“What Is Wrong with Indian Films.”
Now that you have screened at least three (3) Bollywood films — a relatively recent blockbuster (which was of your choosing); an early 1950s blockbuster (Shree 420); and a hit film from the 1950s that arguably possesses aspects of “art film” (Pyaasa) — you are to use these films as a means of agreeing, or disagreeing, or finding some middle ground, with Satyajit Ray’s critique of Hindi cinema in his essay “What Is Wrong with Indian Films.”
In other words, I want you to decide whether you concur with Ray’s assessment and, if so, to explain why based on examples from the above films. If you don’t (or don’t always) agree with him, then you will want to defend that position, as well. In that case, you will want to make use of Manishita Dass’s essay “Cinetopia”: Leftist Street Theatre and the Musical Production of the Metropolis in 1950s Bombay Cinema.” (You are also welcome to use additional scholarly sources, if you think they will help you defend your claims contra Ray.)
Your critical analysis will “shine” not because you choose one side over the other, but on the basis of your defense of whatever “side” (or middle ground) you take. How to defend your critique strongly? Make sure to provide substantive concrete evidence from both the essay(s) and the film(s) — e.g., quotes from the essay; descriiptions from the films — in order to prove the validity of your abstract claims persuasively. And don’t go merely for the obvious; think through the movies, their audiences, and their appeal with perhaps a little more open-mindedness and sophistication than Ray does!
Make sure, too, that your essay is academically THESIS-driven, with an introduction that leads seamlessly to your thesis statement; with the paragraphs in the body of your essay dedicated to proving one sub-topic connected to that thesis; and with a conclusion that steps out of that body’s analysis to consider why what you just made your readers read ought to matter.
Also, quote material accordingly (best is to use signal phrases); provide in-text citations for all borrowed material, as well as a Works Cited page that follows MLA style.
Movie “Pyaasa” Link:
Movie British biopic Gandhi (dir. Richard Attenborough, 1982) (3h 11m):
Movie “Shree 420” Link: