Changing values

Print edition : January 10, 2014

There is a great degree of 'moral polarisation' in films like Raj Kapoor's 'Awaara' inasmuch as they place an object of immense love/veneration at their centre and get heightened effects through this placement.

Among the earliest motifs in Hindi cinema is one of the strong woman as a moral exemplar in the 'reformist' films of the 1930s and early 1940s. Here, a scene from V. Shantaram's 'Duniya Na Mane' (1937). Photo: scascascasc

From 'Mother India'. Photo: PTI

Where Hindi cinema had once identified with the poor, notably farmers, 'Peepli Live' views the poor farmer virtually as a subject fit for ethnographic study. Photo: The Hindu Archives

It may be difficult to interpret the conduct of Gabbar Singh in 'Sholay' (1975) using the Indian concept of dharma.

From films highlighting moral values to those portraying “illegality as enterprise”, ethical motifs in popular Hindi cinema have undergone a tremendous change.
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