There are many people from the film industry who say that there are no art films and commercial films. Many even suggest that what exists in actuality is a good film and bad film. What matters finally is how ‘good’ your product is finally. For these people, a good film will do business wherever it releases. And a bad film flops everywhere. But I do subscribe to that view now. Not anymore! Reason?? An experience of my friend who gave me strong reason to disagree with that view.
Strangely enough, I also endorsed these views until recently. I too felt the same vis-a-vis good films and bad films. Only then had I got to know that there is a serious disconnect between the theory of these analysts and audience (Me included).
Let me tell you of an experience, narrated by a friend of mine who had this trauma of watching ‘Serial Kisser‘ Emraan Hashmi’s new film, “TUM MILE” in a small town of Raichur, in the state of Karnataka, along with aam-junta. By aam-junta he meant that it was no multiplex audience and plain single screen audience who still whistle when the hero makes a grand entry.
Well, my friend collected his ticket and searched for a comfortable seat (mind you the tickets do not guarantee a seat number). Finally, he found one seat which was in good condition and settled to see “TUM MILE” which had that soulful presence of Soha Ali Khan too along with Emraan. The audience (housefull by that time the film started) were waiting patiently for their hero and as soon as the bespectacled Emraan in a dapper suit arrived they clapped and whistled as if they saw Superman in his red cape.
The film rolled on and my friend was engaged with the storyline and was smiling and laughing at times, but to his surprise none (even in the balcony class) shared his emotion. After a few moments, Emraan finally kissed Soha and there was immediate eruption in the theatre. The scene they were waiting for had come and they had come to see Emraan do more of that serial kissing than experience that sensitive story set during the Mumbai floods.
The movie went on and on and the audience getting to see their hero do very little kissing, became restless and started to queue up the exit doors. By the time the story (I mean the film) ended, there were barely few people in the hall.
My friend was a bit surprised at the cold reaction of the people and dared to ask a few people, whether they understood that sensitive story? The rude reply he got was, “Bandal picture! Emraan ko koi bhooth chad gaya.” And this was a film which was rated as GOOD by the movie critics and internet savvy people alike.
When my friend narrated his experience to me, I had no other feeling than to change my earlier belief of bad movies and good movies. The classification of movies based on Centers, A, B and C is correct. Even though you make a good movie, it is not imperative that it appeals to everyone.
My friend’s experience also tells me that there is a serious divide in the perceptions of Urbanites and Semi-Urbanites. It may be the way India is changing. Is this change any good? Do not know!
Cheers and Love