A new take on reality
One could call it a good time for Bollywood and Indian cinema in general, given the recent increase in films made by young film-makers, who are trying to portray a certain reality of society. Be it a ‘Black Friday’ by Anurag Kashyap or a Prakash Jha film like Chakravyuh on Naxalism, or even Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Rockstar’, the viewer gets to pick which side of an issue they stand for, by seeing both sides of the coin. Metrolife speaks to a few avid film watchers among the youth to find out if this new direction of film-making works for them.
“I think the youth is quite happy going with the flow and is enjoying the new crop of directors. Still, I don’t think we’re at that stage where people give up commercial cinema,” shares Abhin Shetty, who is passionate about films. “I personally like Anurag Kashyap for his method of storytelling. Before him, song-and-dance routines were almost synonymous with Bollywood. But that’s taken a backseat with films like ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, which show that you can have a catchy song in the film without sacrificing the storyline,” he adds. He mentions that it’s the honesty with which the story is told — not sparing the violence and grime — which appeals to the youth.
“We can sit through all of it, whereas someone of the older generation probably won’t. Given the cost of tickets to watch a film in the hall today, the audiences want a well-made film, which is worth watching,” he adds.
For Sidharth Kumar, a third-year student at PESIT, the quality of Indian cinema in both art films and commercial ones are much better than before.
“For me, a film works if it’s a well-told story and grounded in reality. But I don’t approve of the recent obsession with trying to make socially-relevant films, that show a real issue, into a genre itself. Madhur Bhandarkar is the worse example of that. I like Dibakar Banerjee, who has some really interesting works like ‘Shanghai’ and Love, Sex Aur Dhokha. Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar’s films are also striking to some extent,” he says.
He pauses to make another important point. “I just hope that certain directors stop going in the ‘Pulp Fiction’ direction, where there’s a lot of style but nothing for the viewer to connect to or take away from it.” Given how hard it is to strike a balance between style and content involved in making a film, he seems to have hit the nail on the head.
Rahul Gupta, a young professional, puts forth another valid point of view — such films do sell. “The box-office success stories of small movies exploring topics like sperm donation, Naxalism, live-in relationships and the Gunda Raj wrapped up with slapstick humour, witty dialogues and hard-hitting performances speak a lot about the direction that Indian cinema is taking. Thanks to certain film-makers, the audiences who watch Bollywood are warming up to this change,” he concludes.