Saturday, September 17, 2011

BOLLYWOOD FOR BEGINNERS: GLOSSARY

I'll be adding to this as I come across words but I'm posting now for your enjoyment! Last updated 10/18/11.

Acting pricey - Somebody acting as if he or she was more important than he or she actually is. For example, a popular actress snubbing a former (and not so popular) co-star at an event would be acting pricey. Another example, a beginning actor demanding the same A-list treatment as a big name hero would be acting pricey.

Entertainer - A film that may not have artistic value but provides great bang for your buck. Entertainers are generally (but not always) lacking the emotional kick of a great masala film.

Eve teasing - The sexual harassment of women by men, more specifically in the context of catcalling and groping on the street. Despite the cutesy name, this is actually a very serious issue for many young women and on-going eve teasing can make women reluctant to leave their homes, can seriously damage a girl's reputation, and can even lead to suicide.

Firang - Hindi slang for a white person. Use firangi when referring to a woman and firang for a man. It has a somewhat derogatory context but has been reclaimed in a somewhat ironic way by many white Bollywood fans.

Grey role - A villainous character who is made sympathetic. These roles are usually played by villains who are transitioning to hero and/or character roles or by heroes who are transitioning to character roles. The use of the color term ‘grey’ signifies a character who lies somewhere between good (white) and bad (black.)

Interval - A break between the first and second halves of an Indian film, sometimes announced in the film with an interval title card. During the interval, the house lights in the theater will come back on and audience members will get up to chat, get snacks, and use the toilet. The interval title card is usually left out of DVD releases for Hindi films but can be found in many South Indian DVD releases.

Item - 1) A song picturization, usually featuring a guest performer, the purpose of which is to titilate the audience. Items are typically found just post-interval in a masala film. The placement is timed to get the audience back into an excited mood before the film begins the run up to the climax. Also called: item number or item song. 2) Can also refer to the guest performer.

Kitty - Most often used to refer to the list of films that an actor or actress has signed. For example, when discussing an upcoming film project, a gossiper might say that so-and-so actress lost out on the project but she’s not too worried because she has two other big projects in her kitty, meaning she has signed on to two other big projects. (Not to be confused with Miss Kitty, a popular name for vamps in 60s films.)

Masala - A Hindi term referring to a mixture of spices used in cooking. It is often used to describe a specific style of Indian film making that combines action, comedy, adventure, revenge, romance, social conscience, songs, dancing, family values, melodrama, and glamour into one

Negative role - A character whose goal is to make the protagonist suffer. Now used in place of the more traditional term villain, which essentially means the same thing. The biggest difference between villain and negative role is that the latter also encompasses the realm of the more realistic multiplex film.

Paisa vasool - A Hindi term meaning “your money’s worth.” It perfectly describes the experience of watching a good masala film.

Picturization - The music video that accompanies a song in an Indian film, usually includes

Timepass - Something that has no value other than fun or leisure. This term is used quite often in film reviews with a somewhat negative context. For example, a critic might use timepass to describe a film that he or she feels is watchable but forgettable. In other words, a film that’s only purpose is to provide people with a place to go if they going stircrazy indoors on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

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Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl