1. Every movie has the same storyline. In the old days, movies always involved the hot guy saving the hot girl from the villains. Now, the hot guy falls in love with the girl, but somehow they just can’t or don’t want to be together, so the movie is a series of events which makes them fall for each other. Where is the originality?
2. There are so many issues in the world but a Bollywood film will always be a love story showing a middle aged actress falling in love with a hero who looks like her kid brother.
3. The singing and dancing. Every 20 minutes, the actor bursts into song and, instantly, all the village people/college students/people at the mall/wedding guests start singing and dancing in sync with each other.
4. The sound effects accompanying the fake punches and kicks. The same sounds are used for every action sequence in every movie. Bullets are seemingly absorbed into the hero’s skin and he usually loses his shirt in the fracas.
5. The vulgarity. Was it really necessary for the heroine needs to strip down to a bikini just to dance? Item songs of yesteryear were never this raunchy. They were loved because they were good, not because the item girl was practically naked.
6. The fact that even movies that deal with serious issues have at least one comedic character. The viewers don’t need some wannabe cowboy with a ditzy blonde for a girlfriend as comic relief.
7. The westernisation of Indian movies is really laughable, as if they’re trying to convince themselves that that’s what they really are. Which Indian family happily lets their daughter and sisters drive in top-open cars, picking up their guy friends and going to dance clubs in locations which look strangely like Italy?
8. There was a time when the Indian film industry was capable of producing films like Pakeeza and Mughal-e-Azam. Now, each movie seems like a caricature of the previous one.
9. The songs. You know there’s something seriously wrong when you hear that someone’s 4-year-old daughter can sing that insane ‘Sheila’ song but still can’t recite the alphabet.
10. The fact that people don’t realise that most Indian movies are a frame by frame copy of Hollywood movies. Who needs actual writers when just translators would do? From Three Men and a Baby to Hitch Bollywood has copied it all.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, December 25th, 2011.
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