“I Need an Indian Touch”Article ReviewRick KanasCMCL C427
Objective of the Study• Examine audience demand for traditional Indian values in Bollywood films using the concept of “glocalization”.
Rationale• Mixed emotions to “Western” ideas in Bollywood films• Universal expectation of “Indian Touch” in Bollywood films• Bollywood refuses to succumb to Hollywood• Importance of Glocalization
Method & Process• Ethnographic interviews• Prepared questions• Seven months – 2005 to 2006• Punjab, India• 49 formal and informal interviews• Participants between the ages of 22 – 39• Majority of participants were Punjabi University students and their families• Participants went to the movies no more than once a month• Researcher would accompany participants to movie theatre
Findings & Significance• Audiences prefer traditional clothing, even if it is “adopting” global styles• Setting of movie is not a problem – foreign cities are “Indianized” in films• Integration of song and dance is crucial• Incorporation of “Inglish”• Foreign “back-up” dancers can participate in sexualized dancing, but not the Indian heroes and heroines.
Guiding Approach• Critical Approach • Audience opinions of film components • Portrayal of Indian “heroes and heroines” • Importance of traditional values, music, clothing • Refusal to succumb to Western pop-culture
Significant Quotes• “The active audience of Bollywood films in India does not passively succumb to complete Westernization, but rather successfully demands a compromise between Westernization and India: indeed, that Western adapts to India.”• “Glocalization is a recognition that when ideas, objects, institutions, images, practices, and performances are transplanted to other places. They both bear the marks of history as well as undergo a process called cultural translation.”• “Bollywood film images have begun to shower a productive hybrid relation between the local and global, and have begun to help rework a national identity with newly formed cultural parameters.”
Think About…• The article states that “Hindi film inherited the magnificent task of becoming the discernible conscience of the nation. It was the defining medium of what it meant to be Indian.”What films can you think of that a culture or country would not want on their “conscience”? Was this a fair depiction of this nationality?
Think About…• Erotic scenes and dancing in Bollywood movies cannot be performed by Indian actors, but are portrayed by “American-looking” women as back-up dancers. What does this say about societal values of audience members?
Resources• Rao, S. (2010). “I need an Indian touch”: Glocalization and Bollywood films. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 3(1), 1–19.