Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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Bollywood/Hollywood

Directed by Deepa Mehta
Canada, 2002 (fiction, 105 minutes, colour, English / Hindi)
Also known as "Bollywood Hollywood"

Film Description:
"Rahul Seth, a young, dashing Toronto dot.com millionaire, believes he is 'Western' enough to rebel against his mother and grandmother, especially when it comes to marriage. When his white girlfriend dies in an accident, his family pressures him to marry a good Indian girl -- before his younger sister's wedding. After wrestling with his struggle for independence and his duty to the family, Rahul attends his sister's wedding, accompanied by Sue, an expensive, intelligent and fiercely independent escort who poses as his 'Indian' fiancée. Sue, however, is not what she appears to be... With Hollywood's penchant for romance and Bollywood's fondness of hyperbole, Bollywood/Hollywood is a fun-loving romp of a movie where the unpredictable is the only constant."
-- Telefilm Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Deepa Mehta
Produced by: Camelia Frieberg, David Hamilton, Mehernaz Lentin, Ajay Virmani, Robert Wertheimer
Principal Cast: Rahul Khanna, Lisa Ray, Moushumi Chatterjee, Dina Pathak, Ranjit Chowdhry, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Jessica Pare, Joly Bader, Rishma Malik, Arjun Lombardi-singh, Jazz Mann, Leesa Gaspari
Cinematography: Doug Koch
Film Editing: Barry Farrell
Music: Sandeep Chowta
Production Company: Bollywood/Hollywood Productions Inc., Mongrel Media, Different Tree Same Wood
(sources)

Award won by Bollywood/Hollywood

Notes about Bollywood/Hollywood

(sources)

Quote by the Director

"I heard a story about an East Indian businessman who had gone to the casino at Niagara and was playing the slots. He sat next to a woman. They started talking, and he said, 'Who are you?' And she said she was East Indian. An Indian woman alone and in such a place, he didn't believe her. He said, 'You can't be,' and she said 'I can be whoever you want me to be.' That story was like a bolt of lightning. It started me thinking about my role as an Indian woman in Canada and how I felt about that."
-- Deepa Mehta (source)

Quotes about Bollywood/Hollywood

"The constant self-reflectiveness in [Bollywood/Hollywood] creates a web of cross-cultural intertexts, producing its own lineage of Canadian heritage, which is essentially a shuffle of Hollywood clichés mixed with Bollywood drama and clichés."
-- Amy Fung (source)

"The radicalness of the heroine Sunita and her rebellion against the 'family' and its gender requirements are illustrated through her rejection of arranged marriage and other gendered rituals of immigrant life. The film very selfconsciously deploys a Bollywood idiom of high melodrama, farce, romance, and musical numbers, all the while providing tongue-in-cheek Indian-English captions that name the various components of the Bollywood-inspired script."
-- Gayatri Gopinath (source)

"The urban culture represented in [Bollywood/Hollywood] is one that deconstructs Toronto's formerly staid Euro-Canadian identity. When [Deepa] Mehta locates a Bollywood-style dance number with a multiracial cast against Toronto's greyish-white downtown skyline, she is playing with urban iconography, making the dance number symbolize multiple worlds and identities that now define Toronto."
-- George Melnyk (source)

"Toronto the Good becomes Toronto the Downright Playful in Deepa Mehta's cheeky dramedy [Bollywood/Hollywood] in which a millionaire hires a woman he believes to be Hispanic to play his Hindu fiancée. The film plays out against a backdrop of the city's famed landmarks."
-- Tammy Stone (source)

"Mehta's film [Bollywood/Hollywood] situates itself at the cusp of two or more cultures -- Hollywood and Bollywood, white and brown, local and global, Canadian and American. The film does not fully belong to one world or the other but belongs to both. [...] However, instead of signifying conditions of exile and loss as do other diasporic productions, the film suggests the vibrancy of being between worlds -- the humor, self-mockery, and self-awareness of being exotic and other to both the West and the East."
-- Eleanor Ty (source)

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