EXTRA CREDIT

Mughal E Azam Song

Mughal-E-Azam  is one of the greatest and the most well known Bollywood film directed and produced by K.Asif.  This is typical Bollywood movie that lasts for about 3 hours long and of course it has to be a musical. What would we do with a Bollywood film without songs and dancing! (sarcasm) The film album consisted of twelve songs.  One song had about one hundred background singers, while another song cost about one “crore” (referring to India’s “one million”) which comes to about 22,000 US dollars buts let’s remember that even this amount of money is a lot for a Bollywood film to be produced in let alone the song (normally this would be the typical cost of a Bollywood film). The movie itself was finished in nine years with a budget of two million US dollars! In 2004, the movie was restored to a color version since the original version was made in black and white. The success of the original film comes to a whopping $308 million US dollars! Of course with its success some small time directors decide to redo the movie with more “modern” actors (major flop of the year 2008). This is where the theme of time comes into place. This movie was a typical story of a prince and his lover and no it was not happy ending. In India during that time period, love and romance wasn’t something that was happily accepted. Everything had to do with class, standards, morals, and of course money. We go into the present, still most of India hasn’t caught up to our times and present standards of showing love openly along with the process of dating which was never accepted in the 1960’s. Modern actors can’t portray the standards of the past because they live in a time where people live more freely and they do what they want. This film mainly dealt with a man from the upper class falling in love with a female from a low class. Class was a major problem but falling in love itself was the bigger issue. I have to say many and I mean MANY movies in Bollywood have some type of theme where love is never accepted and even till this day some people in India don’t accept it, this is where the idea of arranged marriages come from. My opinion for the success of this film is that it followed the traditional morals and standards of India so much that people had to love it. Of course the two lovers never get united and for people like us in the present we would be sad to hear that but I think people in India back then were probably pleased since it showed what they thought to be “good morals”.

This movie has a lot of lighting especially on the character’s that speak. The stage is a palace everything is made to look upper class. Actors are wearing costumes almost and they aren’t typical Indian wear either also massive jewelry for the upper class of course. Even though the movie was created in black and white, my clip shows the restored color version and you see a lot of bright colors. One thing I have to say Bollywood loves using…. JUMP CUTS and a lot of jump cuts. Especially in Bollywood soap operas they will jump from one character to another and back and forth OVER AND OVER until you get tired of watching. They do that in this film also and especially in songs but not to the extent that they use in the present.

By the way it is hard to find trailers and scenes from movies like this especially with subtitles because all you find is clips of songs since that’s mainly what gave movies attention in Bollywood. In conclusion I apologize for my not so great clip that doesn’t really help explain the movie but it’s the most popular song and the videos of the songs were usually worked on the most. You can see the best of the filming process of this movie just by watching the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plsRqFDk-2A



One Response to “EXTRA CREDIT”

  1.   Amy Herzog Says:

    Thanks for closing out the semester with a real Bollywood film for us to talk about! I had been very conflicted about the difficulty of showing a 3-4 hour film in class versus the films that fall more in a neorealist vein. I’m glad the blogs give us a forum to consider a much wider range of works.

    Thanks, too, for all your insightful posts this semester– it’s been a pleasure to read them.

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