Tuesday, February 19, 2008


In my past few years of existence I have seen numerous cinemas. Cinema as it is defined a series of frames put together with some background score and dialogues. The definition above is as crude as to say that a painting is few grams of different color put together on a canvas to suit the maker’s ideas. Cinema is art form full of celebration, desire, love, hate and all other forms of human emotions. Its different issue all together how we define what is a good or bad film. A good film for me may be utterly boring for somebody else. But that is not the point I want to convey. I have only seen a few good movies among the endless collection of good ones. I would tell you story as to how I got interested in it.
In my initial years of higher education cinema halls were the only source of my cinema viewing. Every friday night a new release and I would be there to view the late night show. Constraints on my pocket would force me to go for the cheapest tickets where in you would have to sit on the first two rows of the hall. By the end of the show your neck would be really tired moving around from right to left and vice verse. Well, on the first row the screen would be so close sometimes that you can't whole of it in one go. Then there were theatres which were not so costly and I would take up a seat in the back and watch the movie without bothering about my neck. In those days I would mostly watch hindi movies. They were sometimes good but somehow it was not fulfilling.
Then few years later I got my own desktop and it opened numerous options for me. This is when my real love with cinema began. Then I realized what was missing from the cinema I was viewing. What exactly got me fixed to the chair was a movie named "The Shawshank Redemption". No singing around trees like the regular hindi stuff. A plain narrative starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman and others. That particular movie made me think what life is worth. There I got the word "hope". Though it may sound hope is sometimes misleading but sometimes it may be the only thing we have. Hope is everything.
I watched many more in between and then there were a few Satyajit Ray ones. "Goopi Gayan Bagha Bayan", "Apur Sansar", "Pather Panchali". Goopi Gayan Bagha Bayan made in the days when special effect was absent but would have beaten hands down many western movies on special effects. For one of his movies Stayajit Ray had to wait one year because the kind of flower field he wanted for a shot was completely destroyed by a hard of cattles and then they had to come back next year for that shot. It is just not these facts which make those movies great but the composition. The amount of human feelings these movies are filled with and the extent of attachment the viewer feels with the protagonist makes them great.
Then came some westerners, really nail biting ones. "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", "For a Few Dollars More". I really don't know what to say about them. They were simply superb, made to perfection with mind boggling background score. And watching these movies childhood memories of watching hindi westerners become very vivid and then you feel how hollow most of those movies are. Then came the gangster ones, "The Godfather", you watch it and straight away you add Al Pacino to your fav actor list. Well did I mention Morgan Freeman was already there? Anyway he was on my list with Shawshank. The list of such movies which had influence on me will be endless but here I would talk about two more movies which I would like to share with you.
The first one "Forrest Gump". This movie forced me to think about the very human nature of hero worship. Forrest just wanted to run a long way and the world started saying is he running for peace, is he running for this or that, it asked the basic question on the face of human civilization as to why there should always be a cause for any action. Why it can't be just that I run a few extra miles on my own or why is it that I can't do something without thinking of the fame and money I will gain out of it? Is it to too difficult to realize that some things are just for the sake that I feel happy doing it?
The second one would be "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso". To me it was celebration of cinema. Me and my friends even formed a group named on this cinema. Well about the movie you better watch it. I am too poor with words to say anything about this one in this piece. Watching all those good movies made me realize it is possible to make movies without any dance numbers or love songs with dancing around trees. What makes a good cinema is its ability to make viewers make a part of the story, absorb him and force him to think and ask questions freely. It is more or less a mirror to the society we live in. Where on earth do you find that a boy is declaring his love for a girl dancing around trees? Well these are my experiences and feelings and I can keep on writing endlessly but I would prefer to stop here.

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