The Big Fight:
Convenience of Home Viewing Vs Charisma of Cinemas

31th May 2021

It has been much more than an year that we have been trying to adapt to the new normal in these unprecedented times. Apart from the other social and lifestyle changes, one of the biggest change for me as a movie buff has been the absence of theatre experience.

Amidst all the concerns about the future of cinema chains and theatre industry, there’s a large section which thinks that the range and quality of content and the cost and convenience at which it is available is going to make an irreparable dent in the future of this industry.

But there’s also a section that firmly believes that nothing, absolutely nothing can ever replace the charisma of the theatre experience. I certainly belong to that section.

Having subscribed to about a dozen different streaming platforms, having got home audio-visual set up installed, complete with projector, big screen, surround sound et al, it should have made me feel jump with glee. But it sounds thankless to say that I am still not happy. I long for that wholesome experience of sitting in a dark theatre, completely cut off from the world, surrounded by the amazing Dolby sounds.
It is strange that the more masala the entertainer is, the more I miss the theatres.
Don’t you think that the crowd euphoria is deliciously contagious sometimes ?When the stars make that those dynamic, larger than life entries, when they beat the pulp out of baddies , the whistles and the claps around you adds to your euphoria. I miss that adrenaline rush.
I also feel that the uninterrupted nature of viewing that we have in theatres helps us make a better connect to the film by heart and by mind. I have experienced that it has effected my reaction to certain films sometimes.

While I am loving the frontiers that I have opened for myself and devouring the digital content left, right and centre; While I am loving the fact that I am now relishing a wider variety of cinema than before;While I know I am saving a lot of money that used to be spent on my regular cinema visits, I still miss the theatres.
Will wait for the times to be completely safe before venturing there. But once the health scare vanishes, I would like to get back to my old normal !

I am sure each cinema buff out there has a view on this. Share yours.

A Misfit Lost in the Fanatic Fandoms and A Bitterly Divided Industry

23rd Feb 2021

The last one year has shown us an unprecedented face of the world and life.
Human beings being a wonderful combination of adaptation and resilience, I am sure the world will bounce back , healthier and hopefully wiser.
But this year’s darkness has its fangs in the Bollywood so tight and so deep that I wonder how and how far will the industry recover. And I truly wish they too bounce back healthier, wiser and cleaner.

Read something very truthful and wise in an article the other day. “People tend to decide what to agree with depending upon who says it rather than what is being said”.
Thats sadly true in the case of virtually war thats raging in Bollywood and the millions following it.

I have seen that people and fans blindly support and defend their idols irrespective of the blinding facts in public domain. Have always felt a misfit amongst the numerous fandoms and their varied combinations of camaraderie and animosity. I end up being with none.

While I find that I agree with Kangana on one aspect,I feel she overdoes it on the next. While I felt sad at the way a section bashed up Taapsee and Anubhav’s Thhappad( for obvious reasons) , I feel equally sad with the way they gang up when it comes to valid issues being raked up. While I wrinkle my nose at the derogatory comments being passed at Alia for being a part of the popular gang, I also frown at the way a certain strata of Bollywood operates it with mafia-ism, gang-ism and bullying.While I disliked the way Chhapaak was trashed up at IMDB for political reasons, I ended up genuinely not liking it as a film.While I strongly feel that the industry needs a massive turn around in the way it functions (all thanks to certain upper echelons), I still refuse to be part of the boycott gang.

For I believe that a film doesn’t belong to the maker alone but hundreds involved in the process of turning a story into a film that reaches the masses.While I do not want to be a part of this insider-outsider war, for there are success and failure stories on both ends, I still want the industry to be a little less harsh to everyone aspiring to be apart of it.

It is not the nepotism that is the problem here. It is possible that even favouritism is not a problem. After all, everyone has a chance to work with whomever they want. But the mafia-ism that commands and expects others to bow to their whims, definitely is; snatching work from someone and assigning it to others, definitely is; arm twisting theatres to not let the rival film have enough screens, definitely is; ensuring that certain artists do not get work, definitely is !
So many wonderful actors and singers not able to be cope up with the dirty race and game, slow down or bow out. It is our loss as audience and fans that we get to see and hear less of them.

Well, as audience, there isn’t much that we can do about this hullabaloo apart from waging wars on social media. But thats not what’s going to help. I really wish we, as audience, start supporting good cinema.This seems like a far away dream ,considering that even reviews of the best quality cinema do not get as many likes as the review of even a trashy blockbuster ! And the irony is that I myself understand the fact as to why would anyone spend money or time on something that he doesn’t enjoy, however good it may be.

But no harm in dreaming. Whats more important here is the belief that each film, however niche, has a segment meant for it. What I actually wish is that the film manages to earn its deserved at least from that segment. A small dream to begin with !

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