Bollywood v. Hollywood Essay

The aim of this essay is to look into the theoretical underpinnings of the divergent discourses that underlie the two biggest and most celebrated movie industries of our clip. The lone common characteristics in these two industries are that they are both really big and turning quickly. and increasing in the edification of the films they produce. Otherwise. they are every bit different as chalk and cheese. While Hollywood has been accused of advancing an docket of cultural imperialism. Bollywood has an wholly different. more politicized texture.

In this essay. we shall be analyzing the grounds for these different discourses. with general mention to other bookmans. Bollywood vs. Hollywood theorization around film and globalisation structured in resistance between western commercial and culturally imperialist film. and 3rd universe non-commercial. autochthonal. politicized film. From its origin as a beginning of amusement. film has played a immense function in non merely adding joy and value to people’s lives. but besides in footings of distributing certain messages and values to the populace.

A authoritative and ill-famed usage of film to distribute what we would now name devilish propaganda was in Nazi Germany during World War II and subsequently in the Communist states. In the anchorite land of North Korea. to this twenty-four hours. film is merely used as a agency of distributing propaganda. The intent of this essay is to research the differences between the film that is created by Hollywood. the elephantine American movie industry and Bollywood. the even larger but more disorganized Indian movie industry.

Specifically. we shall be looking at how theorization about globalization and film are structured in resistance in these two industries. Harmonizing to many critics. Hollywood dishes up authoritative ‘culturally imperialist’ film. seeking to portray the cultural might and high quality of western civilization and commercialism and besides spread it in other states. To some extent. this unfavorable judgment is non baseless. The influence of Hollywood was critical in distributing certain values. which are strictly western. including the sort of things people say and eat.

The allegation of ‘Coca-Colanisation’ while high on rhetoric. is non wholly devoid of virtue. On the other manus. the Bollywood industry. the big and burgeoning Indian industry. does non look to hold any sort of imperialist motivation. Its movies seem to be inward looking. analyzing Indians. Indian jobs and advancing Indian values. whether good or bad. However. Indian film. unlike Hollywood film. really frequently has a clear political docket. Movies made at that place. particularly in the South. really clearly seek to appeal non merely to the billfolds. but besides to the ballots of the viewing audiences.

A authoritative illustration of this is South India. peculiarly Tamil Nadu. The movie industry at that place has played a critical function in the political relations of that province. The current leader of resistance was a celebrated movie actress. the Chief Minister was a scriptwriter. and the old head curates were either histrions or in some manner connected to the movie industry. Much the same is the narrative in the province of Andhra Pradesh. another south Indian province. In understanding these two divergent discources. it is critical to look at the motives behind them. To be certain. the motives are really different.

A vituperative indictment of the western culturally imperialist film is contained in Stiglitz’s book. Globalisation and its Discontentments. Stiglitz directs his fire towards the two bureaus most frequently referred to in the context of globalization. the IMF and the World Bank. He argues that the two bureaus have together contributed towards robbing developing 3rd universe states non straight. but through insidious and severely conceived policies. What function does films hold to play in this? I believe that film has a important function to play in this.

First. nil influences the common adult male more. This is true in the developed universe. but much more so in the underdeveloped universe. The impact of film is really powerful. non merely because it employs so much coloring material and music and is hence capturing. but besides because films grab orbs for much longer than. state. telecasting or wireless programmes. And with the proliferation of both little screens and multiplexes in both the smallest of towns and the largest of metropoliss. it has become platitude to happen that the clip that a individual spends on ocular media in the underdeveloped universe is increasing.

Finally. the spread of English as a linguistic communication as a planetary linguistic communication and its value as a linguistic communication of authorization in the development universe has meant that movies made in English are going more common and more powerful influencers. A superb survey of the homogenising of the universe order and the amalgamation of people through commercialism is found in Freidman’s book. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century. It would be incorrect to propose that similar communist films or Nazi films. movies made in Hollywood are explicitly designed to propagate an political orientation.

But nuance frequently is more unsafe. When the western universe is frequently portrayed as an flush Eden. people in the underdeveloped universe start looking outward in hunt of all things good. when in world there is adequate in their ain states to sate every demand. A authoritative instance in point is India. which boulder clay 1000 A. D. was the largest economic system in the universe. Although lifting quickly once more. people in India. or atleast many of them. are convinced that everything made abroad. anything ‘foreign’ in beginning is good. and anything made in India is ‘local’ and hence bad.

In the same vena. Indian civilization and dance. nutrient and drink and merchandises. handcraft and machinery. are devalued and non favoured by many people. In his counter statement to this. Jagdish Bhagwati. in his book In Defence of Globalisation argues that in fact. the big multinational companies which are the donees of this cultural imperialism are really non seeking to enforce themselves and their values on the local public. but in fact accommodating to the demands and sensitivenesss of the local people.

