Thursday, November 25, 2010

The two Kinds of Cinema I see!

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!


Fatema said...

Wonder how the link to this did not show up on my fb home page.

Your question, 'who is right' struck me as an important link in this whole mess of cinema consumption and appreciation. Left to me, I'd tweak it more to 'what is right' rather...

Yes, there are all kinds of films now, even more than two, as varied as we have moods and needs. Where we, some of the so-called discerning film-goers falter is carry a whole world of sub-conscious cinema experience plus the burden of expectation and personal values/likes. We put ALL of this on the poor film and absolutely shut out the voice of the film and film-maker. How will we see the inherent merit of the film then?

I think the answer lies in why we watch films. Most of us watch it for vicarious pleasure. We want to be the hero or the heroine and the end has to be cathartic, elevate us from our everyday misery, perceived failures and evident weaknesses. Hence, when there are things that we don't see ourselves doing (because of the burden of the above-mentioned things) we outrightly reject the film as bad, incompetent and so on.

Objectivity is a rare virtue and can hardly be cultivated. It is either you have it or you don't. (Do let me know your take on this, I may be wrong) But this objectivity comes from two things. along with a dedicated open-minded, absorbing and learning mind, it also depends on why one goes to watch the film.

Now, I speak for myself alone. I don't go for vicarious pleasure because it is a limited and temporary take-away. I go to be involved and be a part of another world, that may or may not be like mine. Yes, in some ways this is deriving vicarious pleasure too but the primary thing is this very experimenting mind-set gives me the ability to see the world for what it is and appreciate its positives even if I don't like them or they don't resonate with me. I think it is this, why we go to the movies that is more important. What do you think? And once we accept/define that then appreciation of the film will be fairer and less vicious?

kartik krishnan said...

hmmmmmmm intresting

Indraneel Majumdar said...

Fatema,I shall choose a more simpler way to objectivity while viewing a film amidst all the clamour with every film in the media. Vivaah! The film was by no means a small one. The Barjatyas who have a decent credential in Mumbai just decided not to do an high on hoopla release and released the film where they thought it would be low cost and high value. The content sold solely through word of mouth. People had no other means of knowing anything. The core value of good content was promoted. Viola! a hit!!
Info jumps at us from all around about cinema because it is the only means of simple entertainment that we have in life other than TV. We lap it up and pre judge a film. So, classifications happen. It matters that objectivity is there, but can only happen if the product has a bit of a mystery, like INCEPTION did. If not, be happy with whatever story floats amidest all the clutter before the content rules or is dumped.
All films are made with sincerity of at least 1 person, I would like to believe that. I would like to focus on that sincerity. I would like to believe in THAT passion. Wake Up Sid - The ambience and music, Rocket Singh - The brooding darkness and pithiness of Corporate India, Raajneeti - the clash of egoes, Udaan - fabulous sketch of a dysfuntional family, etc, all of them hits differently. Striker - goodness in adversity, Raavan - Raavan was human and a good person, brilliant as well and Ram was not all that clean, Aakrosh (new) - the misrule in hinterlands that has a strange perpetuated reality, Rakhtcharitra - trivialised violence to meet ends in power and politics(brilliantly done, ask any andhraite who has been through the eighties). all flop films but I had takeaways!

Anonymous said...

Спасибо понравилось !

Anonymous said...

Всем привет, ДА, это точно