Monday, December 12, 2005

As I See It.


No. This is not a viewer’s review of the Tamil Flick Gajini, starring Soorya and Asin. But it has got to do something with certain aspect of the movies in general, which I felt I must write about and this film I chose is just a case of example. Before anything else, I must confess, Asin rocks. And may be that’s why I am writing something about what I have been feeling all along for a long time. In the film in question, Asin, a girl next door, is brutally murdered for apparently helping a few minor girls who were being kidnapped and were about to be sold in the flesh market by the villain. So far, so good. But the way in which they have shown her murder is absolutely heart wrenching. On one hand, Kudos to the director, but on the other hand, it leaves the viewer with a deep sense of anguish, pain and fear that would linger on for a long time. We all know how deep is the impact of the celluloid world and the films in the minds of Indians, more so in the minds of Tamilians, who have chosen two chief ministers including the present one, from the film industry. There are still some people who would not believe that actor MGR has died as long as they are able to watch his movies in the movie halls!

While many of us would just watch a movie and forget about them, a great many among us, especially the women, the not so literate daily workers , the rickshaw pullers, among others, connect emotionally to certain scenes, relate our own lives to some part of the story line and regurgitate it, relive it , hours, even days after we see a movie. This is where the skills of cinematography clashes with the requirements of the society. When such powerful scenes are enacted in front of the viewers, especially like this one in question, wherein a girl is shown being brutally murdered for helping a social cause, for being a good citizen and a Good Samaritan, wouldn’t it leave an indelible message in the impressionable minds of the people, in the conscious and subconscious levels? Firstly the message that is being inadvertently sent across is that, fighting against the system or bad elements is dangerous. And then these powerful images forced upon the people by the mass media such as cinema will only discourage even those very few citizens, who would like to do their duty, demand standards, question the illegal and the unscrupulous, and who would come forward to report a crime and prevent one if it is within their means! It simply would make people walk away from difficult situations and merely accept things the way they are and gulp it, rather than raising against the storm and trying to set things right.

The card of violence in the films is being overplayed, too much for too long. I feel, cinema as mass media and cinematographers as such has a bigger social responsibility for empowering the society and send across positive social messages rather act parochially and over sensationalise social issues for mere monetary gains. To that effect, I must confess that our censor board is turning a blind eye to this issue. One can call censoring sexually intimate scenes as moral policing and get away with it. But there is no good argument why violence must not be censored. If one argues that such strict measures would lead to heavy monetary loses in the film industry, then there is nothing more short sighted than this. The industry as such may be worth Rs 1000 Crore. But the social loses are incalculable. How many crores of rupees could have been saved if the cinema empowers and educates every citizen be good, ideal and honest? Even if it would have motivated one man who would have reported a telgi scam or a boffors issue in the right time, how much more money could have been saved by the exchequer? Imagine the boost it would have given to the national pride!!

Indian Cinema does not show the reality, always. Most often it’s the viewers who make what is shown in the films as reality. It’s a silent process. Just as a type of outfit worn by the hero becomes a trend, an attitude or mindset depicted by some characters becomes the mindset of a large cross section of people. Unconsciously. I am not saying that bad things don’t exist in our society. They very well do. But then, creating unwarranted hype, showing too much pessimistic things in the name of showing reality, creates a mirage that nothing can work right in this country, which is far from the truth.

And most of these insipid movies are imaginations of sick minds. In the name of creativity, they produce putrid films which would eventually find its way to dustbins, but not before spoiling people’s mind, irreparably.


Shashank said...

Hey Karthik,
I have put up link to your blog.
Please reply if this is not ok and u dont approve.

the one who lies said...

that really was somethin!


The Soul Doctor said...

the one who lies

hmmm....the speed at which u r surfing my blog.....seems scary :)


Arun said...

you r absolutely right "The Soul Doctor".
I too watched the newly released "Ghagini" in hindi and in that scene in which asin was murdered was really heart wreching.
For almost one week i was not able to forget that scene and felt very irritating!!!!!!