Swiss get a taste of Bollywood, in their own Alps

Wed Dec 3, 2008 3:08am EST
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

PANAJI, India (Reuters Life!) - A Swiss filmmaker mesmerized by Bollywood's over-the-top offerings is giving audiences back home a taste of music and melodrama in a new film that has the Alps for a backdrop.

"Tandoori Love," a romantic comedy about an Indian cook wooing a Swiss girl, is a 92-minute saga with song and dance, fights and a happy ending -- the usual trappings of films from Mumbai, home to the world's most prolific film industry.

"I love the energy that Indian films have -- the songs, the dances and the melodrama," director Oliver Paulus told Reuters recently in the tourist haven of Goa, where the film was shown at the International Film Festival of India.

"I wanted to bring that energy to European films, which typically are very quiet and silent," he said.

Paulus had his first brush with Bollywood at a small cinema hall in a remote town in north India.

The director remembers being surprised by fellow spectators throwing things at the screen, shedding tears for the heroine or trying to warn the hero when the villain was creeping up on him.

"And I thought to myself that this is what cinema is," said Paulus. "Not the quiet, civilized way in which we watch movies at the multiplex."