The Indian cinematic paradigm
Discuss about the Asian Literture Studies On Indian Cinematic Paradigm.
The Indian cinematic paradigm has been ruled by a number of world renowned names and artists who have left a mark on the world cinema. The Indian movie industry is known for churning out movies in the largest numbers around the world amidst these movies are the ones who have left a mark in the world of cinema. India being a country of multiple languages and ethnic identities it is seen that the movies produced in the Indian cinema has a wide variety of contextual allusions to the social and the cultural contexts in the society. There are a number of great film makers in the Indian film industry who create works that are an epitome of class and art. These movie director are known for their creative genius and the use of their artistic liberty to create the works of art which are geniuses in their own sense (Rajadhyaksha & Willemen, 2014). One of the important aspect in this context is the fact that there are a wide variety of directors and workers in the Indian movie world to cater to the needs of the different kinds of audience. The different ranges of cinema catered to the Indian audience ranges from slapstick comedies to very intricate movies of the art and the parallel cinema form (Rajadhyaksha & Willemen, 2014). Few of the directors who made their impact on the global society with their cinema include K. Asif, Mehboob Khan,Guru Dutt, Shyam Benegal and Sanjay Leela Bhamsali.
K.Asif was one of the most prolific directors of his time. He is known for making of he magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam. The movie is one of the cult classics of the indian cinema as it is all due to the vision of the great director who worked day in and day out for the movie which was in making for 12 long years (Morcom, 2001). The very effort that he put in this work of art makes it a cult classic. To put into perspective the extent of perfection that the director went in making the movie was that every thing that was used in the movie was authentically made and created from scratch according to the timeline by the best craftsmen of the time. The move cost almost pushed the producer Shapoorji Pallonji into bankruptcy. The intricate details that were kept in mind included everything from the dressing to the planning of the sets and the looks of the actors who were supposed to play the different roles in the movie. The detailing to which the director went in the movie is also exemplified by the usage of the different extras in the movie. He also recruits more than a 100 singers to sing with Md. Rafi for a single song. It was also seen that the actors were strictly disciplined in the time to maintain the weight range to justify their roles (PAUWELS, 2007). It was also known that the actor Prithwiraj Kapoor, who played Akbar was said to regain the lost weight to continue shooting for the movie after he lost a little weight. It was evident from the variety of the different aspects relating to the overall making of the movie and the attention that was paid to the timeline and the aging process of the two actors who in the time period aged by 12 years. The timeline of the his work has two other precursor to the movie namely Phool and Hulchul and one movie made after Mughal e azam which is incomplete Love and God. The level of perfection that K. Asif achieved in the movies he made keeping in mind the timeline and the aging continuity is the mark of perfection that he wanted to achieve in his works.
Directors known for their creative genius
Mehboob Khan is one of the famous and the prolific directors of Indian cinema who mad movies on the different issues in the Indian society regarding the social and political conditions of the society at the time. The social and the socio cultural issues that have been pointed out in the movie show the different issues that plagued the society in the contemporary time. The majority of the context of his movies included the various social issues and presented in a commercialised cinema story line. His works like Mother India which was the Indian entrant nominated for the Academy Awards in 1957 focussed on the life of a woman suffering from poverty and the different forms of corruption and tyranny of the local lords in the country. The movie was the remake of a film he earlier made named Aurat (Sinha, 2006). The style of filmmaking that Mehboob khan followed took into account the realistic contemporary settings and the representation of the core elements of the society in the various social and the socio-cultural situations. The best acclaimed movie mother India talks about the social issues which leads a youth going wayward due to the social pressures and the situations that they face in the society. The story revolves around the life of a poor villager who turns into a dacoit to fight the atrocities committed by the different people on the poor in the society (Schulze, 2002). The movie revolves around the moral dilemma of the different kinds of blames that the society puts on the different people for the actions of the person which may be a result of the social and cultural factors affecting the society. The movie also takes into consideration that the choice that the mother has to make while deciding between thw fate of the society and the wayward son who has been led wayward by the same society. The society wwas the muse for the director who clearly presented the different strata of the society along with their issues in his works. The poverty and the way landlords were treating the poor in the society was presented well in the society. The difference between nature and nurture was also seen in the development of the two sons in the movie. The movies are supposed to be the mirror to the society an that was exactly what Mehboob Khan did in mother India. In the movie, it is not just the society and the different problems but the sense of preservation of culture where she becomes the mother India by killing her own son who had gone array.
