The Pigeonhole Syndrome

India has always been perceived vulnerable by outsiders. The reason can be varied. It is possible that our culture makes them think conventionally or maybe it is because media is continuously exposing India that they want to show and not what really it is. A combination of both is also possible. India’s poverty is the most loved feature of English directors. They are so fascinated by the half naked people on Mumbai streets that they try very hard to portray this reality as authentically as possible. This can be seen in movies like Slum dog millionaire, India calling etc. The representation of Indian weddings and festivals in movies like Bollywood/Hollywood, Bride and Prejudice, Monsoon Wedding is flamboyant and exaggerated. Not all Indian weddings share common features. India is a land of diversity. The variations found in cultures across states and within states are incomprehensible. To show one aspect of this culture and to generalize it for the whole country is unfair and is an insult to the nation.

The satire, parody, ridicule and jokes all arising from a perceived sense of superiority is seen in some movies. This kind of representation helps in publicizing the movie. The Indianness cannot be felt while watching an English Indian film. They do sometimes handle matters in a mature way but remain unsuccessful in creating an aura of feeling Indian through their movie. In Slum dog millionaire, a film by Danny Boyle, the concept is well concrete but it tries hard to maintain its charm, as sections in the movie are brief and unsatisfactory. Similarly while experimenting with a range of elements; the English directors fail at certain places. India as a country is very difficult to understand with its rich but complicated heritage.

Thus, you find India being represented either in a poor light or satisfactory to some extent. However, to portray India on the English celluloid medium is still an unattainable task. This was the general representation of our country across all Hollywood movies. The Indian flavor that is cherished by many Indians represents the beauty and charisma of the diversity found here.

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