Bollywood and Gender

Topics: Bollywood, Cinema of India, Film Pages: 5 (1557 words) Published: January 18, 2012
Research Proposal

Aim: To study and compare the role of women in some of the women centric Hindi films released between 1980 to 1990 and 2000 and 2010. Objective: To study the issues of gender, caste, development that were perceived in Indian cinema then and now in women centric films. A comparative study about the representation of women in Indian cinema then and now in women centric films. Scope: There are a numerous women centric films that are created in diverse languages around the world. When we focus even on one specific type, we get to know about the culture and thought process of that specific region. Also, a strong statement emerges out of the analysis which is a reflection of the prevailing ideologies in the society. This paper will be mark a statement on the thought process, beliefs of the people especially for the women. These beliefs systems and ideologies will be compared through women centric Bollywood movies that were released between 1980’s to 1990’s and 2000 to 2010. The scope can be extended to many women centric movies made in various languages other than Hindi. One can also include the earliest of the eras for a detailed comparison and in-depth study. Not only a comparison on the issues like gender and caste but also a comparison on other issues like lifestyle, costumes, movie posters etc can be done.

Limitations: This paper is limited only to Bollywood films because of the language constraints. Also, only two decades have been chosen since the comparison and study would be possible with a limited number of films to study. Also, from each decade four women centric films are chosen and then studied thoroughly. Followed by is a detailed analysis of the movie based on the issues of Gender, caste, development, ideologies.

Research Question:
• What is the difference in the representation of women portrayed earlier (1980-1990) and that which is shown now (2000-2010)? • What are the factors that have affected the change in the representation of women in Hindi cinema esp. between the 1980- 1990 and 2000-2010? And how is the transition identified? • Was the image of women shown in the movies of 1980-1990 stronger, bolder than those shown now (2000-2010)? Introduction: Confirming Aristotle’s view of art as an imitation of life, gender discrimination in the Hindi film industry does indeed reflect the bias that exists in Indian society. The gender ratio in India is heavily skewed in the favor of males (1.08 male(s)/female) (from CIA’s publication). Thus, Indian moviegoers are presumed to be mostly men—roughly between the age of 15 to 34 years. These moviegoers, according to an all-India survey by a research organization, enjoy mindless comedies. Such thinking dominates cinematic expression in one of the world’s largest centers of film production. The Indian entertainment industry stands at $10 billion today and is expected to grow at 18 percent per annum compounded annually over the next two years (Economic Times). An average Indian spends approximately 4.6 percent of disposable income on movie watching in theaters. And because issue-based films are not a favorite with the masses, a producer opts for subjects with more appeal so that he or she can recuperate the huge investments involved in film production. Even female filmmakers do not risk funding for their films by focusing on women-centric subjects. At New York’s iView Film Festival held in 2009, which explored gender and sexuality issues, filmmakers and actors on the panel were asked to comment on the presentation of social issues through Indian films. Zoya Akhtar, the filmmaker of Luck By Chance (2009), and a panel member commented on the female protagonist in her film saying that, “The character could have been any; the fact that she is a woman is a coincidence.” But because the film ends up centering on the story of a woman, the director struggled for six years to make the film—apparently because numerous male actors turned down the...
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