It’s fair to say that people with any sort of power are constantly toying with movie releases, fighting for bans, censorship or maybe something else, but what are we doing? Are we on the front foot, defending the movies we love so much? It isn’t about who has directed, who’s in the film, who’s produced the film, who’s the supporting cast or who the DOP is. It’s about one thing: Movies.
When it comes to worshipping..yes, worshipping film stars, we’re definitely ahead of other countries. We make a tremendous amount of movies every single year. (We make over 1,000 films every year if you didn’t know) India probably has the most star driven movie industry(s) in the World. We don’t only have a star system, we have a system that is controlled by stars. It’s not a secret that the largest sections of the audience usually flock to movies based on “Who’s in it” or “Who’s leading” as opposed to “What’s it about?”
From taxi drivers to corporates, everybody has their favourite film stars, moments in film, action scenes, and the like.
All this just screams: WE LOVE MOVIES.
If you are unaware of the situation, click on the link below.
The Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India appears to have forced this perception to become reality. The association, which represents 450-odd single screen establishments in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa, announced on Friday that it has directed its members to not screen movies featuring Pakistani, singers or musicians. The immediate casualty of the decision is Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Pakistani star Fawad Khan.
…But what are we doing, for these movies? Sometimes it’s not about whether you’re a fan of Karan Johar or Aditya Chopra or Anurag Kashyap or Vishal Bharadwaj. It’s about the fact that they’re all making films. I may not watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil but I definitely want it to get a fair release. On the debate whether Pakistani artists will feature in Bollywood movies from now on, the answer is already with you. It’s done and dusted. Right?
But how can you punish a film that was casted and shot when things were “okay”? Was Karan Johar supposed to have a vision of the future? “Hey Karan, by the time this film releases, may be relations with Pakistan will be extremely bitter” If you do not believe that he had to have such a vision, how can you blame him for legally casting an actor who’s been granted a visa by our own trusted authorities?
If these stars weren’t granted visas, none of this would have happened.
This brings us to the main question. People are strongly divided on the basis of the camps they stand for. These camps are built out of the “star” they worship. Yes, it actually exists on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Say the Ranvir Singh fans (for some random reason) will be happy with the fate ADHM has had. Or say for some strange reason, the Salman Khan fans will be happy with it’s fate as well. How does this add up? How can we be happy when another movie is suffering? You may hate the movie, you may detest the stars in it, you may not like the director, you may hate the poster, whatever your reason may be, YOU LOVE MOVIES. Why don’t you go all out supporting the film? Don’t watch it if you don’t want. But it has every right to exist and get a fair release.
Being such a large industry, the number of divisions are insanely large as well. There’s no cliche ask of “Stand together”. No body has asked you to hold hands and protest on the streets. The simple logic is, when a film lands up in a situation, its a film, the medium is what you love, it has to have every right to get a release.
Movies are movies. Who’s in it, who’s made it, who’s produced it, all of that comes later.