Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of Historicals

Jun 23, 2012, 10:45:00 AM (10 years ago)



  • Historicals

    v1 v1  
     4Like the reformist social, the historical genre 
     5derived from late 19th C. novel and theatre 
     6writing. Used mainly to glorify epochs of 
     7regional (usually military) power, it 
     8incorporated ‘ Tipu Sultan in Kannada, Shivaji 
     9in Marathi, Pratapaditya or Siraj-ud-Dowla in 
     10Bengali - although Maratha and Rajput history 
     11transcended all bounds to gain an all-India 
     12popularity’ (Meenakshi Mukherjee, 1985). 
     13Often the language of the most spectacular 
     14historicals (see K. Asif, Sohrab Modi and 
     15Kamal Amrohi) was Urdu and the favourite 
     16settings were the Caliphates, the Delhi 
     17Sultanate (13th-16th C.) or the Mughal empire 
     18(16th C.). As Mukherjee points out via novelist 
     19Abdul Halim Sharar, the ‘Muslim evocation of a 
     20glorious past could hark back to the days of 
     21Moorish domination of Spain and other 
     22Mediterranean lands’. Generally, the genre was 
     23invented to represent the ‘moment of 
     24departure’ for Indian nationalism (Partha 
     25Chatterjee, 1986), resurrecting national or 
     26regional glory to create allegories for 
     27communal and regional difference and to 
     28consolidate the reform movements’ new 
     29historiography. The specific functions of the 
     30genre varied from region to region: in 
     31conditions where royalty had been reduced to 
     32a largely ceremonial role (e.g. South India), it 
     33was a specific response to imperialist 
     34domination: e.g. in Travancore where the first 
     35major novel by C.V. Raman Pillai (1858-1922), 
     36Martanda Varma (1891; filmed in 1931) 
     37resurrected the 18th C. emperor; in the old 
     38Mysore province several Company Natak 
     39plays returned to the glory of the Vijayanagar 
     40Empire (14th C.). The early cinema takes off 
     41directly from the stage historical (cf. Baburao 
     42Painter). The most evident influence was the 
     43Parsee theatre, where the genre was 
     44interpreted entirely as a play about feudal 
     45power and therefore a crucial mediation of 
     46kinship relations (see Aga Hashr Kashmiri, 
     47Mehboob). Influential regional imitations of 
     48this mode included the Bengali plays of 
     49Dwijendralal Roy (Mewar Patan, 1909), 
     50interpreted by Parthasarathy Gupta in the 
     51context of Swadeshi (cf. Gupta, 1988), and the 
     52famous Shahjehan (1909) or those of Khirode 
     53Prasad Vidyavinode (e.g. Alamgir, 1921, staged 
     54by Sisir Bhaduri). Imperial Studio re-coded 
     55the genre along Cecil B. DeMille lines. Bhalji 
     56Pendharkar and G.V. Iyer (in his Rajkumar 
     57films) used the genre for directly ideological 
     58ends. In most instances where the cinema took 
     59off from folk or popular theatre (as in Telugu), 
     60early historicals are usually blurred into other 
     61genres like the mythological or the Saint film 
     62(e.g. Vel Pics) and are conventionally referred 
     63to as ‘costume’ dramas, a tradition later 
     64continued by Gemini’s adventure films and 
     65politicised as an imaginary pseudo-history by