This weakens the claim that there is an effort at cultural imperialism. because a motivation can non be ascribed to an histrion if the donee. the entity for whom the act is being carried out. has a wholly opposite motivation. What could be the ground why Western cinema’s duologue is so enormously focussed on the billfold and cultural pattern. while that of Bollywood is more spread. and politicised? I think this has a batch to make with the nature of the civilizations and the nature of the states which are the hosts of the several movie industries.

Hollywood is situated in America. for long the most powerful state and the largest economic system in the universe. As the largest economic system. it needed the integrating of the markets and resources of other states in order for its industries to spread out and turn. Therefore. subconsciously. the movie industry besides changed to run into the demands of the state. The point I am seeking to do is that the movie industry tends to reflect. intentionally or otherwise. the demand of the state. That demand may non be a good one or worthy of encouragement.

For case. during the cold war. in many instances. Russia was made the scoundrel. and Russians were frequently portrayed as cold. heartless and evil even. The same is the instance in Bollywood. where for a long clip. during the old ages of active struggle with Pakistan. films showed Pakistan and Pakistani people as being scoundrels. terrorists and intriguing to do injury to India. In both those instances. it is dubious whether that was desirable. Be it desirable to portray Russia or Pakistan in a hapless visible radiation? What purpose did it function?

Are all Russians or Pakistanis bad and intriguing people? Surely non. Then whose involvement. whose point of view was being championed? It may look at first bloom that the point of view that was being championed was that of the Government. The Governments in these states. while leting people to be free. frequently influence the heads of people in elusive ways. For illustration. during the India Pakistan struggle old ages. frequently times. the imperativeness releases of the Government would worsen the grade of ill will between the two states.

Whenever a terrorist onslaught took topographic point on Indian dirt. the newspapers would hold information released by the constabulary and fact-finding bureaus. which would read ‘Pakistani manus suspected’ . Much the same was the instance with America and the Cold War with Russia. The net consequence of this is that the people start believing that there is a certain enemy which they must contend against. or atleast show feelings of ill will towards. in order to be loyal and loyal to their states. This is rather similar to the statement which Edward Said makes. where he points out that the manner in which an individuality is forged is by a procedure of ‘othering’ .

What is ‘othering’ ? Othering is the procedure by which a group of people. in order to make an individuality for themselves. take another group of people as the other. the enemy. the resistance. and the individuality of the first group is crafted in resistance to the individuality of the enemy. This has happened throughout clip. across faiths and communities and folks. The state province is a comparatively modern creative activity. and has usurped this procedure of othering to make the national individuality. This was used to great consequence by the Nazis in the systematic persecution of the Jews.

If one were to travel to Berlin or Potsdam peculiarly. which was the place of the Wannsee Conference was conducted and the concluding solution to the Judaic job planned. there are hideous and elaborate diagrams demoing how the Jews looked and how they were otherwise formed from the Aryan Germans. I say all this because it straight illustrates my point. that people. because of the messages relayed to them by the Government. organize an individuality in resistance to the individuality of other groups.

Their individuality being formed in resistance to the other groups. the film industry besides orients itself to state people what they like to hear. viz. that the other group. the opposite group is bad and the enemy. or in the instance of Hollywood. culturally and economically inferior. Ironically. a authoritative illustration of this cultural stereotyping and in some sense. imperialism. is Asia. and in peculiar. India. The lone image which a westerner sees of India is that of seamy hovel towns. diseased people and all mode of animals jostling for infinite on busy public roads.

In world. this is far from the truth. as a trip to modern India will demo. Undoubtedly. it is much more helter-skelter and noisy than topographic points abroad. but it is far superior to anything that the western media. and in peculiar Hollywood would hold you believe. I must do mention to the film. the Bourne Supremacy. because it absolutely illustrates the point I am seeking to do here. In this. the 2nd film of the series. Jason Bourne. the hero and supporter. runs off to India to get away an bravo who is on his trail. In India. he lands up in Goa. a celebrated beach finish and highly beautiful excessively.

I visited Goa a few old ages before I saw the film. and I was rather surprised and non really pleased when I saw the portraiture of Goa in the film. It is shown. like the remainder of India. to be crowded. with people blaring endlessly. with countrified adjustment. and the air of a topographic point which is unquestionably rearward compared to the West. While Goa may non hold the glass and steel edifices of a state like Germany or the visible radiations of Las Vegas. it is really a modern. clean and really interesting metropolis with a batch more dimensions than that film showed us.

