Bollywood Parody of Romeo and Juliet by Sai Bhatawadekar

created on Jun 25, 2016 modified on Jul 01, 2016 04:50


This is a cross-cultural creative project that involves co-writing, directing, and performing a parody of an iconic Indian film. (Think the Mel Brooks genre of spoofs!)

 First we saw the trailers of Indian films being shown at the Bollywood Film Festival at the Honolulu Museum of Art. We decided on one film to watch together - RamLeela - an adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in modern India. After watching and discussing the film, we co-wrote, directed, and performed an abridged spoof of the film. The performance was both live in front of a South Asian audience and also recorded on camera as a short film, then edited and uploaded on youtube. We had to work with a complex film text, its language proficiency, cross-cultural and historical significance. The creative process played out in many dimensions. To begin with students needed to make the complexity accessible and palatable (quite literally in terms of verbal articulation) at their given proficiency level at the same time as they let the film push themselves and their competence out of their comfort zone - linguistic, cultural, kinesthetic, humorous, musical, theatrical, and personal!  

Click on our parody here: RamuLeelu in Honolulu



National Foreign Language Resource Center
June 30, 2016
Sai Bhatawadekar
Sai Bhatawadekar

Language: Hindi, Urdu

Subject Area(s): language and literature, global challenges, ethnic identity, entertainment, education, creativity, beauty, visual arts, traditions, theater, national identity

Instructional Context

Product Target Culture:
South Asian

Heritage Learners:

Audience Location:
In front of the actors performing and also all over the world who will watch the uploaded youtube

Target Audience Description:
1. South Asians - both in the country and the diaspora. 2. Also non South Asians who watch Bollywood. 3. People who enjoy theater and film regardless of Bollywood. 4. People who like Mel Brookes style of parodies that pull together many cross-cultural references.

Audience Role:
Relate to the cross-cultural references and the parody of movies and respond to the actors in a way that encourages them.

Product Description:
A well performed play and a well made short film.

Language Proficiency

ILR Scale Writing:

ACTFL Scale:

ILR Scale Reading:
1 2 3 4 5

ILR Scale Listening:
1 2 3 4 5

ILR Scale Speaking:
1 2 3 4 5

ILR Scale Writing:
1 2 3 4

ACTFL Scale:
2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10

World Readiness Standards


Making Connections

Language comparisons
Cultural comparisons

Lifelong Learning

Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives

School and Global

Relating Cultural Products to Perspectives
Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives


21st Century Skills

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Information Literacy

Life and Career Skills
Flexibility and adaptability

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Creativity and Innovation

Life and Career Skills
Initiative and Self-Direction

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Media Literacy

Life and Career Skills
Leadership and responsibility
Productivity and Accountability
Social and Cross Cultural Skills

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Technology Literacy

Interdisciplinary Themes
Global Awareness

Project Sequence Overview

Preparing for the Project

1. Movie Trailers - Discussing the trailers of the festival movies that year. more detail

Launching the Project

1. Watching and Discussing the Movie - Watch and discuss the movie. more detail

Managing the Project

1. Main Characters and Scenes - Shortlist main characters and scenes. more detail

2. First Scene - Writing and begin directing the first scene. more detail

3. Subsequent Scenes - Groups writing scenes. more detail

4. Begin Co-Directing - As the scenes start rolling in, we start directing and putting it together. more detail

5. We Have a Play! - Putting it all together as a first draft of the parody more detail

6. Rehearsals and Performance - Practice practice practice. Perform perform perform more detail


1. Assessment - Ways of assessing a creative project more detail