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Essay on “Cinemas: The Reflection of the Society” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Cinemas: The Reflection of the Society

Cinema is the beautiful combination of art, literature and science. It is rightly called the art form of 20th century. Art and literature are reflections of life and they present the moments of life beautifully. On the other hand, science studies man and his world. So cinema a combination of these three invariably presents man and his life in society.

In Natyashastra, Bharatamuni declares that art is the search for truth. The aim of life is not different and hence cinema, society and life are closely related. Our life and its principles are influenced by time and changes occurring in the society. Cinema, like other modes of media, is inspired and influenced by the society and it portrays it colourfully. A glance at the Indian films produced recently confirms to this fact. The changing trends in films reflect the changes taking place in our society.

In recent times most of the award-winning films are those which have urban setting with all its glamour and dark sides, exposing sex, violence and crime. Earlier, films of rural background were the first choice. Now-a-days more and more films, both art and commercial ones, focus on the urban life, the changing pattern. of rife in villages and towns, new social ethics and the impact of modernization and globalization on society.

Films like Page-3, Being Cycrus, Oil Chahta Hai, Girl Friend and Chandni Bar readily come to mind. They handle topics which are sensitive and controversial as relationship between a young woman and much older man, young man and older woman, lesbian aspect of friendship, lives of bar dancers, etc. Earlier commercial films avoided or treated these subjects casually or left them to the so-called art films. The shift clearly shows the changing face of our society.

At the same time films endeavour to appeal to different classes of people and to their varying tastes. Romance, popular novels, patriotism, underworld, politician nexus are still the moving themes and are projected without any hesitation. Devdas, Mangal Pandy, Veer Zara, Parineeta, etc. belong to this group. They portray the multicultural aspect of the Indian society. Now, analyse the relation between the hero and the harlot portrayed in Mangal Pandey. It was something unthinkable in old times, once again pointing towards the change in the mindset of society and its changing standards and maxims.

We ought to bear in mind that the three aims of art or films are to inculcate the sense of beauty, to entertain and to exhort the audience. Many firmly believe that of these three, the first one is the foremost. For this purpose, filmmakers employ different techniques and ways of storytelling like montage, flashback, etc. But the centre remains the same—man and his society. Film may be bad or good, based on a fiction or a real story, centered around a village or a city life, but it explores the phenomenon that is man and his often contradictory relation with the society. When the camera follows his desires dreams, activities and dialogues, it also captures and explores his vague and complicated association with the society. It shows how community influences, directs and controls the individual. Eminent film director and 2004 Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan says. ‘It is impossible to truthfully present characters who do not represent social life in some way or the other. I can ascertain that there are lively social issues in all my films.”

There is severe criticism that films now-a-days alienate themselves from simple life arid ground realities. Producers and directors take film as a mix of dances, songs and load them with unnatural situations, projection of hero and ill-timed jokes and romances.

It is absurd to think that mere technical brilliance and high-tech audio-visual effects are the mainfeatures of a cinema. These movies devoid of selection or fineness also represent life and society though negatively. The anguish and protest of public over corruption and abuse of power are reflected in an all-powerful hero who fights for justice. The struggle and tension of common man is portrayed through him. Absurd jokes and artificial comic scenes are added to make people laugh and relax. Common man’s insatiable and secret desires are the reason for vulgar and obscene films. Here also, the link between man and society is revealed.

However, the films like Good-bye and Good Luck, Munich and Crash which won Oscar for the Best Film award, have different stories. They highlight the political tension and changing world order after September 11 attacks, different aspects of the cause of Palestinian people. prejudice and social segregation in the US, etc. These are the issues of global concern. Further, Broke back Mountain discusses the taboo subject of homosexuality—man’s desires and how they lead to the breaking of families. These are the issues of our time and whether we like it or not, we have to address them.

Cinema, ultimately presents the man in society with all its virtues and vices. It may neglect some features to highlight a graver one or vice versa But none can deny the fact that it projects nothing but man. Commercial films do this weakly or casually: parallel films forcefully, but with reservation, and pure art films complicatedly and wearingly. The French new wave master director Jean Luc Godard commented, something in life are too complex for oral transmission. So we make fiction out of them, to make them universal. The cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting or literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it.”

The presentation of life and society differs from director to director. Yet, whether it is Satyajit Ray or Manikaul, Mani Ratnam or Karan Johar, they simply portray what they see and contemplate in social life. It is true that with music and dance, sometimes the soul of cinema goes missing. When we think that all is over and movie and society are completely removed from each other, sometimes they come together.

It again astonishes and delights and we realize that cinema is for the society and of the society. Let us conclude with the words of the great filmmaker Tarkovsky, “In all my films it seemed to me important to try to establish the links which connect people. These links connect me with humanity and all of us with everything that surrounds us. I need to have a sense that I myself am in this world as a successor that there is nothing accidental about my being there.” The Indian cinema has come off age with movies like Black. But the unfortunate part is that such movies are rare. The bulk of the films dished out to audience are based on the so-called formula—a mixture of heroics, melodrama, violence, nudity, music and catchy dialogues. We need to develop to a higher level whereby the true picture of society is reflected in our films.


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