I believe that the more realistic the movie is, the more it is liked by the audience and the more it struck cords with them. Yet I have seen many movies and TV serials in both Hollywood and Bollywood alike which portray simple villagers/cowboys or otherwise illiterate characters but still somehow are shown to deliver dialogues which seem really formal and as though they are well-versed and polished with English/Hindi language words.

Example (probably one of the worst though): In 'Vivah' hindi movie, Shahid Kapoor (lead actor) doesn't have very nice Hindi, but still uses really great Hindi words after being betrothed with Amrita Rao (lead actress).

So, my question is whether the director or the script writers, while making the movie, take into consideration the way of speaking or words frequently used by such characters in real life. If not, then why not? I understand that film is made just for entertainment purposes but I am just curious.

Do they take into account the speaking style of the real life persona of the character used in the movie?

2 Answers 2


Do they take into account the speaking style of the real life persona of the character used in the movie?

I don't know if it is possible to give a general (in the sense of universal) answer to the question. My feeling is that they should, for the same reasons you explained above:

I believe that the more realistic the movie is, the more it is liked by the audience and the more it struck cords with them

If one cannot relate to what is going on on the screen is likely to lose interest in the story.

I guess it always depends on the kind of effect the Director (the writer) wants to convey. The more realistic is the movie, the higher the probability that the actor will use an accent and a way of expressing coherent with the character.

However it might be possible that, for the purpose of achieving a certain effect (in a comedy for instance), a baseborn american character (let's say a homeless) might be given by the writer a very refined and polite way of speaking and/or (let's say) a cockney accent, just to amplify the comic aspect. Of course, this simple fact doesn't automatically define the movie as unrealistic, because the character could have a backstory that explains his "weird" way of expressing.

I've been raking my mind trying to remember a good example but couldn't come out with any.

I'm leaving out on purpose the bad acting/bad writing cases since that is clearly unintentional - even if sometimes I have doubts about it :)


Sometimes, and sometimes not.

One of the major innovations from Marlon Brando and others in the 1940s-50s was to introduce a more "natural" performing style in both theatre and film.

Actors in theatre rarely have microphones, but audiences at the back of the theatre would still expect to hear their dialogue. As a result, words have to be well enunciated to be heard clearly. This level of enunciation is also typically more common amongst more "polished" upper-class people.

Theatre actors naturally moved into film, of course, but film does not require that type of enunciation in order for dialogue to be heard. Even if dialogue is recorded live, microphones are closer to the actors and are more sensitive, and dialogue is commonly re-recorded and overdubbed after filming anyway. Theatre actors still tended to follow the speaking patterns which they had learnt though. With film actors such as Brando and Eastwood becoming major stars, film actors started to use speaking patterns which worked better on film.

TV actors did not necessarily follow this though - TV programmes recorded on location did, but sitcoms were frequently filmed in front of a live audience (or wanted to appear as if they were), and actors there performed (and often still do perform) much more like stage actors. So in spite of technical reasons why it may not be required, TV actors often follow conventions of acting for a genre which are expected by audiences, even if those conventions make no sense.

And of course the same may apply to films where there are strong conventions for acting styles. Bollywood is one of these. People do not spontaneously break into dance routines in everyday life!

It's also important to remember that however bad an actor may be at speaking a language, on film they can record it over and over until they get it right. (Or right enough, anyway.) Like all Jackie Chan's films, the end of Rush Hour shows the "bloopers" where he got things wrong. Usually with Jackie Chan, this involves his stunts going wrong! On Rush Hour though, many of these involved Chan being taught how to say his lines correctly in English, a language he really doesn't speak. (And for balance, they also show Chris Rock taking a long time to get a sentence right in Cantonese.) So the script can have very sophisticated dialogue, even if the actors themselves would not be able to talk like that.

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