It’s like you sit there and you feel you know these people personally. The shades of the characters are a mix of what we come across in our interactions with people from different walks of life. The mad and geeky Meeta in Hasee toh Phasee or the rebellious and yet coy Veera in Highway are characters Indian women can relate to. The madness and the rebellion very well reflect the long suppressed emotions that women have hold onto for years.
Hindi cinema has definitely come of age and I am sure with the inflow of new talent there are promising times ahead.
The fact that cinema and culture are interdependent is nothing new. More than often cinema is inspired by culture, events and other nuances of people’s lives and are portrayed on celluloid. In fact cinema has influenced the thoughts of people and their dreams and aspirations, especially the youth to a large extent.
While films like Highway lend a voice to the vulnerable women who silently endure torture within the four walls of their so called homes, there were movies the 90s movie goers were fed on, which were ‘aspiration based’ – the characters were always distant – we sort of aspired to connect with them, be like them and that ‘aspiration’ did the trick on the audience.
Many among you would disagree that movies always need to be realistic, and say that they are for entertainment. I agree. But the shelf life of the movies we were fed on at least some of them is extremely short. The movies we adored at that time seem so lame and ridiculous now. For instance, ‘Falling in Love’ was the central theme in films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, DDLJ, etc., there was this elusive aspiration for ‘love’ that only the best looking girls and boys in the college/ school could ‘make it happen’ – at least at that time. Others only nurtured the idea of falling in love and finding their soul mates or secretly falling in love. I wonder if many of us were actually trying to find love or ‘in love with the idea of falling in love’, thanks to the high dose we were fed on by our movies, the distinction is quite blurring.
I am not saying youngsters or for that matter people do not fall in love anymore, but the kind of concept and meaning that those films added to ‘love’ was far from being a reality and youngsters like us found only with time and experience that such things do not always happen to everyone in reality. Still many of us bought the idea so easily.
Apart from concepts like ‘love at first sight’ and the ‘overdose of emotion-loaded dialogues’, what I find most surprising is the fact that colleges being portrayed as a fertile ground for ‘romance’. Everything except studies seems to be taking place there. I actually know a few friends who were totally convinced that colleges are only meant for dance, parties and what not. Well reality bit them soon.
Hindi cinema has surely evolved and we – the audience have also matured and started to appreciate the ‘not so run-of-the-mill stories’, I also feel the youngsters today have much better choice and won’t buy a concept so easily.
Unlike us, they are also more than ready to appreciate an actress sans the layers of make-up and who very much looks like their next door neighbors and the actors who are not necessarily another worshiper of 6 packs.
While the kind of lame films like Chennai Express and Raam Leela continue to entertain and garner profits, films like Hansee toh Phansee, Highway, Queen and many others have proven that not all that is Bollywood is about masala, colorful sets and over-drama.