The genres of the mainstream Commercial Cinema in India comprises number of significant themes and subjects that find repeated expression. Romantic love stories, action and revenge thrillers, social drama and injustice, patriotism, comedy, friendships and male bonding, animation and horror, mythology and devotion are the genres of Indian commercial films. The themes incorporated in these different commercial genres reflect a distinctively culture-specific approach that is adopted to give these commercial films a characteristic Indian outlook. It is for these genres and their respective appeals that Indian Cinema cannot do without commercial movies that drive masses to the theatres.
Action Thriller Genre in Indian Commercial Cinema
The action and thriller genre are one of the most prominent genres of Indian commercial cinema, showcasing the typical idea of the hero fighting a group of bad men or the main villain, with stunt sequences and thrills that entertain the audience. Action films came largely into vogue in the 1970s and 80s with the rise of the concept of Angry Young Man initiated by megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the 1973 Hindi action drama ‘Zanjeer’. Bollywood actors, such as Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna and Bachchan himself were the popular action icons of the time.
Social Drama Genre in Indian Commercial Cinema
The social drama genre, also a prominent one in parallel cinema, figured prominently right from the beginning of Indian commercial cinema. What is commendable about the social dramas is the way the relevant and prevalent social issues are treated and candidly showcased for cinema. ‘Mother India’ (1957) is a classic film that portrayed the concept of Indian womanhood. Mani Ratnam’s ‘Bombay’ (1995) explores the highly sensitive issue about relations between Hindus and Muslims in India. He has also depicted human relationships against the background of Indian politics in films ‘Roja’ and ‘Dil Se.’
Patriotic Genre in Indian Commercial Cinema
Patriotism is a common emotion that binds India, a land of humongous religious and cultural diversity. From the inception there had been films that were made with national sentiments, mostly revolving around Indian freedom struggle and freedom fighters. Early patriotic films include ‘Kismet’, ‘Shaheed’, ‘Vigathakumaran’, ‘Balan’, ‘Kunjali Marakkar’ and ‘Purab Aur Paschim’. While films based on Indian freedom struggle continued to be produced, such as ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ and ‘23rd March, 1931: Shaheed’, the concept of patriotism evolved in the contemporary era and were interspersed with emotional ties, military wars, etc. Notable patriotic films of the 21st century include ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’ and ‘Lakshya’. To know more read: