The Uniqueness of Indian Cinema – Part 1 of 4

“There is one more condition in this country, and that is Hindi theatre. And Hindi cinema has its own culture… quite different from Indian culture but it is far from alien to us, we understand it. ” 9d VR

Javed Akhtar in ‘Talking Films’

Indian filmmakers depart from other Hollywood equivalent in several ways. Whereas Showmanship filmmakers make an effort to conceal the constructed nature of their work so that the realistic narrative is entirely dominant, Indian filmmakers make no attempt to cover up the fact that what is shown on display screen is a spectacle, an illusion, a fiction. 

Many elements invest Indian popular cinema with a clear identity nonetheless they can almost never be regarded as traditional images of Indian society or actuality. Yet , they do indicate Indian society, seen as it were, by using a distorted or damaged mirror. Among the distinctive features are definitely the following:

-Indian popular films are, in most cases, not genuine and not rooted in any specific culture within India as they aim to reach out to all-India audiences. In simple fact, often a great hard work is made to be sure which it cannot be discovered with any particular region of India.

-Acting is high since it is extracted from the traditional Native american indian folk forms.

-Melodrama has an abiding occurrence in conditions of plot, personality and use of history music.

-The use of the camera is often flashy, drawing focus on itself. The editing too is obtrusive which sometimes stand in contrast to European concepts of continuity.

-Characters are rarely unique individuals; they sometimes are social stereotypes or archetypes.

-Songs and dances are very important components of a film’s charm. They intervene into the narrative flow, often without much justification. Thus, motion pictures are not always ‘organic’ in the Western sense but neither perhaps there is much need to make it so. This may be exactly why Western audiences withstand this type of movie theater, i. e. for it is lack of organicity.

-Films rarely fall into types since it is realized in case of North american cinema. Rather, every film is usually a combo of different genres. Hence the principle of the masala combine or the thali food.

Indian popular films never pretend to be entirely realistic. They are ruled by conventions commonly distributed between filmmakers and viewers. These conventions have developed historically and possess reached a measure of stability. Native american indian popular films may not be regarded by the realistic yardstick applied to Western movies.

It is an open up secret that Indian cinema’s greatest weakness is the screenplay. The craft of writing has rarely recently been taken seriously in the Indian popular cinema and this reflects in the fact that scriptwriters are usually poorly paid, if at all. That also explains the vicious ring why serious writers do not want to endeavor into screenwriting. All this stands in direct compare to how films are made in Europe or America where the movie script is the bedrock of film financing and movie script development is a huge industry. Hollywood, in particular, invests huge amounts of profit developing screenplays, only a tiny fraction of which actually find their way to production. In India, development funding for pictures is rare or no.

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