Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The rotten state of Indian cinema


Scores of articles have been written about the degradation in quality and variety of Indian movies. Hundreds of critics have condemned the characters and roles played by heroes in some of the recent movies. Still, nothing seems to be changing. The same old love story, girl either rich or good in studies, guy either poor or a rogue, opposition from family, initial apprehension on the part of the girl, the volte-face of the hero and the ‘becoming’ of a good guy, hero and heroine running and singing among trees and valleys ranging from Thar desert to Switzerland, and finally everything ending well. It’s so ridiculously boring! With hundreds of directors exploiting each and every possible love-angle, nothing seems to be new in any of the recent movies, except for a few new faces among heroines. Mind you, hero never loses form or charm - atleast not for 10 odd years.

All such love centric cinema-making in a society where love is considered taboo, and arranged marriage is the norm! Come to think of it, it’s all very weird, and all too farcical. Even in the western societies where marriages are made by the brides and grooms and not by their parents, cinema is not at all love centric. Ofcourse, there are romance movies, some of them stressing on the jolly-go, laissez faire attitude towards life, and some of them really casual. But on the most part, English movies, in general, have some feel-good element, or tangible learning points that our Indian movies are grossly lacking. I’m not going to argue whether our culture and societal orientation is good or bad. My only complaint is about the love-centric, lack-of-variety Indian movies, with us living in a love-bashing society. Ofcourse, there is an odd classic here and there – like ‘Roja’ by Mani Rathnam, or the ‘Kaakka kaakka’. But such classics come once in a blue moon. Isn’t all this really ironical?

For all these years, Tamil cinema world (Kollywood) was producing the maximum number of movies in the country (even exceeding Bollywood). The success rate of Tamil movies was also significantly higher. But of late, thanks to some cheap stake, third rated movies, Kollywood is shifting towards a totally filthy direction. Scolding parents, losing self-respect, speaking in a cheap language, all assortments of bad habits etc characterize the contemporary movies. I recently watched such a movie called 7G Rainbow Colony. The movie was a supposed hit, and the director was credited for attracting masses. But honestly, I was appalled watching the so-called psychotic hero and his attitude towards life for the most part. I can’t imagine the kind of impact these movies will have on the gullible adolescent youth, particularly in the middle and lower-middle class segment who seem to be the predominant audience for such movies. Sure, the director knows to make money – but at the terrible cost of deifying a psychotic in front of vulnerable youth. This movie isn’t an exception. A row of such movies with all sorts of psychotic flavors have been released, with most of them being successful. The scene is no different in Bollywood, where ‘showing flesh’ seems to be the driving factor.

Although I’ve almost stopped watching Indian movies because of all these reasons (the primary one being the sheer lack of variety and thought), I pray that such trends change and good, positive movies with a lot more variety and fun come by.

8 Comments:

At Thursday, December 09, 2004 9:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally concur with your govar.But u know what, it is we(the public) who are to blame.Poor directors and producers are left with no choice but do movies like these to stay in business and the surprise part is they do stay in business. There is something bigger we are all missing here and only god knows what is that!!!!.

 
At Thursday, December 09, 2004 11:38:00 AM, Blogger harry said...

hey govar,
i concur with your views but not on 7-G. there is nothing psychotic in the hero's behaviour.he's a guy with an terrible inferiority complex.Just because we haven't met ppl like that doesn't mean that such kinda ppl do not exist.i am not saying that u deify them but try to look at the message.in case u haven't got the message of the film i guess here it goes..it asks you to look at life beyond Love,no matter whether your love is a sucess or failure you gotta move along with life and cherish its memories.i guess you could have taken a better example for showcasing your point like dreams,thulluvadho illamai or vikram's mass masala movies.7-G is really a classy film.nothing wrong in it.

 
At Thursday, December 09, 2004 1:56:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thursday, December 09, 2004 1:58:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Yes 'Anonymous', it's we who make the movies run. THe only way is to stop watching such movies in theatres. But I'm sceptical how many would take the messagee.

Harry, looks like I stampedd a raw nerve. Some of my friends were equally angry abt my views on 7G, but I was really irritated with the 'father bashing', 'give a damn to everything', losing self-respect kinda attitude of the hero. I really didnt get any message whatsoever - probably coz I was so flustered. The point is not making that messagee in the last 10 mins, but making it throughout.

 
At Friday, December 10, 2004 10:03:00 AM, Blogger harry said...

hey govar,but u cannot simply keep conveying messages throughout the film then it becomes a documentary or art film..a film has to be commercially successful ..hope u get the point.

 
At Friday, December 10, 2004 2:00:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

:) well, opinions differ, and there's no end to this argument. Leave it. :)

 
At Saturday, December 11, 2004 3:12:00 PM, Blogger LI said...

Hi Govar ,
Truly agree with u.One of the reasons May be that we dont have many directors who want to take a different path like say a Maniratnam .Public is also to blame since many like to see someone (hero or heroine) on screen doing something (like Scolding parents, losing self-respect, speaking in a cheap language, all assortments of bad habits) which we will never have the courage or will to do.The recent problems in the Kannada film industry may be attributed to the sheer lack of thought and variety in films that they had been producing as has been pointed out by you

 
At Saturday, December 11, 2004 6:27:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

True, I've heard that the scene is particularly bad in Mallu and Kannada film industries where the audience take the option of seeing movies from other languages...

 

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