The diverse genres of Indian cinema
Guru Dutt is one of the most prolific directors of the Indian cinema who bridged the gap between the commercial and the alternate cinema. The works of Guru Dutt have been deeply influenced by the noir genre of the western cinema taking strong influences in his films. The works of Guru Dutt have a very intricate work of plot and layered narrative covering a number of aspects of the topic of naarative in his works. He was known for making cult classics like Kagaz Ke Phool, Pyaasa, Baazi among others. His works always had a sense of subdued melancholy in the different works that he did. The works of Guru Dutt are reminiscent of the cinema which saw a revolutionary change in the use of lighting and make up to show the change in the moods and the scenes in his movies. He was one of the firsts in the Indian cinema to use the lighting for the aesthetic purpose of the representation of the mood in the society. The movies that he made were few of the greatest works of his time simply due to the narrative factors and the style of presentation of his movies. He was a person of number of different shade which affected his mood and also showed in his work process where he was consistently taking up projects and shelving them (Khopkar, 2012). He was known to be a perfectionist and therefore there were only a few things that would really impress him. One of the best examples of the detailing he went into to make a movie was the lighting effect that he used in the song Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam where the different moods of the song were solely represented by the change in lighting (Rockwell, 2003). He was constantly experimenting with the different kind of the plot lines that he could use in the movies thereby creating a number of movies that were the firsts of their king for example the movie Jaal which is known to be the first anti hero film.
Shyam benegal is one of the great directors of the Indian cinema who brought about the art house cinema revolution in India. His works are mostly set in the contemporary societies having the realistic portrayal of the issues that plague the contemporary society. He was influenced by imminent film directors like Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray. In his first film Ankur the influence of the Nehruvian ideologies that affected the works of Sehgal for a long time. Ankur is one of the turning points in the Indian Cinema which takes into account the sociocultural scenarios and presents the nehruvian philosophies in that context. The movie is set in an Andhra village and shows the flaws that exists in the human character. It is also exemplary in the representation of the Indian woman of the time who was ready to go against the norms of the society and raise her voice in the situations where she deemed fit (Cross, 2010). The representation of the untouched subjects like the extramarital affairs and the stigma of the child marriage in the movie was also shown in the movie. The social issues of the class divide and the comprehension of the society based on the caste and creed I the society is also evident in the fact where one of the characters is shunned by the people for eating the food prepared by the woman of a lower caste. The different situations in the movie show the various ill customs that were present in the contemporary society (Needham, 2013). The strength of the woman is standing against the view of the society in case of the extramarital affairs and doing as she likes is one of the exemplary situations of the time. It also showed the ideology of Benegal which was based on the equality of the caste creed and religion in the society. The strength of the woman is also evident in the situation where the woman chooses to bear the child which is the result of her extramarital affair. The open mindedness of the husband is also evident when he in the given scenarios chooses to accept the child of his wife. Alternately the movie shows the boredom weakness and the selfishness of the man who is educated in the city and is psychologically oppressed by his father. He is shows shown to be selfish and weak and the poor woman stands out as the symbol of strength who stands against the oppressions of the society to have a voice and opinion of her own and live by it.
