Tuesday, September 18, 2012


When I'm bored (by which I mean, when I'm on deadline), I like to try and work out the plot of old Bollywood movies just from the poster. This one is making me lose my grip on sanity. Why is there a tiny midget yanking on a bell? Why is that dude's face green? And why is sour-puss getting a pink rose? Send me your best caption and I'll send you a prize!


These posters aren't the most subtle, but they're brilliant because they each radiate personality (even if that personality is one that you would cross the street to avoid). Just as the distinctive glamour of old Hollywood (the sexy sizzle of Marilyn and the gamine quirkiness of Audrey) has been replaced by a homogenous army of stick-thin chicks with trout pouts, new Bollywood is populated by an identikit array of girls and boys with vaguely Western features and a 'wheatish complexion' (read an Indian matrimonial advert to know what that means).

The hand-painted posters and billboards of vintage Bollywood are as unique as its film stars were, and the images are now cherished for their kitschy cool. Indian graphics company Indian Hippy makes goodies like bags and pillows with the images on, but they've gone one better. They'll put your face on a vintage poster, and bob's your uncle, you're a Bollywood star!
You could, for instance, take a picture of you and your lover in a cab, slightly mashed, on the way home from a party (just guesswork here from looking at the photo), and transform yourselves into star-crossed lovers from the Moghul era:

Or what about a Bollywood-style memento of a wedding?

Personally, I'd pick this one. Feathered head-dress, chimpanzee-looking guy, weird nude on the floor. What more would I want from an evening in Paris?


  1. That dude in the white suit does not have his hands in his pockets!

  2. Damnit Pri, your friend has ruined Shammi Kapoor for me! I didn't notice it either.

    1. Hee hee! I can't believe I didn't spot it from the start. Is 'Pran' the one whose face is sandwiched under the floorboards?

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