Films, I believe, can never survive if they do not appeal to an audience, as a filmmaker must communicate with his work of art to his audience, regardless of its size. Due to the spiralling costs involved in the business of movies, it is indeed a lucrative proposition to attract as many eye-balls as possible, and, in the present context, in as little time. The business pragmatism may well be so, yet it is unthinkable to hit upon a unique and foolproof scheme to achieve this. Unfortunately, our Hindi filmmakers (the largest chunk of Indian movies are made in Hindi; commonly referred to as Bollywood as they have been continually churned out by Bombay, now christened Mumbai) do not understand this. Over the years, there has been a deluge of mindless, formulaic films (unlike genre films of Hollywood) that try to repeat earlier success stories of filmed offerings, or even the theatre of the masses. Crass executions further dilute the inane plots, and hence a whole range of masala films or commercial potboilers have been thrust upon us viewers. Needless to say, the producers and distributors, coupled by corrupt financiers and the superficial, glamour-conducive star system plagued the system of filmmaking and it has been a pseudo-realistic industry, a mirage of creativity. Our stories were unreal, and so were our films.
The advent of the multiplexes, in the late Nineties, the official granting of 'industry status' to the filmmaking sector, and the willingness of the 'youngblood' makers to create films for a niche audience have given a big boost to our films. In the Twenty-first Century, the scenario looks quite promising. In an earlier post I had talked about the exciting ventures that we audience got to see in the year 2006. Last year, luckily, the trend is seen continuing. Actors like Aamir Khan and ShahRukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan are found to endorse the concept movies; they have reaped profits too, for themselves and the production/distribution houses. Films like 'Taare Zameen Par', 'ChakDe! India', 'Cheeni Kum', 'Johnny Gaddaar', 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd', 'Life in a ... Metro', 'Khoya Khoya Chand', 'The Blue Umbrella', 'Jab We Met', 'Black Friday' and 'Bheja Fry' have been toasted for reasons aplenty. Not that they were all perfect as finished products; they aren't so blemishless that they would be beyond the faultfinders' criticism. But they all had one thing in common - the urge to move beyond the stereotypes, in one way or the other. They all were about real people, or real situations, or way beyond the real - to etch out an appealing canvas and help us let go of our staid conventions. Hats off to the new age screenplay writers and dialogue writers (people like Jaideep Sahni and Prasoon Joshi have been bringing on a subtle but perceptible change even in the big production houses' products)! And there has never been any dearth of talent in the acting world or in the world of skilled technicians. We are finally moving beyond the ghettoed dominions of stars and starlets, the wide horizon of storytelling (which has always been our forte in the literary world) beckons, the makers now have to spread their wings and make us all take a flight!
|Taare Zameen Par|