Friday, November 15, 2013

A Bollywood Tale



My father likes to watch DD National. Especially on every Sunday morning when the channel airs a TV show named Rangoli that shows melodious old songs of Bollywood. These songs were filmed at mountains, fields and amidst greenery. Or in front of a house or on the streets. Such songs portray romance in a very gentle yet convincing manner. Bollywood actors of yesteryears didn’t need to go shirtless to attract female crowd. There was no extravagantly build sets. Most importantly, films were made to entertain the crowd with a good script and not for the sole purpose of commercialization. Achieving 100 cores mark was hardly the target. Actresses didn’t have an item song in every film they were part of. Yet such films had that wow factor in them. Something that could bring cheers and whistling from the audience inside theatres whenever their favourite actress came on-screen. 

Once I got hooked to an episode of the show. It played a song that showed Sunil Dutt trying to woo his love. The woman stood near a rock, sometimes on an edge of a cliff or hid behind villagers planting tea-leaves. Sunil Dutt followed her everywhere. The scenes were so beautifully picturised. I went back in time. In my childhood, I never missed watching Amar, Akbar, Anthonyif it came on TV. I loved the way Rishi Kapoor sat on top of a big ladder and tried to convince an older man to accept him as his son-in-law in Taiyab Ali pyar ka dushman haay haay. I liked the way he showed his love towards Neetu Singh on the stage in front of a whole crowd in the song parda hai parda hai. The next movie was Seeta Aur Geeta. Hema Malini totally rocked in the movie! She made the cops run amok in police station, played tricks on ropes in the streets to earn money and played a double role. And who can forget Sholay, a film that needs no introduction? It is by far one of the best classics ever produced by Bollywood. Hema Malini drove a horse-cart and audience started swearing by friendship of Jai and Veeru and greeting each other with kitne aadmi the. I liked the song yeh dosti hum nahin todenge where Jai and Veeru sing along on a road while riding on a motorbike with sidecar! 

There are so many memorable moments that are hard to forget. Old is indeed gold! Those golden moments in Indian cinema still continue to entertain us. But what about the movies that Bollywood is churning out since the last decade? Apart from a handful like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, 3 idiots, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Udaan, Lagaan etc, there are many films that came after a lot of promotion through reality shows and advertisements and we went like dumbs to view them in theatres.  Only to come out and realize that our money has been wasted. Many films opt for having grand sets, designer costumes and roping in famous actors at any cost. But the story line is a big zero and that is considered fine if the film has already grossed cores in its first week of release. There is tough competition between super stars nowadays and hardly any respect. Look at an actress today and compare it with how she looked 6-7 years ago. Apart from preferring to look stick thin and going for size zero, most of today’s actresses go under the knife to get that nose job done or correct those cheek bones. It seems that no director wants to portray natural beauty these days. Or maybe they feel the need of it so badly that they order their actresses to wear less clothes today and lesser tomorrow. Straight all-round natural beauty will be revealed. But what made Ranveer Singh to go shirtless in Ram-Leela? Is he trying to make Deepika fall in love with him by showing off that ultra-thin, toned body? Or is he promoting against malnutrition in India?

Some movies are made with high profile casts and lack any story. Films are supposed to have major influence on viewers. Social issues of the society and human behaviour and relations should be more focused. But instead movies are releasing at an alarming rate and turning out to be all about costumes and body displays. Like Sheila ki Jawani and Jalebi bai. The only thing learnt so far is that don’t go with children every time inside theatres because you can’t tell when an adult scene might start in front of you. Do such films leave any long lasting impression? None at all. Any morals or lessons learnt? Hardly any. Someone needs to invent a time-turner and hand it to Bollywood. They seriously need to go back in time and learn something from the past!

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