Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Power of Cinema - The Indian perspective

Now and then, I have been asked for my take on Cinema, countless times. Frankly, I never had any definite answer in yes or no. Just like everyone else, I also believe whether good or bad Cinema can't be ignored for sure. 

Cinema (popular or parallel) is technically a visual art of storytelling with the rich contribution of music, cast, script and screenplay that emulate the contemporary society. From emotional dramas to candy floss romances, from action to thrillers, the journey of cinema has been extraordinary. In its long journey of more than a century, Indian cinema got transformed from being a forbidden or absolute 'no- no' to way of life. The educated may treat cinema as an art; but for common Indian public, it is far more than that

When Dadasaheb integrated century old mythological narrations with emerging medium of cinema through films like Raja Harishchandra and Kaliya-Mardan, Indian cinema was immediately lapped up by the audience and showed the religious bent mind of society that time. Post independence era, it was time of  the ruthless perfectionists. Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray and Bimal Roy, all vividly captured the mounting pains of infant democracy and universality of human emotions in their films. 


During the early 70s, young Indian society was in a state of unrest, being unhappy with governance, rising prices, corruption and food scarcity. Brimming with energy and positive aggression, the common man, particularly the youth wanted to see radical changes in the society. Appropriately capturing the mood of the civilization of that time, the character of 'angry-young-man' placed fingers right on the pulse of the India; giving dizzying heights of stardom to Amitabh Bacchan.

During 70s and 80s, with films like Ankur, Manthan, art cinema finally came of age and showcased common man's struggle with the system and striving for basics of life. Post 90s, when Indian society woke up to globalization and liberalization, new-age Indian filmmakers broke traditional and definitive cinematic boundaries as well.

The cinema, being a very important visual aid can play a fundamental role in educating the masses as a less knowledgeable Indian knew Hitler, Alexander, and Charley Chapplin through films. If Cinema is based on realities and deal with the society's evils, the vulnerable minds can comprehend life and society better. Despite all of this, Cinema’s influence on Indian society is an endless debate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very good article...keep it up

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