Lights Camera WAR! looks at 50 Indian war films from 1950 to 2020 across various Indian languages and examines their balance between entertainment and history. It looks at factors such as the real history behind the plots; the equipment and uniforms depicted; the use of music in the context and setting or, as often in Indian films, as a narrative device in the nautanki tradition, or for temporary relief; and the use of “filmy” coincidences, and other plot devices. The author’s sometimes surprising view is that some Indian war films classified as “flops” deserved more respect, at least in that they have been authentic in the depiction of history while some “hits” leave much to be desired.
There are also comparisons with Hollywood and the West, where war films form a distinct genre. Some Indian war films, including major hits, are clearly “inspired” by such Hollywood films, and what they lose (or gain) in transplanting to the Indian screen is also discussed. The book also includes small historical capsules for comparison with the on-screen action, to illustrate how far the Indian war film accurately presents the history, serves as ‘masala’ entertainment, or manages a balance between them.
K.V. Ramesh or KV as he is known to his friends is a Marketing Professional with more than thirty years of experience in the medical equipment industry. A Physics graduate with additional degrees in Marketing, he is currently working for a multinational as a Business Manager with responsibility for India and Indian Peninsula countries. He is also the head of the Training Academy in the company and conducts in-house and external trainings in his area of expertise, ICU ventilators.
He is a voracious reader of books on military history, which inspired him to write this book as this is a subject close to his heart. His interests are music, movies, military history. This is his second nonfiction book after “Human Cinema”. He lives in Mumbai with his wife.