Hollywood actors dance?
the omission of musical numbers, see Question 2 (Why are
their movies so short and simple?). Regarding the dancing
talent of Hollywood actors... well, arguments have gone
on for years, in classrooms and coffee houses alike, about
the bewildering inability of Hollywood stars to dance
well or at all. The only thing we're all certain of is
that at one point, they did know how: just consider
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the famous duo whose flashy
prancing shot them to fame. Bewildered Hollyfans who expect
more of their highly-paid stars did feel encouraged by
the announcement that Moulin Rouge and Chicago
would include dance numbers, but the hyperactive cuts
during said dance numbers made it clear that even those
Hollywood actors who would *like* to be able to dance
can't manage to do so for periods any longer than two
to three seconds. Happily, Hollywood has finally come
to terms with its own ineptitude; Farah Khan, Bollywood
dance master extraordinare, has been hired to choreograph
a number in the Reese Witherspoon vehicle Vanity Fair.
Perhaps this marks a new era for Hollywood, in which it
will demand that its actors actually do something
in return for their multi-million dollar paychecks.
Why are their movies so short and simple?
reasons. First, understand that the chief modes of entertainment
for many Hollywood viewers are playing video games and
watching half-hour television sitcoms. Thus most of
these people have regrettably short attention spans.
This makes it difficult for them to read a newspaper
or book, much less concentrate for more than ninety
minutes on a film! Now, add in multiple plots and characters,
as most of Bollywood's masala films do, and you'll have
completely lost them! Realizing this, Hollywood
directors like to keep their films very simple. They
usually stick to two plots at the most. Unrelated comedy
subplots (such as those helmed by Johnny Lever in Bollywood
films) as well as dance numbers that do not advance
the narrative are strictly frowned upon. They
distract viewers who are trying to keep track of the
main story. They're just too confusing.
Second, it appears that although Hollywood directors
enjoy film budgets far larger than those of Bollywood,
they lack the canny financial sense exhibited by our
favorite desi directors. (Hollywood fans who monitor
trade papers know this; they're constantly reading articles
about how such-and-such director is running way over
budget!) So, although the wardrobes seen in Hollywood
films are not nearly as beautiful and ornate as those
used in Bollywood films -- and despite the fact that
the shooting locations for Hollywood films are usually
confined to just one country, rather than switching
between, say, America and Switzerland and Austria --
they still cannot manage to stay within budget!
Thus they cannot afford to make longer films.
Why do they starve their actresses?
the actresses starve themselves. Why, you ask? Well, the
grass is always greener on the other side, right? Food
is extremely plentiful in America, so it's considered
very beautiful to look as if you might not have enough.
This exotically skinny look is also very hard to attain,
since it means turning down readily available food even
when you're very hungry. People in America love
this, because they really admire hard workers.
up with all the sequels?
Hollywood audiences' attention spans are so short, it's
sometimes not possible to finish a story within the ninety
minutes in which you've got their undivided attention --
so you just continue the story in a sequel! Also, Hollywood
is a very nepotistic place. People have a difficult
time breaking into the industry unless they're already connected
to someone within it. This means most movies are thought
up, written and made by people who also socialize together,
so it's not like there's much room for fresh new ideas;
they all get their ideas from talking to each other! Hence
the slew of sequels. People just can't think of a new (and
other big reason for all the sequels: if a film does really
well, a sequel is considered a safe financial bet. Why is
that such an important factor for Hollywood, but not for
a cinema like Bollywood, which continues to make films even
when none are making any money? Because apparently Hollywood
lacks the financial security which would allow them to take
risks the way, say, Indian or Iranian directors do.
are the soundtracks mostly compilations of songs that have
already been released?
the songs in a Hollywood film were composed specifically
for that movie, chances are they wouldn't be popular enough
to sell the soundtrack in large numbers. Unlike Bollywood
fans, most fans of Hollywood will only buy music that they've
already heard on their local radio station at least fifty-five
times. (Actually, this is a clever ploy, since often buyers'
motive for purchasing these songs is simply to learn the
words of some chorus that has gotten stuck in their heads.
This way they won't have to wander around like idiots singing,
"It's like rain, on your wedding day. It's a blah blah,
when you blah blah blah.")
can't they find any clothes that fit them?
it does seem as if the material for women's clothing is
in short supply, while the makers of male garments inaccurately
assume their customers are twice as large as they actually
are. This is never more apparent than in the popular 1990s
teen flick Clueless, in which the men's jeans are
at least ten sizes too big, and the women's skirts are roughly
five sizes too small. It seems as if Hollywood directors
and actors fear the size of their paychecks might alienate
fans. Thus they choose to appear in the guise of less fortunate
sorts who cannot afford to purchase well-fitting clothes.
women die very young in America?
of course not. Older women just do not exist in Hollywood!
That way older men can still get lead roles as the love
interests of beautiful young actresses.
orchestras routinely hide behind trees, or inside walls,
or by the sides of freeways?
at BollyWHAT? have never personally seen an orchestra crouched
behind a retaining wall at the side of an on-ramp (or, for
that matter, any famous singers crouched beside them). Nevertheless,
we must conclude that this is a common practice, since,
after all, Hollywood is a "realist cinema" which
scorns the unrealistic musical interludes of Bollywood films.
Therefore Hollywood films would not include these swelling
musical backdrops to scenes like "Hero cruises freeway
to Vivaldi's Four Seasons/ Heroine emerges from makeover
session to Shania Twain's Feel Like a Woman" unless
there were, indeed, a real orchestra or singer serenading
these characters from just around the corner.
does it mean when they have sex on the first date?
means they like each other and they want to get to know
each other better.
does it mean when they say they have commitment issues?
usually means that the fictional parents who gave birth
to the character annoy him or her terribly, and that the
character will punish these two people by being rude and
irresponsible with everyone else s/he meets. Said character
may have been fed, clothed, sheltered and protected by these
two people for the first eighteen to twenty years of his
or her life, but these acts mean nothing in comparison to
the immense aggravation the two of them cause him or her.
does it mean when they complain about having to talk about
often this complaint is voiced by a male character who is
being harrassed by the unreasonable demands of the woman
with whom he is sexually involved. Either a) she wants to
hear his opinions about her, or b) she wants to hear his
opinions about them as a couple. Do remember that before
two people can fall in love in Hollywood films, they must
at least have had sex once; what they cannot do
if they wish to continue in the relationship is to mention
the word 'love.' Therefore the above complaint should not
be interpreted as a wish for the powers of mental telepathy;
it is merely an admirable indication of the character's
masculinity, and his sane, suspicious approach to the prospect
of voicing his private thoughts to a woman with whom he
regularly gets naked.
does it mean when they drink a very large amount of alcohol
at one sitting?
means they're very intelligent people who feel deeply about
the world, but unlike Bollywood heroes (Devdas, for instance),
they know better than to analyze or talk about their feelings.
Instead, they will poison themselves until these impulses
pass, and the audience will find this both glamorous and
copyright Bollywhat.com, 2001 - 2005