Bollywood style: the melodramatic lens
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The purpose of this project is to redefine the word "Bollywood" as more than a regional or cultural cinema, focusing instead on the unique style of the films that is often neglected or dismissed by film critics. The aspects explored are the development of Bollywood style from 1995 to the mid 2000s as exhibited by the films Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), and Dhoom (2004), and a subsequent development of a reflexive neo-Bollywood style beginning in the mid-2000s, exhibited by the films Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), Dhoom 2 (2006), and Chennai Express (2013). Close analysis of these films shows an aesthetic of melodrama that applies not only to the narrative of the films but more noticeably and importantly to the filmic style of the narrative and the subsequent themes that emerge. To further illustrate Bollywood as a style, the project analyzes Bollywood’s stylistic influences outside of India, including readings of television shows Smash and Glee, and films Moulin Rouge! (2001), Strictly Ballroom (1992), and Chicago (2002). This project aims to vindicate Bollywood as a complex artistic expression that privileges an emotional reality over a mimetic reality.
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