One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb across Bengaluru are film posters. Bengalureans think the strategically designated film posters are an assault on one’s visual sensibilities and have to be removed to keep the City beautiful.
Film posters are put up not just at busy junctions but also in the interior areas of the City, especially in places like Lingarajapuram, Cox Town, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, Banashankari, Mosque Road, Wilson Garden, Shanthinagar, Basavanagudi and Hennur Road to mention a few places. Most of these film posters clearly violate the BBMP bylaws and civic officials say they have now got down to the task of getting these posters removed.
The citizens dub these posters as an ‘eyesore’ and say they don’t understand why life-size posters of actors and politicians are put up across the City. Waseem Memon, an IT professional, says movie posters used to catch his attention when he was much younger and when he was growing up in a smaller town but now with the surge of the Internet he finds all the information he needs about movies online. “When every Bengalurean is battling with traffic to get from one place to another, where is the time to even glance at a poster. And today, people read movie reviews and interact with others before going to a movie. Their choices are not influenced by posters,” he says.
Not only is it bad to paste posters but even worse to see the posters torn and the remains left hanging from the walls, feels Glen Mendenz, an employee with Oracle. “I feel there must be certain designated spots where these posters can be put up rather than allow them to proliferate across the City. When you travel abroad, you never find this culture there,” he observes. Glen also says those in charge of removing the posters don’t do a good job when they don’t remove it fully.
Kevin J, working in the security wing at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) who often explores new places in and around the City, says that the film posters cause a lot of inconvenience. He also points out that chances are that these posters could lead to accidents. “I have had friends who have lost their balance from their two wheeler just because they happen to glance at one of the movie posters while riding. Also the sight of these posters stuck on newly painted pillars and subways is not just a distraction but looks ugly as well. There are only negatives when it comes to movie posters,” adds Kevin.
The film fraternity holds mixed views when it comes to banning movie posters. Actor Yash feels that cinema posters are a part and parcel of the culture of the country. “I can’t imagine a City without movie posters. But having said that, I also feel that it is not right to paste these posters on neatly laid out spaces in the City. There must be some regulation as to where these posters can be put,” he observes. Actors, he feels, also have the responsibility to make sure these posters are not used to deface the City in any way.
But actor Shwetha Srivatsav begs to differ. She thinks there’s no harm in the authorities wanting to ban movie posters. “These posters are indeed a nuisance and must be done away with. Actors should let their work do all the talking rather than seek publicity for their films through movie posters,” she reasons. She also adds that actors could use the other mediums such as television, social media and newspapers to reach out to people, rather than depend on movie posters to get them that extra visibility.