After you’ve fought with the stripey uniform guy at the popcorn counter, and coveted a cold bottle of water with a hot samosa, you manage to sit yourself down with your buddies (in my case-parents) and wait for the theatre to darken , and the people to quieten down (which never happens, so wait for an eternity folks!).
What then is expected to bedazzle you is an enjoyable masala movie, with lots of colours and jatka matka music. It’s all okay until ”OH NO HERE WE GO AGAIN”, the entire thing starts to bubble and crack like cheap chocolate! The heroine loves the dude, even though he’s a sleazy thief (because he’s an honest man), the dude jumps down from the top level of a building, lands on his feet and punches the baddie (because he’s an incarnation of Vishnu) and finally, after getting stabbed he lives on (because you cannot close a movie without the ‘hero’s’ final dialogue scene) , okay?
And why do we have to subject ourselves to this? Because the motto of Indian cinema has been made to be : ‘Watch to Escape’.
The moment we accept the notion that people watch movies to escape their real lives, we imbibe our stories with this sort of escapist mentality. In Indian cinema, every movie churned out feeds into the unrealistic/fantasy-driven need of viewers, who end up leaving theatres feeling cheated for having to face the real world outside. And look at our society. It’s a little messed up no? Realistic movies should just be the law for a while. All films should cause people to ask themselves questions which they wouldn’t otherwise do. Would this in turn create a sense of apathy when it comes to dealing with others in real life? Maybe.
Cinema should be about plucking the emotions of viewers, testing their ability to see two sides of everything. What we have (and are trying to get away from, although it’s pretty hard) is a flat, safe canvas of a story line, where a person is good and strives to fight against a baddie , and whose point of view of the plot is the only peep hole we get into the story. This in itself is unrealistic. Because any account of an event or a person’s life, is highly subjective.
This reminds me of what a philosopher stated once; ‘We are all minor characters in the lives of others and lead actors in our own’.
I mean getting choked with unrealistic representations of what’s real and ordinary can’t be too good for the system.
I don’t mind embarrassing myself a little for the sake of this post; but I remember how I felt at the age of 11, after walking out of Dil Chahta Hai. I had to go to a strict convent like school the next morning, pondering over when my trip to Goa would take place ever in my life, or when I’d be granted the freedom to rev my car up to drive to a friend’s house in the middle of the night. Obviously this hasn’t happened yet, and I’m 22……Time to gorge on halwa to feel normal again.
So to make my point more clear I say that, ‘When society repeatedly experiences glossy, hollowed out, pseudo stories, it degenerates’. (Robert McKee)
Let’s pinch ourselves.