When the credits for a movie are rolled, there are names of all those people who have contributed in it. Right from the directors, to producers, actors to even the spot boys, each of them gets some “screen-space”. Each of them acts like an ingredient used into the making of a special dish to be served to the audience in theatres and subsequently in their living rooms from their screens. The storyline, being one of the most important one, used in making it all ingredients come together to enhance the enjoyment quotient of the audience. The entertainment value that they are able to generate is directly proportional to the mixture of ingredients and the proportion in which they are mixed up in accordance with a particular recipe. The manner, in which a particular dish is served, also forms an important role in the whole process of making that dish. The aroma that comes out from the dish makes others desire to have it and maybe because of that, publicity has become such an important part too. But is it the only one that can explain how the dish is???
Some movies (or in the Indian bollywood context, most of the movies), the ingredients (as mentioned above, if you remember J) are only concerned as to how to let the aroma of the whole dish (read movies J ) reach out to others, so that everyone gets a “bite” (read tickets J ). The Great Adam smith’s said, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self- interest.” So, each of the ingredients, work up their asses for their own interest to make something which will earn money for them. In the process of doing so, this all tends to become what we now term as “commercial cinema” and each and everything, over the time is becoming commercialized and with it the enthusiasm of ingredients to combine and bring out the best dish is going down. Now, no one is concerned about how the dish might be, but how much money it will generate. Will it be correct to be concerned only about the record it will break or in how many days will it cross the 100-crore mark??? (there is also a 100-cr club of movies too)
The success barometer these days depends on how much moolah you generated and not how many stars you got from the critics. Why bother when you have the “people’s verdict” with you? And what is this people’s verdict? Blind fan following, excessive media hype or just good PR strategy??
Nevertheless, there is always a ray of hope building when one sees filmmakers putting their effort into living the life of the story on screen. One can actually see parallel lives running in the screens. They are not just bothered about how much money they are generating but also the correct treatment that a story should be given. They just don’t want people coming in, taking that one “bite” (which may just be because of the hype surrounding it) and go back. They also want them to take something back from the theatre too.
There are recent Indian movies like Udaan, Luck by chance, Wednesday, aamir, Gangs of wasseypur, Barfi on one side and then there is bodyguard, ready, houseful, Singh is king, and the list goes on. Such contrasts between the two sets of movies. While the second set boasts of movies that grossed over 100-crores, it’s hardly the case with the first one. But what differentiates them, or in my opinion makes them stand apart from the rest is in the sheer craftsmanship that is on display by the filmmakers who make them. It was not about the item numbers, big stars or cheap publicity that drew the audience towards them, it was their content which mattered. The prime reason being that these movies was made from heart to touch the audience’s hearts and not just their pockets. They might earn or they might not, still what mattered to the filmmakers to portray their thoughts and ideas and stories to the audience.
To take a recent example, the two movies that I saw recently made me again believe in this idea of content scoring over masala, one is the Gangs of wasseypur and the other is barfi. Both are different in their own rights. The former displays the dynastic enmity and mafia rule in bihar, while the latter is a mute protagonist’s life story where he always has a smile on his face, even in difficult circumstances. Wassepur displays characters which selfish, neither good nor bad, just selfish people who have an both the characteristics. To say it simply, this is just the actual description of the people that we are, only with the backdrop of violent dynastic politics and vengeance. While barfi is that kind of sweet that even a doctor would prescribe a diabetic patient. It’s not just about melodramatic love, but the choices one has to make in reality and how that influences our life. The one we love may not love us back, but we still are there for that person, smiling and helping them. Don’t think before falling in love, and don’t think after falling in it too.
Both the movies had one thing in common (apart from the first name of the directors in both of them), that they were made with a big heart. These movies might not even come close to being in the top grossing Bodyguards, tigers, singhs, etc yet they show us the kind of cinema which makes us think. It’s about the zeal with which these movies are made th at differentiate them, they may earn or they might not. Blockbuster hits have come and went, but after years, what remains with you is not the figures that each of these movies earned but what content it had. It may be possible that some might like all those commercial movies, and they are right in doing so. But question is should the barometer of success be judged only in terms of money alone, or does the content even matters????