Veteran actress Jaya Bachchan says there was a time when Indian filmmakers used to create art, but now films are more about numbers and business.
Jaya Bachchan compared the content of Indian films made in the 1950s and 1960s to the ones created now while praising Bimal Roy at a session on the legendary director at the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star on Tuesday.
“Filmmakers at that time, created art. Today, it’s a business and all about numbers. Everything is thrown at our face. People have forgotten subtlety. Open display of affection is considered smart… sharam naam ki toh cheese hee nahi hai (people are no longer ashamed). Now, it’s about big collections at the box office, Rs 100 crore films, first weekend collection…It’s all Greek to me,” said the 68-year-old actress, known for films like “Guddi”, “Abhimaan” and “Silsila”.
She even asked how many characters in cinema represented our country’
She believes that most characters of Indian films seem to be inspired by the West.
“I don’t know why. Maybe, they are richer countries and are considered more progressive. But I think the Indian mind is very progressive,” she said.
Jaya Bachchan, whose belongs to the illustrious family of Bollywood, says there are a few films though that present the Indian culture.
“People like ‘Aligarh’ and ‘Masaan’ because they show the real India and real problems of India,” said the wife of megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
Emphasising on the fact that cinema is a visual medium, she said that one can show emotions or say what they want to in a subtle way, without being loud.
“I get stressed out when I see this kind of cinema. I need to run away to some quiet place,” said the actress, who has also acted in films like “Drona” and “Fiza”.
Bimal Roy’s son Joy Roy, who was also part of the session at the film festival, said that now there is no difference between a vamp and a heroine.
“Earlier, there used to be a vamp and a heroine. But now, there is no need for a vamp because the heroine does exactly what a vamp does. She wears itsy bitsy clothes and dances, does item songs,” he said.
“Regional cinema stays true to India. It’s Bollywood that is married to money. Bollywood is mostly made by Mumbai centric people influenced by the West, even their thought process is western. They look at western cinema. That’s why there are so many rip-offs (of western movies),” he added.
Another panelist, a popular screenwriter and editor Apurva Asrani said that the audience also needs to take the responsibility. He said that Chaitanya Tamhane’s critically acclaimed Marathi film “Court”, which was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars, didn’t have many viewers when it was screened at a festival.
“Recently, ‘Court’ was playing at a festival and very few people turned up. We, as an audience, need to take the responsibility ourselves instead of pointing at Bollywood. The industry… it is also a trade. They are catering to you,” he said.