Thursday, January 26, 2012

30 Day Bollywood Challenge Day 7

Day 7. A song that you like dancing to

Chunari Chunari
Biwi No. 1
This song is the epitome of Bollywood dance. It has all those stylish layers that Bollywood numbers are infamous for. The lyrics are suggestive and the music video's dance (particularly Sush's) has "oomph". Plus, Salman Khan + Sushmita Sen = HOT! 
 Secret: when I'm home alone, I blast this song on full volume, take out my dupatta and dance my heart out to it. I just can't help myself.

Firangi Babes

India has always been a country with a very little foreign population. Most of the time, Indians are the ones to leave their homeland and move to the west (after all, India is a developing nation). Therefore, it's no surprise that India's entertainment sector has traditionally been devoid of foreigners: white, black or tan. However, in recent years there has been a large influx of foreign models and actresses that have taken over the Hindi film industry. The controversy on their entrance into the exclusively Indian entertainment business is gaining lots of tempo, lately.  My opinion: Why? Is it needed?

It all started with Katrina Kaif, who isn't technically fully "foreign" since she has 50% Indian ancestry (at least that's what she says). She was pretty, tall and had charisma. The problem: she couldn't speak Hindi, nor could she act. But that was ten years, she's one of India's biggest heroines. She's cast in India's biggest productions and dates the hottest of men (if you ask me). She knows how to speak Hindi now too, though her acting skills are still questionable. Regardless of any of the criticism she may receive, Kat's even managed to make most people forget that she's "imported" in the first place. Frankly, she's as Indian as they come. And after all of these years, it doesn't and shouldn't matter where she came from because her success speaks by itself. Katrina Kaif undoubtedly started a trend. She ripped the red tape that had restricted non-Indians from playing pivotal roles in Hindi films. Like other countries, India's Bollywood finally became an open market for the whole world to act in. Though Katrina may not be THE reason Bollywood has opened up, she is undoubtedly an influential factor in the change. However, can she speak for other "foreigners"?

Recently, there has been the arrival of a number of foreign girls into the industry: Nargis Fakhri, Sunny Leone, Amy Jackson, Angela Johnson (to name a few). These women are miles apart from each other in every aspect, whether it be talent, background or looks. However, all of these girls are foreign, with minimal acting background and ability to speak the Hindi language. Like any other woman, these girls have readily accepted film offers from some of India's most reputed producers and directors. And why not? Who would reject fame and fortune beckoning at their doorstep, searching for them? 

I respect all of those women for trying something new, for moving to another nation and challenging themselves. But I'm disappointed in those producers and directors that go across the world, searching for non-Indian girls to play Indian girl roles. Hindi films aren't just for the Indian diaspora and therefore, shouldn't only include the Indian race, but is there a need to darken Amy Jackson's skin color and dub her voice for Ekk Deewana Tha, when there are thousands of worthy Indian girls to play her part? Why is Imtiaz Ali traveling across Europe trying to catch a hold of Nargis Fakhri? Since when do filmmakers run after the newcomers? I don't want to go back to the "is there something wrong with our girls" argument but when a foreign girl, with rudimentary skill, is cast for a role that any other Indian girl can do full justice to, I am forced to bring that topic up.