Monday, September 23, 2013

Why I think we do not make meaningful Cinema.

Indian Cinema- Hindi to be more precise since I have not watched much of regional films dishes out several hundred movies in a year. Some of them do get recognition that they deserve and win some awards in the festival circuit. A few others make decent money at the box office. Within that construct, Hindi Cinema seems normal, complete and solvent enough to be reckoned as one of the major cinemas of the world.

However there is always a lament among some of us - we are often heard saying that "we dont make meaningful cinema" or that "average story with song and dance" or "I like Korean movies more". One of the simpler reason for the same is that entire categories of genre are missing in Hindi Cinema, a fact which perhaps make it one dimensional in appeal.
  1. Not enough biographies - No not about Gandhis or Nehrus. But about some extraordinary people in other walks of life whose life would make a fascinating story to tell. Stories of personal courage are often quite satisfying and uplifting. But film makers should refrain from economizing on truth or trying to put a commercial cinema packaging around a real life story. If told honestly, a biography can be a gem just Paan Singh Tomar turn out to be and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag did not.
  2. Not enough stories about immigrants - Yes we are not America and Delhi or Mumbai are far from being called Global Melting Pots but look around you. In Delhi, you can easily spot a Sikh from Jalalabad speaking in strange accent of Punjabi in Ghaffar Market or a West African  who is by the a Nigerian trying to get into a Metro in CP or that stranger with a suspicious satchel in a University Special from East Delhi to North Campus. Often theirs are poignant stories, of exploitation, loneliness, rare friendships and rarer still of triumphs. I can not recall any movie apart from Kabuliwala that was made ages ago.
  3. Not enough violence - Violence shown in contemporary movies is not violence. It is either well choreographed sequence that is enacted by action heroes ably supported by wires or dozens of Scorpio cars defying gravity in the background while our hero emerges from nowhere. It is unnatural at its worst and funny at the best. The raw appeal of violence is missing from such scenes. The one scene that used no wires or stunts or graphics is that of Ed Norton's Neo Nazi character in American History X forcing a black man to keep his mouth open on the sides of the kerb while he brings a ferocious blow of a baseball bat at the back of his victim's head. Another good example that I can recall is violence that Kevin Spacey's character unleashes on his victims, particularly that prostitute who is bled to death in the most macabre way. Jack the Ripper would have been proud of Spacey's character.
  4. There are others as well - Espionage, Political thrillers etc that are completely missing from the wardrobe. And Agent Vinods and Rajneeti are not exactly exemplary pieces of art. 

(To be continued)

1 comment:

singhsushant86 said...

where is the continued part???? nice article and I agree with the points mentioned