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Stereotypes in Bollywood

Comments  Comments [ 10 ]    By Jenifer Y. | 14 April 2014 | 10:55pm

Movies are probably the most stereotype-heavy medium out of every other form of art. Filmmakers just can't help but stereotype the characters of their movies who belong to any other sector of the world that is not essentially theirs. It's sloppy, lazy and unfortunately a big reality in the mainstream Bollywood films. At a time that celebrates Vaisakhi, Bengali and Tamil New Year, BollyCurry looks at some movies which depict these common stereotypes in Bollywood movies.

The most loved sector to be stereotyped in Bollywood movies is definitely the Tamils of India. Every now and then, one would see a Tamil character in a Bollywood movie, sprouting the dialogues which we have heard hundreds of times before with no novelty given to them at all. One recent example is Ra.One where Shah Rukh Khan played the role of a Tamil scientist who kept uttering the word "ayyoo" in every sentence and eating all his food after mixing it with yogurt first. Then there is this appealing aspect of one's personality that is the accent. While it isn't always easy for speakers of one language to perfectly grasp the accent of another, making all the Tamil characters provide comic relief because of their heavy accent is another one of Bollywood's favorite stereotype. The most recent one being Deepika Padukone's character of Meena in Chennai Express

Bollywood has been concentrating on depicting the vibrant Bengali culture quite a lot these days. Vidya Balan's superhit movie Kahaani was solely based in the city of Calcutta and showed the culture of the Bengalis through the various characters which the protagonist encountered. Although it was all portrayed in a tasteful way that is quite rare in this stereotyped ridden atmosphere, there are other examples where every Bengali is shown to be expert in all things fish. A particular scene from the recent flick Gunday serves as an example.

Our filmmakers love the Sikh community. It all started with the various takes on Bhagat Singh's life back in the 1960s and Bollywood movies still continue to portray Sikhs in a rightful, heroic light where they can do no wrong and can fix all kinds of injustice with their powerful muscles and preaching quotes. The recent Sunny Deol starrer Singh Saab The Great is a good example of it. However, Sikhs have been the butt of many jokes over the decades as well as they are portrayed as fools who serve the purpose of making the audience laugh via ridiculous slapstick comedy. Son of Sardaar received much negative flake from the Sikh community because of this.

With the industry progressing, there are many exceptions to these stereotypes nowadays. However, the fact remains that such stereotypes about the various communities of the country are so deep rooted in Bollywood movies that it's hard to completely eradicate them. BollyCurry wishes that in near future we get to see more tasteful and accurate portrayal of such communities. Till then, why not mention some of the stereotypes you've noticed in the comments below. 

Author: Maisooma B.
: Saraa K. and Jenifer Y.
: Fizii.

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Shah Rukh Khan Shah Rukh Khan

Deepika Padukone Deepika Padukone

Vidya Balan Vidya Balan

Sunny Deol Sunny Deol

Year : 2011

Year : 2012

Son of SardaarSon of Sardaar
Year : 2012

Chennai ExpressChennai Express
Year : 2013

Year : 2014

Singh Saab The Great Singh Saab The Great
Year : 2013

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