It's an anomaly to those who have no idea. To those who do, it is Bollywood, the Hollywood of Bombay, the movie industry of India. In an age when many yearn for the bygone days when CBGB's was a real punk venue, it represents a new wave of underground subculture in the US, for it has begun to reach beyond the borders of Bombay. Maybe it's the seriously dated dance moves … la "2 Legit 2 Quit," or the all-too-frequent lack of innovative plot, or maybe the constant implications of sex, but no manifestations. All I know is that the plots are thin, the outfits are thinner, and there is not even a whiff of sexual gratification that makes it worth your while. Why do we keep watching? Maybe you have not yet been snared in the fly trap that is Bollywood; the titles Devdas, Lagaan, or Salaam, Bombay could mean nothing to you. In that case, a word to the wise: the first time you are subjected to it, it is under duress; the next time it's grudging acceptance. Then it hits you like a truck. Before you know it, you are singing "Tu Cheez Badi" by yourself before your bi-daily excursion to Kabobeesh. Though some may think that India is years behind us in everything, one might experience a sense of yearning when watching a Bollywood film. This yearning inevitably leads to a certain question, "Where are the films that make us leap out of our seat and dance?" Though I can't speak for the rest of my generation, I must offer that it hasn't been since The Karate Kid that I found myself truly affected by a film. Then again, I was 6. Maybe our generation has grown up, maybe we have had our senses deadened by applications and duties and boundaries, but it seems as though Hollywood's ability to affect us has diminished. It went from movies that aim unabashedly to entertain for a 90 minutes, to crap-epics, movies spawned by producers who serve us stylized, overpriced slop, who make movies for the Hollywood Foreign Press. All the while, Bollywood said, "Screw it!" and made films that people love to watch. Unfortunately, foreign gems never remain pure forever, and right now, we bear witness to the slow and steady infiltration of India into American cinema. The British are years ahead of us in acknowledging the gems that come from Bollywood, but they pillaged them before we did. Most recently, Bend it Like Beckham exemplifies Bollywood's place in British cinema, with a British Indian lead. On the contrary, The Guru demonstrates America's undying penchant for stereotypes and the slow insinuation of India into mainstream American cinema. The immigration of Indian films to the United States is an endeavor worthy of notice from the American public. From the land that gave us Salman Rushdie, Mahatma Ghandi, and NAN comes something that might teach us even more about India, regardless of stereotypical films like The Guru.


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