What is Indian Cinema?
Before attempting to answer what Indian Cinema is, I feel it is important to question the present day notion Indian Cinema. This notion, I feel is a misleading one. Indian Cinema at present is an image falsely created out of only a particular kind of cinema, namely the Bollywood Cinema.
Bollywood Cinema has a particular way of dealing with the narrative. Instead of delving into the social and political realities of the time, a lot of effort is put behind creating a hyperreal world which is(mostly) devoid of the social realities. The characters, hence lose out on the colours that stem from the socio-political sub-structure in which they belong. As these strong colours of the times are missing, the characters of the narrative end up being white or black. Thus the heavy reliance of Bollywood Cinema on set heroes and villains. The hyper world thus created divides itself into this bipolar axes. Thus characters end up being set pieces of the predefined three act narrative structure.
Adhering to the Natya Shastra, all the rasas are infused into the narrative as well. Thus, one finds moments of comic relief even in the midst of highly dramatic scenarios. These moments almost begin performing as relief points.
Music does not remain a narrative device of over-tonal importance anymore. The presence of song sequences in the filmic narrative is of importance. They often are not evoked through the narrative and are placed as breakaway points. Points where the audience can break out of the narrative and have moments of awe, desire or even titillation. Thus the music in Bollywood cinema too has set patterns based on simplistic thematic values. Thus the concepts of romantic songs, motivational songs and item songs crop up.
The locations chosen are of a functional nature. Instead of being spaces that have a bearing on the characters and the unfolding narrative, the locations are used as a picture-postcard background of the unfolding narrative....