….wonders filmmaker Kushan Nandy. And if you are smart and well aware of the discussions in social media platforms, you can connect the dots too.
Last night I watched Shanghai.
The entire 114 minutes of its running time, I did not flinch. Brilliantly scripted, performed and directed, it is a film where every department competes with each other to underplay. A rarity in Indian Cinema today.
I was truly entertained.
There were twenty-four people watching the Friday evening show along with me, a few had dozed off, three men sitting behind me were giggling and farting away and another gentleman was screaming and spitting into his cellphone.
Obviously they weren’t entertained.
Back home, I read the trade reports that claimed a 15% opening. The film hadn’t entertained a soul.
I was the idiot.
Indian Cinema, now almost 100 years old, the largest movie industry in the world says entertainment is the only driving factor that persuades people to go to a movie theatre.
Sad. Because porn entertains too. And you don’t need to pay for it.
Sad. Because even one of the most stressed out, autocratic, poverty-stricken countries, Iran, doesn’t say that. They go out and make A Separation instead.
Sad. Because, entertainment has a new name. Constipation-remedy.
Poverty. Corruption. Quality of Life. Our audience is stressed out, they say. They need a release. Which makes it sound a bit like constipation looking for relief.
And what hits me every Friday, in the name of this entertainment or laxative is more frightening. I see men flying at ninety-six frames per second, defying gravity. I see inane, asinine humor, which doesn’t even make my driver laugh. I see the same item number, repackaged with different breasts every time.
And all these films have not made a penny less than a 100 crores. They have obviously entertained someone, somewhere. Well, quite a few someones who belong to an India I don’t understand. These someones who have discovered laxative and named it entertainment and vice versa.
And yes, I love entertaining cinema. I love Sholay. I love Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. I love Hrishikesh Mukherjee. I love Parinda. I love Paan Singh Tomar. I love the Ram Gopal Verma films which were made before the dinosaurs went extinct.
So I will go out and watch Shanghai again. I will hope it picks up. Makes money. So that more people make more Shanghais. So that I get the weekly dose of entertainment I prefer.
Because sir, I am not constipated.
(PS – You can read his earlier post here.)