I believe when D.G Phalke alias dadasaheb led to the naissance of Indian film industry and to be more precise; Hindi film industry, he mustn’t have thought about how the medium that he introduced would be exploited to churn out illogical, irrational, masala movies for the sake of minting profits. I bet, if he had then he wouldn’t have even thought about the introduction of the art to the Indian soil
When I make such a statement I’m not denying the existence of cinema that define otherwise but I’m pointing towards the dominance of the business of film making that concentrates on developing of money making commercial flicks that doesn’t contribute to any sort of intellectual stimulation in the minds of the spectators.
From Raja Harishchandra to Alam Ara to Mughal-e-Azam to Sholay to Lagan and so on; there was and there will be history defining moments but there also have been films that, in its own right, have also created history…the history of horribleness.
English: A rare still from Ardeshir Irani’s Alam Ara, the first Indian talkie (1931). As it was released in 1931 in India it is a public domain image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Through this write up, my intention is not to criticize certain movies but to critique a specific kind of cinema that is being predominantly developed in the industry.
When you think about Bollywood what are the few things that come in your mind? Might be; the khan clan, the Bachans or DDLJ even, but is that all that constitute the Hindi film industry? These are definitely not the sole objects that comprise it as there is a plethora of things that contribute to it. .
Originality has always been the criteria by which we judge the work of an artist or a writer but when we consider the films of our industry, are those original? I guess not. Remaking has always been a repeated style and that too is a talent. But there is a difference between recreating and plagiarism.
As such no idea is pure and original to the core as the individual who mothered the notion will transfer his influences and inspirations to the child. This can be said regarding creating a movie that has a bit of similarity to another film or any other piece of literature or art but copying is like stealing someone else’s.
Stardom is another aspect of the industry that we need to discuss. By providing a few actors with the position of being superior to others have we been able to inflict any sort of change in the on-going style of film making? I believe not. The titles such as ‘Super star’, ‘Ultimate star’, ‘Universal star’ etc. don’t even motivate the stars do a better work by trying out something innovative and novel but in-turn they stick to the genres they are comfortable doing. I believe that comfort shouldn’t come in the way of choosing of films as an actor should constantly strive to expand his forte and not confine himself to a specific style. Difference will lead to uniqueness and this will further lead to distinction and that is the greatest need today in this world that is bound by conventions. Thus, to be different should not be considered an anomaly. There are only a few actors who experiment and they should be considered to be wise till they keep up with it…if they keep up with it.
Humor is something that we require in our life. If we are void of it then the chances of depression, anxiety and other such medical complexities increase. Comedy around the globe possessed and still possesses a penchant for satires. The satirical genre as you all know is a critical yet humorous take on the happenings of the society and these can even contribute to the infliction of change in a social system. A good satirist is a master of good wisdom and incredible comic sense.
Even our Hindi cinema has used this many times but it had to trim the content drastically because of the existence of the politico-spiritual forces. As a result they have to concentrate on the other forms like slapstick. During the era of silent motion pictures, the use of this genre is justified but with the invention of talkies it has lost its validity. Another way in which they channelize their comical energy is by poking fun of south Indians. If it’s considered to be a good act of humor then that definitely is a wrong conception as it’s merely humiliating and insulting.
To sum up, the Hindi film industry during its beginning had shown potential to be a good enterprise and also had projected a certain increase in gradation in a few years afterwards but with technological advances and the exposure to the global film fraternity, the most unfortunate event occurred; deterioration. There are efforts being taken to improve the quality but the forces that are contributing to its degradation are also on a rise and are overshadowing even the minute improvement that it has imbibed.