A Bollywood Education

KALKI
This is your Bollywood education, I’m not repeating myself, so pay attention. – Ok, her. She’s crying cuz she loves him so much. See how she really really means it? With her whole face.

GIRL 1
Now they’re just staring at each other. I mean really, just staring.

KALKI
Look at all those feelings. They’re feeling all over the screen, it’s like slick with it! Mmmmmmmmmmm-

bolly

Bollywood is the Hindi language film industry based in Mumbai, India. The term is a portmanteau of Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood, though unlike Hollywood, Bollywood does not exist as a physical place.

The plots of Bollywood movies are usually melodramatic, featuring familiar tropes of star-crossed lovers and angry parents, love triangles, sacrifice, corrupt politicians, conniving villains, courtesans with hearts of gold, siblings separated by fate, and dramatic reversals of fortune.

Bollywood films are known for their elaborate dance sequences and musical numbers, and have developed their own signature style of song and dance that combines classical and folk dances from India with more modern elements of jazz, hip hop, Arabic, and Latin dance forms. It is not unusual to see Western pop and pure classical dance numbers side by side in a Bollywood film. Songs typically comment on the action that is taking place in the movie. Sometimes a song is worked into the plot so that a character has a reason to sing, or a song is an externalization of a character’s thoughts.

Check out this YouTube playlist of Bollywood clips to get a sense of the typical tropes and aesthetic of the genre:

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