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.