In today’s contemporary world,globalization has paved a way for distant countries to be inter-related andconnected through trade communication. Various media texts act as mediums forcultural inflows and outflows within and between different societal boundaries.Film is one such medium which is a mainstream and mass vehicle forglobalization because movies as well as the internet act as cultural representationsand symbolically speak volumes about specific locales existing in and shaped bythe globalized world. Such mediums bring people in the developing countries intodirect contact with the Western media products. This causes culture imperialism’which is a process by which one country dominates other countriesmedia consumption and thus consequently dominates their values and ideologies.’It has been argued that this also causes ‘cultural homogenization’ which dangerslocal cultures because they may be diluted or replaced by a single ‘standard’culture as well as shared ideologies and values globally. Although, receptiontheory tells us that the audiences are not just passive consumers or observers,they too play a major role in giving meaning to these texts, critics stillargue that American values and ideologies are imposed on the rest of the worldthrough their media texts, especially Hollywood.
This globalization and impactof the Hollywood’s hegemonic appeal worldwide has played a major role indeveloping western influences in Bollywood movie industry which is a multi-billion-dollarindustry and quite impactful in itself. One such ideologythat has had a huge impact on the Hindi cinema industry and has also beenglobal ever since 1931 is the ‘American Dream1’ whichwas a concept first introduced by a historian called James Truslow. He creditedthe dream with having “lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores.
” Although,this dream of intergenerational mobility is shared by a huge percentage ofhumanity regardless of their nationality, but it is called the American Dreambecause when the post-cold war spending cuts left a vacuum, it was dominated byAmerica’s greatest cultural export to the world immediately i.e. the American commercialentertainment which has successfully been an open ended inspiration formillions who related it to their own dreams and hopes for a better life. In today’sera, everywhere in the world US content is viewed on some kind of screen, mayit be a movie theatre or a TV or even a smartphone.
And what appears on thosescreens has the power to shape foreign opinion of the American dream and whatit stands for. Other major film producing countries also produced theirversions of the American dream. One such dream is often recurrently seen in theHindi cinema i.e. Bollywood where films are made on NRIs to represent the’Indian dream.
‘ 1 Theoriginal dream is about prosperity: the classic saga of penniless striversworking hard to lift their families into the middle class. An integral part ofthis saga is continuity between generations—with parents sacrificing so theirchildren can succeed, and successful children never forgetting “where they camefrom.”