Stereotypes is defined as a "Fixed, formalized, or standardized (and therefore perhaps false) phrase, idea, [or] belief". Stereotypes can be seen as part of the taken-for-granted knowledge passed on as part of the socialization process.
Film-makers often rely on stereotypes, because they are a simple way to establish a character. For example, in American movies, foreigners are villains, blacks are gangsters and drug-dealers, Mexicans are illegal immigrants, and Arabs are shown as terrorists.
The film industry today is more sensitive to issues of culture and gender than it once was, but many movies still perpetuate common misconceptions about groups of people. All the movie stereotypes could have a great influence on the minds of younger generation and kids, since it is closer to them.
When there are hundreds of movies made every year, patterns start to show up. Whether it’s the characters or the ending, there isn’t much in the way of originality in the movies. As time progressed, new characters have emerged, and been implemented and overused just like the old stereotypes before them. Movie stereotypes are recycled for every generation of viewers.
Indian movie industry, has it's own share of stereotypes like hollywood. Our movies have a typical hero, who is everyone’s ultimate hero, the eternal savior of the village or city or country. A typical heroine, who is ultimate fantasy of today’s generation, and has the best designer clothes if she’s portraying a poor girl. Women are generally shown as soft and week. Then comes, typical friend for our hero or heroine. They have been friends since birth. Grown up with each other’s family. Always had great fun. Our hero/ heroine’s friend have done lots of sacrifices for them but how come the hero is shown as the only good guy in a movie?
In Tamil movies , the most used is Madurai stereotype, young guy from Madurai will grow a beard, and always carry weapons to murder somebody. Other most used stereotypes in Indian movies are songs. Songs can come up anytime in a our film… and beware in the most weirdest of situations!. our hero and heroine will be chased by villain and his group, they take off a different path, they dream and pop......comes a song. There is also, mother and sister sentiments, bad cops , corrupt politicians and many more.
How American movies portray Indians and south Asians?, this could form another big list of stereotypes. There are some movie examples, which have broken stereotypes, like the character of Kamal hassan in the movie Anbesivam, Morgan freeman's portrayal of God in the movie Bruce Almighty, Portrayal of the young Indians in Rangde Basanti, Children's world in Taare Zameen Par.
I personally believe that stereotyping will always be a part of society. From the moment you are born, you form an opinion about people places and things. Starting with our core family, we form opinions about how certain people look and act, based on race and ethnicity. A good example is how Arabs are viewed today. We should teach the kids and youngsters to recognize media and movie stereotypes, and to understand how they influence us.