Difference between Good cinema and an Empty plot

Varsha Baiju

We all have witnessed at least one particular semester during our college days where seminars and conferences may seem way too informative sometimes. Call it weird, or maybe it’s the change of the atmosphere, or is it the tone of delivery? Seminars and lectures about thought provoking topics have always been my genre. Because such occasions are instances where for once you feel like thinking out of the box and moving away from the mainstream realm. One such event that managed to spark an entirely different ideology was the Vichaarmanthan which was held on the 15th March, 2018 in KJC.

The chief guest for that day was an eminent, a well acknowledged and one of the greatest contributors to the Indian film industry, it was none other than the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award winner Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, and had I missed out on this I would’ve clearly called it one of my biggest mistakes. The event was organized by the PG Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, and it mainly focused on the current film trends and revolutionary styles that have been implemented. Since this was the time our Film Appreciation course which had just been completed, and also being a journalism student, I considered myself to be quite informed about the topic. However, with the brief history of Indian Cinema along with the personal examples given by Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, the talk was extremely informative. With this session, my entire thought about the Indian Cinema changed just like that.

He quoted that “No one in India would ever have thought that film making would be considered an academic topic today, nobody believed that it would,” The hard hit progress and development in the field of cinema was stated in that one sentence. He took the audience on a step-by-step journey, starting all the way from Nehru’s roots, as how cinema has come a long way, and how the film making processes have gone through immense changes to be what it is today He also shared various on and off screen experiences and examples of struggles he had to overcome in order to reach his present setting. Censorship was another important base that was covered by him. He spoke about how it is considered a big deal in India when a cigarette is lit on screen, in comparison to how it’s not even considered an insult when people walk on the streets with a lit cigarette in their hands. This in fact, was a hard hitting reality. It made me realize how film directors and producers are imposed with so many restrictions that does nothing but hamper the essence and creativity the plot is supposed to build. In fact, it ruins the film in itself.

He also emphasized the need for good cinemas in the present realm. He criticized the present system and empty plots that are released; and, firmly stood for what the golden age had produced. “The idea of spreading the message of good cinema is getting lost. It is important that we expose the concept of a good cinema to children from a young age,” opined the renowned filmmaker.

We, as mere spectators, fail to understand the struggles that go into a film being displayed or the mobilization and the influence a good film can initiate. It is about time we looked past mainstream cinema and questioned what our subjective interpretation of a good film is. The experience was enlightening on a whole new level. Such opportunities are way too precious to be missed out. Therefore I sincerely urge and recommend my fellow Jayantians to keep an eye out for more of such thought provoking seminars and lectures that our college offers.

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