Sholay shows its age, it provides a good starting referent to Bollywood. Kudos to my friend Debraj to got me started with this film.
In a Hollywood movie, you are best advised to start with a short story, and make a screenplay from it. That is because a typical novel would take many hours were you to do a scene-by-scene adaptation to a screenplay. Bollywood has no problem with time. They typically make much longer movies. This results in a lot more story to enjoy.
The first thing I noticed about Bollywood is that they are not afraid to mention God. In the USA, any movie that mentions God had better do so in an ironic or comedic fashion, or it's going to be filed in the "Inspirational/Faith & Spirituality" section of the video store. The only time secret agent 007 was ever in church was at his wife's funeral. Otherwise, if you hear deity's name taken in a Hollywood movie, it is most likely taken in vain. Bollywood, not so much.
In both Hollywood and Bollywood movies it is altogether right and proper for the antagonist to die in the last reel. But the protocols for killing off the villain differ. In Hollywood, it does not matter how much evil the villain inflicts upon the hero, s/he'll try to take him alive--then helplessly watch him die. The script writer will then oblige the audience by making the villain go for his gun or fall onto some stabby object, like a wrought-iron fence, or a wood chipper, or molten lava. Whereupon the Hollywood hero will then respond with regret while the audience is doing fist-pumps.
a tractor exhaust pipe. If you jam my race car into the wall resulting in a fiery crash, I'll do the same to you. I was shocked when I saw this happen in a kid-friendly family drama.
The only counter-example of this was a movie where a woman serially married men who for various reasons needed killing, and she murdered them one after another only to get off Scot-free by becoming a nun.
All the while nobody is allowed to kiss nobody on screen.
They say that a fish can tell you nothing about water. This is because he's in it all the time. Foreign cinema provides a window into not just other cultures, but by way of contrast it tells you something of your own. The US has enjoyed a dominant place in world culture for most of the 20th century. In the 21st century, we're seeing other countries developing sophisticated movie making establishments.
Hooray for Bollywood. If you don't agree, I'll give you a tight slap.