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Gender Meets Genre in Postwar Cinemas$
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Christine Gledhill

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036613

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036613.001.0001

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Emotion, Subjectivity, and the Limits of Desire

Emotion, Subjectivity, and the Limits of Desire

Melodrama and Modernity in Bombay Cinema, 1940s–’50s

Chapter:
(p.161) Chapter 12 Emotion, Subjectivity, and the Limits of Desire
Source:
Gender Meets Genre in Postwar Cinemas
Author(s):

Ira Bhaskar

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036613.003.0012

This chapter analyzes three Bombay melodramas: Mahesh Kaul's Gopinath (1948), Kamal Amrohi's Daera (1953), and Bimal Roy's Devdas (1955). These films represent the tragic denouement of their protagonists, bringing into sharp relief a particular melodramatic embodiment of gender and identity in Bombay cinema of the 1940s and 1950. The chapter addresses the following questions: What are the issues at stake? What is the historical conjuncture that pressures gender and genre to take such forms? What significances does the aesthetic mode employed here press forth from the situations that the films outline? What specific contours does the Indian melodramatic form take to signify its historical meanings?

Keywords:   Bombay cinema, Indian melodramas, Gopinath, Daera, Devdas, gender, identity, genre

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