Every Bollywood movie has a few branded condiments. No Bollywood movie can do without songs, melodrama, over the top action scene, item numbers, and goofy comedy. Here are a few pointers on how a typical Bollywood movie is made. If you are a filmmaker, these prefigures might lead you to the vernacular makings of Bollywood Cinema. You, however, do not have to follow it religiously, unless you too want to join the bandwagon of making a typical Bollywood masala movie.
The Mass Effect
Movies like Dabangg, Chennai Express, Rowdy Rathore etc, have a great mass appeal. They have all props that the audience is looking for. A predictable storyline with groovy songs, an ensemble star cast, marketing and promotion gimmicks, Incongruous action sequence that overrides logic, and some comic relief. However, Aamir Khan's movies do not fit into this Bollywood formula. They are killer exceptions.
The Bigwigs of Bollywood
The only group of people who seem to prevail this industry are the Khans and the Kapoors. It is a privilege to be a part of either of these elite peer groups, regardless of what hackneyed movies they enjoy making. May be it is the people, not Bollywood alone. Moviemaking is directly proportional to the anticipation of the masses. The audience enjoys goofiness and a rare dose of intellectual cinema. Meaningful cinema such as OMG-Oh My God, Rocket Singh, are accepted and appreciated by the audience but they will never enter the list of highest grossing movies. The Bigwigs of Bollywood do rule the roost.
Ouch! The casting couch!
The baleful look of casting couch, does cast it shadows in silence. The much rumoured recruitment technique of Bollywood has been talked and proved by sting operations in the past. Creativity is pretty much a lonely boon. If Bollywood had a HR policy, they would probably include it in its code of conduct itinerary. If we were to look at the brighter side, there are many real stories of struggle and talent coming together. It is not all that bleak in Bollywood.
Goofy Comedy and the Endless song sequences
Bollywood has been hit by the rom com OCD. Comedy is either the primary genre or the sub genre of majority of the movies. Not every movie gives you a hee-haw! Witty comebacks in dialogues alone make up for the comic effect in Bollywood movie. Most of the moviemakers seem to be following a successful schematic pattern for making movies. Planting songs randomly in any scene makes one wonder, if you had a remote control in a theatre, to skip this bit. If you look at the whole sketch of moviemaking in Bollywood, most of the movies can be considered musicals. We cannot do without singing and dancing randomly to tunes that nobody is looking forward to. Looks like the actors alone enjoy this piece of encore that is designed to rain unabashedly on the audience.
Item numbers and kitschy costumes
Wonder if anyone plays them on their iPods or wants to simulate the look of an item girl ever! Uninspiring, insipid waste of time in any movie. Now they outsource firangi models to India for an item number. It is like one of the parts in a to-do list of Bollywood. Item number, check! Tacky costumes and sleaziness, Check!
Everybody likes to talk about making a 'different' movie, but the sad part is, they end up following the same blueprint of moviemaking, repeatedly. You can thus, abide by the black book of Bollywood, if you want to it play safe in the creative area. Ironic! 'Playing it safe' with 'creative ideas.' Sad but ironic!