Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Fantasy of Modernity
Romantic Love in Bombay Cinema of the 1950s

$88.99 (C)

  • Author: Aarti Wani, Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune
  • Date Published: February 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107117211

$ 88.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Romantic love overwhelms 1950s Bombay cinema. Love and romance is evident in the themes, lyrics and visual aesthetics of films of the period, as it is in the publicity and gossip surrounding films and film stars. Love in cinema becomes significant when social reality constrains its quotidian experience and expression. By bringing a spectacular imagination of love to centre stage, the 1950s cinema deflected anxieties of 'Indianness' even as the new aesthetic and affect of romance offered an alternative engagement with the contradictions of modernity. Fantasy of Modernity: Romantic Love in Bombay Cinema of the 1950s explores the films, the songs, the stars and the extra-cinematic discourse of the period to read love and romance as its most productive trope that mobilized a dynamic and contested public sphere.

    • Contains over thirty film stills
    • Offers a comprehensive bibliography of 1950s Bombay cinema
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is a page-turner and a breath of fresh air. Written lucidly and clearly, well aware of contemporary debates in Indian and global film studies, which it both summarizes and takes forward, [this book] offers a new take on a much written area of film history, the popular Bombay cinema of the 1950s. While film studies have been preoccupied with the construction of the nation in cinema in this period, Wani suggests that this cinema was also simultaneously helping construct a modern sensibility premised on freedom, one built upon ideas of romance and erotic desire, not exactly congruent with the construction of a bourgeois and patriarchal nationhood. The insights she offers are so logical that one is struck at how we missed them so far."
    Jyotsna Kapur, Southern Illinois University

    "This is an original, rich and beautifully written account of Bombay cinema's preoccupation with romantic love, which draws on a wide range of archives, including little-known Marathi sources, as well as the author's encyclopaedic knowledge of the cinema of that era. This ambitious project brings genuinely new insights to our understandings of how romantic love - as the sign of the modern - was imagined and given shape in 1950s Bombay films, their songs and star texts. A pleasure to read."
    Rosie Thomas, University of Westminster

    "The originality of this delightfully written book lies in its focus on the relatively neglected 1950s as a pivotal moment in the evolution of Indian popular cinema, bridging the political event of Independence, and the technological innovation of colour cinematography. Identifying the theme of romantic love as the signature of modernity, the author cuts across conventional film genres to explore this conjunction in the three domains of ‘urbanity'; of film songs; and through the phenomenon of stardom. It is rare to find a work that succeeds in stitching these separate discourses so elegantly together."
    Patricia Uberoi, Institute of Economic Growth

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107117211
    • length: 227 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 158 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. City of love
    2. The song of love
    3. Love and stardom

  • Author

    Aarti Wani, Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune
    Aarti Wani teaches at Symbiosis college of Arts and Commerce in Pune, India. She is the founding co-editor and presently lead editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Studies in South Asian Film and Media. Her research interests are Hindi and Marathi cinema, literary criticism, cultural studies, gender and modernity.

Related Books

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.