Back in the 70’s, the vibrant world of Bollywood song and dance routine, gorgeous sari clad heroines and love birds romancing around trees enticed Thai audiences. With Haathi Mere Saathi being the highest grossing film in Thailand till date, Bollywood movies were regularly played at Thai cinemas. In time though, these movies gradually died out as Hollywood and pop culture dominated.
While growing up I remember wondering why I never got the chance to watch Indian movies at the theatres. Even Malaysia and Singapore showed Bollywood movies in regular cinemas all the time. I used to look forward to my trips to India as ‘watching a movie’ was always on the list of things to do. Oh, such pleasure to see the stars you love on the big screen. An absolutely entertaining experience!
Well, three decades later, it’s a great, great thing they’re back. Todays stars can pick up where yesterdays legends left off. It’s almost been a year since regular cinemas in Bangkok have been showing Bollywood movies. Hooray! Thailand’s biggest multiplex operator Major Cineplex wants to lure the new generation Thais to check out our cinemas colorful culture. It probably won’t take so much time as Thais have always been fascinated with all things Indian. Dancing to Indian songs as a form of exercise has also become quite popular here. Even though they don’t understand the language, they love to shake their hips to Bollywood music. And how about amongst our Indian community? Well, what can I say? It’s been a huge hit. The movies run for two weeks or more, depending on the public demand and success of the film.
While India and Thailand are miles apart, they don’t seem to be so distant from each other anymore. Bollywood cinema is gradually making an impact here. We are glad to have the choice to watch the movies on the big screen rather than on DvDs. It sure is exciting!