Wednesday March 20, 2019
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A tweaked tinsel town, buffoonery on the floor

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By Sreyashi Mazumdar

Trailing on the pages of Indian cinema, one might get an inkling of the epiphanic changes the industry has gone through over a period of time; starting from cheesy and cocky songs to that of movies essaying buffoonery and irrationality, the industry has belittled art per se.

Picture credit: campusghanta.com
Picture credit: campusghanta.com

In an attempt at garnering accolades and attention- in cash or kind- Bollywood glitterati have ended up laying off their creative and personal integrity. Movies like Happy New Year, Dabang, R Rajkumar, Phata Poster Nikla Hero, Dhoom 3, Ra One etc exemplify the plummeting standards of the fraternity. Despite parallel cinema gradually creating its niche amid the hovering cliché, commercial movies seem to refute every possible odd, thus fleshing out a potpourri of  hamminess, crassitude and mockery.

“There was a time when I used to make sure that I don’t miss night shows on Fridays, but now I don’t feel like spending even a penny on movies. I used to be a Bollywood buff. Though movies like Deewar or Sholay might seem irrelevant to some, but the seething tension brewing owing to Nehruvian socialism during 80s and their subsequent portrayal through movies rendered some meaning to the art of film making. Mr. Bacchhan’s angry man disposition reflects upon the kind of reveries one used to bear during that particular period of time owing to the closed economy our nation was endorsing. Now a days, filmmakers are coming up with mindless movies like Happy New year and what not…I mean who would have ever thought that an actor like Shah Rukh Khan would be a party to such a plot,” lamented 50-year-old Sayan Adhikari, a film studies professor.

Picture credit: wallpapers99.com
Picture credit: wallpapers99.com

There was an era when singers like Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam or our beloved Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar mesmerized millions through their melodic voices; however, now a days the songs that seem to reverberate discs and pubs are the ones illustrating aftermaths of binge drinking, overt and overhauled definitions of human body parts- both male and female- like Tandoori murgi hoon yaar, Pink Lips, Jalebi Bai, Kaddu Katega Toh Sab Main Batega. Though titillating and grooving, the aforementioned songs hint at the denigrated form of lyricism.

Stalwarts like Ajay Devgan, Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor, or other sought after actors of the fraternity, despite having done wonders in movies like Omkara, Chakh De India, Haider, respectively, have been testified taking up inane projects. Limning the pervading trend, film critic Rajeev Masand once put forth a relevant point during a tete-e-tete with fourthreefilm.com, “I think the stars are excited by the fact that they are getting opportunities to stretch themselves. They protect themselves by also having a lot of blockbusters – because that is what gives you longevity and the ‘big bucks, let’s be honest. But they are definitely taking more chances and taking advantage of these new opportunities.”

The present status quo permeating Indian cinema reflects upon directors’ and actors’ desperation to helm the stage and mint money. It seems that the creative minds have given up on their penchant for quality and acumen, and have taken to an easier and degraded path to entertain the masses. The fraternity needs to fend off its Jo Dikhta Hai Woh Bikhta Hai policy to let loose the magic of art and creation.

 

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Practice What You Preach: Celebrities Should Stand By Their Public Image In Private Domain

Industry spokesperson Ashoke Pandit sees an urgent need for celebrities to practice what they preach.

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Actress-environmentalist Dia Mirza feels an imperative need for actors to maintain an equipoise in their overall conduct. Pixabay

Practice what you preach. Priyanka Chopra forgot the validity of this adage when at her wedding in December last year in Jodhpur she was seen enjoying a fireworks display.

Suddenly her reputation went up in the sky – at least for a while. Here was an actress who has privately spoken up about noise and smoke pollution caused by fireworks, and there she was enjoying the poison that she had condemned publicly.

A co-star-pal of Ms. Chopra commented, “It was her wedding. She was just having fun, some unthinking fun. I agree she should have been more careful with what she was doing. But it’s okay. No harm done.”

Actress-producer Pooja Bhatt spoke about the need for celebrities with a voice to make sure their private conduct doesn’t contradict their public image.

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Here was an actress who has privately spoken up about noise and smoke pollution caused by fireworks, and there she was enjoying the poison that she had condemned publicly. Pixabay

“I can only speak for myself… I have always been the same person in my personal and public space. The world today, and especially most of the youngsters, are two different animals in their personal and public space. There is no room for truth in most of the lives they share with people… ironic since this is a time of social media where apparently you let people see you for what you are and intimately… yet there is zero intimacy.. just carefully manufactured illusions of reality.”

Shabana Azmi, who has constantly voiced her strong opinion on social issues, admits it is imperative that the powerful voices in our society desist from dithering.

“My father Kaifi Azmi was a rare poet who practised what he preached whether it was on women’s empowerment, communal harmony or social justice. But it’s a tough place to bein because celebrities are judged more harshly than others and people are quick to nitpick. I am very informal with close friends and can be quite a maverick but social media is so all-pervasive that what’s fine in an intimate circle becomes public almost immediately. I think one must be mindful but it can’t be stretched to impossible limits.”

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Actress Priyanka Chopra. Wikimedia Commons

Industry spokesperson Ashoke Pandit sees an urgent need for celebrities to practice what they preach.

“The celebrity should be educated enough to comment on that particular subject. Once the comment is out in the public domain, the celebrity must abide by it. He has a responsibility towards the society as people follow them. Moreover they should follow what they preach. One should be very careful when one has to comment on sensitive issues.”

Actress-environmentalist Dia Mirza feels an imperative need for actors to maintain an equipoise in their overall conduct.

 

Also Read: Technology Should Not Hamper The Child’s Normal Social Interaction And Environmental Learning

“I personally believe that if one consciously believes in a value system and has outwardly expressed this, then one would also need to consider the importance of reflecting those very values in their personal choices to the best of their ability.This should hold true for all of us. Whether or not we are in position of power.”

In short, practice what you preach. (IANS)