K. Asif and his magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is one of the known faces of the modern times who brought about a change in the cinema by making the movies which focus on the different aspects of the emotions of the people. Amidst the grandeur that the director creates on the sets of his movies there are a number of great works that focus on the different emotions that are shown. One of the most acclaimed movies of the director is Black. In the movie the relationship between a teacher and a student is depicted keeping in mind the various difficulties that may arise in the teaching and the learning among the people who are suffering from disabilities. The teacher is a rather old man suffering from Alzheimer’s while the student is a deaf, mute and blind girl. In the movie the director moves away from the conventions of the contemporary commercial cinema to create a work which deeply creates a world of the situations that they may face in extreme detail. The director shows in great detail the frustrations of a person who suffers from the disability which hinder all their senses. In such a situation when the teacher chooses to teach the student despite suffering from Alzheimer’s and having a strong history of alcoholism (Dawn, 2014). The movies shows a strong detail of the gloomy surroundings to depict the gloom that surround the characters in their lives. The emotions that the child feels and the deep dark world she lives in is very well depicted in the movie. One of the most important facts of the film is though like the average Bollywood movie the audience expects the protagonists to triumph from all the issues that they face in the society but the director has kept it real in the movie keeping a kind of spiral narrative where the people learn to live in the situation rather than to alleviate themselves from the situations (Prasad, 2013). In the story too the protagonist learns to live with her disabilities in the society and not be affected by the drawbacks she has. The director also pays attention to the various details of the lives of the people who seem to suffer from the disabilities and he is also showing the constant sense of gloom that is the norm of the lives of the people living in the predicament. The movie is also about the ways of the teaching that the teacher sometimes takes to reach out to the young girl to teach her to be fit in the society.
Bhansali in his movies always has put in a lot of work to portray in detail the different emotions of the characters. In this scenario he had to notch up his work to portray the emotions of a man who was affected by the various constraints in teaching and young girl who is trapped in her body without understanding the world except all she could from the sense of her physical touch. Black is one of the movies that are unparalleled and stand out in the history of Indian cinema being both a critical and a commercial success. It is this understanding of the portrayal of human emotion that makes the director stand out in the history of Indian cinema.
From the above discussion it can be seen that there have been a number of director who have brought about a major change in the Indian cinema through the ages. The directors like K. Asif, Mehboob Khan, Guru Dutt and Shyam Benegal Laid the ground work on which the modern Indian cinema flourishes and have influenced a large number of director and film making styles in the modern society. These directors had a beautiful way of incorporating the different songs within the narrative to improve the aesthetics of the movies and its plotline.
Cross, R. (2010). Shyam Benegal’s Ankur and the Nehruvian Woman. Doshisha Studies in Language and Culture, 13(2), 89-115.
Dawn, R. (2014). The politics of cinematic representation of disability:“the psychiatric gaze”. Disability and rehabilitation, 36(6), 515-520.
Khopkar, A. (2012). Guru Dutt: a tragedy in three acts. Penguin UK.
Morcom, A. (2001). An understanding between Bollywood and Hollywood? The meaning of Hollywood?style music in Hindi films. British Journal of Ethnomusicology, 10(1), 63-84.
Needham, A. D. (2013). New Indian Cinema in Post-Independence India: The Cultural Work of Shyam Benegal’s Films. Routledge.
PAUWELS, H. (2007). Introduction. In Indian Literature and Popular Cinema (pp. 17-32). Routledge.
Prasad, M. M. (2013). Diverting Diseases. In Figurations in Indian Film (pp. 91-100). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Rajadhyaksha, A., & Willemen, P. (2014). Encyclopedia of Indian cinema. Routledge.
Rockwell, D. (2003). Visionary Choreographies: Guru Dutt's Experiments in Film Song Picturisation. South Asian Popular Culture, 1(2), 109-124.
Schulze, B. (2002). The Cinematic'Discovery of India': Mehboob's Re-Invention of the Nation in Mother India. Social Scientist, 72-87.
Sinha, M. (2006). Specters of Mother India: the global restructuring of an Empire. Duke University Press.
Wilkinson?Weber, C. M. (2005). Tailoring expectations: how film costumes become the audience's clothes. South Asian Popular Culture, 3(2), 135-159.
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