viewer ship of Hindi Films with respect to the Non-Asian population in the UK
The Hindi film industry or the 'Bollywood' as it has been referred to have made a significant mark not only in the Indian society, but has had far reaching influence among Indians residing abroad. We shall concentrate on the Hindi films in the UK with respect to the resident Indian population. The United Kingdom alone accounts for about a sizeable Indian population. It is only natural that Bollywood movies find a thriving and a huge revenue generating market in there. Hindi films have made a long standing presence in the British cinema houses for close to about thirty years now. This in itself is a notable achievement. It not only indicates the huge 'desi' presence in the United Kingdom, but also highlights the huge market and enthusiasm for films 'manufactured in bollywood.'
In addition to the massive fan falling that is a standard attribute of many movies that are 'home-made', a good number of those have done extremely well in the box office grossing very appreciable overseas revenue. Though there has been as very rosy picture painted about the performance of Hindi films in the United Kingdom, there have also been some instances of dire failure and flops that have almost made the typical 'Hindi film' slide down the charts. During the 1980s, the bollywood film industry witnessed a huge fall in its ability to project its productions successfully over the United Kingdom. It is not clearly known whether this slowdown is attributed to quality or mere change in viewer preferences. Nevertheless, bollywood films made a raging comeback by the turn of the decade. Ever since, marketing and promotion programs have been a very carefully planned and publicized operation. Promos and premiers have become star studded events that are often coupled with excellently designed public relations strategy.
Expectations run high among the 20 million strong Indians based in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Indian producers target the young and up market crowd. This is the case since most movie buffs originate from this category. It is a strange coincident to note that a good number of bollywood films that are being produced also depict a typically well-to-do 'desi' family settled abroad. This is known to create a fairly good impact among Non-resident Indians as they often relate the silver screen icons to be one among them and the portrayed theme to be much a part of their own lives. Finding the moving images of the celluloid synonymous to their own lifestyles makes the crowd throng to watch the extensively foreign flavored Indian movie coming across the oceans.
It is quite interesting to note that the UK audience rates music to be an integral part of the movie. It is little wonder that the 'music' struck in the movie could itself be an exerting influence that calls for watching the movie. A large part of the success or failure of a bollywood movie is attributed to its genre. The UK audience is known to be very particular with regards to the casting of a film. In the backdrop, it is a preconceived notion however that established actors and actresses do bring about a great deal of success. The releases of successes of Hindi films in the UK in the last few years has proved to be a promising source of revenue for the bollywood film industry back home in India. As a streaming consequence, money from overseas sales has become a significant chunk of income that any movie makes. In many cases overseas income is as high pitched as 70-80% of the income from India.
It is not very surprising therefore to note that many popular films do well abroad than back at home. High ranking stars of the industry have little to do to portray a well orchestrated yarn in the movie which in turn would go a very long way in wooing the crowd to watch it. With the passage of time bollywood films have earned a rare distinction of being 'home-made and successful-overseas.' The overseas market has hence been a very lucrative avenue for the star studded Hindi movie. A good mix of performance, appealing collection of tracks and extravagant ambiance go a long way to help the Hindi film gross a respectable success in the UK box office. The bollywood movie remains a representation of Indian culture, values and tradition thus creating more than just an emotional impact upon the average Non-Resident Indian (NRI). The list of films that have been successful gainers in the UK box office is endless. What's more, there is a long line of them yet to be released and create waves. It is a very clearly established fact that the UK simply loves bollywood. (Bollywood beyond Indian shores), (Can Bollywood go global?) & (Bollywood Mantra)
1.2 Review of Literature:
The UK Film council published a detailed report based on its fact finding mission to India which took place from 8th to 17th March 2002. This report is regarded highly significant as it outlines various details with regards to the bollywood presence in the UK market. Critical issues such as the magnitude of the Indian film industry, bothersome matters such as piracy and copyright, implication of entertainment tax, the need for better and improved exhibitory and distribution infrastructure, training and education procedures; and key issues related to upcoming trends and methodologies for altering the backdrop of the Indian film industry have been discussed at large in the report.
The report outlines many a reason that helps make the Indian media and entertainment industry a very attractive scheme for the expansion of the media sector of the United Kingdom. Bollywood movies have always had a wonderful audience in the United Kingdom. Thanks largely to the widespread Indian presence in the country aided with the hefty fanfare that is part of standard operating procedure with regards to launches, promos and releases. There had been a time when popular belief was plagued by the thought that films which were 'exported' were made only by veteran producers and had to contain hi-profile stars. Although a part of this was in effect true, a good number of Hindi movies have been cut out to do well in the UK market.. (Bollywood Ending) & (The Indian Media & Entertainment Industry: UK Film Council)
Beginning from the mid eighties when films began to portray a new breed of stars and performance, they have been received well among the UK crowd. To cite an instance; Films ranging from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (QSQT) starring Aamir Khan produced in the eighties to the latest Shah Rukh Khan mega block buster Kal Ho Na Ho (KHNH) have proved to be resounding successes in the United Kingdom. Moreover, bollywood movies appeal to the average Non-resident Indian (NRI) since it brings about a sense of nostalgia reflecting a great deal of cultural and traditional Indian lifestyles and family values. Therefore, the success can more or less be also credited to the emotional appeal that is brought about by the 'made in India' package. In truth a great many of these films that have performed beyond expectations in the UK box office have been 'not so good gainers' back home. One has little to wonder why it is so since it is very evident that the very portrayal of the mother land and closely knit social structure is in itself a magic formula to drive the movie into creating history on the silver screen. (Bollywood Ending) & (The Indian Media & Entertainment Industry: UK Film Council)
It can rightly be remarked that the Indian cinema has come of age. There is a mass appeal that has been created by bollywood in the UK film circles. It is not very uncommon to note that Indian films do at a number of times rank well in the UK Top Ten Charts. Being primarily musical with scenes embedded with song and dance combined with extravagant costumes and lavish dialogues, the bollywood movies truly is one of a kind. A great deal of importance is also given to the soundtrack of the movies which is usually prerecorded by famous playback singers. For instance the sound track of the latest block buster 'Kal Ho Na Ho (KHNH)' by Sonu Nigam rocked audiences across the world often making them hum the tunes long until the movie had vanished from the floors.
Added to the musical extravaganza, there is also the rich display of costumes that usually are shopped from some fashion capitals of the world. This is best regarded to be 'chic' and has a 'cool' look, appealing to more of the movie going buffs. A great deal of money is pumped into these overgenerous ventures. Funding bollywood movies is indeed an issue that could well turn out to result in a mixed fortune. Most of the funding is done by private individuals. It is only in the recent past that the…
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