What is Bollywood? Basically, it is India's answer to Hollywood. The movie capital of India, Bollywood is filled with as much lush glamour and as many glitzy stars as Hollywood did back in its blossoming days. The term "Bollywood" is a combination of the words "Bombay" and "Hollywood"-although Bombay is now called Mumbai, the city's Bollywood label has stuck.
Bollywood is definitely the movie making capital of India. However, it is not the only movie making area in the country. The popularity of Bollywood has led to the misconception that all Hindi films are Bollywood movies-in truth, only films produced in Mumbai are true Bollywood.
Bollywood movies tend to be low budget numbers. Scenes from several different movies are sometimes shot at the same time, using the same cast and backgrounds. The films tend to run about three hours in length, with a brief intermission. The movies are mass produced, making India the top movie production area in the world. In fact, India produces about twice as many movies each year as the United States.
Bollywood movies are usually very colorful. They're big on visuals and filled with elaborate costumes. Almost every movie contains at least one dancing and singing act, if not several. Musicals are not a special genre for India's movies, but rather, a vital part of every script.
Many Bollywood movies use the same basic storyline, involving love, action, comedy and lots of drama. The most common theme is a tale about some sort of star crossed lovers. The movies stay mostly family friendly, with none of the explicate sexual content often seen in Hollywood releases.
Stars from popular Bollywood movies receive all the same attention, though far less salary, than their Hollywood counterparts. They go to exclusive restaurants, buy clothes from ritzy designers and are hounded by paparazzi. They make sensational headlines and are swarmed by fans where ever they go.