Picture perfect

A day or two ago i was watching a panel discussion on a Bengali news channel on “Bangla Cinemar ekaal sekaal”. That discussion inspired me to write this post. Specially the arguments put forward by Dhritiman Chatterjee and Chandril were irrefutable.

I would like to restrict myself only to bengali films but am sure the same theories apply to films in any language.So hope the post is an interesting read for you people.
Bengali cinema in the 60’s-90’s saw a golden era.Uttam kumar hailed as Mahanayak in bengal ruled over the box office.Great directors gifted audiences films which were nothing less than masterpiece.Satyajit Ray,Ritwik Ghatak,Mrinal Sen apart the so called “mainstream” directors too made films which were sensible.
In the 90’s decade filmmakers started a dangerous trend.Films blatantly copied frame to frame from B-grade hindi films ruled the day.Audiences started giving bengali films a miss.Stupid romances round the trees,over the top melodrama became the order of the day.Originality of thought was lost.And the saga still continues!
Baring a few films from Rituporno’s kitty even Prosenjit is typecast in the masala movies,the leading ladies are captivated in the image of voluptuous “items”,action sequences that defy all laws of nature….in short a copy of south indian movies! That is what bengali film is today.
There is no dearth of good actors. But is thier potential used to the fullest?
We do have directors like Aniruddha roy choudhury or Suman Mukherjee who gift us sensible cinema,but then how many are there like them?
People say film is a medium of entertainment.Some say it is an art. I ask why can’t art be entertainment. Art is not always cerebral.Why can’t the gap between the likes of Aparna Sen and Swapan Saha be bridged?
There is a question of audience too.The mentality of audience is mostly blamed for the downward slope of bengali cinema! the “shohor-mofossol” divide is often cited as an excuse for bad cinema.To underestimate the caliber of cine goers in the small towns and villages is a crime!
The definition of film is changing.With too many media fr entertainment,film business is taking a beating.We would rather stay at home and watch a DVD than visit a theater.I think the problem lies in the fact that film making is a commercial venture after all.People put their money in the films and want high returns.So quality is compromised.
I shudder to think what would have happened if ray could not make Charulata due to lack of funds! Or what if Ghatak has to compromise with the standards while making Meghe Dhaka Tara?
Hope such days never come.

About Agnivo Niyogi

Typical Aantel, reader, blogger, news addict, opinionated. Digital media enthusiast. Didi fanboi. Joy Bangla!

Posted on April 5, 2010, in film. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. "I ask why can't art be entertainment.."Most of it was just too hyper for me but this line is something to be take into account..The answer is YES!! 😉


  2. thats the essence of the post! 🙂 taking risks in the entertainment industry by making sensible ventures 🙂


  3. The discussion on Bengali cinema was to some extent boring to me but the comment of Chandril. The problem I think is the rigidity of the maker as well as of the critics. Nothing to do with the audience, I feel. The critics want the films like 'Pother Pnachali" or "meghe dhaka tara"- the classical neorealistic films in Bengali, but love to watch Pasolini or Felini for their own intellectual satisfaction. The makers are too much worried about the likings and disliking of the audience. Sex is a banned word and family is the greatest institution to live a life happily ever after. The villains are impossible and the hero is same as Lord Krishna! Otherwise, highlight a life that is corrupted by love sex or dhoka! Sometimes we clap in-between or debate if a fishy intellectuality offers us some controversial relations- we love it as evening snacks! As I remember, A comment of Chranjit in 'aaj-kaal'- "I want to make films like Godard" – surprised me. Directors of Bengali industry make films with the over-bursting emotional effects as found in Bengali 'jatra' and want to name Godard just as a name, understanding nothing of New wave cinema.I feel its time for us to break the chairs and tear the film screen if the emotional bull shits are ever served to us! (it was the trend of criticism of Godardian film critic group).


  4. awesome analyses thanx suranjana. i would like to add that barring the intellectuals the common public of bengal too wants at least some intelligent cinema and not just meaningless potboilers!


  5. It should not be just an announcement. There should be a movement.


  6. but will their voice be heard?


  7. I guess no! Film critics and makers would like to discuss on it and we have to bear it until Rituporno or Aparna Sen release their next films!


  8. Some one you might know

    As simple it is for me to utter an expletive or two at the state, rather spate of Bengali Main-stream cinema, I find myself at a loss really. I am reminded of the mindless monotonous emotional Hodge-podges that are served to us on a silver platter in the guise of cinema. I cannot even utter something politically incorrect if I were to watch one such mindless waste of Humanity. Too bad really that anything good and remotely something that will make us think is something the Producers say—->"Public Khabena". I am not outraged at the Producers, rather I am outraged at me! Because we are the Public, and if this imposture in the name of cinema exists, it is because of us….shame on me!


  9. i think suranjana di and subhro have summarised what i wanted to say!


  10. m not a big fan of bengali films, though I agree with the analysis that bengali films have been copying hindi films for a long time. Originality is lost. Again this is my dad's and cousin's opininion. I don't watch bengali films at all.


  11. Read your post. Any comment on this one? http://www.anandabazar.com/archive/1100313/14rabipro.htm


  12. @subrata sen It was a great piece sir.an awesome read!ekdom hok kotha bolechen.bookmarked the page.


  13. Aditya Nandode

    hmmmm……..Well there is a golden age, and then a fall, is life not the same.


  14. Hii Aagan,Me and some of my frnds hv started an E magazine called Reader's Quotient, it is totally for a noble cause of funding education to the needy children, I came across ur blog in my quest to search talented writers and felt worth to inquire if u shall be interested to come along with usIf yes pls contact us at sangeeta.goswami@readersquotient.comWaiting for ur revertRegds/Sangeetawww.readersquotient.com


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