Filmmaking is an art and cinema isn’t just a story- it’s the heart and soul of the writer brought to life by the director, and the entire team. Back in 90’s, the Indian cinema was at the apex of its popularity. In presence of the great, legendary actors and directors; the Indian cinema had the whole world kissing its feet. The reason for such wide-spread popularity among its audience was due to the dedication of every person associated with the cinema. They believed in giving the world with the best they could in the name of entertainment. Thanks to those passionate men.
The golden era, a time when actors were not just talented people, they were treated as living Gods. Indian cinema received the same royal treatment, it wasn’t just a product of entertainment, it was an entire religion in its own.
But, to be honest, the Indian cinema has lost its charm in the years that followed. The quality degraded and people lost the faith in India cinema. But, do we know why did it happen? Why did the Indian cinema fell from the top of the Mt.Olympus and tasted the ground?
As openly discussed with few movie buffs, we concluded that there can be many reasons for the downfall. However, the three main reasons for the downfall are stated below.
Now, the article is only an opinion, and the pointers given below might or might not be true, but, they’re plausible.
So here they are:
- When everyone starts doing the same thing, the art loses its uniqueness. Everyone started making a film with time, thus, a sort of competition started in between the directors and producers of the industry. During this period, the competition lead to the production of infinite ridiculous movies with “shit” in the name of plot or story.
- “Item numbers” or in the true sense- the objectification of women in films as an object of sex made it worse. However, we can’t blame any director or writer for this, after all, the audience was the one who had to raise an objection on this, yet they started loving it. And, as a trend, because people were liking it, every film started coming with item numbers. What can we even expect from our country, we stand in the top three list of “ countries which watch the most porn”.
- Commercialization of Indian cinema: Though, Indian cinema was already an Industry since the beginning, yet, there was an era when a film was appreciated as an art rather than a commercial product. And this change in perception towards films as a commercial product from an art leads to the downfall of the industry. These days, films competing with each other to reach the list of “100 crore films”.
Indian cinema, when it compromised on the factors discussed above, released back-to-back movies which were undeserving. The films released during this time were either remake of Tamil, Telegu, or Hollywood movies; the others lacked a good plot. However, thanks to few good movies released presently, the faith in Indian cinema being capable of producing good cinema was restored.
Below is the list of 10 such movies which gave a global message, “Indian cinema still has hope”.
1. Toilet: Ek prem katha.
Lack of sanitation facilities is a huge problem in India. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but the major percentage of rural India is suffering from the problem. In addition, to be frank, more than 3/4th of the population lives in rural parts of India.
Men, women, and children residing in rural parts of India- all are helpless, being forced by circumstances to defecate in open. Needless to say, the worst affected is the women community due to the skin problems that arise from open defecation.
Many reputed NGO’s have been trying to educate the people living in rural area through various programs. Also, organizations like UNICEF has, which has done a remarkable work in this field launched some T.V commercials for the expansive area. Everyone must have seen the popular “Khule me sauch” TVC featuring Vidya Balan.
The TVC is an initiative to educate and aware people about the importance of basic sanitation facilities in rural areas. The TVC has been on AIR for a couple of years and there’s no way anyone might not know about it.
Now, the TVC and other initiatives have clearly brought a huge change in India. But, a lot more was needed to be done. Now, thanks to Akshay Kumar, Shree Narayan Singh, and the producers of the film “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” who decided to share the message through a bigger platform, the movie is delivering the message. “Toilet: Ek prem katha” which showcased the problem faced by women in rural India due to open defecation in an entirely new way, the film is believed to bring at least some change in the society.
2. Jolly LLB 1 & 2
The Indian legal system is corrupted and handicapped. At the same time, the representatives of justice- the lawyers- who are expected to drop some light on the truth and bring justice to the victim do exactly the opposite.
Along with this, the officials like police, appointed to help the victim by collecting and presenting pieces of evidence with pure integrity, to help the court in delivering justice to the victim, bid themselves to people for money. It isn’t hidden anymore that the Indian courts are full of a dishonest legal practitioner who can sell off their professionalism, integrity, and dignity for money.
The two films; Jolly LLB 1 starring Arshad Warsi, and Jolly LLB 2 starring Akshay Kumar takes a dig at such practices in the Indian courts. These days, it has become impossible for the common man to approach the court for justice.
Firstly, the lame legal constitution will take years to deliver justice. Secondly, the dishonest practitioner will leave no stone unturned to save their client, even having consciousness of their client being the culprit.
India got its freedom in 1947, yet, the women succumb to breathe freely in the country. Indian freedom is partially divided between men and women. One one hand, where the men enjoy all the freedom, the other half- the Indian women- still have many men imposed restrictions on their freedom.
A major part of Indians still believes that men are superior to women and that women are made to work in house. The conditions are still better in the metropolitan cities of India, yet the rural areas still live with historic beliefs.
Piku; the Shoojit Sircar film challenges the laid back and expired ideologies of the Indian society towards women. The film, for the first time, portrayed the life of a working Indian woman who has everything in life to be successful, yet, she is detested by everyone because she isn’t married. Life for an unmarried woman in the society is suffocating. A woman, despite her being successful, isn’t treated with respect.
