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Volume 12, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 1474-2756
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0578



This article argues that the films Ishqiya/Romance (Chaubey, 2010) and Dedh Ishqiya/Romance 1.5 (Chaubey, 2014) by Abhishek Chaubey, represent a new genre of films, namely the ‘desi feminist noir’, which is characterized by all the elements of film noir, such as the murky distinction between good and evil, the lawlessness of the streets and the femme fatale. However, in these films the figure of the femme fatale is used to forward explicitly feminist trajectories of love, romance and sex. I give a brief history of romantic coupling in Hindi cinema, and analyse the films’ departure from these articulations of romance. Next, I focus on a song sequence from each of the films to explicate the desi feminist femme fatale’s subversion of the romantic conventions of the Hindi film song and her inauguration of a new aesthetic of romance. In conclusion, I consider the implications of this new genre for Bollywood cinema.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Bollywood; Dedh Ishqiya; feminism; film noir; Ishqiya; queer desire
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