Enough of pandering and sucking up to Cine‘Mummy’! Let’s embrace our Cine’MAA’!

Enough of pandering and sucking up to Cine‘Mummy’! Let’s embrace our Cine’MAA’!

In 1975, Shashi Kapoor saab said Salim-Javed’s immortal line “Mere Paas Maa Hai” and the audience of India clapped, whistled and cheered be it A, B or C centres!

Hindi cinema has always been larger than life, filled with dialogue-baazi, naach-gaana, emotion, comedy and Manoranjan from Manmohan Desai to Prakash Mehra, from David Dhawan to Rohit Shetty, the so called ‘masala’ or ‘leave-your-brains-at-home’ cinema has reaped rich rewards pan India! But the advent of multiplexes and exposure to Hollywood and world cinema gave rise to a school of thought amongst the modern industry that seeti-taali and commercial cinema was passé as the audiences wanted more classy and intelligent film in today’s age.

No doubt some films were appreciated and worked to a certain extent at the Box office as films got more real and earned credibility. But that didn’t mean that we stopped catering to the majority of India who still wanted to be entertained, wanted to see larger than life heroes, clap on great dialogues and whistle to foot-tapping massy songs! 2017 has been the graveyard of many films and film-makers and while the discussion was how only content films work, first came along Baahubali 2 which was the most filmy, massy, commercial, bichdaa hua bhai of Manmohan Desai cinema that created history and hysteria at the Box-office! All theories about classy cinema were pounded into the pavement! With the Baahubali series, S.S.Rajmouli proved that in our country masala will NEVER go out style!

Besides Baahubali 2 even the other highest grosser of 2017 like Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Jolly LLB2 were mass entertainers! Hindi Medium, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan also weren’t art house or pseudo intelligent films! In their own genre they provided loads of entertainment! People kept saying that cinema in India is no longer for the masses and single screen cinema won’t work. Then came the box office Phenomenon which squashed all these theories and proved that critics may hate, but audiences will always celebrate cinema which the Mass of India! Yes I am speaking of Judwaa2! This film helmed by the entertainer no. 1 David Dhawan Sir, broke records all over India and the audience were rolling with laughter in the cinemas! Despite being panned by reviewers; his pairing with his super-star son Varun Dhawan and the most commercial producer of our times Mr. Sajid Nadiadwala, proved that the audience has brains and don’t see these films as ‘brainless’ like our critics would have them believe! Some reviews asked the question ‘Why remake judwaa?’ Well the audience provided them the answer with the historic collections and appreciation that they gave the film.

Enough of pandering and sucking up to Cine‘Mummy’! Let’s embrace our Cine’MAA’!1

The truth of the matter is that if a film has to do All India BIG business, it will HAVE to have Content that the front-benchers will lap up! Without Dialoguebaazi the Box office baazi can’t be won! Again the critics will moan, cry, weep, ridicule but Golmaal Again has made so much Maal that the industry will benefit the most!

While l applaud a Newton and love watching a Nil Battey Sannata I also love a Judwaa 2 and a Golmaal Again. There is space for all kind of movies to be made but if we continue to look down on cinema that is unabashedly playing to the gallery just because we want to appear ‘Cool’ and ‘Modern’ then the industry will keep churning out flop after flop. We all like to go out once in a while and eat Italian or Mexican food. But the main source of our nourishment is always and will always be ghar ka dal-chawal! Massy, commercial, entertaining cinema is our identity, our escape, our desire. And such films if made well will always connect big with the audiences. Yes we may also go wrong sometimes with this genre, but the day we go right; the sky will be the limit.

So let’s remember that ‘Jo jale nahi, voh phhataaka nahi aur jo film chale nahi voh Dhamaaka nahi!’ Enough of pandering and sucking up to Cine‘Mummy’! Let’s embrace our Cine’MAA’!

(This column first appeared in the print edition of Super Cinema dated 20th Oct 2017)

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