Bombay dreams and Bombay nightmares: Spatiality and Bollywood gangster film's urban underworld aesthetic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

The importance of the city in an articulation of Indian modernity has been central to the narratives of Indian popular cinema since the 1950s. Especially since the mid-1970s, in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s declaration of a State of Emergency, Hindi cinema has explored the structures of power that determine Bombay’s urban city space where the hero of the film encounters exponentially communal, domestic, gang, and state violence. These films put forward textured views of the cityscape and address overtly its potential for corruption and violence. Focussing on Milan Luthria’s Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010), this article explores Hindi cinema’s engagement with urban violence in an age of market liberalisation, accelerated economic growth and planned expansion. By exploring how individuals encounter forms of urban violence as an everyday occurrence, the article argues that in these instances violence becomes the primary determining agent in the city’s urban landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-643
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Volume53
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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