Can someone who is familiar with Bollywood movies help me out?

This Natalie Imbruglia (still my favourite singer) video from the late-90s is supposedly inspired by her love of Bollywood movies. I’ve watched several from before the video was made in the hopes that I could locate specific movie references in the video, but so far I am completely stymied. First of all, here is the video:

Now my question is: Does this video specifically reference one (or many) Bollywood movies, or are the images all original and just created to imitate the feel of Bollywood movies? Any help would be appreciated…

I honestly don’t see anything remotely Bollywoody about the video at all. There are a few things you might argue, but they’re a real stretch:

(1) The couple in the video never actually kiss (like in traditional Bollywood musicals)
(2) At one point, the heroine is in a tree–a prop that characters often find themselves perched in in Bollywood movies (usually while singing)
(3) The little ornate doorway that she does a little Bollywood dance/hand motion at the very end.

That’s really it. No choreography, vastly different shooting and lighting styles, and a zillion other things. If you hadn’t told me this was allegedly inspired by Bollywood movies, I never in a million years would have guessed it.

Pretty often in Bollywood movies, a couple would go to watch a movie and that movie would have a song and dance sequence which this couple suddenly imagines themselves in. This usually happens when one of the characters is in love with the other and they start imagining what it is like being in love dancing together etc. I know it sounds silly but it happens.


First of all, I can’t find the source anymore that told me that it was inspired by Bollywood movies, but I doubt I made it completely up.

Second of all, are the colours not a Bollywoodish element?

Also: the video was made in 1998-- could it be that the big choreographic and lighting elements weren’t in place like they are now in Bollywood, or possibly Western homages or parodies weren’t as sophisticated as they are now? That would further the case that it is inspired by a specific movie rather than Bollywood as a whole, but still, I don’t have a lot of confidence after getting no answer so far. However, maleinblack’s answer might be a point in the right direction, though I haven’t seen a Bollywood movie where that occurs…


I am not in a place where I can re-watch the video right now, but there are a few things that I thought would be specific references:

The part where the guy rises up into frame at the beginning of the video (that always struck me as an unusual image)
The part where she is singing in the tree and looking in the window at him
Possibly the narrow alley where they meet
And of course the whole thing is set in the city, which seems strange to me, as most Bollywood movies are very rural.

I watch a ton of Bollywood, and I’ll watch the video at home, but Bollywood movies are no longer very rural at all. Tons and tons are made in Mumbai or Delhi. The last one I watched was all about the gang wars in Mumbai actually, and that was made in 2003.

Nothing about that video strikes me as being in the least bit Bollywoody.

It’s particularly striking in the way the people are moving around on screen. As has been stated, the movements in Bollywood are choreographed. In this video, they mostly look like they’re just moodily stalking back and forth like caged animals.

In Bollywood, color is everywhere, especially in the clothes and the settings. The people here are wearing black or otherwise drab-colored clothes in darkened rooms with an occasional splash of bright blue or red in the backdrop. That’s not Bollywoodish.

No, the Bollywood style has been very distinctive for half a century or so.

Perhaps Imbruglia said that she got certain small elements from Bollywood, but as a whole the video doesn’t even come close to an homage to Bollywood style.

Ascenray is right. It’s more emo, the little bit of it I could stand to watch.

That’s totally non-Bollywood, but it did put me in the mood to look up some favorite videos on youtube…I’m feeling much more cheerful now, thanks!