Huang Dong Hyuk's thriller series "Composite Game" became the most watched Netflix series in the last quarter of 2021, which was an important event for South Korea.
This event was a testament to the fact that audiences in the West, capacity and, more importantly, have a strong desire to see works abroad. In fact, South Korean drama seems to be experiencing the same boom as Japanese anime did in the late 1990s, when series such as "Dragonball" and "Pokmon" nailed a generation of children to television.
- 30 actors in the worst roles of their lives; From Tom Cruise to Johnny Depp
- What changes have Marvel's new superheroes made in "The
Immortals"? In fact, Asian stories have dominated the minds
of English speakers for decades, and directors such as Akira
Kurosawa and Wong Kar-wai are very popular with filmmakers. There
has been more collaboration between the West and Asian
talent in recent years, and even filmmakers like Park Chan-wook
have made films in English. So it seems that people living
in areas like the United States tend to overcome the cultural
barriers that they often encounter while watching Asian movies and
TV series, and stick to them anyway. However, if this is indeed the
case, then why is Indian cinema, especially Bollywood, still
being ignored by world audiences?
There are countless great directors, writers and producers in this cinema, which has made it one of the most prosperous film industries in the world. Bollywood has entertained millions of fans since the early 1930s with works ranging from "Mother India" (1957) to "Logan" (2001), "Flame" (1975), "The Miracle of Emotion" (1998) and "Mr. India". has done. So why is it not recognized like Japan, Hong Kong or South Korea and viewers do not have much respect for it? In other words, what makes it inaccessible and in some way unwelcome? Certainly not. If we take a closer look at the generalities, we may understand why.
When we think of Bollywood cinema, what comes to mind first? Even unfamiliar people are probably somewhat familiar with Indian culture and their penchant for song and dance. Certainly, music is so ingrained in the identity of the industry that an Indian film without it is often considered an anomaly. Thanks to prominent singers of the last century, such as the late Kishur Kumar and Lata Mengeshkar, music has often been a reason for a film to attract so much attention before it is released. But it seems strange to English speakers that these songs are sung in Hindi. People like to play their favorite songs, and obviously this is very difficult when you hear a song in a foreign language, because you do not know what you are listening to.
But then how is that? How many years has K-Pop grown so much? Bands like Beatles and Blackpoint actually sing in English, but even when they perform in their native language, they are still appealing to listeners in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia. So the argument that audiences outside India do not appreciate Bollywood songs seems relatively unreliable, at least at this point. Or rather, they do not enjoy it, but so how did Hollywood musicals like "Grace," "Mama Mia," or "The Greatest Showman" succeed? If these kinds of movies can find their audience, then what prevents Bollywood movies from reaching the same target market?
Definitely not the music playing these movies that keep people away from them, but their stories. Maybe Bollywood movies are so far-fetched that even Hollywood viewers are not used to it. Different beliefs are rippling through the Indian people, and filmmakers are telling vast stories of love, family responsibilities, and war.
Consider, for example, the 2000 film Love. The story is about a music teacher who is looking for a job at a prestigious college to teach the meaning of love to students while at the same time trying to ridicule the stubborn atmosphere created by the principal. Is such a movie popular in Hollywood? You may not think so at first, but imagine the moments of William Shakespeare's plays. These stories are about love affairs, respectful encounters with the dead, and various battles, and have similar themes to Bollywood films, but Hollywood writers have often based works on them that have been successful.
Think of movies like "Gone With the Wind" or "Titanic." Do not they force the viewer to abandon common sense in a way similar to Bollywood? So if Bollywood's disapproval is not rooted in its stories, then what else is involved? Another common criticism is that the time of these films seems excessive and the maximum standard time is 180 minutes. But what is the difference between these films and contemporary Hollywood films? "The Avengers: The Final Game" is a three-hour film, and yet fans are sitting in a dark room watching it all the time and enjoying it.
Now that we're talking about Marvel, we have to say The Avengers series is one of the most expensive films ever made, and on a visual level, it is certainly a masterpiece. These films are considered flawless and their lighting and locations are also unique. In short, the value of their production is as high as possible. However, this is not what distinguishes Hollywood cinema from Bollywood. Cinema producers in India do not seem to be afraid to spend their money on film productions. Think of the stunning scenery of "The Bride Takes the Bride in Love", the breathtaking battle scenes in Ashoka or the incredible structures of the fictional city of "My Love".
Indian cinema is among the best in terms of pure aesthetics. We are talking about spectacle, and perhaps one of the reasons for the popularity of the Marvel series is the beauty of its actors. From Chris Evans to Scarlett Johansson and Simo Liu and Zoe Saldana, they are all beautiful. But really, Bollywood is no exception. Actors such as Shahid Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan, as well as female stars such as Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, are always in the spotlight and all have their own charms. Nevertheless, Indian stars are largely unknown to the majority of audiences in the West.
So where is the problem? Why aren't movies made in Bollywood gaining worldwide attention? Do not these films follow the same formulas used in Hollywood? So logically, they should achieve the same success that filmmakers in other parts of Asia are experiencing. Recognized outside of Japan. Do we have to wait a bit before the mainstream Indian cinema reaches the popularity it deserves? Time will tell.
By then, audiences may be lowering their guard against Bollywood. They may still not like what they see, but at least they know more about Indian cinema, and by the way, if they enjoy catchy songs, epic stories, and lush visual effects, they will definitely enjoy watching rich Indian movies.