Experimental Cinema: The latest term in Bollywood

Posted on 18 May 2010 by BMMBoxer

After decades of sure shot formulas that led movies in Bollywood, the industry is now witnessing a wave of experimental cinema. Actors are ready to take the risk; directors have their thoughts (and script) in place and a production house backing them as well. And the end result, a refreshingly different movie that unveils reality in an entertaining way.

So what is Experimental Cinema?

Experimental the word in itself is which indicates exploring of newer existence. People experiment i.e. they conjure up a formula that helps create something non-existent before but brought into much of its existence now. To experiment is basically to try something new in order to develop an altogether difference.

Cinema or the 70mm screen perceived motion film has also undergone experimentation regarding various aspects. For example the evolution of silent movie era to the digital Dolby days, cinema has evolved from strength to strength only in the path of developing improvisation. Similarly the term “experimental cinema” or “new-age cinema” is the one of the latest successful cases of improvisations in the film-making process. Who would have thought of using cell-phone cameras, CCTV’s, hidden cameras like bullet camera, pen camera, etc. To shoot footage for a movie??? And then this footage derived from various sources being put together to make a blockbuster film out of it. Yes, I am talking about the recently released movie from the “ekta kapoor” lobby, directed by debutante director “dibaker banerjee” by the name “Love, Sex Aur Dhoka”. Despite of not being a star-studded affair the movie saw stupendous success. And by saying this I do not uphold the title of the movie for providing titillation for a part of the total amount of tickets being sold. It was a simple storyline executed in a unique format not popularized with the Hindi movie audience, which acted as a major crowd puller.

This new concept was already experimented with a few years old release “Aamir” which had also gained critical acclaim. The audience today is not like the old time’s audience who would watch a movie for the nth number of time just for the sake of entertainment or the casted star’s popularity and come again repeatedly till a new movie does not show up. In those times the means of relaxation or rejuvenation were also limited and thus almost all the times the mindless cinema saw a steady upscale growth.

But today’s audience is an intelligent species. On the other hand we also have various means of entertainment being provided at our beck n call, thus the cinema maker has also awakened to our needs. Mindless genre has given way to a new-age cinema where the cinema goer who thinks is given what he asks for. Another recent release “Well Done Abba”, Directed by Shyam Benegal, had a simple rural backdrop where a common man with his genuine intentions, fights for a general cause like provision for water and the position of the government officials is also starkly represented. The characters portrayed by the leading actors like Boman Irani (in a double role), Minissha Lamba, Ila Arun, etc. The story has been smartly wound around the main cause thereby leading the audience to drive home the point.

Thus, experimental cinema is heading to nowhere but to creating a new improved way of perceiving the motion picture, thereby creating a more satisfied and a much more knowledgeable audience!!

Gargi Waghdhare

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