Saturday, 25 October 2014

The state of Indian entertainment industry.

For some reason when I watched all these TV shows and promos where the buoyant HNY team would come up with the glistening side of their movie, I knew this is going to be another letdown and I was pretty much certain that this one too is going to be another record grosser. As my clairvoyance was just in line with the predictions of millions of Indian audiences who never had the temerity to watch sordid cinema after spending hard earned money, but who still had to do so because there was nothing else to watch, I just knew all of that would happen just like it did with more morose ventures like Chennai Express, Dabangg and Dhoom 3 in the past. So in a nutshell, so sad is the state of our movie industry that you know a big budget movie is going to be absolutely bereft of any logic or rationale, you know it's a complete waste of money because your money will add on to the coffers of nincompoops, and yet you've no other option but to watch them because once in the glorious past you adulated the Khans and Hritik.

Then I switched to some other channels which I knew would be spreading muck. But I just wanted to test my perseverance for some reason. So one TV serial came up where a daughter of an erstwhile member of the show was being played by the same actor herself. Bewildered, I switched to another and saw that we've got vamps even in what was supposedly an adaptation of an age old epic. Akbar had a lugubrious second wife who is being portrayed as so devious that even her grave would be trembling right now because she is being slandered 500 years post her burial. So I switched to another channel where I saw a typical RomCom where comedy was amiss and romance was so dull and somber that I felt like switching to India TV to see how UFOs took away a few cows and how wannabes contemplate on whether the aliens are a little too enamored by their milk or whether the cow genes would be mutated and they be sent back to the planet to embroil all of us in a never ceasing infection. At least that has some drama and some unpredictability. Otherwise all you have is one vamp and one Adarsh Bahu who crumples under the tyranny of almost half the world's population. 

Then just for a moment, I got lost in reverie from the past. The vignettes from the golden days of Indian television and cinema. The gilt of a refreshing show like Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai which went down quickly alongwith the channel Star One just because it was too topical and uber. The kick you got when SRK ran his eyes through the Indian section on a map in the denouement of Swades and decided to come back. The way you jumped in joy when Bhuvan hit that winning shot in Lagaan. And then there are umpteen examples of how good these realms once were. Even today you get that occasional movie like Haider, but it barely manages to do as much business in its full time than HNY does on day 1. The best actors got swayed and winnowed by the wind of commercialization and all that matters anymore is gross earnings and TRP. 

What I've written maybe just a redux of what a lot of you may think and this might seem as just another palaver by a person who himself is no more than a minion and who is just raging opprobrium against the stalwarts. But what hurts me is the fact that even meaningful shows will have an audience even if it is small; and they in fact will have a cult following, unlike the viewers who don't remember the names of the characters once they're out of the darkness(literally!). Another thing to ponder upon is that though good movies come seldom, people will watch the sullen ones. It's just like an economy. Once you're in an economy of shortages, anything that shines is worth its weight in gold. And what lacks the enigma is discarded as being plain and bland. We do have ardent movie makers who fight this quagmire and make a GOW, but we are largely headed towards a very very sorry state of affairs as far as our brush with movies is concerned. We're getting more and more of them and every such movie soars new heights, I can only hope that some sense prevails and not every director and producer goes awry and just after the money. I just hope that some of them will continue making movies that imbue us with the feeling that we carry for a lifetime, so what if it seems a distant proposition now. 

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