Monday, July 14, 2008

Hindi Cinema

Is Hindi film escapist? Sure as hell is for me. Surely all cinema is escapist in some sense, enabling you to disappear into another world where time is speeded up and multiple worlds unfold around u. It doesn’t really matter if it is Mike Leigh or Manmohan Desai, Lukas Moodyson or David Dhawan: they all present other worlds where things just don’t happen the way that they do in real life – but perhaps should. What is wrong in affirming the possibility that good might well triumph over evil, and that given the right conditions people might just burst into song in the mustard fields of the Punjab and kids might grow wings and play football on the roofs of Russian tower blocks? We all have times in our lives when we want to leave the reality that we live in and let our minds escape into other possible realities, be it at the Curzon Soho in London or the Eros cinema in downtown Mumbai. For the rickshaw driver whose life is endless traffic stress, abuse and exploitation, what could be nicer thatn seeing an ordinary man take on the world and win both respect and the girl? I have often escaped into five-star hotels, exiting my life in London and entering the sparkly world of the famous where everyone is beautiful and shimmers. 

……………….We all take a little of the energy of the film we have seen out with us, making the world we live in just that bit more bearable for a while. Of course it needs topping up as the harshness of life crashes down again upon our heads, but is this such a bad addiction?

- Jessica Hines in Looking for the Big B. Bollywood Bachchan and Me

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