A few days ago, a single issue was sparkling a debate all over the nation in every other household. You either open the newspaper or switch on the TV but only one topic was raging all over the media. No the issue was not related to farmer suicide; it was not related to rising tomato prices and it was definitely not related to the twitter clash between Delhi CM & India PM. The issue was related to the release of a Bollywood Film ‘Udta Punjab‘ and its battle with the Film Certification Board. According to the makers, the film showcases a very important issue of drug abuse which has to be told to the people of the country. On the other hand, the Censor Chief argued that the film has got content that maligns the image of the state, shows it in a bad light and in turn will have a negative effect on the youth of the state. After a battle that lasted for around 2-3 weeks, the matter went to the Bombay High Court which finally gave the verdict in favour of the film which led to its release only with a single cut (that scene also we have already seen in the trailer). What was interesting to see that the complete Film fraternity and almost the entire nation came together in fighting this battle which led them to be on the victory side. Sometimes I wonder how easy it is to validate your point of view. All you need is to have faith in yourself and make sure that the people around you stick together.
Anyways it has been around one week that the movie has released and is receiving rave reviews for its story line and the performances of its actors. The audience is crooning to its hit numbers ‘Chitta Ve‘ & ‘Ud-da Punjab‘. In the coming days, the movie will probably collect a handsome amount of money at the box office and would also be winning a decent number of awards at different award shows but no one can guarantee about how much the movie would be able to curb the menace on which the movie was made. Sometimes I wonder whether the fate of a movie stays alive only till the time the award shows take place. Whether being a part of 100 crore club the only purpose of making a movie. Are the movies made for the audiences only to enjoy the songs and the dialogues irrespective of what the movie is actually trying to convey in reality?
India is a country which is known to be crazy about two things: one is cricket and the other is films (or as they say in the local language ‘Phillum’). Hindi Films are being made for more than 100 years with Raja Harishchandra (1913) being the first feature film and Alam Ara (1931) being the first sound film made in India. The fate of any movie at the box office depends on how well the movie was able to connect with its audience. The stronger the connection, the longer the movie is going to run in theatres. The parameters which help in establishing this connection may vary from movie to movie. But if we look not too long ago, the film The Dirty Picture very correctly defined the three reasons for the success of a movie i.e. ‘Entertainment, Entertainment & Entertainment‘. The scenario is such that the Hindi Film Industry is often referred to as an entertainment industry. If we go by the present numbers, more than 1000 movies are made every year in India which leaves plenty of options available for the movie lovers to look for a source of entertainment. But is entertainment the only thing that movies offer or there is something more that we have been completely avoiding for so many years.
There is general perception that movies are a reflection of the society. Whatever is displayed in the movies may appear to be fictional at first place but they are representing the actions we perform in different phases of our life. Yes there are songs, dance, humour, action and other fictional elements in the movies to grab the attention of the audience but there are also some hidden elements which can be considered to be the actual soul of the movie. But the question is whether we are able to identify those messages and adapt ourselves to the ideas being showcased in the movies. In the last decade, a movie that must be present among the list of top 3 favorite movies would be ‘3 Idiots‘. The movie very subtly challenged our education system, gave the message of breaking the norms of the society and opting for a profession where lies the interest of an individual. Even after 7 years of its release, people go gaga over the movie but I don’t think anybody has realized it or not that despite of such a huge acceptability by the audience, there hasn’t been anything that has changed in the society. Even today in colleges, the faculty during their lectures recite the dialogue of Rancho “Kamyab Nahi Kaabil Bano, Kamyabi Jhak Maar Ke Peeche Aayegi“; but the roadmap to achieve that Kamyabi is still very unclear in our society. Similarly there has been other movies that talked about following your passion such as Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Tamasha & Udaan which have been loved by the audience but the impact that it has been able to make in the society is still not measurable.
The problem is that the film industry is considered to be a very glittering industry where the content somewhere gets overshadowed by the shining stuff. Also the industry has been producing some shitty movies such as Mastizaade, Grand Masti & Kya Kool Hai Hum which do not contribute anything but definitely takes away the confidence of the movie goers from true cinema. May be that is the reason why audience remembers only the moves of Vidya Balan from the Ooh Laa Laa song in The Dirty Picture but somewhere forgets that the movie was actually highlighting the atrocities that a woman has to go through in her life in our male dominated society.
There are numerous problems that goes inside the mind of an individual and movies are actually the perfect platform that can be considered to persuade the mindset of human beings. Its just that the perception of people towards the movies need to change. And for this the responsibility lies with both the film makers and the movie watchers. Its true that movies can only address the issues and it is up to people how they want to deal with the issues that are being presented. But it is also important that we get out of the mindset of “Yeh Sab Sirf Filmon Mein Dikhaya Jata Hai“. Its time to realize for all of us to identify the true purpose of movies being made and make the connection between the movies & audience even stronger. So that whenever someone mentions about Udta Punjab, the attention goes to the issue of drug abuse and not just the Alia Bhatt dialogue in the movie “Bas Ho Gaya Na Chxxiyxxpa“.