After No Smoking (which unfortunately went up in smokes) the next movie I watched First Day was Khoya Khoya Chand. The movie requires an extensive knowledge of the Hindi Movies of yore to be completely understood and appreciated, hence a review is totally off my limits.
But there are few things that struck me, outside of the movie, but still inside the movie hall, which seems to show us this SAD state of affairs. SAD here means Short Attention-span Disorder, and this seems to be what is plaguing the new age Indian moviegoer. I am not saying that I am an intellectual guy and the rest of them in there were morons, but at some point they did seem to act like a baby who didnt get farex on time.
The audience is always the best judge of a movie, because it is for us that the movies are made. But the audiences these days seem to need this very McDonald-ish fast food kind of treatment from the movies. We seem to enjoy only one brand of movies, and that is the mindless comedies floating around. We need every scene to be a laugh riot. If we dont laugh through a movie we dont enjoy the movie. If we dont enjoy the movie we are not gonna pay for the movie. Its plain and simple principles.
When was the last time a movie which doesnt exactly leave you smiling did well in the box office? Beats me. To analyse the reasons why our sensibilities have changed is quite beyond me. If we look at the pattern from the movies which has done well, we can see that comedies, mindless or otherwise works. Star power holds atleast the opening. Eklavya was thrashed by most of the critics and was a movie I thought did not do so well in the box office either, but even that movie shows a 10 Crore plus revenue. Movies like Dhol and Dhamaal also earns well past their production cost and is labelled Hit. I watched Dhamaal and tried my best to like it, but the movie succeeded over my earnest of efforts by providing shit after shit after… well shit; what else where you expecting from a movie which has Javed Jaffery in suspenders throughout.
Movies for us have become like Archies Comics; short and funny. Dont give us too much headaches and help us laugh a little, even if it means the lead actors have to catch pizza slices falling from ceiling for like say 10 mins, we are ready to take it. If there are stupid faces, slapstick buffoonery or anything which has the ‘noble’ intention of being funny, we will pay for it. I dont really mean to say that comedies are bad. There are good ones with the heart at the right place; like Partner. It was a funny movie and a good funny movie at that. Coming from David Dhawan we know this will be mindless one and we get a mindless comedy which makes us feel good inside. Unlike Heyy Babyy in which lead actors make stupid faces and cracks the worst of sexual innuendos which passes off for comedy.
I really wonder if there were any potential classics made in this period and was completely lost thanks to the sensibilities or the lack there of, of the new age Indian moviegoers. I wonder if a Mughal-e-Azam or even a Sholay was to be released in this period would find any takers. This year was one where there was a lot of experimentation from new age movie makers; a few of which succeeded (Bheja Fry, Johnny Gaddar, Black Friday) and others which failed in the Box Office (Manorama Six feet Under, No Smoking - funny Anurag Kashyap features in both the sides). Even the comeback of Madhuri Dixit with Aaja Nachle couldnt quite dance to the tunes of the Box Office. We as movie goers have become distant from enjoying emotions through movies other than those that tickle the funny bones. With Khoya Khoya Chand, it seems yet another movie with good sensibilities and artistic values is being pimped out to the Indian movie viewers only to bow in front of the cat calls and jeers. In pure Hindi film tradition, I feel like protecting these wonderful movies before they face humiliation in front of the audience by shouting:
“Basanti, in kutton ke samne mat naachna.”