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:
Indian movie actors are role models in the country. The masses love their idols to the extent of worshipping them. In return the Indian actors have continually strive to entertain their fans to the utmost. Being a vast country there are several film industries within the sub continent and the Indian actors in these industries are truly gifted. He enters the screen like a tempest, flirts with finesse, courts his lady love with panache, protects her from the wicked, suffers the pangs of separation and eventually he is rewarded with reunion by providence.
In accordance to Indian parameters a hero is virtuous; he can sing, dance, fight, emote, romance, has a good sense of humor and is blessed with rakish good looks. In the films they are instrumental in delivering poetic justice. However with time such a notion has undergone a huge change. Instead of being a larger than life character Indian movie actors enact characters that are more real, more believable. Such a transformation had been observed in the 1970s when Indian films were made with heroes who represented the common man. With time other changes seeped in. The hero was no longer the epitome of righteousness. To err is human and he, too, is no longer invincible. Apart from playing the hero’s role Indian movie actors have experimented with several path breaking roles. While one actor has the courage to play the anti hero at the peak of his career, another Indian actor explored the comic genre. Indian cinema, thus, presents a wide variety of proficient artists. To know more read:
Satyajit Ray as filmmaker has made Indians proud. His films have toured several festivals and won numerous awards. His films reflect the social standing of West Bengal during those times, and some of them had satirical overtones. After his trip to London he was encouraged to become a professional filmmaker. The Vittorio De Sica’s film The Bicycle Thief (1948) had a profound impact on Ray and he decided to film Pather Panchali.
Major part of Ray’s films is based on Hindu feudal vales and traditionalist mindset, and their possible clash with the contemporary westernised reformist ideas. The film Jalsaghar (1958; The Music Room) is an unusual take about a man who is compassionate and obsessed about music. Then Devi (1960; The Goddess), a film which portrays the obsession with a girl’s divine incarnation; and Kanchenjungha (1962), Ray’s first innovative screenplay and first film in colours, a delicate study of the concept of arranged marriage among rich and westernized Bengali society. Ray’s first film in Hindi Language were Shatranj ke Khilari (1977; The Chess Players), with comparatively big budget. This films probes deep into the delicate concept of western influence in India.
The best films of Ray were based on stories and novels by Tagore, who had a profound influence on the director. The film Charulata (1964; The Lonely Wife) is among such works, where a tragic love story set within a rich Bengali family which had a western influence, is perhaps Ray’s most accomplished film. The film Teen Kanya (1961; “Three Daughters,” English-language title Two Daughters), based on short stories of Tagore, is a diverse Trilogy about women, while Ghare Baire (1984; The Home and the World) is a solemn take of Bengal’s first revolutionary movement, set during the period 1907-08 of British rule.
Humour is an important aspect in Ray films. The films like Parash Pathar (1957; The Philosopher’s Stone) and in the musical satire Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne(1969; The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha) have had a lasting impact on the audience. The music for the latter film was composed by Ray himself, and is among his best-known contributions to Bengali culture. To know more read:
The actor is well-known for his unimpeachable acting skills in Marathi and Hindi cinema. Milind Gunaji is an actor, author, host and model. He was born on 23rd July 1961 in Bombay and known for the films like Devdaas (2002), Virasat (1997) and Godmother (1999). To know more read:
He arrived in the entertainment world through the television show MTV Roadies, and his win in the same opened up opportunities for him to pursue a career in the celluloid industry. Trace the journey of this versatile actor into Bollywood who just turned 30.
The living legend Asha Bhosle is one of the Mangeshkar sisters. She turned 82 this day but her voice is still the pulse of millions of youngsters. Know more about her musical journey so far:
Ekta Kapoor is the reigning queen of Indian television industry. She is the Creative Head of Balaji Telefilms. The serials produced by her company Balaji Telefilms are a smashing hit with the masses and dominate all the major T.V. channels in India. To know more on her read: