Lord Of The Rings Movies How Long It Took To.Film The Super Cool Korean Movies and the Northeast Indians

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The Super Cool Korean Movies and the Northeast Indians

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to Korean movies. So are thousands in Mizoram, Manipur. Well basically the whole of Northeast India. I heard that it is more in countries like Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Philippines, etc.

It’s been a while since I watched my first Korean movie – it was My Sassy Girl. (Incidentally, My Sassy Girl is the most popular and exported Korean film in the history of the Korean film industry according to Wikipedia. It was so popular that it surpassed The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter which ran together. It sold 4,852,845 tickets !) About two years ago. So far, I’ve watched a lot of them – Windstruck, Sex is Zero (Korean version of American Pie?), My Wife is a Gangster 1, 2 & 3, The Classic, Daisy, A Moment to Remember, Joint Security Area, My Little Bride, A Dirty Carnival, You are my Sunshine, Silmido, etc to name but a few!

I’m totally hooked!

When a friend first invited me to watch My Sassy Girl, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. But the spunky, don’t-care-a-damn-tomboy heroine in that movie is what made me fall in love with Korean movies (and soaps!). It’s not particularly surprising to me that I fell in love with Korean movies considering the fact that I love French movies. Korean films have the same treatment of their subjects as French films. I regularly watch TV5 French movies and Arirang TV whenever my cableguy lets me! Of course different genres of movies give you a different perspective on Korean movies. I think comedy is where Korean movies are the best.

Now Korean movies and soaps, as I said, are very popular in the Northeastern states of India. Even in New Delhi there is a video library or two where you can get Korean movies. You can be sure I’m a regular! On a more serious note, the question is why… why do northeasterners love Korean movies?? Even after decades of Hindustanization with Bollywood, Hindi lessons and Indian politics we still kind of yearn for HOME!

It’s really nice to see one of your own (read chinkies?) on screen after so many decades that it has been filled with the Amitabhs and the Khans and the Roshans of Bollywood. Korean dramas are like a breath of fresh air after so many stale Bollywood movies that I rarely watch except Ram Gopal Verma movies. The complex plots of twists and turns and more urbane emotions attracted me to Korean and French movies. Maybe, just maybe, race plays a role in this. Being racially similar, our habits and cultural nuances are similar! Their body language and facial expressions are similar to our expressions. The slightly alien Punjabi or Bihari nuances of Bollywood keep me out of so many good movies!

Korean films are also technically superior to Bollywood films and can even compete with Hollywood films. Awards and recognition even at the Cannes Film Festival is becoming an annual event for the Korean film industry. In fact, Hollywood biggies Dreamworks paid $2 million (US) for the remake of the 2003 suspense thriller Janghwa, Hongryeon (A Tale of Two Sisters) compare that to the $1 million (US) paid for the right to remake the Japanese movie The Ring.

It is true that we, Northeasterners, love everything new in our culture unlike our mainland Indians. We really embrace change and we have changed to an extent. We effortlessly copy the western style of dressing jeans, T-shirts and et al. That may be another reason for our recent addiction to Korean movies. But somehow I doubt it’s a passing thing like teenage love affair. It has cultural affinity overtones written all over it. Bollywood will have to fight this onslaught of Korean movies with more Chak De characters! It has already lost many viewers in the Korean film industry.

A few weeks ago while chatting about our lives in New Delhi – the awkward stares, the patronizing name-calling and the workplace abuses – he told a friend of mine, “I’m in Are we the wrong country? “Would you be happy if you were treated like a guest in your own country?” asks one of the two Northeast characters in Chak De India. For me, this is tolerable with the help of movies like My Sassy Girl and the like from our relative Korean film industry. Laugh your heart out and forget the problems of this country until, of course, Chak De India has a bigger role for Northeasterners!

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