Friday, February 11, 2011
When Race comes off as the most grossing film in Pakistan; when 3 idiots translates into a cult phenomenon and inspires our modern college life; when Katrina Kaif becomes the overt guilty pleasure of straight Pakistani men; when popular text-message jokes give detailed analyses of Sheila and Munni; when examples from My Name Is Khan are cited in discussions on terrorism; when Baghban and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham are heralded as the honest custodians of our “Eastern” values; you woefully start questioning, has the Pakistani taste & intellect level hit an all-time low?
Lest I be endowed with hurtful and bemoaning glances, I’ll admit that, yes, Bollywood does come up with one decent movie per annum that actually makes sense and is not, as Shoaib Mansoor puts it, “a more expensive version of what we produce in Lollywood”. But otherwise I’ll rather take to this fact; major international movie critics and academies have time and again refused to consider Bollywood productions as good cinema. Big box-office earnings and Madam Tussaud’s wax-statues are, sorry to say, not judges of substantial cinema.
So how justified are “vulgarity” & “not being thought-conducive” the main causes behind our staying away from Lollywood? If I'm forgetting did not Race, one of the highest grossers in Pakistan, have a proper semi-nude romance scene (Indian ishtyle ofcourse)? And how thought-conducive Race was and what morals it preached to our masses is a big black question mark over my ever inquisitive brain. Kurbaan, another highly anticipated Indian flick in Pakistan, had the lead female in a completely nude back in its poster and a good dose of nudity in the actual movie too. Dostana enticed our female (and gay) populace into frenzy with its wondrous half-naked shots of one of the male leads. Every single Bollywood picture has its moments of rank obscenity, be it present in actual cinematography or coming out in the song lyrics and dialogues. Moreover apart from a few handful flicks that churn out their morally sound concoctions for the-well-being-of-Mother-India, none has the ability to somehow augment the dwindling intellectual and aesthetic levels of the people of this Sub-Continent.
Hence staying away from our local movie productions and vindicating it by screaming out “vulgar” and having “no message” is not just illogical, it is a blatant lie! Our public needs to find a better explanation; they might just have to admit one of the many truths. Do they prefer watching expensive obscenity, hence Bollywood or is it just another ramification of our lack of confidence in every Pakistani industry? Have our minds been attuned to cheap humor and plotlines or are we just downright tacky and garish? Rest assured, our reasons for preferring a competing film industry as opposed to ours, which has the capacity to deliver marvels under proper guidance, education and funding, are highly uncalled for. It all goes just like C. S. Lewis said “