Where is Indian Pure Cinema?


"It is easy to tell the world that film production in India is quantitaively second only to Hollywood; for that is a statistical fact. But can the same be said about its quality? Why are our films not shown abroad? Is it solely because India offers a potential market for her own products? Perhaps the symbolism employed is too obscure for foreigners? Or are we just plain ashamed of our films?

To anyone familiar with the relative standards of the best foreign and Indian films, the answer must come easily. Let us face the truth."

Satyajit Ray, "Our Films Their Films" - Page 20 - Chapter -"What is Wrong with Indian Films?" - 1948

I was shockingly surprised to realize that the above statements still remain very much true to the current Indian cinema industry, after 61 years. Is this fact something to blame ourselves? Or are we satisfied with the same "quantity" alone? Are there any improvements over these tedious years of technical growth? The answer is yes there are , but the foreign industry's standards have been rising in the same proportion and we haven't yet reached our vague view of the hill top, the quality.

Now, there are people, who would fight back, questioning me, "What is required more than the quality, we make?" I would ask them back ," You really mean "Quality"?? Quality of the movie doesn't just lie on the technology.I would like to describe more of this "quality" a tad later. There is an error in the basic ideals of Indian Cinema. The "mass" are blamed for the quality of the output. The financials are blamed. But never does a film maker take the ownership of the quality of the movie. A movie from India (often called Bollywood outside India, even if it is a regional movie), almost always remain a mediocre attempt of improvising quality. More often the fim makers to bring in the "world cinema" feel, blatantly lift the plots, scripts and shots. I think , we can do pretty much more than that in a direct, honest way.

Since there is a huge amount of money involved in the films, yes, it is understandable that the success of the producer lies more on the financial output, but the real success lies somewhere else. If a film maker can eventually improve the quality of his films, I feel the "mass"' s viewing standards would gradually improve.

To be continued...


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