Big in Bollywood

Big in Bollywood, 2011, 1 ¾ stars

Not quite Big  enough

From The Orlando Weekly, October 3, 2012

It wouldn’t be the South Asian Film Festival without a glimpse into the world of the splashy musical/comedies that Bollywood is known for. But Big in Bollywood is not the typical choice to fill that niche, as it’s a documentary about the fantastical world of Indian cinema told from an outsider’s perspective.

Indian-American Omi Vaidya is a struggling Hollywood actor when he stumbles into a supporting role in 3 Idiots, a mediocre movie that, astonishingly, grows into India’s highest-grossing film. The actor is branded the “fourth idiot” and elevated to icon virtually overnight, despite his subpar abilities. And we, the audience, get to experience this crazy transformation right along with Vaidya and his friends, as it happens.

Created by Bill Bowles and Kenny Meehan, Big in Bollywood is shot and paced poorly, and dodges profound questions involving hero worship, but it’s still an interesting examination of pop-culture insanity and the lives of people who are famous for simply being famous.

The documentary is preceded by Audacity, a 13-minute Hindi-language film about a rebellious Indian girl and her strict father. Not much more than a trifle, it nevertheless sheds light on generational conflict in modern Calcutta.

© 2012 Orlando Weekly