Will Hollywood displace Bollywood?

Here is a recent piece on the attempt of Paramount and others to take on Bollywood on Indian turf.  Here is the longer version of what I wrote to the reporter:

I would be surprised if
the Hollywood effort were to succeed.  After all, *Bride and Prejudice*
was not beloved by most Indians.  Conscious efforts to mimic other
genres and styles usually fall flat; how many composers today try to
write in the style of Mozart, much less succeed?  The Hollywood giants
are very effective in making expensive, celebrity-laden movies and most
of all marketing them well.  I don’t expect this model to capture the
appealing idiosyncrasies of Bollywood production.  The Bollywood (and
other Indian regional) styles have sprung from what are by Hollywood
standards highly informal ventures, sometimes even with ties to the
Mafia, and deeply rooted in Indian cultural fantasies.  The power of those fantasies won’t survive further corporatization.

I’m
sure the Hollywood movies will attract a lot of attention at first,
especially in major Indian cities?  Who isn’t curious to see one’s
portrait painted by outsiders?  But will these films ever win over the
heart of the Indian countryside?  My best guess is "no."

It’s
not so unusual for American or globalized culture to bend to local
taste.  McDonald’s in India serves lamb burger and curry, not the
American Big Mac.  Indian pop music and Indian classical music remain
robust.  What is unusual is for Hollywood, or some other outside force,
to try to copy the native style so exactly.  And that is unusual for a
reason — it usually doesn’t work.  Cultural creativity is a delicate
force, requiring a very definite balance of elements.  Hollywood
probably cannot succeed where Bollywood already has gone.  By the time
Hollywood has a good copy, Bollywood will have moved on to something
just a bit different, and a bit more in touch with the Indian
population.  Who after all knows the Indian population better than
Bollywood?"

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