As you may know, if you’ve read my blog post about 90’s Bollywood films, I’m a huge Indian cinema fan! The magic and vibrancy that these South Asian films exude are unmatched by Hollywood in my opinion. No way would Brad Pitt or George Clooney ever be able to pull off wearing skin tight leather trousers and see – through shirts, whilst dancing to repetitively choreographed routines in the rain! And certainly not with the effortlessness and infectious cheesiness of Bollywood actors like Hrithik Roshan and Akshay Kumar, who somehow manage to make it look acceptable…well at least sometimes!
And yet I do have one criticism of Bollywood cinema. It lulls girls, like myself, into a false sense of hope by assuring us that there’s a morally righteous, perfect hero out there waiting for all of us. A sensitive but rugged man, who will do absolutely anything for us…and it’s only a matter of time before fate causes us to cross paths with him.
Bollywood movies brainwash us into expecting to encounter a guy who’s both physically and emotionally flawless. He’ll have a prominent chiselled jaw, piercing eyes and be of an athletic build with a full head of shiny hair. Furthermore, he’ll brave the seven seas, fight off any guy who even dares to look at us, walk over burning coals and successfully placate our entire family, if necessary! And he’ll do all of these things whilst simultaneously showering us with genuine compliments and bouquets of our favourite flowers. He’ll nonchalantly remember every little detail about us, from the way we take out tea/coffee, to our great-grandma’s maiden name. And he’ll happily describe the precise colour of our eyes, if asked, mentioning every little fleck and speck of colour that may or may not even exist!
Bollywood cinema is renowned for presenting women with such idealised portrayals of men and romance, which sadly, don’t always coincide with reality. The time of excessive gentlemanly, chivalric behaviour is no longer prevalent. These days it’s rare to come across a guy who will hold the door for you, let alone one who will willingly take a beating from your dad and brothers (accompanied with bats and guns), all in the name of love, as is the common protocol in Bollywood land!
Arguably there are, however, always one or two diamonds in the rough out there. These anomalies are guys whose excessive romantic gestures are renowned within your friendship groups and their perfect personas and squeaky clean track-records ensure that the Bollywood romance facade stays strong and intact. And thus the cycle of hope remains unbroken.
Because, girls then continue to eagerly anticipate, with renewed hope, the day that they will be running frantically down a station platform. Suddenly, out of nowhere, their own handsome, brown Prince will lean out of the moving train carriage, stick out his hand and safely pull them in. And that day, their long-awaited Bollywood romance will finally begin… Right after the hero flashes his dimpled smile and the girl buckles at the knees and falls into his arms… of course!