A taste of Bollywood in Jaipur


We made it back to Jaipur – the capital of Rajasthan and allegedly the ‘Pink City’ of India.

Returning to big cities after having been relaxing in a sleepy place is always a bit nerve-wracking: people honk constantly, touts are more aggressive and crossing streets requires much attention as elephants, camels and cows share the road with trucks, cars and rickshaws.

We’ve also seen our first drop of rain since the start of the trip; and, with nothing to do outdoors, we thought this was an excellent occasion for a movie at the fabulous Raj Mandir Cinema. It is an impressive building resembling a giant, neon-lit cream cake (if you can imagine), and it is supposedly the place to watch a movie in India. Complete with popcorn, an old-school choc-top intermission and a hooting crowd, it is an excellent place to enjoy a full Bollywood movie experience.

Alaa Nachley

We saw Aaja Nachley. I can’t tell whether it was good or not, because it was in Hindi, but we both enjoyed – and laughed – very much. You know you are watching a Bollywood movie when there is an excessive use of a wind machine, when any opportunity is used for some frolicking in a wet shirt and spontaneous, synchronised dance moves suddenly overtake an entire city. Yes, there is a lot of singing and dancing – we felt sometimes that we were watching a 3 hour long video clip – but it is fun. Indian actors are always very expressive, so you can easily tell what is going on. The crowd in an Indian cinema is very responsive: it erupts in laughter when a character cracks a joke, yells when a star appears on a screen, whistles at every kiss, etc… There is nearly as much animation on the screen as in the theatre.

Just like in any Hollywood movie, Bollywood movies must have a happy ending and the plot is not hard to understand. We’ve seen a few Hindi movies now. Old India vs New India and the role of women seem to be recurrent themes. Their treatment in the movies is hardly intellectual but it seems to reflect some of the fault lines of Indian society today. The style of the movie is also at the image of India: it is over the top, exuberant, it defies logic sometimes, but it is refreshing and very entertaining.

3 stars for me… Margaret?

3 Responses to “A taste of Bollywood in Jaipur”

  1. 1 Phil Jackson Posted December 9th, 2007 - 7:38

    Hi Kate & Christophe.Love rading the exploits of your ‘seat of the pants planning’ odyssey.Your facination on doors have been our screen savers but the Jaipur snap was just beautiful. I had the take a second look at the Bollywood photo as I thought it was Kate.Dee and the boys send their best wishes.Bob is returning from Thailand tomorrow from his more traditional tourist things, not lentils and bucket showers.Keep well and keep sending those terrific snaps and stories. Kate, keep away from chicken.Just stick to local water, local salads and seafood. Phil

  2. 2 richard Posted December 24th, 2007 - 15:55

    Few weeks left and I’ll start to wonder where I’ll be able to catch with you, guys.

  3. 3 kate Posted January 11th, 2008 - 16:44

    hey phil… hope you and deirdre and the boys had a lovely time in hawks nest with mum and dad. hopefully there wasn’t as much controversy with your beach cricket umpiring as there seems to be in the aus v india test series at the moment (the cricket furore is a 24-hours-a-day news item over here… i’m thinking i’m going to have to start passing myself off as a kiwi to avoid a backlash…!)
    anyway – hope you all enjoyed some relaxation time and fine sunshine on jimmy’s beach, as well as some delicious treats at tillerman’s… we’ve just arrived in kolkata – not so relaxing but definitely jam-packed with tasty food (..apparently this is the sweets capital of the world, so i am in the right place)
    …and you’ll be pleased to know i have taken your wise dietary advice and am tucking into the local seafood (excellent bengali fish curries, though i did stay away from the rather dubious ‘oyster bar’ in sikkim that seemed to be located about 1000km from the nearest coastline..!)
    bye for now,
    love kate chris

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