Cinema is a two edged sword, it not only plays a mirror to the society but also is a notable influencer, both the puppet and the puppet master. It has been the case since Cinema came into existence and today is not much different. Films throughout the very history of mankind have played an imperative role, morphing with the need of the hour. Cinema is a powerful tool as it transcends beyond the restraints of education and cultural differences. Our fellow earthers have put it to good use in the past during the time of adversity and also for their own good, we shall discuss it all at length during the course of this article.
As stated before films act as a mirror and reflect the image back at people to jolt them out of their state of denial. Although films are made for entertainment and most people don't see it as a learning tool but no good film is made without giving it careful thought. The films might be a work of fiction but the representation of our society and its weak points are almost always accurate in films that intent to send a message. Films like Udaan, Water, OMG and many more address real issues that affect us or at least some part of our society but are not spoken about. Such films provoke thought and probably a change, no matter on how small a scale.
Even though it's pretty obvious but films definitely are the unsung heroes and are underappreciated. Due to their short length, presence of humor and closure, they provide us with the much needed break from our monotonous lives. We were all raised on folklores and it's only natural for us to hear one every once in a while. Films give us exactly that, a release from the shackles of our daily lives into an immersive experience of the world created by the filmmakers. At times people might not seem tense for over the years we all have developed a level of pretense but you can see how all the worries melt away after you have sat down with your loved ones to laugh and cry with a few fictional characters.
Good for Economy
The film industry of India is a humongous organization with widespread branches in all parts of the country and it comes as no surprise that India is the largest producer of films per year in the entire world with 1500-2000 films released each year in more than 20 different languages. With 195 countries on the surface of Earth, this makes it a huge deal and one can only imagine the amount of money the industry churns annually. India also being at the second place in terms of population and the math all adds up, the more films produced the more people watch them; larger the audience larger the revenue generation off of them. This is a great situation for our country's economy as it facilities not only internal flow of cash but also forex due to all the screenings abroad.
Not all movies are designed to have this effect but the ones with that intention hardly miss. We all in an eternal struggle with people, situations and mostly with ourselves. Life can seem a little bit too grim to carry on but watching the same struggles on-screen and the protagonist overcoming them seems to have a calming effect. We homosapiens are called social animals for a reason and all we want to do is belong, in our heads we're all alone which can get a little unnerving. Having someone play out your internal conflict makes us feel included and even though film doesn't end of a happy note we are just glad to know that it's not just us. Films give hope to people and often answer the questions we are too afraid to ask out loud, be it from any part of our life. This definitely gets out spirits high and sometimes when in a rut just watching mindless comedy can have the same effect. In the past comedy films were used to boost communal morale when the times got tougher and it wasn't the worst of the strategies humans have had.
Tools for Education
It's not an everyday affair but every now then comes along a film that sets the example and it won't seem like much at the time but it will proof it's worth when the situation calls. Films made during the world war were considered a waste of resources but they captured the crude reality of those times which now are helpful in understanding our own past. Not all students learn with text and that's when the visual aid comes in, adding such films to the curriculum have not only helped the film students specifically but any human really. If used correctly, films
Exposure to Cinema also has a downside like all other things in life. Although, the audience is well aware of its fictional nature but as humans we want to believe that beautiful lie that equally good looking actors are selling on the screen. The writer comes up with a too-good-to-be-true story, the director takes charge and actors becomes pawns in the pretend game. While we sit watching such unrealistic films we subconsciously build expectations and get frustrated when over lives down pan out in the same manner as the actors. Films sell dreams at the cost of box office collections and it's essential for the spectators to accept it as mere entertainment. It's a psychological game and it sometimes costs people their lives, which shouldn't be the case.
“Anything affects you only when you let them” true but children are impressionable and things learnt visually stick around longer. Keeping the former statement in mind, how many films can we really say are kid friendly? Not many. Now people will argue that not all films are meant for the young audience and it's the elder's job to protect their young ones but in the age of the internet there is only so much one can do. Children do get influenced, in terms of language, clothing, substance abuse and their life choices. Censor board does their job but sometimes the content calls for it.
Like quoted above, censor board does it's bit but it certainly isn't enough. In our honest opinion, the board at times intentionally overlooks major faults in films which take a toll on the audience. Over time the benchmark for explicit content has lowered but how much lower can we really let it fall? At what point do we decide that we are way past the moral codes and sanctity. This alters the mentality of men, it breaks our hearts to say it but this is what we have come to that full grown men can't decide what's right on their own and get readily influenced by a bunch of sexually charged scenes. This not only put the women's security in jeopardy but also forces women in the industry to compromise their boundaries.
Conclusively, films are art pieces and that's how they should have been made as well as perceived but now that they have become a full-blown industry it's become hard to uphold the artistic ideals. Evolution of filmmakers and the Indian audiences has always been and will always be out of sync due to the vast disparity. There will be difference in perception and opinions but the impact of it all is undeniable both negative as well as positive. As the audience we have a little growing up to do and until that happens, the industry needs to respect our limitations.