Sunday, March 28, 2010

Indian Cinema - Any Takers?

I've always been a movie-freak and there was a season when almost every post of mine was a review on some movie! The only change to that in the recent days, is that I've started watching a lot of international movies. and the more I watch them, the more disappointed I get! The reason is pretty simple. Many or almost all good scenes that I've ever enjoyed in an Indian cinema, (Tamizh cinema to be more specific) have been lifted from elsewhere. Sometimes the whole story, sometimes the important scenes, sometimes the concept... One way or the other, we're largely influenced by the works of other film makers and we either copy them or make 'junk' masala movies. I don't say masala movies shouldn't exist! As one big fan of superstar, I will not say that, as most of his movies fall into this category. Entertainment is and should be there in every film industry and one cannot always expect a movie to be dead-serious. But I get really pissed off at the stereotype, unoriginal crap that a lot of actors/directors try to impose on the audience in the name of entertainment. When you look at the parallel line of cinema - the serious/art/impressive movies department; how many great films have we made to show-off to the international audience?

Look at this snapshot from the movie "About Schmidt" for instance.

Absolutely no dialogs from JN. But you could see the aversion, the hatred, the "take your hand off my shoulders" feeling; just by his looks. How many of our actors can enact the same scene; subtly without any exaggeration?

If we look at the stories and their screenplay, we are miles away from international standard. At this juncture, I should appreciate the works of directors like Bala, Manirathnam, Radha Mohan, etc and people like Prakashraj who strive to elevate the levels of our films. The cinematography has also greatly improved in the recent days and I see quite a lot of movies that are just so beautifully presented. The only glitch there is that the audience might not understand a movie like "Naan Kadavul" today; and making a film like that which is very high in standards and very low in collection would only discourage producers from making more films like that. The biggest responsibility of a director today is not just to make a great film; but also to make the audience appreciate a film and bring them along to the world of better movies. Just like any other field, I'm sure that we have a lot of youngsters and talented folks interested in movies, striving to become the best in the department they love. Perhaps they are not getting the opportunity that they deserve or that they are bound into the labyrinth of circumstances and social dignities. I hope and pray that this changes pretty soon; and we get to that golden era of Indian films.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You better die...

Recently, I heard a news or rather a rule that instantly got on to my nerves. In India, a kidney transplant isn't legal unless the donor belongs to the same family. I'm pretty sure this would be the case with other organs as well. Let's take a moment to think about the implications...

People who have kidney failures have three options - first one, obviously is to die; second - to do dialysis on a regular basis and almost everyone will know the cost involved in the process (which means a poor man will have to resort to option 1). The third option is to get the kidney transplanted from a dead/brain dead patient; and the best part about this is that every hospital has about 1000 kidney requests in queue. You know what's even better? Every hospital has a tentative "wait time" for a request. In other words, they have their own mechanisms of guessing when 1000 persons would die! Looking at this matter from the other side, this is actually a survival race where every patient is waiting for another to die! How pathetic!

The scope for social evils is another point to be considered. Reminds me of a dialog in "The Untouchables" - "People are gonna drink! You know that, I know that, we all know that, and all I do is act on that." Anyone with a survival instinct will try to get the organ transplanted at any cost. Then what is the whole point in making it illegal and opening a black market? The only logical counter-argument could be that this prevents the poor and needy from selling their organs for money. But there is no way to prevent this from happening illegally! Is there?