In colour-drenched Bollywood, there is Shah Rukh Khan
Bollywood seems like a place where a thousand films get made everyday. As a child, I had never avidly watched Bollywood movies. I have always been a big fan of Hollywood films, from I think, the moment I came to know what films were: one of my childhood recollections roaming around the subject of favourite films include Home Alone and Maculay Culkin; I remember finding the family film a hilarious experience as a little girl and soon it grew into one of my all-time favourites.
Bollywood movies around me meant Indian films, at first. They were melodramatic more often than not, which didn’t really grow on me with time as much as it probably would have had for others, and then they began to mean a lot of colour, humid environments and plenty of romance. I was naturally more exposed to the whole masala film environment, more than an art environment because I was always an independent kid, who loved to have her regular dose of television-watching around, inbetween an intensive school environment.
I mean, it’s hard preparing for O and A Levels and being a go-getter for extracurriculars. There isn’t always a lot of time to watch Bollywood films, especially since Hollywood has always been my favourite place in the whole world to turn to when watching a good film. Is it really worth that much when you aren’t familiar with Bollywood? I would like to think not. How can I be expected to forsake Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999) that has Johnny Depp in it, for Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) that proved to be one of Shah Rukh Khan’s rare Bollywood hits. I cannot. And so I did not.
Shah Rukh is a mysterious actor to me on some days – he has been a major villain (and a terrifying one) on-screen, a romantic hero for soon-to-be-legendary directors making their debut or establishing themselves in the industry, he also co-founded his very own production house and continues to dominate masala films in Bollywood in the 21st Century. To me, he is a very good symbol of fun Indian cinema because of the varied range of roles he always does, and Shah Rukh does have a pretty good comic timing that makes the whole experience of watching him on-screen all the more enjoyable.
I have never been a big fan of the formulaic approach to filmmaking in Bollywood really: throw in a woman in a saree in the Swiss Alps + snow + a young Indian boy falling hard for her = a great masala film. I think it’s alright when you see it the one time, but the second time when you see that kind of a scene in a different film, it just get’s far too boring. I think when I do want to watch a Bollywood film, I like to see if Shah Rukh is in it: maybe in the colour-drenched world of Indian filmmaking, where it’s always the Swiss Alps and a saree (?) I can find something pretty (for the eye) and comedic, too for a change.