ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sense of Popular Cinema

Picture Abhi Baaki Hai: Bollywood as a Guide to Modern India by Rachel Dwyer, Gurgaon: Hachette India, 2014; pp 304, Rs 499.

Rachel Dwyer, the author of Picture Abhi Baaki Hai: Bollywood as a Guide to Modern India, is an Indophile of a different kind. Where most Indophiles are drawn to India by its splendid past and its genteel traditions, she is drawn to it by its chaotic present and by its most garish export—Bollywood. While this may not find favour with Indians of a certain (older) breed her choice is an astute one because the film industry provides more reliable guidance to Indian attitudes than Mughal history or Sanskrit poetry. Bollywood may not provide a straightforward route to the Indian psyche today and reading between the lines may be needed, but it helps one understand how a fair proportion of Indians imagine themselves—at least among those in the influential middle income groups.

Approaches to Popular Film

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