Two Days ago, after a long time, I used Facebook to have a strong discussion on the state of Indian films. KK, a good friend, completely rejected the latest film to have hit the theatres, Guzaarish. Fatema, another friend, and I had a different take altogether. We were of the opinion that this was a good film in spite of all its imperfections. The question is 'who's right'. There was no answer. The reader may say 'to each his own'! But really, truly, is that all that can be spoken about the state of Indian cinema and the concept of universal likes or dislikes.
Let me go little retro here. I remember when Natwarlal, Naseeb, Karz, Jyoti bane Jwaala came out in India. They all were big Silver Jubilee hits. Try and sit through those films in front of the telly. Go ahead, just try. Forget that they starred some of the biggest names in Hindi cinema for 2 hours and just try to gaze at the telly patiently. You may even hum the songs, but the films, you will not be able to sit through. But you will sit through a Silsila or an Anand or even Ghar as they would have a story, some takeaway that you would enjoy.
Now, in those days of 'Silver Jubilee' hits, we were not exposed to world cinema like we are now. TV channels, multiplexes releases, simultaneous world releases, et al. Our understanding of good cinema has been unknowingly redefined. So, a half baked 'Jhoota hi Sahi' shall not be palatable anymore, neither will a metaphoric, difficult to grasp Raavan too! There are no second chances beyond the weekend, as we would know how many Holly films this Hindi film has been adapted from and thus belittle the film totally. We would like to see how many stars the reviewer has given the film before we venture to the plex. So, the idea of a story rich, entertaining film shall take on another hue due to commercial constraints. Therefore, a Dabangg (Jyoti bane Jwala of 2010) shall be more tolerable than LSD! True then, true today too. So, why crib about this at all. There shall be those kind of films that shall be made catering to that kind of crowd those who are looking for over the top simple commercial films and they shall do well if properly made.
Then, there shall be films like Chameli ki Shaadi, Jalwa, Aakrosh, Satya, Udaan amd Ankush that shall be made with small budgets and score big because of the content only. Both of these kinds of films shall coexist happily, if they are not edged out by newer mediums that can deliver better stories to people.
Power to these different kinds of cinema!