When Two Worlds Collide

In the reading, “Crossover Cinema: A Genealogical and Conceptual Overview”, Sukhami Khorana defines crossover cinema as a phenomenon that crosses cultural borders “at the stage of conceptualization and production and hence manifests a hybrid cinematic grammar at a contextual level, as well as crossing over in terms of its distribution and reception.”

One of the first films that sprang to mind when considering crossover cinema was a much loved one of mine, Bride and Prejudice. On a contextual level, the film has been described as marrying “a characteristically English saga [Austen’s Pride and Prejudice] with classic Bollywood format… transforming corsets to saris… the Bennetts to the Bakshis and… pianos to bhangra beats” (Marthur 2007). The director has made a complex hybrid that sits somewhere between Hollywood and Bollywood and critics have found it difficult to classify as it “refuses to fit into a neat East versus West cross-cultural model” (Marthur 2007). In terms of the films distribution and reception, the film was released simultaneously in the UK, US and India in both Hindi and English, however the complexity of its conceptualization even had audiences confused. As it is not targeted specifically to Western high culture nor Indian popular culture, Bride and Prejudice was found to be “forcing its audience to grapple with this “new” language on its own terms” (Marthur 2007).

Bride and Prejudice challenged audiences of both Bollywood and Hollywood in the nature of its crossover, however it was a huge success. With global film industries expanding I for one look forward to seeing an increasing amount of crossover films.

References

Khorana, S 2014, ‘Crossover Cinema: A Genealogical and Conceptual Overview’, Crossover Cinema: Cross cultural film from Production to reception, New York: Routledge, pp. 3-13.

Marthur, S 2007, ‘From British “Pride” to Indian “Bride”: Mapping the Contours of a Globalised (Post?)Colonialism’, M/C Journal, vol. 10, no. 2.

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