Bollywood! Grand, glamorous and a little cheesy sometimes but it’s still entertaining and a great way to spend some time with your family and friends. Now you may be asking yourself “What is Bollywood?” Let me explain and guide you through the colorful and explosive world of Hindi Cinema a.k.a Bollywood.

Bollywood is a portmanteau or combination of two words- Bombay and Hollywood. Bombay, today known as Mumbai is the hub of Hindi film production and is located on the west coast of India. Bollywood is a multi-million-dollar industry, producing a whopping 1000 movies a year! Bollywood movies are becoming increasingly popular around the world which inspired me to come up with five distinct traits of any Bollywood movie.

  1. Bollywood movies are long! – If you ever decide to watch a Bollywood movie, be prepared to be transported to an entirely different universe for at least 3 hours. In fact, almost all Bollywood movies need to have intervals about half way through their movies to keep their audiences engaged with the story. Now you may ask yourself “3 hours! Why?” The reason is simple- emotional investment in the story. Indian filmmakers believe that with a longer movie, the audiences will immerse themselves in the story and can better relate to characters. Not only that but Indians are also used to long durations of entertainment. Our weddings can go on for 7 days and festivals during the year last from 7 to 15 days. With so much entertainment around us, it’s fair to say that we expect movies to keep our attention all afternoon.
  2. Bollywood movies are explosively colorful- Bollywood movies are known for their over-the-top costumes, makeup and neon colors, especially women. Women in Bollywood movies are impeccably dressed in traditional saris, heavy jewelry, and copious amounts makeup. Indians love color and vibrancy in everything and we are not ones to hold back. Subtlety is non-existent in Bollywood and we are perfectly happy with that.
  3. Bollywood movies have repetitive plots- A lot of Bollywood movies have one thing in common and that is their story line. One of our tried and tested plots involves the protagonist (usually a male) falling in love with a woman from a rich aristocratic family. The story revolves around the protagonist and his lady love fighting all odds to marry and after a lot of dancing, fighting, and crying, they are finally united. Now isn’t that sweet? This type of story line has been used time and again and it is endearing to see it in all different forms and scenarios as it shows that love conquers all. We are passionate people and we like the drama quotient amped up all the way
  4. Bollywood movies have a lot of music and dancing- Bollywood movies are incomplete without music and dancing. Imagine pancakes without any maple syrup on it or an ice-cream sundae without whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Indian filmmakers use music and dance to spice up their movies as well as a way for audiences to remember a movie. Some compositions are so memorable that they have reignited an interest in movies from the 1970’s and 1980s. Google 'Dola Re' or 'Pinga' and you will see just how intense some of the dance performances are.
  5. Bollywood movies always have a happy ending- “And they all lived happily ever after” is something Bollywood movies exemplify to all its might. Almost all Bollywood movies end with the protagonist and his lady love tying the knot or two feuding families reuniting or the antagonist being punished for his wrongdoings. Having closure is a trademark feature of a lot of Bollywood movies as we like our stories to have a definite end.

Let’s not have a closure for this article, though! Leave a comment below telling us about your first or your most memorable Bollywood experience.