Take a break why don't you and let's venture east to Asia, not East Asia where the Hong Kong or Korean film industries are housed, but rather South Asia (specifically India) where Bollywood is the trendsetter when it comes to movies.
Let me walk you through 4 things that this industry does greatly and 4 things that definitely could use some improvement.
CAUTION: This article is only an introduction to the basics of Bollywood which comprises of Hindi speaking movies, there are many other regional movie industries that deserve respect and will be discussed at a better time!!
Here are 4 things that Bollywood does great and 4 that need HELP:
Starting With the Pros
1. Romance is in the AIR
The underlying theme and crux of the movies are always a central romance between a girl and a boy and usually, extra genres get added on top of it. You've gotta give it to them, that they pretty much make the same movies over and over again but they are all so damn entertaining.
2. There are a lot of songs
There are at least like 5 songs per movie but that doesn't mean they are musicals, please, a distinction needs to make. The songs are not part of the dialogues, they are usually there own thing and often provide a break in the narrative. Now you can argue that that can be very distracting from the plot and YOU WILL BE WRONG.
3. Let me take a break please
Intermissions are literally breaks in the middle of the movie, where hypothetically the audience has 15 minutes to just chill before the 2nd half starts. It's like theater but better because its a BOLLYWOOD MOVIE.
4. Turn your brain off for a long time
Like back in the 90s they used to be like 3 hours long and that was ok. Don't be intimidated by the length because, with the songs and the romance, time will fly by.
Diving into the cons
5. Criminal lack of representation
Getting into our things that need improvement section, the first target happens to be the characters. The characters and stories often seem to focus on young city-dwelling millennial or basically people from the northern side of India. India is a very diverse country with countless cultures and identities but unfortunately, the representation doesn't come through on screen.
6. Better roles for women
Often women seem to be subjected as a pretty arm thing or a damsel in distress and both the character archetypes are simply demeaning and boring.
7. Love what you're doing, but do it less
I love Bollywood songs and genuinely believe they elevate the movie, but recently, Bollywood has been doing a lot of biopics and you just don't need to embellish someone's incredible life story with songs. It sounds hacky and makes them seem like not real people.
8. MORE SCI-FI (Please and Thank you )
We have the romance and the drama genres down pat. Don't need any more work in that area. Let's venture into the unknown i.e. sci-fi. I can literally count the number of sci-fi movies made on one hand and that's not ok. You think people wouldn't be open to a smashing dance sequence on the moon.
(whispers *would totally watch moon dancing sequence → HIRE ME TO WRITE IT)
Movies, much like food provide a very interesting insight into another culture. As flawed as Bollywood might be, it really does produce some amazing content and delving into can seem like a very intimidating experience but it is really worth the leap.
SEE YOU AT THE MOVIES!!