Bollywood vs. Hollywood
What happens when you pit Bollywood against Hollywood? Read on to find out.
History (a short one)
Numerous Bollywood historians trace the industry’s beginnings to the Lumiere Brother’s films screening at Bombay’s Watson Hotel in 1896. The screening inspired local filmmakers to use India as a base, and in 1913, India’s first homegrown movie, Raja Harishchandra was produced by Dhundiraj Govind Phalke. He is widely seen as the father of Indian cinema. Score: 8
What’s in a name?
Bollywood is an amalgamation of Hollywood and Bombay (which is known today as Mumbai). The term is generally used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema, in spite of there being a number of centers for the Indian film industry throughout the nation. We like amalgamations. Score: 9
Bollywood produces approximately 1000 films per year, and caters to an audience of over 3 billion. The average cost of making a movie in India is around $5 million, although 50 percent of all movies in India are not released, and 95 percent of those that have been released are financial flops. So it’s a quantity, eh? Score: 2
Indian movies are financed a number of ways, although none of which have been confirmed by the industry. According to media reports, a significant number of films are financed by businessmen and the ‘underworld’. Other reports suggest that film directors fund the movies themselves. If the movies flop, so do the director’s careers (and their bank balances). We value transparency, so Bollywood’s shadiness doesn’t appeal to us. Score: 1
You won’t find a single, Oscars-type award ceremony for Bollywood movies. Instead, the Indian film industry has a number of well-regarded awards ceremonies, including the Filmfare Awards (organized by Filmfare magazine since 1954); Stardust Awards (organized by Stardust magazine since 2003); and the National Film Awards, which was introduced in 1954, and sponsored by the Indian government since 1973. More awards means more glitzy affairs, and which we love. Score: 8
Bollywood films are generally musicals, featuring elaborate dance scenes and catchy music. For many audiences, the better the musical scenes, the better the film’s entertainment value.
As for the plots, many Indian film plots center around melodramatic love stories and include angry parents, villains, jokers, families torn by circumstance, and so on. How about a change? Score: 2
Final score: 30
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