Indian Cinema and its Metamorphosis

Posted on May 1, 2012 in Media

By Vishakh Unnikrishnan:

A much contended topic which has also been very interesting to analyse is how Indian cinema has affected and influenced the current society, and at times vice versa. For years, we have come across various types of movies, which range from family entertainment to comedy. Most directors aspire to create something that would question social protocol, make people contemplate on who’s right or who’s wrong, while questioning the course of conduct with which people usually interact and socialise. Directors used to show how at times the youth have to struggle to choose their own way of life, choose the right person as his/her spouse or choose one’s own profession. The struggle would usually be portrayed as dramatic and seditious. A movie that shows rebellion tends to always attract attention, especially of the youth, who for some reason always believe that they can enact and bring about change, but rarely manage to do so.

Movies in Bollywood gradually changed its primary genre from being focused on family entertainment and youth-themed love stories to a mix of variety of genres where director’s focus was on presenting a theme that has never been portrayed before in Indian cinema. Whether be it Anurag Kashyap’s Dev. D or Neeraj Pandey’s A Wednesday, movies started to focus on influencing day to day lives of people by trying to present their eminent problems in the best way possible. This idea managed to work a lot, and inspire a lot of directors to present their ideas on the main screen. A lot of amazingly scripted movies, however, did not manage to come out on the main screen as the directors’ couldn’t find the right producers. Nonetheless mainstream cinema managed to bring about a lot of movies that portrayed rebellion, change and the need for a revolution.

The present generation of cinema has gone through a lot of metamorphosis throughout the ages, and by watching just a few movies any sane person can infer that Bollywood cinema can be classified into two sections, the astute and the nonsensical. The nonsensical movies cinema comprises of movies that focus on entertaining the public by whatever means possible, whether it is logical or not. The director expects the audience to ‘leave their common sense out’ before entering the hall. So, basically people can easily understand through trailers and posters whether a movie is sensible or not. This categorization began when Bollywood realized that their audience required either pure entertainment which comprised of uncanny and hilarious action scenes or movies that made sense and had a profound theme.

It seemed like the Indian audience was gradually maturing and started accepting movies that made more sense to them and to their society. This proved to be a good sign, when movies like A Wednesday, Taare Zameen Par, Peepli Live started receiving positive criticism not just from critics themselves but from audience too. With the current trend one can only hope for more sensible movies in the near future and less of nonsensical ones, although the latter would always manage to gross the highest when it comes to box office records.