in Philosophical Issues in Indian Cinema: Approximate Terms and Concepts
by MK Raghavendra
The aspect of Indian popular cinema to have been studied most extensively by scholars is perhaps its melodrama, and the strategy is usually to regard it in the light of Western studies of the notion. The major difficulty with the strategy is that the term ‘melodrama’ largely loses its significance when applied to Indian popular cinema (at least until the 1990s) because there is little that cannot be described as ‘melodramatic’. While Western texts have something to offer instead of melodrama (realism, for instance) and the term is a useful form of identification, it is necessary to identify individual films that are ‘not melodrama’ before the term can be usefully applied.