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Marriage and Form in New Bollywood Cinema


Marriage and Form in New Bollywood Cinema

Bollywood movies have been long known for their colorful song-and-dance numbers and knack for combining drama, comedy, action-adventure, and music. But when India entered the global marketplace in the early 1990s, its film industry transformed radically. Production and distribution of films became regulated, advertising and marketing created a largely middle-class audience, and films began to fit into genres like science fiction and horror. In this bold study of what she names New Bollywood, Sangita Gopal contends that the key to understanding these changes is to analyze films’ evolving treatment of romantic relationships.

Gopalargues that the form of the conjugal duo in movies reflects other social forces in India’s new consumerist and global society. She takes a daring look at recent Hindi films and movie trends—the decline of song-and-dance sequences, the upgraded status of the horror genre, and the rise of the multiplex and multi-plot—to demonstrate how these relationships exemplify different formulas of contemporary living. A provocative account of how cultural artifacts can embody globalization’s effects on intimate life, Conjugations will shake up the study of Hindi film.

240 pages | 41 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2011

South Asia Across the Disciplines

Asian Studies: South Asia

Film Studies


“Brimming with historical insights and excellent close readings, [Conjugations] succeed[s] in challenging existing frameworks for interpreting representations of love, sex, and romance in Bombay cinema.”

Journal of Popular Romance Studies

“Informed by Gopal’s incredible warehouse of knowledge about popular Indian cinemas, Conjugations illuminates diverse dimensions of conjugality and Bollywood through multiple lines of inquiry, including attention to song-and-dance sequences, the emergence of the new genre of horror, and the revitalization of Bengali cinema. This dazzling and wide-reaching book will be of interest to scholars not only in cinema studies, but more generally, those interested in postcoloniality, feminism and gender, and the nation-state in South Asia.”

Jigna Desai, University of Minnesota

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Introduction: Conjugating New Bollywood
1 When the Music’s Over: A History of the Romantic Duet
2 Family Matters: Affect, Authority, and the Codification of Hindi Cinema
3 Fearful Habitations: Upward Mobility and the Horror Genre
4 Conjugal Assembly: Mulitplex, Multiplot, and the Reconfigured Social Film
5 Bollywood Local: Conjugal Rearrangement in Regional Cinema

Conclusion: New Bollywood and Its Others


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