- Alison E. Arnold
The term Bollywood is used variously to refer to the mainstream Indian film industry, to Bombay (now Mumbai) Hindi cinema, to Hindi cinema from the 1990s onward, and most recently to an Indian culture industry encompassing Hindi films and related commercial products distributed via satellite and cable TV, radio, DVD and video, CD and MP3, and Internet websites. Some Indian film producers and actors consider the term pejorative, in referencing a Hollywood clone, but it gained currency when Indian popular cinema began to attract international attention. The deregulation of India’s media industries in the 1990s encouraged Bollywood filmmakers to reach out to the large overseas Indian diasporic market.
The commercial Hindi film is typically a three-hour-long melodrama mixing romance, comedy, action, intrigue, and several elaborate song and dance sequences. Since the early 1990s Bollywood films have featured elements indicative of the new global orientation, including a greater use of English words and phrases, and foreign locations employed not merely as exotic song and dance contexts but as homelands in which Indian nationals reside. Producer Yash Chopra’s ...