• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book combines multiple theoretical approaches to provide a fresh perspective on Bollywood—just as a Bollywood film that transgresses multiple genres—and challenges the homogenizing tendencies in much of the ongoing scholarship in the area. It covers five areas of controversial theorization: the religious frame, the musical frame, the subaltern frame, the (hetero) sexual frame and the ‘crossover’ frame. By deconstructing each of these hegemonic paradigms, it reshapes the understanding of a Bollywood film and restructures its relationships with multiple disciplines including film and theatre studies, postcolonial studies, South Asian studies, queer studies, and transnational studies.

This fusion is also representative of the larger objective of this work, namely, to destabilize Bollywood's position within any one sphere of reference and, instead, to illuminate how several realms of meaning are at play in its construction. The aim in doing so is to demonstrate how a variety of critical methodologies can enable a more comprehensive reading of the films making up this corpus.

The Bollywood Song and Dance, or Making a Culinary Theatre from Dung-Cakes and Dust*
The bollywood song and dance, or making a culinary theatre from dung-cakes and dust

The preceding chapter examined how an indigenous religious frame is used to (under)theorize popular Hindi cinema and its implied viewers. Another dominant paradigm, in this case stemming from the West, that is used to position the Bollywood film and its implied viewers within an antediluvian context is the musical frame, particularly as exemplified by Hollywood's ‘Golden Years’ of this genre, the 1930s to 1950s. In a double sense, contemporary Bollywood cinema is wedded to a pre-localized ‘West’ and a pre-localized (and previous) era, thus positioning its song and dance sequences as imitative (of Hollywood musicals), a framing furthered ...

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