These days, the (Hollywood) film industry wants us to go out on a Saturday night date, have a nice dinner and then settle back to ponder the grave and depressing issues of modern life. If we all go home with suicidal impulses, they figure their job is done. While Hollywood was taking care of that task, however, it appears that one more all-American enterprise was quietly outsourced to India: over-the-top, pure escapist entertainment. Or, if you prefer, Bollywood movies.After mentioning Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Vanity Fair, Connor ends the article by describing one of my all-time favorite flicks, Monsoon Wedding, produced in 2001 by filmmaker Mira Nair:
The romantic comedy bubbles and overflows with characters and plotlines like a towering champagne fountain at a wedding reception. The movie takes place during the four days leading up to a huge Punjabi wedding, and Nair plunges the audience into the thick of things, where we can observe the swirl of secrets and complications that inevitably ensue when families reunite. Nair uses nearly all of the Bollywood conventions in the movie, not least the monsoon rains of the title. But rain is not the only element drenching the proceedings. Joy saturates the movie, too, in abundance. So does color. And music. And dancing. And romance. Sounds more inviting than racism, corruption, terrorism and censorship, no?I think so. And apparently, so do most people on the planet. Wake up, Hollywood!