Personal Blog

Bollywood vs Hollywood. Which Do I Prefer? - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day. For today’s blog post, I thought I would talk about the differences between Bollywood and Hollywood and which industry I personally prefer. As some of you might know, I am originally from New Delhi, India, and even though I’ve never lived in India and actually grew up in Europe my entire life, I do speak fluent Hindi because my parents wanted to make sure that they taught my brother and I Hindi so they could talk to us in their mother tongue. Due to the fact that I speak fluent Hindi, I’ve grown up watching a lot of Indian movies and being familiar with all the big Bollywood actors and actresses. Then, after attending a lot of American and International schools, I started learning English and now I speak fluent English, which is really nice because it means I’m able to watch Hollywood movies. Honestly, I think speaking English is so vital in our world, since it’s the language that’s spoken pretty much everywhere, and if someone has plans to travel the world then I would say knowing how to speak and write English is really important, so I’m extremely grateful that I’m able to speak English. Anyways, due to the fact that I speak both English and Hindi, I’ve watched a lot of Bollywood movies and Hollywood movies over the past couple of years, and I always get asked which industry I prefer since they’re both such successful industries. I feel like both industries have their pros and cons, so I thought I would list the high points and low points of both the industries and then finally tell you guys which industry is my favorite. I also want to mention that like I wrote in my last blog post, I am planning on telling you guys all about my first two weeks here at college by the end of this weeks so make sure you stay tuned for that! For now though, let’s get started with this blog post!

Firstly, when it comes to the ideas of movies, I would have to say that Hollywood movies are a little bit more original and more creative. I think that what really lacks in Bollywood are good thriller and horror movies. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great Bollywood thriller movies like “Drishyam”, “Raid”, “Andhadhun”, “Badla”, “Aankhen”, “Ajnabee”, and many others, but they don’t compare to Hollywood thriller movies. From “The Dark Knight” to “Shutter Island” to “Get Out”, Hollywood thriller movies are able to steal the show and I do think that there’s more originality in Hollywood movies. When it comes to comedy, then I would actually have to give my vote to Bollywood movies. I don’t actually think that Bollywood movies are necessarily funnier than Hollywood movies, but I’ve grown up with a lot of inside jokes about India and making fun of the way that people speak, so that’s why I personally find Bollywood movies funnier than Hollywood movies. To be completely honest, there are so many Bollywood movies that I can think of that just make me laugh my ass off. For example “Golmaal”, “Dhamaal”, “Housefull”, “No Entry”, “Partner”, “3 Idiots”, “Welcome”, “Hera Pheri”, “Garam Masala”, “Awara Paagal Deewana”, and many others. However, when I think of funny Hollywood movies, then I think of like “21 Jump Street”, “The Hangover”, “Superbad”, and then that’s about it. I know that a few months ago I wrote a blog post titled “Movies That Make Me L O L The Most” and in that post, I basically just listed five to six movies in Hollywood that really make me laugh, and even though I wasn’t lying and told the truth when I said that I find those movies to be really funny, I did have to look these movies up and try to remember really hard to think of those movies, whereas when it comes to Bollywood movies I already have so many in mind. Another area in which I think that Bollywood wins is making movies on issues that need to be addressed. I feel like Hollywood is really all about fiction, and just creating a good movie, whereas Bollywood takes a lot of inspiration from events that have happened in the past in order to create solid movies. For example, the movie “3 Idiots” is such a brilliant movie, and it talks about the problems with the Indian school system. Then, the movie “Lagaan” talks about the struggles India went through when it was under British colonialism. Likewise, “Taare Zameen Par” talks about children’s dyslexia and how student’s weaknesses are often overlooked and regarded as not important. The movie “Raid” talks about the ways in which the wealthy manage to not pay their taxes, and these are all issues that the world is facing today that need to be talked about. Don’t get me wrong, I know that Hollywood does talk about these issues as well. In fact, my favorite movie ever “Get Out” discusses the way that society views black people and how these views can make a black person feel uncomfortable if he or she is alone in a room with a bunch of white people. I just feel like Bollywood touches more on those issues, whereas Hollywood really is about just coming up with a good story. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with either, but I think it’s great how Bollywood wants to use film to catch the world’s attention on important issues. Nevertheless, if there’s one area in which Hollywood most definitely wins, then that’s horror movies. I haven’t seen a single good Bollywood horror movie, and at this rate I don’t think there will be one.

When it comes to things such as time, then I’m sure most of you know that Bollywood movies are usually three hours long, whereas Hollywood movies are usually around ninety minutes to one hundred and twenty minutes. Growing up, I never had a problem with watching a three hour Bollywood movie, but nowadays I do find it hard to sit through such long movies. I think ninety to one hundred and twenty minutes is a good time length for a movie, because it doesn’t exactly test the audience’s patience. When it comes to music, then I actually hate it when a song comes in during a Bollywood movie. If I’m really invested in the storyline and I love what the movie is talking about, then I don’t like having a song in between, regardless of how good the song is. I think that Bollywood movies should actually get rid of their songs, and instead create a separate album with those songs and publish it alongside the movie. This would help reduce the long time length of the movie, and it would also keep the audience focused on the main storyline of the film. To be completely honest, I don’t actually know which industry I prefer. I will admit that Bollywood is a little closer to my heart because I know every single actor and actress and I’ve watched so many of the classic films growing up that I feel more attached to Bollywood, but I definitely still love watching Hollywood movies and want to work in Hollywood. Even though I speak fluent Hindi, I don’t actually know how to write or read Hindi and since I want to specifically go into screenwriting, there’s no way that I can be an Indian screenwriter if I don’t know how to write Hindi. Sure, it’s possible that I could write a screenplay in English and then have somebody translate that script into Hindi, and I would definitely be open to that. Who knows what the future holds? But for now, I definitely want to try and write movies and television shows for Hollywood.

Shreya Sachdev