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Bollywood eclipsed : the postmodern aesthetics, scholarly appeal, and remaking of contemporary popular Indian cinema

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posted on 2023-06-07, 15:22 authored by Neelam Sidhar Wright
This thesis uses postmodern theory to explore aesthetic shifts in post-millennial Bollywood cinema, with a particular focus on films produced by the Bombay film industry over the past nine years (2000-2009) and the recent boom of Hindi cross-cultural and self-remakes. My research investigates reasons behind the lack of appeal of Bollywood films in the West (particularly in their contemporary form), revealing how our understanding and appreciation of them is restricted or misinformed by a long history of censure from critics, scholars, educators and ambassadors of the Indian cinema. Through my analysis of the function and effects of cultural appropriation and postmodern traits in several recent popular Indian films, I expose Bollywood's unique film language in order to raise our appreciation of this cinema and suggest ways in which it can be better incorporated into future film studies courses. My analysis is based on a study of over a hundred contemporary Bollywood remakes and includes close textual analysis and case studies of a wide variety of popular Bollywood films, including: Dil Chahta Hai (2001), Abhay (2001), Kaante (2002), Devdas (2002), Koi…Mil Gaya (2003), Sarkar (2005), Krrish (2006) and Om Shanti Om (2007). In my conclusion, I offer a redefinition of contemporary Bollywood and I consider postmodernism's usefulness as a tool for teaching Indian cinema and its value as an international cultural phenomenon.


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