Cinema is adored and worshipped in India. Directors, actors and writers have made our nation proud with their incandescent talents. Be it Aamir Khan leading ‘Dangal’ to international success or Ray inspiring Scorsese to make ‘Taxi Driver’ (1978), our nation should be proud.
However, from time to time, the Indian cinematic industry is plagued by problems which just keep the industry from achieving greatness. Just to clarify, I love films of India, and this list is just a suggestion to make this glorious art into a masterpiece. So, without further ado, here is the list of top 10 ways Indian Cinema can be improved.
10. Working towards Small Screen Content
Indian industry has seen a catapulting rise of actors debuting on the big screen from the small screen. However, the problem is that the work being done on the small screen is embarrassing. While the digital platform is reasoning to be classy and praiseworthy, television too needs to up its game to churn our better quality. If the content on the small screen is developed, cinema will directly flourish.
9. Not Comparing with Hollywood
The tendency of comparing Indian films to that of the U.S has seeped deep into pop-culture. It’s imperative to understand that Hollywood is not the “be-all-and-end-all”. Indian cinema has produced mavericks such as Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal and Mehboob Khan, who have made our nation proud. While it is certainly true that Indian cinema is still behind the others in several aspects such as science-fiction, fantasy and superhero flicks, it is not far that we too produce the next magnificent piece of work.
8. Monitoring Censorship
It is a common misconception that the CBFC is a “censor board”. However, the CBFC isn’t meant for certifying films, and as the full form suggest – Central Board of Film Certification – is meant for certifying films. Everyone we hear that directors aren’t allowed to release their films because it either hurts some groups religious sentiments or contains abusive language or scenes are too titillating. Granted, some several themes can be censored or chopped off if they’re too controversial, but it is ludicrous to see the rate at which the CBFC completely shacks off scenes from a film.
7. Promoting Indie and Independent Cinema
It’s ironical that in a country where directors such as Anurag Kashyap and Ram Gopal Verma are adored and have seen so much success, the independent films still haven’t seen mainstream popularity. Directors Konkona Sen Sharma and Rajat Kapoor, who are established stars, have cited their difficulties in getting production value and release. The independent scene is a pool of talent, if provided with an opportunity, they will surely shine.
6. Recognizing Regional Cinema as Indian Cinema
Indian Cinema is just wonderful. With directors such as Satyajit Ray, Mani Ratnam and Shekhar Kapoor, our country should be proud of its cinematic heritage. However, for most, Indian cinema means Bollywood. With the rising popularity of regional cinema and with the recent critical successes such as the Marathi musical romantic drama ‘Sairat’ (2016) and Tamil neo-noir action thriller ‘Vikram Vedha’ (2017), it is about time we start promoting, felicitating and embracing regional cinema as Indian cinema.
5. Removing Nepotism
One of the more controversial debates has been nepotism. Nepotism, according to the Oxford dictionary, means “the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.” Directors, producers and actors have been guilty of endorsing nepotism and submerging talent. Of course, every coin has a flip side, and nepotism does not mean that actors do not have talents. However, when one hears the massive challenges brilliant actors such as Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar have faced over the years, one definitely needs to keep things in check.
4. Awarding the Crew
With every film’s success, actors, directors and producers receive praise and respect for their hard work. However, it cannot be denied that writers, cinematographers and editors play an equal role in the construction of a film. Without them, we are treated to wonders such as ‘Race 3’ (2018) and ‘Action Jackson’ (2014). It is high time that these strong pillars get the appreciation and recognition they deserve.
3. Realizing that Copying isn’t Inspiration
While it’s true that it would be a relief if we do not fixate on comparing Indian cinema to Hollywood, Indian films have grown an infamous reputation for completely plagiarizing content from World Cinema. Copying isn’t flattering inspiration, it is plain plagiarism. Its heartbreaking to see that legends such as R.D. Burman and Abbas–Mustan, who has been adored by the audiences, have either partially or completely ripped off ideas and films from world cinema. Indian cinema has potential, but will never reach greatness if artists keep on stealing in the name of “inspiration”.
2. Improving Award Shows
Award Functions and shows are a subject of ridicule. However, to be true, it’s quite sad and appalling that Indian cinema is stagnating in sub-par award ceremonies such as Filmfare and IIFA. Not only that, with more than 100 certified award function, the authenticity and status have been completely lost. Adding to the injury, most of the films which have won and the actors who bagged the awards is just stupid and insulting to great talents. Some of these include – ‘Dabangg’ (2010) winning the “National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment”, Fardeen Khan winning the “Filmfare for Best Debut” for ‘Prem Aggan’ (1998) and captain nasal-man Himesh Reshammiya winning the “Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer” in 2006 for “Aashiq Banaya Aapne”.
Award shows are important for films as they are a source of inspiration and recognition. With award function being sponsored by “Lux Cozi” and “Pan Bahar”, if something isn’t done, films will certainly take a nasty turn.
1. Establishing Equality
It is still appalling to see that the Indian cinematic industry is still facing problems of sexism, racism and class discrimination. Actors such as Nandita Das and Nawazuddin Siddique have expressed their heart-wrenching experiences of being rejected because of their skin colour and actress have shared their torrid experiences of being subjected to sexism, casting-couch and lower paycheques. If the industry’s moral foundation is well established, then art itself will prosper.