally good!
In fact, there are many that you should avoid watching at all costs. There are several factors that contribute to this negative sentiment but given below are just a few that you should know about if you want to watch or choose the right Bollywood movie for your next outing!
Lack of quality control
Whenever you have so many movie makers, producers and studios involved in the production process, you can imagine the chaos that ensues. Given how cash-strapped Bollywood is, there are many instances of poor quality control. The result? Bad acting, sloppy editing, and a narrative that is completely off the mark. For example, consider the case of Veerappan, an Indian film that was released in the mid-1990s.
The plot revolves around a group of people who are seeking vengeance against the Tamil Tigers and their leader, Dayan. However, Veerappan is based on the story of Cheraman Perumal, which is set in the northern parts of Tamil Nadu in the 15th century. Some scenes and dialogues have also been altered to suit the Tamil cultural context. Another example is the 1995 Tamil film, Nizhalgal, which tells the story of a couple who are in a deep emotional and psychological turmoil.
This is where the problem starts. The film focuses largely on the man and his obsessive love for his wife, with the woman being completely sidelined. The filmmakers, however, decided to give the woman some importance in the last few scenes of the movie.
Given the choice, you would probably prefer watching Nizhalgal over Veerappan. However, since Veerappan had been shot with the Tamil film’s music and movie posters, it had been released first in the southern parts of the country. The producers had obviously decided to go with the southern version of the script regardless of the fact that it had been shot in a different dialect and with a different cast. This was just one example of how poor quality control has led to many Bollywood movies being highly disappointing.
Insensitivity towards women’s issues
Even though Bollywood has come a long way in terms of the presence of women in the narrative and in the crew, the problem of insensitive portrayals of women continues to be a common occurrence. What happens is that a woman’s issue is discussed in the media and in a few movies. The issue starts getting popular and then many filmmakers think that it is a topic that people care about.
They then introduce it in their Reelcraze movies without considering the sensitivities involved. Shakespearean Movie, for example, deals with the issue of child marriage. However, the movie does not show the child marriage as a form of abuse, but rather shows it as a happy event that brings a sense of fulfillment to the woman.
Another example is that of the 2016 Malayalam film, Shaapath. The movie revolves around the issue of women’s sexual abuse. However, the filmmakers did not address the issue in a sensitive manner. The movie shows the women as weak characters who succumb to the men’s demands. The title of the movie also has a double meaning, since it literally means “attracted to men”.
Lack of cultural context
Although Bollywood movies are set in modern times, they fail to understand the nuances and nuances of Indian culture. Many times, the filmmakers fail to understand proper cultural context of the events depicted. This is evident in the case of the 2016 Hindi film, Maat, which is about the battle between good and evil. The film is set in the modern world, where the hero is a humanitarian and the villain is a criminal.
However, the villain in the film is shown to be a follower of the Hindu God Shiva. This could have been dealt with in a more culturally sensitive manner, considering that Shiva is also revered in Islam and Christianity.
Another example is that of the 2016 Hindi film, Atlee, which is about a Muslim man who falls in love with a Hindu girl. This could have been dealt with in a more culturally sensitive manner, considering that a lot of people in India are against the communalization of love.
Unrealistic portrayal of love
If you’re a romantic at heart and have been watching Reel Craze Movies, you’ve noticed that many of them end with a sappy, unrealistic kiss between the two main characters. This might seem perfect for a Hollywood movie, but you might be surprised to know that this is completely against the Indian culture. Kissing between members of the same gotra (brotherhood or community) is not considered love and is rather considered a form of respect. You might be surprised to know that kissing between members from the same gotra is not common in any other Indian community.
Even among people from the same caste, the kiss between two males is not considered romantic and is rather considered as a sign of brotherhood. Another example is that of the 2016 Malayalam film, Ithu Njavarakkathullu. The film is about a married couple who are struggling with the issue of infidelity. The husband comes up with an idea to get his wife involved in a volunteer activity.
The idea is that after a few days of service, his wife is expected to tell her love and sex stories to the other volunteers, thus making her look like a “loose woman”. After hearing the story, the husband decides to reveal his love for his wife by kissing her. The most surprising part is that the Malayalam society frowns upon such displays of affection.
The end justifies the means
This might sound like a crazy statement, but it’s important to understand that Bollywood is highly influenced by popular culture. Many times, the filmmakers try to replicate it or re-imagine it in a new way. This has led many filmmakers to go down the path of creative license. This means that they don’t strictly follow the narrative but rather create their own versions. For example, the 2016 Telugu film, Sankalpa, has a Buddhist theme.
The story revolves around a man who is suffering from a major depression and decides to leave everything behind and start a new life. After he leaves home and gets into a train, a man comes and shakes his hand and says “Amarru thookudu, amarru thookudu”.
The man then decides to return home and face the world with a positive attitude. However, the story of Sankalpa is also about a man who is suffering from a major depression, thus making both the stories seem similar in nature.
The bottom line is that Bollywood movies are a great source of entertainment, especially for people who love to watch them in the theater with a huge crowd. However, you must always keep in mind that not all Bollywood movies are created equal.
Some are poorly shot, have bad acting, and are full of unrealistic dialogues. Therefore, the only way to ensure that you enjoy your outing to the theater is to keep an eye out for these warning signs and avoid the films that have them.