by Justine Hardy
Lots of the reviews online are negative, saying the author is largely uninformed and wrongly imposes her values and whiteness on this chunk of Indian culture, but I'm loving the book anyway. It's really funny. The author, who is an English journalist who works in India, spends a year or so trying to track down a new golden boy in Indian film. Her quest is peppered with conversations with ordinary people about the film industry, stars, movie morals, etc. What I like about it is that these are the types of questions I would discuss with my friends and other random people - if only I could find someone as under the spell of Bollywood as I am. (Note: obviously there are people in my town who are really into Indian film. I just don't know them. Yet.)
Also, I was tickled pink to discover that the "boy" in question is Hrithik Roshan, who was the male lead in the first Bollywood movie I watched. All I can say is, watching that movie with uninitiated eyes, I would never have guessed that this guy is the biggest thing since sliced bread. Apparently his acting and dancing are cosmically wonderful (he's the Indian Michael Jackson!) and he's really, really hot. Isn't it great that, even in an increasingly globalized culture, half a billion women swoon on one side of the planet, and on the other I merely shrug and giggle, dumbfounded but delighted? It makes me wonder how the Hugh Grant dancing scene in Love Actually went over in India? Totally sub-par, based on the filmi dance sequences I've seen. He didn't even have any backup dancers. I love that we are all different - and that a few of the differences are easy to discover with at quick trip to my local video store.
According to Ms. Hardy he has a dance move that causes teenagers to collapse on the floor, overcome with excitement. Like Elvis? Now for a my own quest to find some film clips online....