first off, labelling a film sux – coz a film works on so many levels that it’s not easy to classify or pigeon hole a work of art. but do that we must (thank you Yoda for doing that to me time and again); simply to be realistic and to understand the finer sensibilities of cinema as a whole and as a marketable venture.
as our sensibilities begin to shift, we are more forgiving towards nuanced performances, simple stories and slice-of-life cinema. We basically stop demanding more for our buck, stop expecting the whole nine yards in the space of 2 hours. That should give directors and writers some breathing room, to create quirky films like Kaminey, Ishqiya and Karthik…. What it also gives people the chance to do is give space to a movie like Road, Movie – which appears to be a film that would not necessarily appeal to all. Now should this movie be forced to fight the BO with films like MNIK? (Thanks Manish A for the run on the idea.) Let’s watch and see what happens to Dibakar’s LSD. Should we put these films in a multiplex or move them to a smaller screen which specialises in arthouse, foreign films, documentaries etc?
Are we categorising these films as ‘not-mainstream’ (perhaps rightly) and would it be better to give them a chance to find space in a dedicated cinema hall, which would be frequented by movie-lovers, film students etc? Or will that not give the movie a chance to recover costs? I’m guessing we just don’t have enough movie afficionados to keep the coffers alive.
Or how about giving a movie like that a release on TV: on a special arthouse channel?
It is really not about a film per se; not about good and bad – it is about giving filmmakers a chance to go on with out-of-the-box cinema, to know that there is an audience out there, waiting. Like an NCPA experimental for cinema. I wonder if they will lose the desire to make off-beat films (just like it happened a few decades ago). I wonder if we are encouraging trashy maintstream and letting independent thought and new ideas die.