Our Perceptions Have Evolved

So, when Nasserudin Shah in Ishkiya discovers that Arshad Warsi and Vidaya Balan were having an affair (or were in love, read it as you like) he called it hunger for sex, then Arshad Warsi responds with “your love, love, our love is sex!”.

That puts forth a valid question- why are there dual standards for judging when two things are exactly the same? Perhaps, because when two different generations look at a particular situation their perspective won’t be the same. Which is why, in movies there will be thousands of portrayals of a single story. Look at Devdas, K L sehgal’s version was much different from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s version. Throughout history of cinema such examples can be quoted.

What may be the trend today, will not remain there tomorrow. And now, we can see the change more frequently than ever. A decade back, would a Delhi Belly be possible? Had it not been the daring Aamir Khan, I wonder if any producer would have considered the story to be brought out as a movie. However, today it is widely accepted, if not appreciated for its highly abusive language.

Journey of Indian cinema in the past decade has seen numerous experiments, some were loved, some were rejected. Consider the year 2001, when Amitabh Bachchan made a comeback we saw a new hero rising, he wasn’t even close to the clichéd image of a hero, yet he was loved by the people. Alongside we witnessed, Hritik Roshan making his debut in Kaho Na Pyar Hai, who was a perfect combination of great looks and good acting, he too was loved. A few years later the concepts of a typical *hero* changed. He need not be a body builder, 6 feet long. He can be somebody like Shahid Kapur or Abhay Deol or the recent one, Prateek Babbar.

Indian cinema has changed, from inside out. Remember Page 3, yes Madhaur Bhandarkar’s film, it had a few gay love scenes, which were censored. People couldn’t have swallowed it. But, in 2009 came the historic Section 377 judgment by the Delhi High court. Since then, the scenario has changed. I doubt that the viewer has any issues with LGBT relationships onscreen, or even off-screen.

Movies like Dev D, Love, Sex aur Dhoka were appreciated for making a brave attempt to reflect the darker, bolder side of life, the one that society keeps secretive, or the one that exists but nobody dares to say aloud.

Descending from the genre of family movies, Baghban, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Vivaah the masses are now more open to any subject. It won’t be wrong if I say that Indian cinema has finally turned “experimental” majorly because everything and anything is widely accepted without being judged (by most people). Put it this way, being experimental is not the sole right of parallel cinema anymore. The subjects and themes in movies have evolved, for better or worse, is left to the consumers of this medium of communication to decide.

Movies like Aamir, Udaan, I Am, Mujhse Fraandship Karoge, would not fail to find a market despite being in competition with big banner and multi-million projects like Ra.One.

I have to admit that contradictions will always remain there. Sometimes movies have to face the heat from certain set of audiences, like Aarakshan. But, everyone also has to admit that perceptions are changing. Allow me to quote Ram Gopal Verma’s comment of The Dirty Picture, “dirty is clean and clean is dirty”, and as far as reviews and box office reports goes this film is being watched, liked and even appreciated. I guess that says it all.

Shikha Nehra