Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bollywood, Bollywhat? and hiding behind trees

I listen to Q107s Derringer In The Morning. An entertaining way to start the day. John Derringer, the host, recently asked the question, Why does everyone hide behind trees in Bollywood movies? Well, JD, since inquiring Canadian minds are asking, I decided to do a little research to see if anyone else had explored this probing issue. A determined stint on Google yielded no results! Not even Bollywhat?, a definitive guide to clueless fans of Hindi films (like me) could provide me with an answer. So, my contribution to the wealth of knowledge on the Internet today is to provide the answer :).

JD, hiding behind trees in Bollywood movies is Indian movie sex, it's as simple as that ;). India banned kissing in movies in the 1950s. (**See correction below) So ... everytime, a potential romantic kissing scene is apropos, the music starts, and the guy starts chasing the girl as she hides behind trees to escape his kiss. They're usually magically transported to some romantic location in the mountains of Kashmir where, not surprisingly, trees are aplenty. Ironically, it's okay to depict men and women, naked and groping each other, under a blanket, in bed (I've seen this in Bollywood movies), but don't let them kiss or the film will be banned ;).

During a brief review of the Bollywhat? site I did happen to discover that inquiring Indian minds are asking the question, Do orchestras routinely hide behind trees, or inside walls, or by the sides of freeways in Hollywood movies? (find the answer on the Bollywhat? Hollywood FAQ). Enjoy ;)

**CORRECTION. Kissing is no longer banned, however, it's still excluded by producers because it could result in a Restricted rating from India's very tough censorship board. This would effectively ban the movie because going to movies is a family affair and no-one would go. see Bollywhat? Why don't the characters ever KISS already?

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