10 commandments that are cash cows to Indian filmmakers

ChennaiWhenever we, as Indians, mourn the lack of good films, we are told that we have great expectations. That we should just appreciate the handful of Indian films that stay true to the art form and shut up about the rest. It is however difficult to forgive the industry for using copyright violations, crass sentiments and a bipolar stance on sexuality to bring Indian cinema to its knees.

And the producers for towering over its sullen figure, with their front-zippers down, sporting a dirty smile and holding a sign that says – No biting please. Sure, entertainment is subjective and what is good for the goose can taste like gunpowder to the gander.

Unfortunately though, Indian filmmakers can follow certain commandments to achieve moderate levels of success. Here are 10 of them.

(1) Thou shall confuse romanticism with sexism. Please ensure that men objectify women and negate their identity as functional members of society in the name of chivalry. And the women must treat men like they are battery-operated and sexually-frustrated sociopaths. If love can be blind and crazy, your protagonists can be self-loathing misogynists.

(2) Thou shall milk harsh Indian realities far worse than Danny Boyle ever could. Also take notes from The Big Bang Theory on how to be racist towards India and still have us talking about how lovable the white guy is.


3) Thou shall make sure that the villain is dark-skinned because India is the most racist country in the world. People with facial deformities can also be hired to shake the hero’s confidence in the penultimate brawl.

(4) Thou shall be tickled to death by transgenderism and homosexuality for no reason other than that the average Indian is genuinely aghast at even the slightest deviance from what their great-great-grandparents once understood about gender identities. Diversity be damned, there is unity in discrimination.


(5) Thou shall be super-sensitive about religion. Every Catholic has a priest to confide in and uses the sign of the cross to reiterate his faith. Muslims either blow stuff up or become best friends with people who fight with Muslims who blow stuff up. There are also more pigeons than people in mosques. Everyone else is a Hindu. Temples are Internet chat rooms for frustrated lovers with conservative values. Secularism exists too but only in saffron-clad people with white powder on their foreheads that gives them mystical powers of logic and reasoning.

(6) Thou shall ignore the laws of physics, biology, geography and moral science during action-filled sequences. You can do make heroes do stuff with cars that frustrated kids might think about doing to butterfly wings. Every sidekick must flop sideways, like a fish reconsidering a tai chi posture, before finding a glass pane or street vendor cart to put himself through. And people can bleed from their mouths for the strangest reasons. Even when not a single punch a thrown. Also, thou shall arbitrarily unleash the Captain every now and then.


(7) Thou shall take giant dumps on the importance of education by hammering it in, especially during communist-lite climaxes, that morality is the opium of the illiterate. Also, rich people are bastards. It has nothing to do with the ratio between the haves and have-nots in India. It’s  just that their daughters are pretty and unattainable.

(8) Thou shall ignore the current trends in sound mixing and visual graphics that even local businesses are utilizing to create digital marketing material. Instead rely on amateur old school animation and Microsoft Paint.

(9) Thou shall plan ample screen time for product placement because those who appreciate good cinema are too antisocial and too cheap to spend on movie tickets anyway.

An extra commandment by a blogger with funny bones – the regular Indian girl


(10) Thou shall always portray that “respectable” mothers are always subservient to their husbands, don’t spend on self, work in the kitchen all day (all this even if the husband is a zillionaire) and that the non-respectable ones are those who work/earn, wear pretty clothes and put on pretty makeup. The latter always put their children on the back-burner because well, they  “chose” career.

Cinema Unparadiso – a personal appreciation for exploitative world cinema which died in 2013

(Photographs – Chennai)

65 thoughts on “10 commandments that are cash cows to Indian filmmakers

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  1. Have just scanned the post…will read in detail later. So, pardon me if the point I am posting has already been covered 😀 Thou shall glorify stalking 😉

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Also you should mention , how sometimes it is ok to slap the heroine, when the hero is too angry for words. I mean he does love her to death.. so its ok i guess. Its one trend I noticed in a lot of movies when growing up in chennai.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Biting sarcasm, and a sad reminder that our next generations are already getting most (if not all) of their sex ed via cash-cow movies and the internet. We all pay the price–women and men alike. Dehumanized, demoralized, and not sure what we can look at anymore without becoming jaded, cynical and apathetic. It seems true humanity is an endangered species.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Unfortunately, superbly put!

      To add, apart from sex-ed (although tis one of the worst of the lot), they pick up so many messed up perspectives thanks to movies and sitcoms. So many i know come back from the US with stories of “you won’t believe the number of African Americans”. I can’t help but wonder that endless replays of FRIENDS has something to do with it.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. there are newer bolder films that challenge these silly perceptions. but they are seen as subversive art forms. Give the woman a good role or the man a different one and it is suddenly a pleasant surprise.


