This article conducts a detailed analysis of multimodal signifiers in a popular Hindi film Dostana (meaning friendship) with particular focus on film’s (non) heteronormative and sexist system of signification. The signifiers that construct gender and sexual stereotypical worldview of the film are analyzed following Lazar’s (2007) conception of feminist critical discourse analysis and Wodak’s (2001) framework of Discourse Historical Approach which proposes three simultaneously functioning aspects of discourse, i.e. immanent, diagnostic and prognostic. The multimodal signifiers in the film are analyzed within Indo-Pakistani discursive context where patriarchal discourse does not seem to allow any cognitive pattern and mental model other than heteronormativity and heterosexual love and romance. In such discursive set-up, so-called deviant sexualities and gender roles struggle for voice, signifiers and representation. The prognostic critique of this article can be thought of as Positive Discourse Analysis (Martin, 2004), because eventually film’s text offers some examples of how certain multimodal signs can be used to resist hegemonic patriarchal and heteronormative discourses which are considered common sense and natural by mainstream Hindi film audience.
Multimodal signifiers; Discourse Historical Approach; Heteronormativity; Popular Hindi film; Indo-Pakistani context