Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bollywood and It's Role In Indian Society | Escapism

Usually I am not a TV kind of a person, but these days I am in Uttar Pradesh and I am guilty of being in front of the television more than I would usually like for various reasons.

But yesterday while flipping through channels I came across this movie called Agaaz (starring Sunil Shetty as the lead), and decided to watch a few minutes of what was going on.

The scene was that the protagonist was being stabbed by political rowdies, while his baby sister was being raped by one of the gang members in broad day light while the whole society watched in silence.

And now I think I understand why there are so many repetitive bollywood movies being made and watched for decades.

Also I am not a big fan of Bollywood films because of the very same reason - I feel they are repetitive in the kind of emotions or scenarios they are trying to bring out. Because I personally like to explore as many different emotions as life has to offer.

Most of the bollywood films deal with the same scenarios of love between people of different social statuses, political rowdyism and so on.

But now I understand the reason behind this.

These scenarios are a part of people's daily lives, and while real life usually does not have happy endings. These movies certainly do.

Since people have lost hope of justice in society, they at least like to see truth win over evil in their fantasies by putting themselves in the shoes of the protagonist or any other character.

This is the reason why there are innumerable movies being made and watched over and over again about the same life scenarios.

This is a perfect example of cinema being used as a form of escapism.

And this is in a country who tag line is "Satyameva Jayate" - "Truth always wins"

If this doesn't open your eyes to how hypocritical society is, nothing will. And remember me and you and everyone is part of this society. So don't detach yourself from the term "society" while reading this.

Also these kind of films are still more popular among the rural population of the country as compared to their urban counterparts.

But by that I don't mean there is less injustice in cities. But the urban people don't get to see such injustice out in the open so often because they are much higher up the social/economic ladder.

But these kind of scenarios are still a part of daily lives of the rural folks.

Nobody wants to change the society. While the poor helpless people live their lives with no hope of justice, the rich and influential people who can make a difference don't want to do anything.

They just want to give them ways to escape their miserable existence for a few hours. And there is a reason why the rich and influential who can spend billions of dollars on such cinema don't want to do anything about these hopeless situations.

And the reason is - Because they are already rich and safe. These problems are not a part of their life, and so they sit and do nothing about such hopeless inhumane scenarios. All they do is make a spectacle out of these sad situations in the world so that they can make more money from these hopeless people and get richer and richer.

Such movies will continue to be made and watched till life doesn't become worth living for majority of the population.

Also escapism in cinema is seen as such a normal and obvious thing. To the thoughtless people of course. Think about this for a minute - What good is a life if you constantly need ways to escape it?

Now why don't things change? Because everybody is selfish. Anybody who is happy sitting comfortably in their homes and look at these problems of the world while only taking care of their own careers and lives is selfish and is part of the problem and not the solution.

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