The Middle Class & Bollywood

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Films in Bollywood often depict the middle class family structure very well. The middle class family in India can be described as typically a middle-income household, which may or may not be home to a joint family (plus, all the troubles that bring because some of the members of that family are people with really bad characters) and the daily struggles that life brings in issues such as romantic relationships.

Films such as English Vinglish, Udaan, The Lunchbox and Do Dooni Char, had put the spotlight on the middle class family in India and what it feels like to be a part of that family arrangement. But what is really needed is for the films to get a little bit more realistic with the depiction of the challenges in life that begets middle class people. Very often, it’s the opposite: it is people that are rich, who are portrayed as having tragically experienced struggles in life, such as in the film Devdas – the son of a rich man is forbidden his love. But that is too narrow of a portrayal of the Indian idea of challenges in life, when a majority of the Indian population are either poor or middle class; honestly, in my opinion, a much greater priority should be attached to the truer Indian story in Bollywood.


A Film Critic’s Opinion Is Important

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Reviews aim to act as a skilled means of providing criticism on the best films in the world

If an actor does not read reviews of their films, then it begs the question that how does that actor get ahead with scoring one film project after another in the first place? A review aims to highlight both the positive and the negative aspects of an actor’s performance in each of the film that he or she stars in. If an actor completely disregards film critics and the reviews they write, then clearly this idea gets portrayed that their opinion doesn’t count in influencing an actor’s career. But then what does? Can an actor just keep doing one film after another and never get written-off, even though their work is always really bad? That sounds like one of the most ridiculous ideas in the world ever.

An actor can certainly take a film critic’s comment and disagree with it, but it isn’t possible to disregard it. At the end of the day, a film critic most definitely knows what he or she is doing because they are skilled in the art of criticizing. What an actor should do is aim to please film critics instead – this scenario is a little bit like an actor wanting to impress the audience of their film, who are always on the lookout for a great film. An actor can do this by taking those important opinions by film critics on their work, as points to work on the next time that an actor is choosing their upcoming film project, with plenty of enthusiasm – in my opinion, that is the only way how great films truly happen.

Mother India’s Village Life

Rural life in India isn’t always about crops and storms – it’s also about the struggles which wretched poverty brings

Mother India is one of the greatest Bollywood films ever made. Although, the movie is controversial (in the most unforgiving of manners) because of the approach it took to the fictionalization of the struggles involved in the daily lives of the poor in India, despite the fact that India had desired for independence from colonial rule, Mother India should still be considered important for its evocative portrayal of life in the villages of India. That is what makes the film so magnificent: a woman’s plight with a loan, a son who wants to murder the man who had lent his family some money and the family saga of a mother involving her sons, are few of the reasons why the film is bittersweet and thought-provoking.

Picture-Perfect Creativity

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Creative people, who are actors, portray this brilliant character on-screen and don’t like to reveal themselves publicly in that way – is that even real?

Do actors ever identify with the characters they play on-screen? It is a tough question to figure out the answer to. The most brilliant stories in the world sometimes come from those which are portrayed on-screen – it is where fiction seems to almost surpass fact. But no matter the genre of film-making, it is also true that fiction which is disenfranchised from reality seems really hard to connect with. It often leads me to think that maybe the actors who play these great characters in those brilliant films might have a shade of that personality themselves too, or if they are that type of actor who must only portray an entirely different person on-screen from the kind that they are themselves then maybe the character is instead more like one of his or her contemporaries instead. It doesn’t seem very difficult to imagine that at all: Kristen Dunst, in fact, once stated that her character in Bring It On (2000) is actually in the likeness of herself from high school; it was certainly a refreshing attitude to have and one that made her seem really human because on most days creative people seem to have a mantra in life that is on an entirely different level from mine – they actually publicly like to be somebody else quite a lot.

Books On Classic Films

Many Hollywood films come out every once in a while that are so brilliant. But then big budget production houses also make the most epic of disasters, with their casting because one wrong look – as in, how the protagonist naturally looks so ugly, even when in character, in my opinion, makes it a film as something that’s not worth my time at all.

It’s pure idiocy on the film crew’s part and it happens quite frequently because it seems to be a very difficult job of always getting the look right – sieving through, what’s great and what’s not, for seasoned casting episodes, clearly don’t always work. Luckily, that’s not what always happens and a good place to start with are a revisitation of some of my favourite classics.

