With “Student Of The Year 2” slated for release next year, Bollywood has successfully nurtured an image of college education for the last three decades.
From “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” to “Student Of The Year”, can we really say something has changed with Bollywood campuses? Yeah, there is a visible mammoth-sized transition from the basic reality.
Hindi cinema is often regarded as a colourful world within a catastrophic India. When Satyajit Ray made his first colour film (Kanchanjunga), he was widely criticized as ‘a director who depicts poverty in colour’. Well, now it’s high time to tell our filmmakers to look at the reality of the colourful world. The luxury is a phenomenon and paradox in all campus movies.
In a country where basic schooling is a long lost dream for a large percentage of the population, Bollywood colleges are places for falling in love, failing in love and experimenting with love. While love is a very strong word with wider interpretations and descriptions, the typical Bollywood love is nothing but a first sight adrenaline rush. It’s hard to discover classrooms and teachers here. In most of the cases, we will have a hard time to just find out the course our hero is attending. The directors always believe in objectification, so the camera caresses the girls as much as it does to the hero’s six-pack abs.
This issue is made up of two strands. First is the everlasting nepotism where the Bollywood tribute syndrome steps in. The rich star kids insinuate a slightly skewed perspective on how they see the world. This eventually makes their creation unintentionally funny for the ‘poor’ majority of the country. But it is the second strand that is important. It’s the delicate thread of an ordinary Indian’s big dream affordable at 100 bucks. We take comfort in the fact that no matter how miserable or difficult our lives are, in these 150-minute fantasy rides, we’re happy. So eventually many fall-in-love with the falling-in-love college kids, which is a psycho-social situation.
My ardent hope is a time our college characters gain liberty from long-haired, Ferrari driving men and dreamy-eyed, tomboy to ‘real’ women. A time when filmmakers explore the meaning of ‘Indian college life ‘.