A Journey Through the Different Genres of Indian Cinema

Mathew Kurian
September 8, 2023
From romantic films in Tamil cinema to action films in Telugu cinema, this article explores the diverse range of film industries and genres across India.

The Indian film industry has come a long way since it started making movies in the 1950s. Over the years, Indian cinema has evolved tremendously, both in terms of storytelling and cinematic techniques. From the melodramatic and exaggerated acting of the black-and-white era to the realistic and nuanced performances of modern-day films, Indian cinema has seen it all.

One notable aspect of the industry is the wide variety of genres that it encompasses. From romance to action, science fiction to period pieces, the Indian Film industry has something for everyone.

Let's take a look at some of them


Romance has been an evergreen genre in Indian cinema. The romantic classics from the 50s and 60s to the modern day romcoms are ever so popular in the subcontinent. One of the most iconic romantics is Sholay (1975) from the Golden Age of Cinema. But maybe the most popular romance film in India is Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) which is still running in a theatre today!


Drama is another popular genre in Indian Cinema. Over the years, Indian cinema has seen a shift from Melodramatic and exaggerated acting to a more nuanced and realistic portrayal of society. One of the most critically acclaimed dramas of recent times is the film Article 15 (2019), which deals with caste discrimination in India. Another notable drama is the film Barfi (2012), which explores the themes of love, disability, and societal norms.


Action has always been a staple in the Industry. From the classics with prolonged fight sequences with exaggerated sounds that riled up the viewers to the modern day gritty action sequences using CGI and other special effects. Action as a genre has seem a tremendous growth thanks to advancements in technology. Sholay (1975) is an iconic film of the yesteryears filled with exciting action sequences. War (2019) is an example of the modern day high octane action and stunning visuals.


Over the years, Indian cinema has seena. shift from slapstick and over-the-top humor to more subtle and nuanced comedy. Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), is a heartwarming film that explores the themes of love, friendship, and social responsibility. One of the most popular comedy films of recent times is the Hindi Medium (2017), which deals with the education system in India.


Horror is a genre that has gained popularity in recent years. From the supernatural horror of the 1980s and 90s to the more psychological horror of modern-day films, Indian cinema has seen a tremendous evolution in the horror genre. A notable horror film is Darna Zaroori Hai (2005), which is an anthology of horror stories. A great example of recent horror films is Tumbbad (2018) which is considered a modern day classic.

Science Fiction

The youngest of the genres in Indian Cinema, Science fiction has amassed immense popularity in recent years. From the aliens in Koi..Mil Gaya (2000) to the recent Baahubali: The Beginning (2016) with stunning visuals and a ton of special effects.

New genres have been explored in recent times. The older popular genres have been explored and rejuvenated too. What do you think will become popular in the coming years?

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