Most people tell me that I come across as a Cinema snob. But trust me, I’m not qualified to be a cinema snob because I’ve not nearly seen enough films to be that. But most people in India consider cinema snobs to be those who don’t like most of the mindless fuckery that this industry (Bollywood) puts out every year. But my problem is not even with the studios, because they are in it only for the money. I hope they enjoy it in their mediocre graves or crematoriums, whatever they prefer. My problem is with the ever growing fans of some of these pathetic attempts at what should not even be considered film making, because a lot of these films are usually made just to “launch” a fading star’s son or daughter. I’m not going to waste my time listing examples because you probably know the ones I’m talking about.
I find it personally insulting that we are considered to be a country obsessed with Cricket, Religion and Cinema. I’m not going to talk at all about the first two, but we are definitely not a country obsessed with Cinema. We are a country obsessed with fame, money and the spotlight. That’s about it. If we were obsessed with cinema, we would have called out the “blockbusters” which blatantly plagiarize (I will soon write a post solely on Plagiarism in Bollywood) films from around the world and get away with it. We’re obsessed with ‘Page 3’. If we were really a country obsessed with cinema, people would consider Pyaasa to be a popular Bollywood classic, not the (partially) plagiarized ‘Sholay’ or the movie that eve teasers watch for training, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (I’m going to write a post on this as well).
All of this unchecked mediocrity happens in the name of one simple term that nobody understands, “Entertainment”. Whenever anyone criticizes any popular film or music in the country with valid reasons, the fans of those products go ape shit. And when all of their rhetorical arguments fail, they just hide behind the phrase, “It’s entertaining”. No, it’s fucking not. Entertainment doesn’t have a specific parameter. What is entertaining to me might not be entertaining to you and vice versa. So stop calling bullshit films that you like because you don’t understand anything better as “Entertainment” as if it magically applies to everyone. Saying some thing is entertaining is a bullshit argument. Because everyone has different standards of entertainment. So if something entertains YOU, it doesn’t make it great by default.
The thing is, most of the popular Bollywood Studios and their fans are extremely insecure. They want to make shit, they want to watch shit, they want to make tons of money through that shit, which is fine. But when anyone calls their films ‘shit’, they suddenly become super defensive. And then they resort to lame excuses like “it’s entertaining” as if implying that well made films are not. And even though films are highly subjective when it comes to the audiences choice but at the end of the day, all films are pieces of art and there’s always parametres to tell good from bad art. Like cinematography, editing, writing, direction, acting, screenplay, etc. And most audiences won’t be able to tell whether a film has done well in those specific aspects. Which is why audiences cannot decide whether a film is good or bad. They can, however, decide whther they like it or not. Which is perfectly fine because that’s the only thing up to them because popular opinion doesn’t matter while judging and analysing art.
P.S – Believe it or not, I do not hate Bollywood. In fact some of my personal favorite films have been from popular hindi cinema ,yet, not all of those films are good (see how I made that distinction?).