• 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.

Ho Naa Ho: The Emergence of a Homosexual Subtext in Bollywood
Ho naa ho: The emergence of a homosexual subtext in bollywood

In this chapter, I take as my starting point the conclusion reached in the previous chapter—that Bollywood can and does function as an in-novative form of popular cinema—as a way of coming to terms with the recent ‘emergence’ of a homosexual subtext in popular Hindi cinema. As several theorists (and even more viewers) have recently noted, the ‘secret politics’ of homosexuality in Bollywood have become less and less secretive, with blatantly ‘gay’ characters and subtexts emerging in mainstream films which have gone on to become box-office successes. Without reading too deeply into such outward successes, I would like to examine what the emergence of ...

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