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Masala v/s Realism – A Juxtaposition!

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The purpose of art is to communicate in a way other forms can’t do. So artists, through films try and communicate the same to their audience. Film, for more than 100 years have been entertaining us and the film-makers have been communicating various things that otherwise would have been impossible. From silent era to talkies, from golden-era to classic-era and from masala to serious-films, cinema has travelled a long way and is still going strong.
Cinema in today’s world is the most popular means of entertainment not only in India but everywhere. Millions of people watch movies everyday all over the world to not only entertain themselves but also to escape the boredom and troubles of daily life.
Movies have the charm that captivates the imagination of common people; make them relieve of their daily woes and anxieties. Indian cinema-apart from world cinema-has a charm, flavor and magic of its own. A typical Indian masala-film has the spice and variety of life in it, transporting the audience to a totally different world where everything and anything is possible. It has a touch of every possible emotion a human being knows. It has love, hate, revenge, drama, tears, joys and also its own share of songs and dances. But cinema in India is not mere song and dance, love, hate and revenge but it is much more than that.
The wave of parallel-cinema, serious cinema or art cinema ages back to 1920s and 1930s. The realism in cinema is credited to the Bengali film-makers with stalwarts namely Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha and many others. They provided an alternative to the mainstream commercial Indian cinema, represented especially by popular Hindi cinema. Early years of parallel cinema had very few takers, but gradually this gained popularity and many actors and directors from main stream masala films started venturing into parallel cinema and now-a-days, art or parallel cinema is as successful as any masala film.
Deepa Zutshi
DME, Media School

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