- By Neha PaliwalNeha Paliwal is the Editorial Assistant for Democracy Lab.
India’s Bollywood has been known for many things over time: the singing, the dancing, the ten costume changes as characters are miraculously transported to rolling hills in some New Zealand-esque setting. And then, of course, there is the beloved genre of saccharine sweet love.
Boy meets girl. Girl can’t be with boy because of parents, religion, his terrible dance moves, or an arranged marriage. Boy persists and sings in the rain. They get married.
But now directors are looking for something new. Cue the new fad of zombie movies. As Reuters reported on Friday, Indian filmmakers are now trying to appeal to a younger audience by producing more zombie films:
Few horror films are made in Bollywood and those that do make it to the big screen tend to focus on ghosts and the after-life, which are common themes in Hindu mythology.
But this year, as Indian cinema celebrates 100 years, three zombie films made in Hindi are slated for release, hoping to compete with blockbuster U.S. zombie movies such as "Warm Bodies" and "World War Z".
Rise of the Zombie is coming out on April 5, and it’s a trilogy. Go Goa Gone will come out in May, starring heartthrob Saif Ali Khan as a fake Russian zombie hunter (complete with "blonde" hair). And then there is Rock the Shaadi (Rock the Wedding), which will come out later this year accompanied by a graphic novel.
While Bollywood has typically not had many problems ripping pages from Hollywood’s playbook, Luke Kenny, the director of Rise of the Zombie, says he will face a challenge in educating Indian audiences who don’t have a culture of zombie folklore. (If you’re also wondering how zombies got to India, Go Goa Gone blames it on globalization.)
Of course, you could argue that India has more experience with zombies than one might think. Exhibit A: this take on Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Daniel W. Drezner |