Fun? Yes. Silly? Almost always. But also beautifully crafted. Indian filmmakers make the most of their 160 minutes of film. So much attention is paid to the lunacy of Bollywood — and I'm guilty of this as well, because the lunacy is so inspired — that it's easy to miss the cleverness of the plots, the depth of the characterizations, the poetry of the dialogues. You need to look beyond the cardboard sets and variable film quality to find the things that so impress Bollywood fans like me.
Suffice it to say I've made it my mission to save people from their black-and-white, Coronation Street lifestyles. As a crazy-dancin', feather-wearin', melodramatic drag queen, I'm a living testament to the fabulousness of Indian films. This sort of thing may not be for everybody, but if you want your children to grow up happy, give them a daily dose of Bollywood. And leave Coronation Street to the kind of people who shun the sunlight, play darts all night, and eat dust and old socks.
Ms. St. Bernard will perform her song-and-dance routine at next week'sL.A. Weekly-sponsored screening ofKaante (Thorns), the Bollywood musical adaptation ofReservoir Dogs, at the Directors Guild of America. Call (323) 993-3604 for more information. In the meantime, you may want to visit Muffy at her Web site.