Bollywood and the Western World

The impact, influence and viewership of the India based Bollywood cinema is increasing day by day in the western world. There are talents from Hollywood flowing to Hindi movies and vice versa. In this context let us see how this transition happened.

It was in the fifties that the first Indian movies got some recognition in the western world. The films of actors like Raj Kapoor were widely accepted in Russia. Some of these films were even made in Russia. The strong bond between India and Russia can be said as the reason for this.

Indian movie industry always looked upon the western industries, especially Hollywood. But it took a long time for the western world to recognize Indian cinema. It was in the nineties, after the opening of Indian markets to the global world that the transition happened really. Subhash Ghai’s ‘Taal’ starring Aishwarya Rai and Anil Kapoor was the first film to enter the ‘Top 20’ chart in the UK. The film made huge collections in the US too.

There was a huge change in the way Bollywood movies were viewed in the western world then on. The ‘foreign’ status given to Hindi movies disappeared gradually. Films like ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le jayenge’ and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ which also came out in the nineties established Bollywood in the western world. Bollywood music is another factor which attracts the western audience to the movies from the industry.

With this wide exposure, Bollywood as an industry is also undergoing huge transformations. Earlier, the stories were mostly based in India only. Now, there are plenty of films which say stories about Non-Resident Indians or NRIs and stories with protagonists travelling and living all over the world. With ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ a British movie shot in India bagging eight Academy awards, the western world and its cinema is more focused on Indian films.