From Devdas to Dev D
When I was younger, and even now, as a conversation starter I am often asked, “So, what do you do in your free time besides reading?”
“Umm… I watch movies,” I reply back, without missing a beat. Their crestfallen faces, on hearing this, tell me they were expecting something loftier. ‘Hey, I’m sorry,’ I think defensively, that I don’t work towards global warming or something more soul stirring. But I have never understood why movies are not considered at par with intellectual activities like reading and writing. Just like literature they also mirror our times. Just like there’s trash in literature there are trashy movies too but they get the bad rep. I may go as far in saying that if anyone wishes to know about a country, its rituals, or how it has changed over the years, that country’s movies can be a good starting point fact. Historians can err, they can be coerced into but movies are a great medium of expression.
As a child of the Doordarshan era (yeah, yeah, I am THAT old), I have watched numerous regional movies, they would air every Sunday afternoon. I could never pronounce those names, but thank God for subtitles, they made sense. Then there was the NFDC era where they regularly churned out pathbreaking stuff. All of these movies have shaped my character and influenced my thinking subconsciously over the years. There’s no way I’m going to be apologetic about it and neither would I have it any other way.
The way books introduce us to the rest of the world, so do movies. Curate a movie list for your children, like you would pick books for them, consciously choosing what you would want them to watch. They are far more effective and fun in driving a point across, than any other medium.
Recently when Facebook started the trend of putting up your favourite movies for ten days and tagging other along the way, my timeline was filled with colourful movie posters. And though there was no explanation required, some chose to write about them and I could see that there were so many others like me who were movie buffs and were moved by them. The comments that would follow were fun and funny, profound at times.
Let’s not dismiss them as an idle man’s (or woman’s) pursuit. In fact, I strongly believe that if we take movies seriously, maybe they will be encouraged to make better ones and deter those who try to shove nonsense down our throats!
Have a great Saturday and as they say… See you at the movies…..
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