Art films, middle cinema and commercial films in India all depend on the middle classes for legitimacy and critical acclaim. Even those producers and performers who stridently proclaim the supremacy of popular taste, or denounce the elitism of the art-film critics, are on the defensive when there is a sharp criticism of their wares in the media. Indeed, the way the producers of each of these kinds of movies try to win friends and influence middle-class opinion give the lie to their declared dependence on only the opinions of the 'common Indian.' The common Indian is rarely influenced by what Kumar Shahani says of Manmohan Desai. But Desai was distressed when Shahani took him on while Shahani in turn resents that his films do not get the patronage or support of those for whom his radical ear bleeds, whereas Desai mobilizes such support with casual ease. Nevertheless, there are clear differences in the cultural thrusts of the three; to gauge the appeal or lack of appeal of any of these forms, one must first identify the thrusts.