Therefore. the ground that the film is culturally imperialist in the West. queerly. is because the people want it to be that manner. The people in the West can non yet come to footings with the fact that big parts of India have progressed far beyond what they have been told and that the symbol of India is no longer a few cattles walking on the street. Cinema represents to people what they are comfy screening and what they want to see. so it makes much more sense for a film maker to demo India as a squalid crowded slum filled state because that is what the audience believes.

Showing a modern portion of Delhi or Bangalore which could be from any metropolis in America would go forth them puzzled and agitate their impressions about what things are like. which people find an uncomfortable experience. That explains to an extent why Western film is the manner it is. but does it explicate why Indian film is the manner it is? Does it supply a satisfactory account for why Indian film is so extremely politicised and filled with play? Yes it does. Song and dance is rather a large portion of Indian civilization and there has been a tradition of holding larger than life characters in films in India.

And a larger than life character who does good for the people is exactly the kind of adult male you would desire to elect. wouldn’t you? When Barack Obama was on his election blitzkrieg. the one thing that stood out about him for me was that he seemed excessively good to be true. in some ways. Here was a adult male who promised to alter the very nature of political relations. from a competition to a healthy partnership. He surely. during that exciting election. seemed larger than life. And that did him admirations.

Therefore. because the Indian public desires a larger than life person in their films and because a larger than life angel is the kind of individual people would vote into power. Indian film has been usurped by the political category. and is now really viewed as a ticket to political power. This is more true in South India than in other parts of India. that is true. but it can be said that this is at some degree a state broad phenomenon. It must non believed so that the pick of discourses in film is undemocratic. and that the cultural imperialism of the West is portion of a devilish secret plan to repress the underdeveloped universe.

In fact. it is an highly democratic procedure. with the ground for the discourse stemming from the people themselves. We can round off the essay by looking at four illustrations of films from the two states and analyzing the discourses which these films generated. The two films from Hollywood which I will be utilizing are Air Force One and Armageddon. while the two from Bollywood are Ghadar- Ek Prem Katha and Air Force One. I have chosen for a predictable ground. The film. if you have non already seen it. is about the highjacking of the plane of the President of the United States and its eventual devastation by a group of Russians.

This film was made good after the Cold War. but it serves to exemplify the point I have been seeking to do. which is that films show us what we want to see. There was no obvious demand to revile the Russians. but the industry dishes out popular menu. much like a eating house. Armageddon helps to underscore the point. In the film. the Russians and the Americans team up in a mission to salvage the universe. ( Naturally. the load is on the Americans to salvage the universe. it does it with the Russians ) .

There is a scene from the film where the Russian ballistic capsule is shown. and as opposed to the American vas. which is glistening. modern and advanced. the Russian 1 is decrepit and old. and interrupting down. and many of the things that go incorrect subsequently can be traced to the faulty and worn out equipment used by the Russians. What is the message? First. that the Americans are the leaders of the universe. and deservedly so. because they saved it from devastation. Second. the message is that they are superior to the merely other state which was even capable of assisting them. and hence. by extension. they are superior to all other states excessively.

As opposed to that. is the southern Indian film called Baba. in which the biggest star in the South. Rajinikanth. places a adult male who fights against unfairness and subjugation of the Government and provides relief to the people from governmental apathy and dictatorship. Baba. the hero of the film is non excessively different from Robin Hood. and there is a deification of the simple ( and hapless ) adult male who is being victimised by the Government. The other film is Ghadar-Ek Prem Katha. a film about a Indian adult male who falls in love with a Pakistani miss who is lured off to Pakistan by her evil male parent.

This heroic adult male so journeys to Pakistan. where he braves an assault from 100s of Pakistani work forces and succeeds in single-handedly delivery back the love of his life to India. What is the message in this film? The message in the first is that the hapless and the exploited shall ever prevail. and that this adult male ( who yet shows no desire of going Chief Minister ) will assist you win. The 2nd shows the strength of true Indian love. and of the power of the adult male to get the better of all odds. Notice how these films are inward looking. They do non project the state in any manner. but project the people in a certain manner.

I think that this sums up the duality. Western film has moved beyond merely people and has started to speak the linguistic communication of the State. Indian film even today negotiations chiefly to the people. Mentions 1. Said. E ( 1993 ) . Culture and Imperialism. USA: Knopf. 2. Bhagwati. J ( 2005 ) . In Defense of Globalisation. USA: Oxford University Press. 3. Freidman. T ( 2007 ) . The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. New York: Picador. 4. Lechner. F. J. Boli ( 2007 ) . The Globalisation Reader. New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell. 5. Stiglitz. J ( 2003 ) . Globalization and its Discontentments. New York: Norton.

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