Camera, action!

Of late there have been some movies which have actually started “moving” ppl into action too. Though the term “movies” was coined to denote movement of characters on the screen like “talkies” denoted talking, it’s good to see that the movement and the impact can be felt outside the cinema hall too. Here I am not talking about a certain Vijay or a certain Gabbar or even a trademark wolfwhistle – “oye oye, oye o-o-wa” – things which are permanently etched into people’s memories due to the movies. I am talking about deeper impacts. When Black was released some ppl went ahead to say that watching it once would change you for life, one would walk out a better person. Well, that’s too tall a claim and may be true only for people who are so far removed from the normal world that they have no idea how a world of darkness and silence, looks or sounds like. It may hold good for people who have had a sheltered life with lady luck smiling down on them right from the day they were born. Anyhow, the kind of action I was talking about is more mass oriented and more prominent in two releases of this year – Rang De Basanti and Lage Raho Munna Bhai.

Both movies talk about freedom fighters and how the central characters in the script are really affected by them. Enough to implement their more than half a decade old principles in today’s world, for it seems today’s generation has forgotten the basis on which independent India managed to free herself. The same principles should ideally be sought in today’s world too. But most people think they are too outdated for today’s circumstances. Both movies manage to show us that it is not so and that by sticking to a line of thought one can indeed transform India. Both movies saw mass public action. With RDB it has become a trend to hold any protest at India gate by lighting candles. Whether it is a dharna for the RTI or a candle light vigil for Jessica Lal’s case. Maybe in emulating those actions it makes them feel heroic because it was the heroes (in the movies) who chose to tread that path. Ironically though it was real life heroes who went down that path in history, public trend failed to form on the basis of just that. With LRMB, again the main character chose to tread a path which has been assumed to fail before it even started. But towards the end we are shown how that is not the case and that patience and non-violence can actually work wonders with a feel good factor to boot. With LRMB, terms like “Gandhigiri” and “chemical locha” have entered our common vocabulary (google it and you shall believe). People have started sending get well soon cards and flowers to get any issues resolved like trying to get a liquor shop shift from in front of a prayer place.

But where both movies differ is the way to protest. While RDB promotes Sarfroshi, LRMB promotes non-violence. Two very opposite lines of thought. Nevertheless people choose wherever they fit, which is what matters eventually. At least an intention to make a positive difference.

A good moral at the end of the stories apart, one thing is very prominent in both movies. Both of them show the advent of radio broadcasting and the extent to which it penetrates our daily life. The video never killed the radio star. It’s an instant formula to spreading information. It’s a very strong tool if put in the right hands. That makes me wonder, observing as I have been, how many years before they show a movie where the same information dissemination is done via blogging.

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