Y’all. A lot has changed since Quantico came into our lives last fall. Priyanka Chopra won a People’s Choice Award, cast a spell on SAG Awards viewers, and ended up on many Oscars’ Best-Dressed lists. Oh, also, she bested Jimmy Fallon in a wing-eating contest. Also, something about playing the villain in the Baywatch film, alongside The Rock and Zac Efron. Our girl is going places.
And while I am totally here for the think-pieces some of you are dreaming up about how desi identity cannot be flattened into a single star like Chopra, I ask you to send those to our Submittable and instead join me in high-fiving a million angels because Chopra, with her accent, went up against a Hollywood culture that wants to cast older desi women as aunties or moms with only minutes of screen time. So far, she’s winning.
This is where it gets a little dicey: The U.S. mainstream media has been quick to notice that Chopra, with her Jennifer Lawrence-styled propensity for balancing beauty and quirk, has the makings of a big star and they’ve been tracking all her moves. With that said, why have they virtually shut-out coverage of Jai Gangajaal? Bear in mind most mid-to-huge film markets in the U.S. now have at least one multiplex that plays Bollywood films.
Sure Jai Gangajaal might be typical Bollywood fare that lacks character depth (I mean this is par for the course for the genre, guys, c’mon!) And sure, it might demand some of the goras at mainstream U.S. media outlets brush up on their history of the genre in order to properly understand the tropes, conventions, and celebrities inherent in this film industry. We’re living in a global film world now — and one where Bollywood continues to eclipse. If you’re at a publication and your film reviewers seem unable to do their job, it probably is time to find new film reviewers!
P.S. Here’s the trailer for Jai Gangaajal:
P.P.S. Find an interview from a U.S. outlet you love? Leave it in the comments. (Yes, we see you, Forbes!)