I’m Kathy Gibson, an entertainment writer living in the Chicago suburbs. In 2007 and 2008, I reviewed Hindi movies for The Naperville Sun. I now post my reviews at this website, exclusively. I am a member of the Online Film Critics Society.
Bollywood films became a passion of mine years ago when my husband, Greg, bought me a DVD copy of Lagaan and a CD of Bollywood music for my birthday. We began renting Hindi films wherever we could find them: the local Indian grocery store, the public library or Netflix. When I discovered that a local movie theater, the Regal Cantera 17, often devotes a couple screens to Indian films, I pitched a weekly column to the Naperville Sun. The column was also called “Access Bollywood.”
I don’t speak Hindi, so I rely entirely on English subtitles to understand the dialog in Hindi films. And, as a Caucasian woman who’s lived her whole life in Illinois, I occasionally miss certain historical and cultural references particular to India. I tailor my reviews toward Westerners like me, highlighting details and subtitling issues that may make certain films harder to understand than others. That said, the vast majority of Bollywood movies are totally accessible to a global audience.
In my reviews, I try to judge the Hindi films I see in relation to all movies, not just other Indian films. However, I do make some allowances for the smaller budgets and different expectations for Bollywood films, as compared to most mass market fare coming out of Hollywood.
My star ratings are out a total possible score of four stars.
The photo in the site’s header is a still from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.