# Day 290 (Of movies and ‘masala’…)

For an avowed movie buff like me to come out of a theatre dissatisfied with the cinematic experience is a rare thing to happen; and yet the other day we saw a movie that (surprisingly!!) did not live up to my expectations. It had received good reviews from most movie-critics but left me strangely disappointed. Perhaps, i reasoned, it belonged to a genre alien to my movie-sensibilities; perhaps it was one of those occasions when the ‘generational-gap’ regarding what should constitute entertainment comes to the fore; or perhaps one simply wasn’t in a mood for that kind a movie experience! Off and on one does come across such movies where there exist diametrically opposite views ~ some praise it sky high while others are contemptuously dismissive about it. Logically this should not happen. A good movie is a good movie is a good movie. Period. There should be no two opinions for such movies; but however eclectic your taste, it cannot encompass the entire spectrum of the kind of movies made these days.

One remembers the simpler times of yesteryears when you could classify (our Bollywood movies at least) into two simple categories ~ the ‘masala-entertainers’ and the ‘arty-types’. The ‘masala-film’ is probably uniquely Indian. It derives its name from the melange of spices used in Indian cooking and refers to the ‘curry’ cooked up by the director as a one movie-dish using bits of every conceivable genre The screenplay has everything thrown in ~ romance, comedy, tragedy, and some action. In some ways it is almost reminiscent of a Shakespearean play: a main plot of the hero and heroine, a low comedy sub plot, some sentimental tragic scenes, at times some history, at other times some melodrama and action and when necessary fights (what is referred to as ‘dishum-dishum’ on the screen)! Added to all these elements are song and dance sequences. Everything is heightened, the hero’s heroism, the heroine’s beauty, the villain’s chicanery; and it is all packaged into an entertaining three hours.

Of course everything changes with time and movies are no exception. To cater to the taste of the upwardly mobile Indian movie goer and to stand upto competition from Hollywood, even our Bollywood masala films have upgraded ~ much like our spicy street food being served now in swish restaurants in gourmet avatars. The lines between the masala-films and the art-films are now largely blurred and there is only good cinema or bad cinema. As a movie-addict one eagerly awaits the cinema-experience of new releases, only sometimes your movie-palate doesn’t relish the new taste. That’s when you feel nostalgic for those old entertainers ~ a masala-classic like ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ would still do quite nicely…


About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
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2 Responses to # Day 290 (Of movies and ‘masala’…)

  1. NupurNS says:

    But that’s a wonderful sign of a mature movie market isn’t it? The Deadpools of the world get made in addition to the Dark Knights! I think it’s fantastic to see the product differentiation seeping into Bollywood too – something for everyone. It is up to the audience to then choose, like you said, which palate needs satiation that weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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