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BIG Is No More Bigger!!!

By Rouge Wave On February - 22 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

The Story Of Indian Cinema... Credit: www.8ate.blogspot.com

The Story Of Indian Cinema... Credit: www.8ate.blogspot.com

BIG is no longer BIGGER. For a movie to be successful at the box-office, for a movie to be talked about by the audience and for a movie to pick up an award or two, it does not have to be a big movie today. The last few years have seen a healthy growth in movies that are fairly low-budgeted and do not boast of star names. Nevertheless, these movies have managed to strike a chord with the audience.

Call them whatever you want, PARALLEL CINEMA [films that are "equally" entertaining as mainstream films while exploring real-life issues and preserving the commercial aspect at the same time] or MULTIPLEX CINEMA [films that generally wouldn’t run at the general theatres for the lack of viewers]…they are here to stay! Something that started off as another way of story telling, cinema has now become an irreplaceable part of the society and the Hindi Film Industry or what we popularly know as Bollywood has been run by “fixed formulae” for quite a while. ‘Historical and Mythological’ movies were popular before the ‘Family Sentiment’ caught up. Then we moved into the ‘Angry Young Man’ phase which eventually led to the ‘Romance Fad’. These formulae ensured that the film-makers went laughing to the bank. There is no denying though that ‘middle-of-the-road’ movies weren’t made in between the out-and-out commercial ones. Movies where the characters were real even if the stories weren’t. Film-makers like Hrishikesh Mujkherjee and Basu Chatterjee made movies which were light-hearted, ahead of their times and heartwarming. Golmaal, Choti Si Baat, Chit Chor, Chashme Buddoor, Anand, Baton Baton Mein, Chupke Chupke are only a few out of the many movies of that time.

Indian Parallel Cinema. Credit: www.hubpages.com

Indian Parallel Cinema. Credit: www.hubpages.com

“It is not only the story line but also the music/lyrics that played a major role in the success of these movies, we still remember and hum those numbers.” recalls Mr. Chary, a retired government employee who is not very fond of the present day cinema. The trend of similar movies being made seems to have been returning during the last decade. The movies are no longer only heartening to watch though; some of them deal with hard-hitting realities and the serious issues plaguing the society. The subject of the movies is being experimented with and the film-makers are entering into new genres. These movies deal with questions of identity, individuals searching for answers, deal with issues such as AIDS or have a take on episodes of communal violence or terrorism. Nagesh Kukunoor’s Hyderabad Blues and Rockford and Mira Nair’s The Namesake is about an individual’s coming-of-age. “I like The Namesake for the vibrancy it had about two different cultures and the way in which the American born Indians are in search of their identities” says Keerthi of Badruka College of Commerce. While Parzania, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Aamir, A Wednesday and Mr. and Mrs. Iyer are based on terrorism and communal violence of varied degrees, Onir’s My Brother Nikhil and Revathi’s Phir Milenge deal with AIDS and the awareness that needs to be spread regarding it.

We have our own Hyderabadi films in this genre too. Shekar Kammula’s Dollar Dreams and the very popular The Angrez seem to have made quite an impact!! Where Bheja Fry and Khosla Ka Ghosla are for the most part comedies; Dharam and Water fight religious prejudices. “The subtlety with which the movie depicted the serious issue of land grabbing in Delhi was what I loved the most. The fact that the movie wasn’t a commercial extravaganza and revolved around its strong characters played by less known-but-extremely talented actors was another highlightof the film.” says Prakash, a 2nd year student of Loyola Academy about Khosla Ka Ghosla. Many a reason could be attributed for the growth of these movies.

The ever growing need of the audience for change and an appreciation for work that wasn’t seen before coupled with the money an Average Joe is ready to spend on movies has resulted in the film-makers coming out with films with innovative storylines and the production houses willing to venture into newer pastures [it is not an impossible mission to find distributors for marketing the film these days]. With an industry that started off with small budgeted movies and graduated to the big league where it could not sustain the momentum [to an extent], the return of the small movies show that they are finally home and like the Justin Timberlake song goes…What Goes Around Comes Back Around!

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