BFI. ‘Bollywood and Beyond.’ London: British Film Institute, 2002
This audio-visual reference is a guide to teaching Bollywood cinema. Much like an ‘introduction to cinema’ class, it takes us through the various stages and developments of the Bollywood film industry. Starting from the early silent spectacle films, it provides scenes from films, as well as interviews with filmmakers and archivists.
This is a valuable resource for anyone studying Bollywood, as it provides a history that is easy to follow, and truly informative. It relates the stories and preoccupations of the films to social changes in India, and enforces Bollywood cinema as a means of reinforcing national pride and cultural values. Elements of this are definitely evident in Salaam Namaste, the difference being that the stories have moved to settings overseas.
Cynthia Karena. ‘Bollywood Down Under,’ in Metro Magazine. Australia: Issue 137, 2003, pp. 78-79.
This article presents a firm overview of the Bollywood industry, and its significance to Australia. It investigates previous sections from Bollywood films shot in Australia as being organized by a Sydney based film and casting liaison, Anupum Sharma. Including sections from an interview with the man, the article presents some suggestions as to why Australia may be a popular place for future Bollywood productions. These reasons include; crews are flexible and friendly, it is more economical compared to other Western countries, and that it has a large Indian community that will be excitable. The biggest downfall is that many productions headed to Australia are deferred to New Zealand, as it only takes five days for Indian crew to get their Visa approved, whereas it take five weeks in Australia.
Derek Elley. ‘Salaam Namaste,’ in Variety. Australia: October 3-9, 2005, pp. 52-53.
This article is a review and synopsis of the film, published three weeks after the international release of Salaam Namaste. Relating the film to the Indian tradition of shooting overseas, it provides a loose and generalized picture of the trends of Bollywood cinema. Elements of the film such as production values and status of the stars are commended, whereas the comedy and characters of the film are looked upon harshly. The most appreciative comment about the film’s contents made is that it truthfully “reflects the broad mix of Indians who finds themselves friends and colleagues in a foreign land.”
Marc Moncrief. ‘India Flocks to Down Under Movie,’ in The Age (Vic Metropolitan.) Australia: October 14, 2005, Page 8.
Incorporating various statistics and monetary figures, this article investigates the financial success of Salaam Namaste in India and around the world. In doing so, it unashamedly expresses excitement towards the prospect of “Australian fever” hitting the second most populous country in the world. Including snippets of interviews from Mitu Lange, the film’s line producer and Film Vic’s Shae Quabba; the article defines the film as a great promotional tool for Victoria, as it includes recognisable images of travel landmarks.
Mark Phillips. ‘Bollywood on Bourke Street,’ in The Age- Metro (Vic Metropolitan.) Australia: May 13, 2005, Page 4.
Published during the same time as the production of Salaam Namaste, this article sets the scene of the shooting of a song number in Bourke Street, Melbourne. Describing several Indian onlookers who were phoned by a 7Eleven worker near the location of the shoot, Phillips gives a humorous account of the affection and obsession of many expatriate Indians living in Melbourne.
This article is amongst one of the most insightful pieces I have come across written about the production of the film. It includes some background context for Yash Raj Films, details about the financial support the film received from Film Vic, and the concept of escapism embedded in Bollywood for Indian audiences. Something written in this piece that particularly caught my eye was the statement that 2.6 people around the world watch Hollywood cinema, and 3.2 billion people watch Bollywood! This fact, along with an in depth explanation that Bollywood’s audience are not only poverty struck Indians, but the higher and middle class; as well as an international audience, allowed me to become overly optimistic about the writer’s conception of the industry. However, when Phillips mentioned that Bollywood films have “no plot;” his untruthful generalisation lost my enthusiasm.
Reuters. ‘Australian PM says Salaam Namaste to Bollywood,’ in Hindustani Times. Mumbai: March 07, 2006, Page 181.
Published five months after the international release of Salaam Namaste, the article illustrates John Howard’s trip to India in order to meet the stars of Bollywood, and urge them to bring more productions to Australia. Howard expresses his delight that the Bollywood industry has brought the two countries closer together, and he hopes the success of the film means that even more Indians will travel to holiday in Australia.
Ronjita Kulkarni. ‘Salaam Namaste’s Director is Very Anxious,’ in rediff.com. India: HYPERLINK "http://in.rediff.com/movies/2005/sep/06sid.htm" http://in.rediff.com/movies/2005/sep/06sid.htm. Viewed August 8, 2006.
Conducted three days prior to the international release of Salaam Namaste, this interview with Siddharth Anand provides a firm background about how he started in film and the conception of the script for his debut film. In detailing the family ties that have allowed him to become successful in the industry, Anand’s interview reflects a typical pattern in the system of Bollywood.
This interview presents an opportunity to understand the director’s choices in storyline, selection of cast, and location. He claims that he decided to shoot in Melbourne because it had not been previously explored in his industry. Although the director reflects nervousness about the release of his film, he thanks his luck that he was fortunate enough to make a film for the Yash Raj label.
Shambhavi Singh. ‘A Little New, A Lot Old,’ in Ego Magazine. October 2005, HYPERLINK "http://www.egothemag.com/archives/2005/10/salaam_namaste.htm" http://www.egothemag.com/archives/2005/10/salaam_namaste.htm Viewed 14th August 2006.
This is basically an opinion-style review on Salaam Namaste but raises some interesting issues surrounding the film and its production in Melbourne. Although stating the film has “beautiful locales,” the writer undermines the choice to film in Australia by mocking the industry, stating they finally made a move from Switzerland. Coming from an Indian reviewer, it reflects disgrace towards the monotony of the Bollywood industry’s productions of late. However, it also manages to appreciate new-age and “risky” issues addressed in Salaam Namaste such as pre-marital sex and pregnancy.
Referring to the film as an element of “masala entertainment,” Singh proclaims a certain need in India for “suspension of disbelief” through representations in film. However, he cannot help but be disappointed by the lack of truthfulness whilst representing such important and powerful topics.
Tejaswani Ganti. ‘Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema.’ New York: Routledge, 2004.
This recently published and detailed book offers an exciting report on the Bollywood film industry. Among its main focal points are; a chronological history of the industry’s developments, descriptions of major themes and characteristics, filmographies for significant directors, stars and films, tales of production and distribution methods, and interviews with professionals. Ganti tackles the truth about various issues and patterns that concern the products of Bollywood, by relating the films to the Indian state.
This cultural context explains the concept of Bollywood as major industry of India. The heavy influence of Bollywood on society, and society on Bollywood: is made clear in a timeline of major events in film, and their social implications. The most relevant chapter to my research focuses on post-independence films, and the concept of Diasporic Indian audiences.
The Australian Film Commission. ‘National Survey of Feature Film and TV Drama Production 2004/05.’ Australia: AFC, 2005, pp. 1-12.
This PDF document is a resource that presents the statistics, funding, and budgets of films shot in Australia in 2004 and 2005. Salaam Namaste is listed here, and it is interesting to place its production into context with other films being shot at the same time.
Vijay Mishra. ‘Bollywood Cinema: Temples of Desire.’ New York: Routledge, 2002.
This passionate and highly research book is written by an expatriate Indian, thus being strongly connected to my area of research. It connects the Bollywood film industry, to the lives of Indians all over the world, and provides a chronological background of the industry's milestones.