Bollywood has always been the step child of Hollywood. Not only did it get its inspiration (read copies) from hollywood movies, it got its acting style from hollywood as well. Dev Anand was called the Cary Grant of Mumbai while Aamir is the Tom Hanks. Aishwarya and Abhishek are called Abhiwarya to keep up with the Brangelina nomenclature while Kareena and Saif want to be the Beckham couple.
The step child although has been very popular in non-western world. How many times have we had Chinese, Russians, Pakistanis or folks from the Middle East talking about Raj Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty or SRK and watching movies like DDLJ or Veer Zaara? So it was just a matter of time that we started seeing more and more of Bollywood in Hollywood. Here is to catalog the journey of Bollywood to the City of Angels.
1. Satyajit Ray
Word's can't describe Ray's brilliance. I sometimes wish I knew how to speak Bengali and was born in the era that Ray was depicting in his movies so I could understand all the nuances of his stories. The most talented director-writer that Indian and Bengali cinema have ever produced. Pather Panchali, Apu Trilogy to the hindi movie Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Ray left his mark on Indian cinema and has been an inspiration for a lot of upcoming directors like Rituparno Ghosh and Aparna Sen. Ray also co-wrote a story "The Alien" for Columbia Productions which never got made. The AMPAS awarded Ray an honorary Oscar in1992 for Lifetime Achievement. He got the award a few weeks before he died.
2. Mother India
Mehboob Khan's Mother India portrayed all the sensibilities and emotions associated with a bollywood movie beautifully. This movie was hailed as an epic story which combined the political landscape with an immensely interesting human story. The story of a mother who will do anything to bring up her kids with proper values is hearbreaking and so touching. It also featured some of the well known actors of that era - Nargis, Raaj Kumar, Sunil and Rajendra. Movie was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film in 1958, first nomination ever for a bolly movie.
3. Salaam Bombay
A non-judgemental movie of kids living on the streets on Bombay, Mira Nair's insight into the lives of these street dwellers is indeed commendable as she retains her sense of homour through the heart wrenching episodes these kids have to endure. It is a known fact that Nair hired the kids off the street to retain its realism. A dark movie definitely hard to watch but Oscar worthy. The Oscar jury nominated it for best foreign language film in 1989.
4. Aish Hi Aish
The most beautiful face in the world, Aishwarya came on the world stage after winning the 1994 Miss World competition. A great PR agent, a very supportive mom and a hard working personality made Aish the symbol of Bollywood in Hollywood. She became the face of L'Oreal sharing space with the likes of Eva Longoria. Maybe the only bolly actress to be profiled on 60 minutres, Aish also charmed Dave Letterman and showed Oprah how to drape a saree. Although her movie The Last Legion went unnoticed she has a full fledged role in the upcoming Pink Panther movie.
Everything Aamir touches turns to gold. So it was about time that this movie five years in the making made it to the Oscars. Nominated for best foreign language film in 2002, and heavily promoted by Aamir and director Ashutosh Gowariker. Lagaan barely lost to Bosnia's No Man's Land. Some would say that movie won for political reasons.
6. Starlets at Cannes
You know you have arrived in Bollywood if you show up at Cannes. From Nandita Das to Mallika Sherawat they all donned their finest to appear on the red carpet. Shahrukh Khan came with the Devdas team and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali returned later with Black. Aish was invited the following year to be on the jury. She has made appearance since then promoting Loreal. Preity has been a regular showing up to promote De Beers.
7. So You Think You Can Dance
The concept of this program is so bollywoodish that it was about time that bollywood dancing entered the show. The choregrapher Nakul Dev Mahajan did a beautiful job of choreographing the couple Katee and Joshua. So fond were the audience of the Bollywood dance that the show brought it in again as an introductory segment with all couples dancing to Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.
8. East meets West
Neha Dhupia appears in a music video with American R&B singer Ginuwine. Seal and Heidi Klum get married in a tacky indian wedding in Hawaii. Natalie Portman wears ethnic garb in a spoofy indian video. Jessica Alba wears a saree in The Love Guru, Ghost World opens with an old hindi song from Gumnaam. MIA grabs attention with a remix of Mithun Chakraborty's Jimmy.
9. Snoop in Singh is Kinng
Self described as "America's First Bollywood Superstar" Snoop sings the title song of Singh is Kinng. Although it is hilarious seeing Snoop don a turban and Indian attire, the camraderie between Snoop and Akshay is not lost and all I can say is Snoop goes to Bollywood.
10. Sly and Arnold
So not only are bollywood stars and starlets making a foray into hollywood, we now see hollywood stars like Sly and Arnold want to make it into mumbai movies. Sylvester is already appearing in a movie with Kareena and Akshay Kumar and claims that he wants his friend Arnold to do the same. Will Smith and Richard Gere have gone on scouting missions to Mumbai while producers eye the large indian market.
11. Colbert takes up Khan-Bhachchan jhagda
The alleged feud between Amitabh and SRK spilled over from the Indian tabloids to the Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert host of the popular talk satire The Colbert Report in his own style covered the rivalry and ruled on the winner based on their dancing abilities by showing clips of Mohabattein and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.
12. Crossover cinema
The last decade has seen an influx of cross over cinema into the western market. While we had Mira Nair's very successful Monsoon wedding and The Namesake, Gurinder Chaddha and hubby tried but could not live up to expectations with Bride and Prejudice and Mistress of Spices. Deepa Mehta's Water found a niche audience. Mira Nair has created an important niche in Hollywood by directing A-list stars in Vanity Fair and her upcoming Shantaram.
13. The Chaiya Chaiya Phenom
This Rahman-Sukhwinder Singh song was voted number nine in a BBC World Services poll to choose 10 most famous songs. Remixes of the song appear in the opening and closing credits in Spike Lee's Inside Man and forms of the song have appeared in television shows Smith and CSI:Miami. We also saw Nicole Kidman dancing to Chamma Chamma from China Gate in her movie Moulin Rouge.
14. Character Role Forays
Irfan Khan shows up along side the gorgeous Angelina Jolie in the movie A Mighty Heart. Om Puri has an impressive resume in Hollywood - City of Joy with Patrick Swayze, Wolf with Jack Nicholson, The Ghost and the Darkness with Val Kilmer and Charlie Wilson's War where he plays Zia Ul Haq alongside Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
15. Arre Mamu
A first time remake of a bollywood movie in Hollywood. Raj Kumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra's MunnaBhai MBBS is being remade in Hollywood as Gangster MD and none other than Mira Nair has been roped in to direct the movie. Chris Tucker will be the main protagonist.
- Aish was a judge at Cannes a while ago offers m
- Bollywood isn't a stepsister anymore, its Cinderella says meena
- How about the Chaiyya Chaiyya phenom says Bitterlemons
- Salons and spas in Austin are playing Hindi music reports j
- AB-SRK on Colbert remembers Never Mind!!
- Pitu hears Jhoom Barabar Jhoom in Target
- Let's not forget Monsoon Wedding says meena
- girlie girl describes OPI's Indian collection of nail polishes
- m can't forgive the media for writing off Bride & Prejudice
- Pitu enjoyed neither Bride & Prejudice or Mistress of Spices
- megan mentions the desi influence of Ghost World
- And MIA's cover of Jimmy