Portrayal of Men in Ray’s Films, Mirror to Present Heroes in Bollywood: Comparative Analysis With Reference to ‘Mahanagar’ and ‘Nayak’


Indian Hindi cinema particularly, Bollywood over the past 70 years has transgressed through various themes and influenced the audience at large. During the 60s and 70s Bollywood thoroughly stereotyped men and projected toxic masculinity. Highly contrasting to this is Satyajit Ray’s films and his portrayal of men who were gentle, supportive and masculine all at the same time. Even though Satyajit Ray was a regional filmmaker his contribution towards cinema transcends all linguistic and regional boundaries. This paper tries to analyze how Ray refuted these stereotypes and misogynistic images attached to men through his films and became a window to the present day Bollywood heroes. Theories like, Social Learning Theory and Cultivation Theory will be used to understand how this aggressive male image projected by Bollywood has further led to violence and crime in real life. The research will be conducted in an exploratory manner through frame-by-frame analysis of two purposively selected films from Ray’s body of work - Nayak (1966) and Mahanagar (1963). Nayak (1966) has been narrated from the male protagonist’s point of view and Mahanagar (1963) from the female protagonists’ point of view, wherein neither of the lead’s over-shadowed the other, each enjoyed their own democratic space. Several news articles and research papers were used to analyze the recent trends of Bollywood movies of this generation. The results of this study, also provide a better insight to film critics and researchers about Ray’s men who equally stood-out like the women leads.

Author Information
Sayantika Dutta, St. Xavier’s University, India

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2022
Stream: Film Criticism and Theory

This paper is part of the MediAsia2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Dutta S. (2022) Portrayal of Men in Ray’s Films, Mirror to Present Heroes in Bollywood: Comparative Analysis With Reference to ‘Mahanagar’ and ‘Nayak’ ISSN: 2186-5906 – The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2022: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5906.2022.3
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5906.2022.3

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon