The Indian Community of Guam is bringing Bollywood to Guam with its first ever big-screen movie premiere with rom-com drama "Manmarziyaan."
Ranjna Dewan, President of the local organization, Indian Community of Guam, said for 500 Indians in Guam, many of whom have been here for as much as five decades, this is a big event.
“We’ve been on Guam for a significant time … and everyone loves everything Indian, from food to clothing, so bringing a movie out is just the next natural step,” she said. “Bollywood movies is in our blood, we grow up watching them and we dance along with them … and grow up watching these actors.”
Dewan said for years, the only way the local Indian community could watch the latest Bollywood movies is to fly home to watch them at the movie theater or to get slightly dated recordings from India.
“So before, you would get a VHS and bring it back, or it would be a DVD now … or if you have a family member or friend who is going back home you would ask them to get five or six of the most recent movies for you. Then you would watch them and pass them around and exchange them with Indians friends,” she said.
She added that even with the Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services showing more Bollywood movies “they aren’t the latest movies.”
And with the Bollywood scene exploding across the nation and around the world “we’re really excited to see a film on the big screen.”
According to a press release from the Indian Community of Guam, Bollywood cinema has become a worldwide phenomenon, producing 1,986 movies in 2017 alone.
“India cinema is also the world’s largest film industry and had over $3.6 billion in tickets sales worldwide,” the release states. “Bollywood actors such as Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai who have claimed equal success in Hollywood; our western counterparts are well in tune with the ever so popular Hindi cinema musicals.”
"Manmarziyaan" is the first film they’re bringing to Guam, Dewan stated. “I’ve already been getting requests for other films, and I’m telling them ‘Let’s get through this first movie then we’ll work on others,’” she said.
"Manmarziyaan" is a romantic comedy drama. The film name roughly translates to “Follow your heart.” The film is written by Kanika Dhillon, directed by Anurag Kashyap, and stars Taapsee Pannnu as Rumi Bagga, Abhishek Bachchan as Robbie Bhatia, and Vicky Kaushal as Vicky Sandhu.
Dewan said while India doesn’t have a movie rating system, she would equate it to a PG-13 rating. While the film is primarily in Hindi there is some English, but no worries because there will be English subtitles.
She said they are inviting the island community to join them at the theaters.
“It can really help open up views on our culture and how we’ve progressed as a country, it brings to life a lot of cultural situations that impact Indians, like arranged marriages and dowry,” she said, adding that many people equate Indian cinema to productions such as "Slum Dug Millionaire." “It’s really not.”
Dewan said Bollywood cinema is known for “our musicals, drama, beautiful women, clothing … and our movies are family friendly."
"Come out and watch, bring the kids and share a little bit of our culture," she invited.