Why did Indian Mythology or Ancient Indian History never make it to Hollywood movies or even documentaries?

Well, I do agree that the Hollywood movies don’t have an Indian version of movies like Troy, Cleopatra, Caesar etc, you have to realise that a lot of movies carry subplots or texts from Hindu philosophy.

1. The Legend of Bagger Vance:

This movie is inspired by the Mahabharata war. Set in the times of the great depression, the movie shows a depressed and lost Golf champion who is rejuvenated by a secret black man called Bagger Vance( played by my fav star Will Smith). Bagger Vance becomes the golfer’s caddy and helps him overcome his fears and prepares him to take part in a golf championship. But on the crucial match day, Bagger Vance is not to be seen. The golfer has to fight his own battle to win.
This is a modern take on how Krishna motivates Arjuna to take part in the war.

2. Avatar:

This James Cameron epic has taken a lot of inspiration from the Indian Mythology.Ayurveda, nature worshiping, having giant birds as vehicles, the concept that all living beings are connected to each other and return to the central soul ( Eywa) are all lifts from ancient Indian philosophy.


3. Interstellar:

The concept of getting lost in a distant planet ( or space) where the time is different has been seen in many Hindu mythological stories. A manushya king goes to help the devas in a battle that lasts a year in the Swarga. When he plans to return after the war, he’s told that a year at Swarga is 360 years on earth and in all probability, even his dynasty wouldn’t be ruling the land he left just a ‘year’ ago. In the very beginning of the Bhagavata, it is mentioned that a single day on heaven is equal to a year on the Earth.

4. Inception:

Well, even a man who didn’t understand the movie after watching hundred times will realise that this movie has a lot to do about the concept of ‘Maya’. Adi Shankaracharya in his Advaita Siddhanta explains how the entire world is a Maya ,an illusion and the happenings in the world is a dream of the paramatma. This dichotomy, between reality and illusion is the very crux of the movie.

5. The Five people you meet in heaven.
This movie based on the novel of the same name by Mitch Albom is a heart warmer. As you watch the movie (or read the book) you feel like you are reading the summaries of the Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vedantas.The concept of heaven, purpose of life and the overall metaphysical feel is of a superior quality than any other Hollywood movie I’ve seen till date.

6. In my humble opinion, most of the superhero franchises like StarWars, StarTrek, Batman have some element in their work that has a philosophy from Indian texts.
Even Matrix trilogy has strong Indian influence.

So basically, Hollywood hasn’t produced an out and out Indian epic movie but lots of movies carry Indian philosophy, ideology and essence in their heart and body.

– Anoop Srinivas

Anoop is a Fighter,wanna be writer,want to get lighter. 🙂

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