This and spend copious amounts of money to

This entire movie is a
product of the popular culture which portrays beautiful people living in posh
areas of the first world nations as they work in upmarket offices and spend
copious amounts of money to satisfy their artificially created cravings. This
type of cinema has generated a reality which most people can only dream of
living and which is far removed from the economic reality of the masses. The
plot, the appearances, the economics and the love theme, all of them, construct
a homogenised idea of happiness as one relates to the rush of happiness the
protagonist feels when she buys a green scarf. However, in the movie, the
protagonist does not face any real repercussions for indulging in careless
lifestyle propagated by capitalism, though one may find numerous examples of
deaths and suicides when a human finds himself in knee-deep debt like the


The cinematography is
quite impacting since the audience is steadily bombarded with fancy brand
labels like Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada etc which are
associated with happy and healthy humans gallivanting in the grand stores,
leading a luxurious lifestyle. In one of the initial scenes, the protagonist is
depicted to be manipulated and lured by a mannequin holding an expensive green
scarf, which symbolises the victory of the culture industry. As the protagonist
is shown to be trying hard to fight the irrational desire to buy the scarf
which will make her look elegant and which will bring happiness despite the
fact that she is already in debt and close to losing her job, and for which she
even resorts to desperate measures like pleading to a stranger to lend her some
dollars. The green scarf gives her an immediate rush of happiness as she buys
it, and she is thrilled and confident when she has bought it. All these
emotions are quite evident on her face and in her gestures as she walks into an
interview with the huge grin and the green scarf. Such visuals are quite
impressive as they highlight the greatest triumph of the culture industry, that
is, implanting irrational desires within humans disguised as basic requirements
for the survival. The passive unthinking masses absorb such constructed notions
of happiness and go on doing similar actions, hoping to get a bite of that
unrealistic lifestyle, even if they get it in bits and pieces. One set ends for
himself and strives to achieve them. He hopes that their attainment will
improve his present condition but the closer one gets to these purported goals,
the happier he feels. Paradoxically though, when one finally achieves them, he
realises the ephemeral nature of such kind of aims and that joy is eventually
diminished. There is a sense of insignificance and hollowness once that
addictive rush wears off and once again begins to on the path for the eternal
search of happiness and again ends up in the trap of culture industry, chasing
another non-existent goal.

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If one analyzes
closely, the current scenario of Bollywood is not much different than that of
Hollywood. The Western cinema ideals pose a significant influence on
Bollywood’s productions and one may even dare to say that there is cinematic
colonisation by the West. The Western trends popular in Hollywood are setting
global cultural trends and their influence is increasing as they culturally and
economically hegemonies the third world nations. Borrowing support from Antonio
Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony, the paper also attempts to arrive at
the argument that there is a cultural colonialization of the idea of happiness
in the popular Bollywood productions, as the Hollywood ideals hegemonize the
trends of Bollywood. 


For example, taking the
2013 successful film Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani brings to the Indian audience themes
of travel, independence, glamorous outfits, drinking-dancing-partying, gorgeous
characters laughing in expensive mansions and of course the newest fad of a
destination wedding. To summarise, four pretty people, also good actors,
presumably falling in love with each other and dancing to upbeat peppy songs
(it’s a Dharma Productions film after all). At first glance, it looks like a
jolly film about four friends growing up and finding love and happiness in
different ways. But if one looks closely, the characters are stereotypical,
their lives cliched, and their love stories hard to believe. The same old
formula is being reinvented and recycled with minor differences to appeal to
the Indian masses. The fashion labels are not as prominent as in the Hollywood
productions, however, the leads wear glamorous outfits even when they go for
trekking. So it comes as no surprise when the audience sees the female lead
wearing skimpy clothes and dancing on songs which make no sense if they were to
be translated into a different language and were just messily inserted into the
plot to increase the overall appeal. Nonetheless, such songs like – Balam
Pichkari, Ghagra, Dilli wali girlfriend were considered mega-hits by the Indian

There is also the theme of a big fat Indian
wedding taking place in a grand palace, where everyone is seen to be wearing
exorbitantly high priced apparels, occupied in carefree partying and dancing
for days. The entire movie is out of the budget for an Indian middle-class man
who can only afford to find such perfect happiness in bits and pieces. The
economic reality in Bollywood productions too, is far removed from the reality
of the masses, much like Hollywood. There is culture