Bollywood On Your Phone
By Philip Nicosia
The Bollywood craze has swept around the world, as fans of Hindi Cinema have fallen in love with the kietschy (and yet unusually addictive) high-pitched songs, exaggerated hand and eye movements, and tendency of characters to break into large-scale musical numbers at the oddest moments, and often against anachronistic settings like the Swiss Alps.
But music is an integral part of Bollywood films, so that even a dark and edgy drama has to have at least one catchy song and corresponding dance number woven into the script. In fact, in India, the sound track is released before the movie, so that everyone is humming the song as they enter the theatres.
Most Bollywood songs are actually lip-synched by the actors, the voices borrowed from professional playback singers. (The exceptions are Kishore Kumar K. L. Saigal, Suraiyya and Noor Jehan, who are known for both their acting and their singing). were also known as both singers and actors. Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan also sang in their movies. However, playback singers have their own followinglike Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Yesudas.
Todays Bollywood songs are known for how they remix filmi songs with modern beats and rhythms, adding an interesting edge to the ancient folk dances and steps that make up a typical Bollywood number (although it is not uncommon to see current hits incorporating MTV or Broadway twists).
While some Bollywood songs are directly related to the plot, there are also item numbers where someone performs a catchy numberlike a courtesan dancing for a rich client in a cabaret scene, or disco scenes, or dancing at celebrations.
Bollywood soundtracks usually become big hits, and there are cases when the music outsells the movie. Due to their
incredible popularity, it is not surprising that many of the songs are now available as ringtones. Now you can listen to Kabhi kushi kabhi ghum or Bolein chooriyaan on your phone. Some come in polyphonic form, but many are already available as true tones
With such a rich music tradition, the amount of Bollywood available are staggeringwere talking thousands, ranging from the sweet love song with choral dialogues between two star-crossed lovers, or funky dance remixes that combine techno with traditional Indian folk music.
Bollywoods appeal has spread across the world, and now across mediums. From Bombay to Brisbane, the movie screen to the mobile phone. Get it now.
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