Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes several regional film industries sorted by language. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centers of film production in the world.

Bollywood is formally referred to as Hindi cinema. There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It is common to see films that feature dialogue with English words, phrases, or even whole sentences.

Influences for Bollywood

There are important influences that have shaped the conventions of Indian popular cinema:

  • The ancient tradition: Indian epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana (influence on the thought and imagination of Indian popular cinema), Ancient Sanskrit drama, with its highly stylized nature and emphasis on spectacle (music, dance and gesture) and the traditional folk theatre of India.
  • The Parsi theatre, which “blended realism and fantasy, music and dance, narrative and spectacle, earthy dialogue and ingenuity of stage presentation, integrating them into a dramatic discourse of melodrama.
  • Hollywood, where musicals were popular from the 1920s to the 1950s, though Indian filmmakers departed from their Hollywood counterparts in several ways.
  • Western musical television, particularly MTV, which has had an increasing influence since the 1990s, as can be seen in the pace, camera angles, dance sequences and music of 2000s Indian films.

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