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Transnational Film Remakes$
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Iain Robert Smith and Constantine Verevis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474407236

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474407236.001.0001

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Transformation and Glamour in the Cross-Cultural Makeover: Return to Eden, Khoon Bhari Maang and the Avenging Woman in Popular Hindi Cinema

Transformation and Glamour in the Cross-Cultural Makeover: Return to Eden, Khoon Bhari Maang and the Avenging Woman in Popular Hindi Cinema

Chapter:
(p.103) 6. Transformation and Glamour in the Cross-Cultural Makeover: Return to Eden, Khoon Bhari Maang and the Avenging Woman in Popular Hindi Cinema
Source:
Transnational Film Remakes
Author(s):

Michael Lawrence

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474407236.003.0007

Rakesh Roshan’s Khoon Bhari Maang (Blood-Smeared Forehead, India, 1988) is closely modelled on the iconic Australian television 3-part, mini-series Return to Eden (Karen Arthur, Kevin James Dobson, 1983), itself a self-conscious appropriation and strategic indigenisation of the melodramatic conventions and “feminised address” of the prime time American soap opera. In Return to Eden, a treacherous tennis champ marries a meek and dowdy heiress, Stephanie Harper, and throws her into alligator-infested waters; she survives, has plastic surgery, becomes a supermodel, and returns to exact revenge on her husband. In the transnational film remake, Khoon Bhari Maang, the heroine’s transformation is more extreme – in accordance with her revenge, which is more violent – and also more complex, in terms of cultural identity, since her journey, from frumpy Aarti to the sultry Jyoti, necessitates a negotiation of traditional/modern and Indian/non-Indian modes of womanhood (and this also resonates with the ‘reinvention’ of its star, Rekha, in the late 1970s). Drawing on recent discussions of the anxious “assemblage” of femininity in popular Hindi cinema this chapter focuses on issues raised by Khoon Bhari Maang’s presentation of the make-over conceit.

Keywords:   Transnational film remake, Khoon Bhari Maang (Blood-Smeared Forehead 1988), Return to Eden (1983), Hindi cinema

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