  3. What I like most about you and this is the fact that you take your frustrations out in such an artful and light way. Honestly, you’re an inspiration. I can learn from this approach (though you’re a lot braver or something than me because I refrain from speaking about certain issues, especially political). Maybe my mind is always too flooded with weirdness? Maybe I focus on other planets too much (I’m not even an astrologist!) What am I saying now? Oh yeah, you’re a genius!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe thanks for the lovely comment, comrade. and it is often frustration that drives me. yesterday i was down with fever and i decided to take it out on the local film industry. some genius huh. more like bitter old man babysitting his own caricature


  4. Hahahahahahahahahaha.. And when I stopped laughing, I found one more:

    Thou shall always portray that ‘respectable’ mothers are always subservient to their husbands, don’t spend on self, work in the kitchen all day (all this even if the husband is a zillionaire) and that the non-respectable ones are those who work/earn, wear pretty clothes and put on pretty makeup (spends on self) and that the second type ALWAYS put their children on back-burner because well, they ‘chose’ career.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I has two movie tickets that I shall now sell in black!!…and from the proceeds I shall instead sit back with a chai and watch the gaur here (am assuming I have that right??). now then why has you not talked about the evil villain who is almost always-a-lurking and a cross between a half-wit and the circus clown with messy candy floss??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (giggles) of course daffys you have that right. watch until their hooves are sunspots in your eyes!

      oh yes James Bond villain throwbacks! we had this chap called Nambiar who rubbed his palms together to insinuate that he had evil premonitions. i is also befuddled as to why every villain’s in-depth planning for the ultimate boss fight often involves a very slow mechanism by which the heroine or the heroine’s mother gets exposed to an industrial buzzsaw!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you. i look at them these days like some do at roadkill. It feels depressing and negative but I can’t help it. There are some decent ones floating around though (despite song sequences), especially over the past few years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In last 8 years,I didn’t watch any Hindi movie whole heartedly except may be one or two, the last which I saw recently i.e last year is English Vinglish which I actually liked but had avoided until then as any other Bollywood film.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh uhmm i havent seen a Bollywood film since a decade. I don’t understand an ounce of hindi. I do watch Tamil films now and then. There’s a bunch of fellas, heavily inspired by Guy Ritchie and Tarantino, who are doing some good things with the craft. I sense they are going to be very good. The rest, excluding a rare gem or two, are the drizzling shits.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Trying to think of something witty and intellectual and constructive but you’ve pressed far to many notes on the keyboard , where to begin …

    Here goes…

    Thou shall thou , even thou , thou may not know thou, thou can try, thou can be thou

    Liked by 1 person

  7. loved it!!! the laughter was worth a lot more than what one gets out of indian cinema nowadays 😀
    & I coudnt help but think of another commandment: Thou shall always remember- a girl’s NO always means YES

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We Indians sure do have a love-hate relationship with these cinema tropes! We love to hate them haha!

    PS: Thanks for linking to the 2 cinema blogs. Definitely reading those in my spare time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I do, Kunal’s ruminations about india sound racist, although some find him catering to the lowest denominators of stereotypes. He also reinforces a clearly ignorant western perspective that generalises our way of living in my humble opinion, comrade.


  9. Thou shall glorify the “hero”!! In most cases he is all-knowing and all-doing! And thou shall call the woman he stalks as “heroine” even though she never gets to perform any hero-like acts.

    LOL. 😀

    Great list and I laughed my ass off. The harsh reality behind them notwithstanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh yes! Agree agree agree… here’s one more – girls must be skinny, white, and barely clothed, preferably without any dialogues, and without any contribution to the actual storyline, unless it is to be kidnapped and ultimately be saved by a ‘hero’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes you do, Shannon. Not just the so-bad-they-are-good but oh-wow-this-is-goooood too!

      When you find the time, do watch this film – Nayagan. It’s an interpretation of The Godfather


  11. Hilarious. Enjoyed thoroughly.Thank you.
    With your permission, I wish to add another commandment,especially for Tamil Movies.
    Thou shall include ‘ Punch Dialogues’ for generations to ‘remember’
    ( definition of Punchlines – the climactic phrase or sentence in a joke, speech, or humorous story that produces the desired effect. ) .Tamilians understand better, the meaning of Punch Dialogues
    Example. Rajinikanth’s Basha movie- Naan oru thadava sonna… nooru thadava sonna madhiri
    Translation: If I say once, it is equivalent to saying one hundred times.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If I may be permitted to add:
    Each and every movie shall have an item song featuring the latest heart-throb of silver screen. The higher the frequency of oscillation of various body parts, the louder would be the box office ringing. To make the item song socialist and pro-poor, the lady star must wear the least amount of clothing that would pass through our censorious board. The lyrics must be as lewd as possible; however, this is not essential but merely desirable, because the loud music in any case would drown out the words, if any.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Feel as free as possible to add, ashok!

      “higher the frequency of oscillation of various body parts, the louder would be the box office ringing” – very well said, such travesties add to the devolution of protest music (dappan koothu) into crassly sexualized anthems.

      Liked by 1 person

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