Google says today is 80th anniversary of Alam Ara, the first Indian movie with sound. There is a good reason to celebrate for us movie lovers. Today, on this special occasion, I share my passion for cinema here. Earlier this year, I penned down a few thoughts as a salute to ‘Cinema’ and everything that this word captures and represents, which is as follows.
Cinema is magical; cinema is mesmerizing; cinema is captivating. Cinema has fascinated generations of humans for more than a century now. Cinema is not just a form of art; cinema is not just a commercial industry; it’s a parallel universe… where exists everything grand… super-humans, hyper-emotions, high-fashion, melodrama… where exists glamour and celebrities… where can exist the idealism.
Cinema is the most involving and intriguing form of story-telling. Earlier generations lived on books and theatre… books told interesting tales but lacked the audio and visual aid; plays constrained the story-telling by stage size or set options. Some wise men developed the technology for moving pictures; some wiser men added sound to it; and everyone else touched it up with their own set of magic in the form of special effects, advanced special effects and super-advanced special effects. Before anyone could realize what’s happening, cinema was an essential part of our life.
Cinema provided a popular and huge platform for artists and creative minds to showcase their talent to the world, to the widest possible audience than any other form of art or any other platform to showcase art has ever been able to achieve. And therefore, it made stars and superstars. It gave the concept of fame a new definition altogether. It created perfect humans in our imperfect world. It painted images larger than life… images of Godlike humans… images known as Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth… images that were as real to us as our reflection in the mirror… images that were formed by the glitter and glamour fed to the shadows of flesh and blood… images that were part ‘human’ and part ‘blend of stories, myths, colours and glitz’.
Most of all, cinema generated dreams… cinema fed on dreams. It captured the dreams of every human, amalgamated them with the facts and truths of society and fabricated more dreams. Cinema has the distinctive ability to charm away the viewers from the concerns of the real world and conjure up an alternative reality… a world of fantasy and fairy tales… a world of superheroes and Rajnikanth… a world where perfection was possible, where good won over evil, where the average guy could win over the dream-girl, where a happy ending existed. Cinema’s biggest contribution was the dream of a happy ending. It allowed us to forget our imperfect lives, our tainted worlds… it allowed us to live in fairytales, live in Cinderella’s castle… even if only for 2.5 – 3 hours while we were in theatre. The hours in theatre exported us to the world we had seen in our dreams and we hoped to achieve in our lives. In our everyday fight for survival, those three hours were the much welcome relief… the world of Yash Chopra romance and David Dhavan comedy gave us reasons to forget our problems and smile.
We were fascinated, we were awestruck and we were enamored. We still are. With all the razzmatazz and the jazz, Cinema is the most magnificent magical enchantment ever imagined and executed by mere mortals. We salute those technicians and artists who brought cinema to us. We salute those legends who took cinema to the heights.