Bad boy meets good girl. They fall in love. Turns out she has cancer. They set out to fulfill her wish list. Tears all around.
Girl is in a coma. Boy moves into her house, is haunted by her spirit and eventually falls in love with her. She comes out of the coma and can no longer remember him. A touching montage later, they meet and she remembers him again. Tears all around.
An underdog football club is about to be shut down. One last game to win a championship. A new coach. Star player. There may be hope after all. Bribe, betrayal, we’re already bored. A change of heart. Together, they win a final, nail biting match. Tears all around.
Oh, Bollywood. Where everything goes and cliché is King (Or Don). People fall in love with ghosts, a ragtag sports team wins a big trophy and Arjun Rampal wins a National Award for having a sum total of three expressions. I can already see you thinking Oh here comes another Bollywood rant. Well, let me tell you something, this is not what it sounds like. (Kahani mein twist! Twist! Twist!).
Two out of three of these plots are movies that came out of shiny Hollywood. Numero uno, a bad boy-good girl-killer disease love triangle is the Mandy Moore starrer, A walk to remember. The second, Just like Heaven, has the depressed, really hot Mark Ruffalo bringing back Reese Witherspoon’s memory of her coma adventures just by touching her. The last one comes from closer home. Dhan dhana dhan goal. The one with Arshad Warsi? No? It had John Abraham. No? Billo Rani. Yeeeaah, I see realisation.
Bollywood haters amaze me. “Hindi movies are unrealistic, they’re not as good as English movies and they’re filmy.” Do you even know how annoying you sound and where did that term even come from? Filmy. Paintings aren’t paintingy, music isn’t musicy. And, well, they should be. Films must be filmy, they can’t make writingy films, now can they?
Cinema is cinema. There is good cinema and there is bad cinema. Resources and money can only do so much. You could argue that the ratio of bad movies to good movies in Hollywood is lower than it is here. But that doesn’t change the fact that they make a lot of movies that are complete turkeys too. Let me give you a couple of examples: 2012. John Carter. Every Kate Hudson movie ever. Sure, they do some genres better than we do. They have The Bourne series (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). We have the Khiladi series, (Khiladi No. 1, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi.) I hear Khiladiyon ke Khiladi mein chupe hue Khiladiyon se Khelne waale Anari No. 1 is in production. But we also have Kahani, Udaan, Paan Singh Tomar, Dev D, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Maqbool, Omkara and Kaminey. We are definitely an evolving audience. We are proving, albeit slowly, that it is a good story that commands viewership, not where it’s made.
I’m not defending bad Bollywood here. I mean, the only way I can defend cinematic masterpieces like Bodyguard or Housefull is if I say, “But at least it was better than hammering a nail into your own eye.” I kid, of course. The nail-eye thing sounds like so much more fun.
And you bashers, before you say that you’re too good for Hindi cinema, think a little bit about how annoying Laura Prepon’s character was in How I met your mother. “Salt. So bourgeois.” Yeah, you’re that person, only less hot.