Genre-Breaking Films – Siddhant Chandak

Genres are basically categories of art forms that have similar attributes. But every once in a while there comes a film that challenges and breaks apart from its genre, while somehow still staying true to its genre. Following are some examples of the this.

Genre 1 – Comedy 

As the name suggests these are films whose main focus is on humor and making the audience laugh. Great examples include Superbad, Dumb and Dumber and Bheja Fry.

Recommendation – 

Delhi Belly

Director – Abhinay Deo

Writer – Akshat Verma

This film while being extremely hilarious and with amazing performances by actors such as Vijay Raaz and funny as hell lines such as “Sir loondry”, also is its own regard genre breaking. The main reason for the same is because it doesn’t succumb to the general idea of comedy films in India of slapstick comedy. The comedy is clever and sarcastic, which are traits not often seen in Indian comedies.

 

Genre 2 – Romantic Films

Arguably one of the most cliche and overused film genres. Romantic films generally deal with, well, the idea of romance. Notable examples include Romeo and Juliet and Dum Laga ke Haisha.

Recommendation –

 

Blue Valentine

Director – Derek Cianfrance

Writer – Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne, Joey Curtis

While most romantic films show a formation of a beautiful relationship, Blue Valentine shows us how one can break down. With amazing cinematography and an even better soundtrack, the films non linear storytelling structure and bold story decisions is what makes the film an outlier in its genre.

 

Genre 3 – Coming of Age 

One of the most underrated genres out there, the coming of genre consists of stories that deal with growth of characters. Best examples are Dead Poet’s Society and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Recommendation –

 

Call Me By Your Name

Director – Luca Guadagnino

Writer – Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, Walter Fasano

Although many might argue that it is a romantic film, at its heart Call Me By Your name is the tale of a boy coming into his own. The character does fall in love, but the film is much more about finding one’s true love. It is about finding oneself.

 

Genre 4 – Neo Noir

Originating from the french word “Noire”, neo noir are basically crime films dealing with psychopaths, corrupt cops, and well, sex. Se7ev and Gurgaon are just some of the examples.

Recommendation –

 

The Dark Knight

Director – Christopher Nolan

Writer – Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, Jonathan Nolan

This is the best example of a film using another genre to break apart from its own genre. Although the film is a superhero film it has all the elements of a neo-noir drama. From its color palette to its villain in the psychotic joker The Dark Knight is truly a noir film in a superhero film’s clothing.

 

Genre 5 – Musicals

Musicals is also almost a long forgotten genre. While one might argue all films in India are musicals, musicals of american cinema consists of synchronised songs and bright colors and similar storyline. Examples include Sound of music, West Side Story, and Singin’ in the Rain.

Recommendation –

La La Land

Director – Damien Chazelle

Writer – Damien Chazelle

If someone wants to learn how to truly love a genre unabashedly while improving upon it, La la land is the film for them. It’s genre breaking because while being confined to the rules of its own genre of musicals, which is long forgotten in contemporary American Cinema, it delivers a fresh story with interesting characters and unforgettable songs such as “City of Stars.”

 

 

-Siddhant Chandak, Amity International School, Noida

 

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