Poster Pack: Classic Hollywood Films: A Collection of Classic Posters

Beautiful posters

The book is a beautiful collection of posters of some classic Hollywood films, like Gone with the Wind and Singin’ in the Rain. The art that was associated with old Hollywood movie posters is nowadays really preserved in the vintage compartment of Hollywood. I am really tempted to call that concept of cinematic illustrations as the primary theme for movie posters ‘a lost art’ even though vintage works are also celebrations of a moment in time. Featuring stars in the posters range from Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe and the posters are all coloured reproductions, reflecting on an important chapter of film history.

The Lord of the Films: The Unofficial Guide to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth on the Big Screen

A look inside a modern Hollywood classic

The book is an exclusive look into Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of J R. R. Tolkien’s classic series. It provides a scene-by-scene look into the movie, The Lord of the Rings, coupled up with interviews with the filmmakers. The scenes are very detail-oriented and it has four sides: the first, visit’s the scene’s plot and action, the second is a behind-the-scenes look, the third is a look into the mistakes, and finally, the last is what the viewers’ perceptions were of the masterpiece(s). There is also coverage on the animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, and other interesting insights into the cinematic universe of the brilliant piece of fiction.

1000 Films to Change Your Life

A collection of ‘classic movies’, which explores the length and breath of human emotions

Time Out‘s selection of the 1000 films that can change the course of your life is an exploration of movies, that may generally be deemed as cult classics of some sort. It’s a pretty good assessment of what’s great and what’s not by fifty people, ranging from film-goers to film critics. The movies are explored through emotional themes, such as wonder, desire and exhilaration, and talks about classics, like Spirited Away, Singin’ in the Rain and The Wizard Of Oz.

Patriotism in Films

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What is patriotism to South Asian cinema?

In India, films with a patriotic theme seems to bind the whole nation together. It portrays nationalistic sentiments, love for one’s nation, and in a sentimental albeit heroic way. Patriotic Indian films also have the power to liven up spirits, teach new thoughts to people irrespective of the class they belong to, their religious or socio-economic background, and these Hindi movies appeal to both the educated and the illiterate.

On another train of thought, since the early seventies, leaving out films with an obvious Pakistani (or Pakistani-minded) slant, Bangladeshi films have often made the Bangladeshi film industry an important one. On the subject of patriotism, in internationally acclaimed director Zahir Raihan’s Jibon Theke Neya (1970), for example, which fictionally depicted the atrocities committed by Pakistan against Bangladesh, pre-independence, the story plays out like a tale of struggle for freedom for a husband, two boys, who are brothers, and some servants, from the clutches of an oppressive woman controlling her family.

In the landscape of the film, it is shown that protests erupt in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) against oppressive Pakistani rule, which signifies the days of Bangladesh’s language movement but the portrayal of the oppression was more symbolic than anything else, imprinted into a family drama. The turmoil of the oppression reflects in the lives of this family who begin to protest against the oppressive woman and her brand of family-regime by speaking loudly against her. The home front then gets more tangled inside a protest-theme, when a marital angle is thrown into the narrative: the two boys bring home two wives, who plot to snatch away sovereignty of their new family from this oppressive woman in power by obtaining the keys to the house – it symbolises gaining control of the house.

What was also rather interesting about the movie was the specific, symbolic caricature of former Pakistani President Ayub Khan’s autocratic rule in East Pakistan as a despotic female head of the house, with an ill-tempered nature – marriages and schemes for control tragically follows in the lives of the Bangladeshi family for it. Meanwhile, patriotism in Indian filmmaking is often proclaimed through the tense subject of Kashmir. Since 1947, a dispute has been happening at the shared border between India and Pakistan which has spelled out into three separate wars to claim Kashmir.

At the moment, India controls a majority of Kashmir, and I have always felt Kashmir as an entire state belonged to India, not Pakistan. In Hindi films, such as Mission Kashmir (2000) and Roja (1992) the theme of the Kashmir conflict is woven together with a major love story. It’s hard to picturise a romantic angle to a story in the theatre of war but that is what the narrative is often like for South Asian cinema – if it’s not romantic, it must be a family drama of all things, heavily reliant on symbolism to depict patriotism rising in the face of oppression.