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In Defence of Masala Movies!


Do the "Art-Wallahs” have a superiority complex, project "attitude” and believe they are God’s chosen ones to further the cause of meaningful cinema? Monojit Lahiri examines this pretentious hogwash as the year 2013 wraps up!
MONOJIT LAHIRI | New Delhi, January 10, 2014 16:09
Tags : In Defence of Masala Movies! |

IArt. Realism. Truth. Vision. Commitment. Belief. For years, a section of a “niche” crowd (filmmakers, critics, audience) had been doggedly championing the cause of the other cinema. A cinema that was clean, honest, meaningful artistic, life-enhancing, propagated by a band of people passionately devoted towards the noble endeavour of providing the ‘hoi-polloi’ (trapped in a pathetic ‘cul-de-sac’) a solid and substantial alternative. A cinema of aesthetic worth and financial viability sans the tinsel thunder of stars, gaudy elaborate sets, foreign locales or obscenely expensive budgets. A cinema that epitomized the philosophy of “Small is Big” and invested in their matrix that elusive magic of feeling and warmth that touched the soul, not merely dazzled the eyes. A cinema of the here and now that did not sell dreams but portrayed the power, truth and beauty of the Indian reality – warts and all. For around a decade (early 1970s to early 1980s) this cinema came, saw and even conquered the hearts of its select audience, winning loyalty and patronage that was admirable. Hugely supported by an enthusiastic Press, it was projected as “New Cinema” with freshness inscribed on every frame. The filmmakers – hymned and celebrated – were the new messiahs on the block, fired by an inspired cause. 

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017