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Chitrangda Singh reflects on Indian Cinema and its fascinating transformation over the years

Chitrangda Singh reflects on Indian Cinema and its fascinating transformation over the years Image
  • Posted on 06th Sep, 2022 14:09 PM
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Bollywood actress Chitrangda Singh opens up on what led to Indian Cinema's riveting progression over the decades.

What you see in movies is what is happening in society, and what is happening in society is mostly what you see in movies. It's an exact replica.

The last decade has seen a huge cultural evolution in India, which has forced Indian cinema to take notice. From the 1950s to the late 1970s, an India that was rural but had rich and vibrant traditions was portrayed, with stories rooted in the customs, relationships, and norms of rural India. Movies like Deewaar and Zanjeer were huge hits and helped to birth the angry young man, as society was bristling with anger and frustration, which found a voice in such characters.

However, shooting in foreign locations such as Switzerland and Egypt continued into the 1980s and well into the 1990s and 2000s, and if budgets were tight, a short flight to Thailand would suffice to give the film a fantastical quality that often added to the scale and entertainment value for the audience.

Though by the turn of the century, a steady population of Indians had begun to leave the country to settle abroad, there was a large floating population back home that moved from rural India to larger towns for work. Urban India is a city of memories for people who have moved from countless small towns and are immersed in the millennial lifestyle.

For all of these people, as well as the NRIs who migrated from small towns, nostalgia is essential for maintaining their identity in a new and alien environment. This is one of the most important reasons why cinema and the stories and characters must be drawn from the small towns, villages, small shops and extended families, traditions and festivals that they have had to leave behind, rather than the rolling Swiss landscapes and songs shot on the streets of London with dozens of foreign dancers! Clearly, these are places that the growing wealthy middle class can afford to visit, as well as migrated NRIs.

Today's cinema is eager to preserve 'Indianness' in their productions. A paradigm shift has occurred in stories and locations, and the audience is to blame. The Indian audience now prefers to watch films that examine the ground reality and issues that they face on a daily basis. Stories about them, about people and issues to which they can relate. The society is undergoing a difficult transition in terms of traditional values and lifestyles. That is why films such as Shuddh Desi Romance, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bala, Badhaai Ho, and Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya found a quick connection.

The new cinema that reflects brave new India has pushed the boundaries of cinema. Whereas earlier films about small towns and villages such as Arth, Paar, Mirch Masala were considered art house cinema and did not achieve commercial success, stories about similar milieus such as Padman, Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Jolly LLB and many others have definitely found a lot of love among audiences.

These are the times when the populace is more concerned than ever with being India proud, preserving, and celebrating their Indianness. Indian cinema is being compelled to become more realistic and less reliant on fantasy.

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Chitrangda Singh reflects on Indian Cinema and its fascinating transformation over the years View Story