As you watch new films, you will discover (if you have not as of yet), that you enjoy certain cinema genres more than others. Indian films can at times be difficult to categorize because most are musicals (a film where songs are sung by the characters), but have other genres in addition. The best example, is the genre unique to Indian films: masala. These are musicals that contain many different elements including romance, action, comedy and drama. Many Indian films categorized as action comedies are also masala films.
You can use this guide to compare films in different genres, to discover your favorite genres and to make wiser decisions when selecting films to watch. My favorite genres are psychological thriller and satire.
This list is a work-in-progress.
- Action (Dabanng)
- Romantic drama musical (KANK)
- Romantic comedy (Bommarillu)
- Comedy Drama (Jolly LLB; Vicky Donor)
- Dark comedy (Hemlock Society)
- Drama (MNIK)
- Drama Romance (Guzaarish)
- Drama Buddy (Kai Po Che)
- Adventure (Sahasam)
- Horror comedy (Go Goa Gone; Prema Katha Chitram)
- Crime Thriller (NOKJ)
- Historical/Period (Urumi)
- Period crime (OUATIM)
- Historical drama romance (Magadheera)
- Science Fiction
- Science fiction superhero (Krrish; Ra One)
- Coming-of-age (ZNMD)
- Drama thriller (A Wednesday)
- Psychological thriller (Manichitrathazhu; 1:Nenokkadine)
- Mystery (Talaash)
- Mystery thriller
- Mystery comedy (Sunday)
- Satire (sometimes comedy drama and satire are interchangeable)
- Political satire (MKBKM)
- Fantasy (Arundhati)
Archetype is a device that serves as a guideline for developing a plot and its characters. It is basically a concept or a model that can be used to build a story. The best example is the “hero versus villain” archetype, one of the most widely used archetypes in Indian cinema. Another archetype is “quest” where the characters are trying to achieve something. This is a common archetype used in coming-of-age films and mystery thrillers. Yet another archetype is “eternal love,” Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s favorite. Sometimes the archetype is a symbol, a person or even an object. Archetypes are universal.
Irony or situational irony is when events in a story turn out different than expected. This is usually a line of unexpected events that are unpredictable, contradictory and yet oddly suitable. There are different types of irony. Cosmic irony is based on fate or destiny. It implies that the events are controlled by a divine power, God. Comic irony is when the events unravel in a humorous way. Comic irony usually involves satire. Political irony is irony found in politics or politicians. These categories are not rigid, irony in a story may both be political and comic for example.
Socratic irony is a bit different from these. This is when someone pretends not to know something in order to find out what the other person knows or thinks about it. Verbal socratic irony is what we call sarcasm, this is when we say the opposite of what we mean. Socratic irony in a debate is usually used to point out the faults in the other person’s argument. Other times, it may be used with a good intention, to simply learn someone’s opinion or to gather facts. For example, a detective may act clueless about a topic in order to encourage the other person to speak more freely about it.
Irony is being used more and more frequently in Indian cinema. It is a vital element of satire and shows up at its best in political satires and dark comedies.
Click to view film script or right click and ‘save as’. These scripts were made available online by the scriptwriters.
Lekar Hum Deewana Dil (PDF)