x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

It's a Desi, Desi world

The West has caught desi fever – and celebrities can't get enough of Bollywood films.


A curious pop culture side-effect of emerging markets holds that as a country's economy grows, so too does its penchant to attract the attention of western celebrities.

That's long been the case in Latin America, a region whose rising star was seized on by musicians, actors and film directors eager to capitalise on the "Latin fever" that swept through America in the late 1990's. (Remember Ricky Martin?)

Now it seems the BRICs are catching up. Ang Lee, the cinematic master of Chinese film, captured American hearts (and Oscars) with his break-out hit, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000.That same year, China joined the World Trade Organisation after growing more than 7 per cent annually in the previous decade - and made Jackie Chan a permanent fixture in Hollywood movies.

In recent years, India has been in the glow. Hollywood celebrities and western musicians have come calling at Bollywood's door, and it has not been shy to answer. Kylie Minogue, Snoop Dogg, and Sylvester Stallone are but some A-listers who have appeared in recent Bollywood movies. Meanwhile, as we report today, remixes of Britney Spears and Lady Gaga have hit the airwaves to much acclaim by western and Indian audiences.

Two out of the four BRIC's are down, and we wonder what's next. A Chekhov inspired remake of Die Hard, perhaps?