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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Looking deep into Indian Cinema - 1

Cinema is like an art that inspires you to look at the deeper aspects of life and the world around you. Bollywood Films are merely treated as entertainment dose, served to people on Fridays. People enjoy the fast food and then forgot about it completely. And Response to an accusation of unoriginality or escapism and false depiction of society is a ridiculous justification by our leading filmmakers. They are making films for the enetertainment of masses irrespective of any responsibility towards anything. Anuj Malhotra answers our basic question about bollywood: Who are we making films for then? Aren’t these films hits? If they are not made for anyone, how are they so successful?

He narrates a story - In a city by the river, there was a factory – run entirely by people who were handicapped. They run machines incessantly throughout the day – never pausing for a break until the close of day, which was when they lined the gate of the factory – tired, exhausted to the extent that they could not see – and waiting for someone to lead them to their homes. At the precise moment, the owner of a liquor shop by the roadside would arrive at the scene, and with the false promising of helping them reach their homes, lead them to his liquor shop. Tired, they would fall prey to the temptations of the beverage, and having spent their entire daily earning on the liquor, would tumble outside the bar on the road, or be pushed outside by the owner; never making it till their homes. Ofcourse, some one could have led the tired, blind men to their homes as well.

One may ask here- The liquor joint was successful- A major hit. But didn’t it involve immoral exploitation of a group of people who did not have the luxury of the possession of better judgement?

When a person’s blind, and open to such exploitation, do you exploit them, or do you take them home? The Bollywood chooses the former. The commercial success of a few films should not mask the reality of the situation – 9 out of the 120 or so films released last year were hits. Bollywood’s ignorance of the world we live in, or its discussion, is not something beyond notice for the audience.

Truly, the average person doesn't care about editing or cinematography. They want only entertainment as kid, uncritical or thoughtlessly accepting. In sports, people are proud of their technical knowledge of game and respect commentators who are aware of each aspect of game. Then why not in movies. In cinema, intelligence is vilified and film education so undervalued that those who teach about it considered arrogant. We should respect differing opinions up to certain point, and then it's time for the wise to blow the whistle.

Cinema and popularity
Roger Ebert put in effective way: [Source]

"What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable. If someone I respect tells me I must take a closer look at the films of Abbas Kiarostami, I will take that seriously. If someone says the kung-fu movies of the 1970s, which I used for our old Dog of the Week segments, deserve serious consideration, I will listen. I will try to do what Pauline Kael said she did: Take everything you are, and all the films you've seen, into the theater. See the film, and decide if anything has changed. The older you are and the more films you've seen, the more you take into the theater. When I had been a film critic for ten minutes, I treated Doris Day as a target for cheap shots. I have learned enough to say today that the woman was remarkably gifted."

He further quotes Yeats that the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. No wonder, It pays better.


  1. Liked the post..:)
    Story is thought-provoking... :)

    Wish You A Very Happy Diwali.. :)

  2. Amit, Wish You A Very Happy Diwali.. Thanks for your comments. Cheers on the festival of lights.



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