Tonight, in preparation for writing this post, I asked my husband what he thought was weirdest about me. Ever the tactful man, (because this can be a slippery slope) he brought up something innocuous: My enjoyment of Hindi movies.
I love Hindi movies. I didn’t always, but was introduced to them by some Indian friends from college, when we spent many a happy evening watching them. We’d drink chai, groan over the silliness of the movies, and we would use them as tools, both for them to tell me about their homes and families, and help explain cultural and social differences.
Cohiba (my husband) had not seen one until we started dating, and he decided to try one: Lagaan. It’s an excellent movie that been nominated for an Oscar the year it came out. However, its four hours long, and about cricket – a game longer than baseball.
One of the dance scenes
Alas, this was enough to turn him off all Hindi movies; he was especially turned off by the singing and dancing, like the example above. I haven’t been able to show him one since.
FHe may not understand why I like these movies, so in no particular order, I’m going to list my top four reasons.* Perhaps he will read them and understand.:
1. This one will obviously not apply to everyone but I have wonderful memories of dear friends connected with these movies, and anytime I see one, the memories come back.
2. They are well made and beautiful. This means they also lack the “authenticity” or “gritty realness” that some American movies strive for, but it’s fun. Not one hair is unintentionally out-of-place, the colors and fabrics are always arranged just “so.” It’s beautiful.
3. The films are over the top, but they are unabashed about being over the top. I love that kind of commitment and energy. Even the fans of these movies are unashamed about their enjoyment of them, singing and dancing along. (However, sometimes this “over-the-top” (especially depicted in the movies) borders on abuse or stalking, and that I don’t like. Its not romantic nor is it loving.)
4. Have you seen a Hindi movie in a theater? It is a radically different experience from a traditional Gora (white person) theater, and gets back to the unabashedness. It also makes it more enjoyable to be able to make fun of it with other people.
Have you seen a Hindi fil-em? What do you think about them or enjoy about them?
*This is based on my limited and Gori viewing of only a few. More expanded viewing would, undoubtedly, inform these reasons considerably.