Bollywood is commonly referred to as "Hindi cinema", even though use of poetic Urdu words is fairly common. There has been a growing presence of English in dialogues and songs as well. It is not unusual to see movies which feature dialogues with English words and phrases, even whole sentences. A few movies are also made in two or even three languages (either using subtitles, or several soundtracks).
Hindi bollywood box office hit movies are widely internationally distributed.
Westerners would tend to categorize most Bollywood films as ‘musicals’, because few movies are made without at least one song-and-dance number. However, such labeling fails to recognize the unique nature of the genre. In the Western tradition, a "standard" movie has no songs, at least none that are sung by the protagonists. A movie with such songs is therefore a "musical". To understand the Bollywood variety, it is necessary to unlearn this straightforward concept.
The standard Bollywood movie is expected to contain a number of elements, and one of the essentials is catchy music in the form of song-and-dance numbers woven into the script. Indeed, a movie's music often sells the film through advance release — a populace that is already humming the songs from a movie is far more likely to troop into theatres to see the movie when it is finally released. A Bollywood movie without songs and dances would need to be particularly strong in other departments to avoid being considered a rip-off.
Bollywood plots have tended to be melodramatic. They frequently make use of formulaic ingredients such as star-crossed lovers and angry parents, love triangles, family ties, sacrifice, corrupt politicians, kidnappers, conniving villains, courtesans with hearts of gold, long-lost relatives and siblings separated by fate, dramatic reversals of fortune, and convenient coincidences.
Some recent bollywood hit films include:
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna aka KANK follows two married couples through their turbulent relationships. KANK or Never Say Goodbye stars bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan.
Lage Raho Munnabhai is the sequel to bollywood hit movie Munna Bhai (M.B.B.S) and stars Vidja Balan and Sanjay Dutt.
Koena Mitra Bollywood Actress is set to star in a collaborative effort between an Indian production house and Los Angeles based company during 2008. The movie will be predominantly filmed in Hong Kong, China with some exciting special effects and promises some amazing action shots. This is an impressive role for Koena Mitra to land as she will be starring next to Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom.