........................................................................with words, with issues!!!

Aug 31, 2012

Kollywood Calling???

A Historic departure

Not so long ago, I used to be a subject of ridicule each time I went to watch a Nepali flick. The reasons were obvious. The formulaic films had the same recipes repeating week after week. A little bit of songs and dances, a few ‘dhisim dhisims’ and a couple of flimsy dialogues; what the Nepali films had to offer was nothing more. In fact, our film industry had been too lazy to come up with new concepts, new themes and new scripts. Complacent with the ‘copy and paste’ business that it had been doing from the ‘B’ and ‘C’ grade Bollywood films (Basanti, Balidaan and a few more exceptions aside), it never took the Nepali audiences seriously. Too obsessed with providing what they termed ‘entertainment’, our moviemakers altogether neglected an equally crucial element in films: Art.

However, it pleases me to see the situation gradually improving. Of late, my very colleagues who used to make fun of me for having watched a Nepali flick are thronging the theatres to watch one (Who would have imagined a year back the young faces desperately waiting for the releases of films like Apabaad, Highway and Saayad!!). If the overwhelming success enjoyed by the recent movies is anything to go by, one can proudly declare: the audiences still love Kollywood, but what they want in the industry is creativity which it sheerly lacks. But, now that a new generation of moviemakers are here; new genres, new ideas, realistic acting and the innovative storylines are making their way into Kollywood. Loot, for instance, was a historic departure from the traditional films. A riveting movie as it was, it’s no wonder that it received accolades from the audiences and critics alike as never before in the film industry. Several others as Daasdhunga, Aacharya and Masaan that are based on historic events and personalities have ushered the film industry into a new era. The moviemakers are finally catering to the changing psyche and mentality of the audiences. Hopefully, cinemas are being made with the power to make us forget we are sitting in a theatre. The industry that was once criticized for all its shortcomings now stands in a position to be lauded for all the changes it has brought. However, a word of caution is relevant here: in the name of bringing changes, we will not tolerate the cheap and artless vulgarity. That was aptly demonstrated in the outright rejection of ATM (judging by its promo in Youtube, which had nothing but a conglomeration of graphic scenes and vulgar dialogues, many feared that Kollywood has veered away from one cliff to just another).  After the spectacular commercial success of Chapali Height, several movies employing brute sex were made based on the premise- Sex sells. Natural was it that they got what they deserved: Flop in the box-office.

Despite all this, much remains to be done. I recently had chance to see 2 brilliant Bollywood movies: 404 Error not found, and the other being Vicky Donor. They were different from the stereotypical Bollywood films in the sense that they raised issues. Providing entertainment is, no doubt, the motive of films, but they should not stop there. A movie can be called a success only when it becomes able to make its audiences stop and think a while. Both the movies mentioned above are successful in this regard. While the former is about how a medical student discovers himself becoming a guinea pig for his favorite professor, the latter deals, albeit lightly, with the topic of sperm donation, a technique which has been a boon for the infertile couples but considered a taboo subject even in the Delhi metropolis. Whether the upcoming Nepali films will continue to inspire the same enthusiasm and be able to carry the audience to theatres may well be what counts most in the days to come.


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