Characteristics of Hindi Cinema

Steve Spence
Updated: 17 November 2019

Characteristics of Hindi Cinema

  • Stars are the central attraction, and they often become cultural icons.
  • Most films are musicals.
  • Most focus on India's dominant culture, language, and religion.
  • Most are masculinist (e.g. protagonists are male).
  • Most include less explicit sex and violence than Hollywood.


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Sex on screen

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Hindi cinema shares with Hollywood an intense focus on desirable bodies, particularly those of women. Unlike Hollywood, however, popular films often receive the equivalent of a "G" rating; nudity and explicit sex are never a part of the formula. Instead, sex in mainstream Hindi cinema more closely resembles that of U.S. broadcast television, where scantily clad bodies are presented in ways that are suggestive rather than explicit.


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Depictions of violence are also circumspect, compared to similar Hollywood films. For example, more than half of Hollywood releases in the past decade earned an R rating, including the vast majority of action/adventure films similar to Dhoom 2. This blockbuster Hindi film received the equivalent of a PG rating.