BCM310: Globalisation and Bollywood film

Globalisation refers to two main processes that are inherently connected to one another. The first – “the ways in which technologies can overcome global distances, so that people live in a world that seems borderless” and the second – “the ways that one particular economic system – ‘the free market’ or global capitalism – now permeates most of the globe” (Khorana 2014). This means that developments in technology and transport are allowing for people to establish connections across borders, this can mean the assimilation of cultures and a heightened loss of cultural difference.

Globalisation means that people are able to make positive connections with other countries, sharing ideas and media. However, this can also be problematic as cultures are increasingly similar. This is connected to the notion of cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism refers to the idea that one culture is dominant and is spread to other smaller cultures. This is many cases refers to the Americanization of cultures. Prolific examples of this Americanization are evident in many Eastern countries culture (Khorana 2014). Perhaps one of the most interesting examples is in Bollywood film. Bollywood films are notorious for mimicking the characteristics which are commonly credited to Hollywood cinema (Illawarra Mercury 2003). An example of this can be seen in the two film clips below which compare Baz Lurhman’s The Great Gatsby to Anant Mahadevan’s The Xpose. The film mimics the style, plot and set design of The Great Gatsby with a little added Indian flavour. But is this a bad thing? It could be argued that Bollywood films are just an out-right rip off of Hollywood’s and if this copycat culture was broken, it could be a positive thing for the future of Indian cinema (Nelson 2010).

This Americanization of cultures, Bollywood films being just one example, is contributing to a disproportionate amount of American culture being disseminated compared to other countries. This can have a negative impact as it can lead to the assimilation of cultures all over the world and a loss of unique cultural differences.

References:

Illawarra Mercury 2003, ‘Bollywood out to rip off Hollywood Entertainment’, Illawarra Mercury, 6 June, viewed 17 May 2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/364486315

Khorana, S 2014, ‘Globalisation and the Media’, BCM310, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 12 May 2014

Nelson, D 2010, ‘Hollywood cracks down on Bollywood ‘rip offs”, Telegraph online, 7 October, viewed 17 May 2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/bollywood/8048582/Hollywood-cracks-down-on-Bollywood-rip-offs.html

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