Bhuvan Shome – An Analysis with Reference to 5 Codes of Roland Barthes

Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Modern Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2019


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Bhuvan Shome – An Analysis with Reference to 5 Codes of Roland Barthes

Anketa Kumar




The paper aims to disentangle the hidden voices in the selected Hindi movie following  Barthes’ theoretical framework as ‘text is a galaxy of signifiers that can be unfolded and understood through the application of five codes, namely; proairetic, hermeneutic, semantic, symbolic, and cultural, on it.’ Relying on content-based analysis, the study demonstrates the selected film with few shots and dialogues identified to have multiple meanings. Bhuvan Shome is a story about a character’s personal transformation with some interesting turn of events. Bhuvan Shome’s character switchs off costumes from Western to rural Indian attire. These costumes connotatively undermine his innocence and makes him an epitome of imperfection. His first persona and second persona, his modernism versus traditionalism are thematic polarities of the story. There are certain referential words including western men’s suit, hunter’s dress and dress of Indian rural farmer men and women etc., which share the cultural knowledge of our world. Barthes tells that all narratives have one or all the five codes that work as “weaving of voice” (1974, p. 20) of that narrative (Lashari, 2013, p. 118). These codes are the proairetic, the hermeneutic, the semic, the symbolic, and the cultural code (Barry, 2002, p.151)[1]. The paper presents the application of these codes on the selected shots that enhances an understanding of the viewer to justify the multiple hidden meanings with the applications of these codes.[1] Barry P. (2002). Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 2nd Edition Manchester, UK

Keywords:Costume, Hindi, Parallel, Cinema, Mrinal Sen.