4. Udta Punjab
Anurag Kashyap has been making bold, relatable films from the time he got into films. The same thing he did with “Udta Punjab”.
The Indian youth, the youth that is regarded as the future of India, will it survive in their adolescence-mentally and physically- to lead the nation in their adulthood? According to a survey conducted in between February and April 2015 by The Punjab Opioid Dependence Survey, found that 230,000 people in the state were drug users. This means every 836 out of 1 lac people were into drugs in Punjab. In terms of crimes related to drugs, Punjab fares to be the second biggest state in India with 7,524 cases registered in between 2005-2014, after UP.
Sometimes back, the Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal, during the Punjab Election, projected Punjab as the drug heaven.
The movie- “Udta Punjab” by Anurag Kashyap is based on and revolves around the drug menace and abuse amongst youth in Punjab. Udta Punjab has not just highlighted the problem; it also revealed the various people behind the arrangement which is killing the state.
5. Lipstick under my burka
Cultural identity often becomes a problem for people in India, especially the women. They are forbidden to do things which aren’t allowed by their religion. Also, when you to move to metropolitan cities in India; Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore, and Kolkata; you find people are more open minded. Thus, more men and women in India move to big cities for jobs and higher studies to enjoy a little bit of freedom.
The movie- “Lipstick under my burka” by Alankrita Shrivastava revolves around the life of four such women. The film clearly identifies the problem in small towns of India and properly projects the claustrophobic life of women living in these towns. The movie, like a mirror, projects the reality associated with one-half of the Indian population which the other half don’t realize, or doesn’t want to face.
The Indian cinema made us feel proud when we saw Drishyam. The Ajay Devgn’s Drishyam: a well-written story about a neo-literate man who loves his family, and will go beyond the boundaries to protect them. “Intelligence is not measured by grades or education,” many say that often but hardly anyone believes that. Every Indian child in India has been constantly pressurized by their parents to excel in their studies. They believe that only good education can help them survive in life. The fact is true, yet partially.
Drishyam, the movie by Nishikant Kamat clearly proves that. The story beautifully shows Vijay, a small town neo-literate man using his intelligence to leverage the loopholes of the human brain to protect his family from the police. Vijay, who is not well educated, yet he was capable of fooling the police to save his family.
Shoojit Sircar’s Pink is a face-off with Indian reality of the Law arrangement in India. Not just one, there have been many incidents where a politician, and their family members who got away with serious crimes such as murders, rape, and other heinous crimes.
The film- Pink- by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury depicts how three young women, after being molested by a local politician’s son file a FIR, and what happens after that. The courtroom drama opens up about the reality of similar cases in India which are rigged to save these influential people from being punished by the court for their crimes.
Eve teasing and molestation is not new in India. But, the rigging of cases which involve politicians, or influential people degraded the citizen’s faith in the judiciary. Everyone stands equal before the law, and it should remain like this.
8. City lights
Life in the Indian villages or the developing cities is tough. It’s hard for people to survive and sustain themselves in this area. Also, everyone wants a better lifestyle, living conditions; and a better future for their family. Every common man from the middle and working class movement to big cities with a dream and a hope to earn a better lifestyle; to later realize that everything is not that easy.
City lights by Hansal Mehta portray the life of an Ex-army man. Deepak from Rajasthan, who desperately moves to Mumbai with his family for a better life. The rest of the film beautifully revolves around the problems they face, and their bid and quest to achieve a better lifestyle.
City lights connect well with the audience due to only one similarity- there’s one Deepak Kumar, living in every corner of India in every middle and working class family who aims for a better lifestyle.
9. Hindi Medium
Every Indian person who from the upper-lower middle class or, the working class hopes for acceptance by the high-profile society. We all do, hope to get along with the elites. Even if the same doesn’t happen for us, we expect our children to be accepted by the elites. And, the only way it can happen is by better English, and education.
Hindi medium, a film based on the average Indian reality. The film is slamming the prevailing hypocrisy dividing the nation into two: the English speaking elites, and the non-English speakers. The story is related to every Indian parent who moves to big cities. The parents enroll their child in big private school to provide their child the best education so they can fit in the modern Indian society.
10. OMG: Oh my God
OMG: Oh My God, directed by Umesh Shukla showcases the present meaning of religion in India. In India, after politics, religion is the most growth-oriented industry which will never be affected by the recession. India has turned religion into a business which is expanding constantly after every next year. The business is worth $104 billion dollars annually.
OMG is a facepalm for people who are turning religion into a business and cashing from the blind followers.
In last few years, almost four big-time frauds, claiming to be religious gurus have been punished. These fraudsters were playing with people’s emotion and the heinous crimes they committed in the name of religion.
The government spent a huge fortune in maintaining peace while sentencing punishments to these frauds for their crimes. And, each one of them had wealth of approximately a thousand billion dollars.
We hope the Indian cinema keeps following the same track in future. Also, we hope the audience, spending their money in theatres take back the teachings from the film and implement them in their life. It hardly matters if the audience doesn’t get the message, or fails to understand the message.