Opinion: We’ve had enough! – Indian cinema’s current phases

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A teenager goes through many phases within just a couple of years, Gothic phase, boy/girl crazy phase, hate parents phase and so many more that don’t form the point of this article. However what it does relate to is the phases Indian cinema goes through. Just like a teenager, every other year Bollywood decides its going to overhaul us with a certain thing or two. Usually this is a result of one film doing well because of that one distinct quality, however very soon every second film decides to endorse the very same thing. Right now Hindi cinema is going through many such phases. I’m rather certain that the audience need not have these three things pointed out but I write in hope that some industry-wala reads this and finally realizes that the audience is really not dumb! Really we’re not!

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Everyone seems to be cursing the day we decided that we liked Munni and Sheila. And for those who never liked either of them, this phase must be twice as painful! Its now an unwritten rule that there’s no hope of making your film seem watch-worthy unless you have an over publicized item number that challenges Munni and Sheila. 2011 has already seen several of such songs and we’re only in July! By the end of this year even Munni and Sheila will be cursing themselves for having been
oh-so-awesome! Here’s a humble plea to all the Munni and Sheila wannabes, and yes Aamir Khan you’re included in this, SPARE US THE HORROR! Can we let the ladies be?!

City obsession

So apparently India has only two cities, Mumbai and Delhi. The rest of India is worthless and can’t possibly have interesting characters living in them and can’t possibly have a city culture worth exploring. No that’s not my saying, that is what Hindi cinema is of the opinion right now. How about we explore the lives of characters living in Chennai or Kolkata or any other city that is not Mumbai or Delhi? Simply because we have regional cinema that highlights these other cities doesn’t mean we must suffocate the Hindi cinema audiences with Mumbaites and Delhites. The furthest we go is Punjab and the daring attitude starts and ends there. I yearn for the day when seeing a South Indian, Bengali or Gujrati character on screen won’t be a rarity.

Makeup-less Heroines Can Act

You’d think in the 21st century we’d be making our girls act instead of pretending we’ve made them act, however such is not the case. The greatest misconception that has been planted as a seed in audiences’ mind is that when an actresses de-glams herself, she’s going to act. Case in point: Katrina Kaif in Raajneeti. The British-Kashmiri superstar is infamous for her lack of acting, however Prakash Jha decided he’d change it all. He announced she’ll be playing a character inspired from ‘the’ Sonia Gandhi, gave her a plane cotton saree and asked her to shed all her makeup. Naturally the marketing designs places her in the front of all other actors on posters providing the misconception that the woman will run the show. However what happens when you see the movie? She has a barely 20 min role, 10 of which is spent in cajoling Ranbir Kapoor to love her and the other 10 on a pathetic political speech that haunts us all till date. Bipasha Basu has also tried this ruse to make us believe she can act, as has several other actress. Turns out that Mr Jha is all set to repeat this with Aarakshan however this time with diva Deepika Padukone. One truly doesn’t have high hopes that the film will reform the way we all perceive Deepika.

Of course these are just three of the phases we’re going through right now as far as onscreen tricks-of-the-trade is concerned however the mastermind PRs marketing these very films also have their share of used and abused marketing tricks that are getting rather boring. Link ups, publicizing the maker’s casting woes or leaking snaps of a well kept secret looks of actors. To the marketing teams of Bollywood, yes we’re not blind to your tricks either. When you’ve used them a ten odd times, we do catch up.

Whilst some filmmakers are daring to make different cinema acknowledging that audiences have indeed become far more intelligent, there are too many who remain aloof to this small fact of life. This blog piece is a humble reminder and plea for them to wake up and smell the roses!

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