Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Joker earned him the the Best Actor Oscars Award. That was the greatest performance I have seen till date. I am saying so because the greatness of an actor lies in his choices and Phoenix hit the bull’s eye with his choice. I rate it much higher than The Dark Knight Rises or any other movie because although it is fiction, it feels real because of the depiction of the rapacious attitude of the capitalist system.
Another movie that was based on similar lines was the film Parasite. It won the Best Film Award at the Oscars. The film’s story is based in contemporary South Korea and here too, the vulgarity of the capitalist system oozes in every scene. Both films were made in different parts of the world, and their language and cultural nuances were different, but still, the theme remained the same, which explains that the whole world is suffering from the brunt of capitalism.
It has to be kept in mind that if the USA is considered the global headquarters of capitalism, South Korea is one of the important regional headquarters of capitalism. But the question remains: why can’t Indians make such movies?
The great modern filmmakers, namely Rajkumar Hirani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Imtiaz Ali, Anurag Kashyap and Shoojit Sircar, are those whose so-called savarna lenses have never captured the caste reality of India. Similarly, in Marathi industry, too, popular filmmakers Sachin Pilgaonkar, Mahesh Kothare and others have failed to do so.
It takes a Nagraj Manjule to make a film that unabashedly mentions caste. Why? I am not aware of other regional industries, but I am sure that there, too, the situation is more or less the same. They have failed to show caste because they are supporters of the established system and hence, won’t ever criticise the caste system or the capitalist system.
I would like Hollywood and foreign film industries to take over Indian theatres and take over Indian film industries that are escapist, casteist, artificial and superficial in their world view. Films such as Parasite are an answer to people like Amitabh Bachchan, who says that only English movies are rewarded at the Oscars. People like him give such kind of an argument to hide their incompetence. Personally, I recommend everyone to watch Parasite and Joker and watch it repeatedly just to understand our capitalist society.