Why are the British and American characters always….

Why are the British and American characters always….

portrayed as jerks or losers? What does India have against Americans?

If I were watching a historical movie like The Rising or Lagaan, I understand. Those two movies took place in a time in which Great Britain ruled India and was unfortunately cruel, wicked, and abusive toward the Indians. My relatives from the past had unpleasant encounters with the British pre-1947.

My complaint is only with Contemporary Bollywood movies. For example, in the movie Khabi Kushi Ghabi Gham, you see the heroine (played by Kajol) making fun of the British for their tea, is mean to the British lady whose daughter is friends with the heroine’s son (yes the British lady was mean to the heroine but the heroine doesn’t bother trying to be kind to her like the British lady was), and complains how her son is singing “Do Re Mi” instead of whatever songs she learned in India. Not to mention that Kajo was too super uber duper obnoxious! Boy, no wonder why the dad wished that his son married Rani instead of annoying Kajol! And Kajol’s sister wore the worst Western clothes ever. I’ve been to England and nobody dressed like that! The British girls wore regular clothes; not one-strap tank tops! If the directors wanted a reason why the family should go back to India, why not have them be homesick?

Another example is Dil Chaata Hai (What the Heart Wants) in which one of the boys falls for a Swedish girl only to be robbed by her. What was the purpose of this scene? Was it to show that Swedish girls are robbers or was it to show that the guy should be cautious about who he dates?

The last example was Kal Ho Na Ho (For Tomorrow May Never Be). Okay, this movie is slightly better than the Kahbi Kushi Ghabi Gham. The movie captured the society of the neighborhood in New York. But I’m disappointed with the bar scenes. While it is true that Americans do go to bars, nobody gets naked over there! All they do is sit at the tables, and drink in order to socialize. Some people dance to loud music (if it is a club bar) and others may eat (if it is a pub). But again, nobody strips and gets naked. The worst thing that ever happens is when someone gets too drunk and someone has to make sure they get home safely or else they’ll do something crazy (like taking off your clothes).

So, why are British and Americans always portrayed negatively in Contemporary Bollywood movies? Is there not one Bollywood movie in which the American or even the British person is portrayed as a friend instead of a villain or loser?

View on r/Bollywood by Acceptable-Fun8215

  1. For the same reason, HW movies depicted Natives, Arabics and Russians as the bad guys. There is history there, and it’s easy to use these kinds of characters to have the audience automatically take them as the bad guys and have no too little affect for those.

  2. Firstly a couple of Bollywood commercial mainstream movies are not representative enough to indicate that Bollywood “Always” characterizes Americans and British negatively. This is especially true for movies made by KJo like K3G which are lighthearted Romcoms not to be taken seriously. One or two characters in a fictional movie doesnt characterize the millions of people from a community or a country. If you have seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom then you would know that most Indian’s dont actually eat the delicacies that were shown in this movie or have any affinity towards ripping hearts out of living people as shown by master director Steven Spielberg.

    Contemporary mainstream movies like Queen, English Medium and English Vinglish and smaller movies like Margarita with a straw and Tara vs Bilal are not only set in foreign countries but have positive foreign characters. Even Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway which pits the legal system of Norway against an Indian mother also shows positive Norwegian characters.

    There are several movies based in India which also have positive American and British characters like Rang De Basanti and Salaam-E-Ishq. Even the British Umpire in Lagaan shows character when he bravely declares the last ball of the game a no ball. Tobey Stephen’s British character in Mangal Pandey and Rachel Shelley’s Elizabeth in Lagaan are strong and positive characters in movies pitting Indian against their oppressors during the British Raj.

  3. I saw a show called never have i ever which was riddled with cliches and stereotyping about indian ppl… so basically the portrayal u r complaining abt is done the other way round so it is sort of neutralised, i shud say

  4. Bruh have you seen Pardes? Americans are apparently drunk degenerates who’ll rape their fiancées. No sanskar.

    Honestly, I think it’s cope. A lot of Bollywood is escapism, and how do you make moviegoers feel better about living in relative poverty in India when your movie takes place in luxurious US/UK settings? You say that those places are immoral and lack warmth.

    So you may be broke in India, but at least you don’t have to “make an appointment to see your parents” (nobody does that in the US either?!)

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