Journal article Open Access

Friction between Cultural Representation and Visual Representation with Reference to Padmaavat

Mita Bandyopadhyay; Arindam Modak

According to the Cultural theorist, Stuart Hall, images of objects do not have meaning in themselves. Meaning is generated according to the contextual fixation between the user and the representational significance of that object. The representative meaning of the object when shared by a group of people becomes a cultural practice. It has been observed that when the same cultural practice is represented further in the visual media, in the form of cinema, a conflict arises between the cultural representation of the image and its visual representation. Padmaavat (2018), a film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, went through several oppositions by the different classes of the society across the country, owing to the portrayal of different characters and the social background of the movie. The social discontent created by people revolved around a number of issues: the main issue being a different representation of Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji in the movie, in contrast to the way they are represented and accepted in the popular culture. By using Stuart Hall’s conceptual idea of ‘representation’ in cultural practices, an attempt has been taken to show how a friction is created when an ideology formed through the cultural representation is again represented through the visual media.

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