Saturday, December 16, 2017
Events

Tampa Bay, here's your primer on Bollywood ahead of IIFA Awards

By Steve Persall

Times movie critic

Although it doesn't showcase movies, the India Festival in Tampa offers Tampa Bay a preview of a major coming attraction.

The vibrant culture and motion displayed this weekend will be magnified worldwide in June 2014 when the International Indian Film Academy Awards — a.k.a. the "Bollywood Oscars" — come to Tampa. It's the first time this four-day celebration will be held in the United States, after 14 visits to exotic locales like Singapore, Macau and Sri Lanka.

For most Americans, 2008's Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire is the nearest thing to Bollywood cinema they've experienced, with its Mumbai setting and climactic Jai Ho song and dance routine. Yet that movie is far from the real deal.

It's not Hollywood

Authentic Bollywood releases can stretch well beyond three subtitled hours, including intermissions American filmmakers discarded decades ago. Plots are often formulaic and melodramatic, with clear lines drawn between heroes and villains, and chaste love conquering all. Elaborate musical numbers can erupt at any moment, even in illogical circumstances. Many big-budget movies are aptly described with the Hindi culinary term "masalas," blending action, drama, comedy and romance like a chef's spices.

Curious for a taste?

AMC's Veterans 24 in Tampa and Regency 20 in Brandon, plus Britton 8 in Tampa, regularly include Indian imports in their movie lineups. Recently the theaters presented Boss, a crime drama starring martial arts heartthrob Akshay Kumar, and Besharam, a comedy starring Ranbir Kapoor as a car thief falling in love with his victim.

Netflix offers an assortment of current and classic Bollywood titles for your queue. One recommendation for starters is 2001's Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, a delightful sports drama — resulting in a crucial game of cricket — that was nominated for a foreign language film Oscar. Other Indian films attaining that distinction include Mother India (1957) and Salaam Bombay! (1988).

There's also a Bollywood Movie Club of Tampa Bay — coordinated through Facebook and Meetup.com by Times copy editor Caitlin O'Conner — meeting for theater screenings and other social events.

Sound like a pro

A few tidbits for sounding smarter about Bollywood: While it is India's most popular film export, Bollywood is only one of 16 cinematic cultures, separated by production centers and languages, in the nation's vast film industry. Bollywood movies are chiefly produced in the city of Mumbai in the Hindi language. Matching that diversity, the International India Film Awards are one of at least nine annual movie award shows for an industry now celebrating 100th year of existence.

Comments
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Saturday, Dec. 16

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Saturday, Dec. 16

Love Never Dies: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. 2 and 8 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Start at $45. (813) 229-7827. Ice Skating at Tampa’s W...
Published: 12/15/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 17

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The critically-acclaimed, multi-platinum band is bringing an updated presentation of "The ghosts of Christmas Eve." This winter tour will be celebrate the accomplishments of the group’s late creator and composer Paul O’Neill...
Published: 12/15/17
Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas without leader Paul O’Neill

Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas without leader Paul O’Neill

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A half hour to curtain, Al Pitrelli unwinds on a couch in his spartan dressing quarters, fresh off a loading-dock Marlboro. He’s deep inside an arena, about to play the 29th show in the 18th city of the Trans-Siberian ...
Published: 12/15/17
Tavis Smiley theatrical show canceled at Straz Center in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

Tavis Smiley theatrical show canceled at Straz Center in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

The theatrical tour about the death of Martin Luther King Jr. that Tavis Smiley was slated to bring to Tampa’s David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts has been canceled in the wake sexual misconduct allegations against the broadcaster.Death...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
This week's top holiday events: Parades, Christmas lights, theme parks and more

This week's top holiday events: Parades, Christmas lights, theme parks and more

PARADES Homosassa Christmas Boat Parade Parade begins at Marker 75 by Bird Island. Free. Homosassa Springs Marina, 10806 W Halls River Road, Homosassa. 6 p.m. Dec. 16.   Indian Rocks Beach Boat Parade It begins at the Holiday Inn Harbourside and...
Published: 12/14/17
Bar review: Spanish flair at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Bar review: Spanish flair at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Take a second and try to think of a few of the world’s biggest drinking cultures. Ireland is a freebie, but then you’ll probably move onto Germany, Russia and possibly even South Korea (yep, South Korea goes hard).How about Spain? No, I’m not just ta...
Published: 12/14/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 15

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 15

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress is ready to Roar as she sets off on a tour in support of the album, Witness. Synth-pop duo Purity Ring opens. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $45.75-$195.75. (813) 301-2500.John Prine: T...
Published: 12/14/17
From Crystal River to Brooksville, branch out to shop on these unexpected main streets

From Crystal River to Brooksville, branch out to shop on these unexpected main streets

You don’t have to stare at a greeting card to picture a bustling old main street lined with decorated shops and lampposts. Historic small-town shopping districts are easy to find, and more charming than Walmart. Beyond the downtowns of St. Pet...
Published: 12/14/17
New locations for Tampa’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, plus a Mario Lopez appearance

New locations for Tampa’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, plus a Mario Lopez appearance

New Year’s Eve fireworks in downtown Tampa will be a little different this year, as free, public viewing moves from Channelside Bay Plaza to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park behind Amalie Arena due to ongoing construction. Meanwhile, the Pied Pipe...
Published: 12/14/17
Review: Kevin Young gives readers the truth about ‘Bunk’

Review: Kevin Young gives readers the truth about ‘Bunk’

We live in the age of the hoax.Believe me.And if you don’t believe me, believe Kevin Young, author of the sometimes disturbing but always fascinating new book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News.In it, Yo...
Published: 12/14/17