Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Digital Impact!

There has been considerable growth in the production of digital Manipuri films during the last 3-4 years. Many people are also investing huge sum of money in this particular industry. The budget for an average film range from 3 to 5 lakhs and sometimes it crosses 10 lakhs.The films have also contributed to the economy of the State to a certain extent. Movie theaters that were on the verge of extinction are doing good business although some have vanished while some others have been converted into commercial shops. The fast growth in the digital films is due to its low budget and short duration it takes in making such films. Fewer resources are also needed. Anyone who has the right amount of capital can produce a film. Many people have taken interest in producing films, some for financial gains and some for the sake of getting name and fame. Apart from this the producers have a direct influence on the film. In almost all the films there is a lack of professionalism. The stories have a good beginning but weird and lousy ending. There are certain films which totally sidetrack away from the main storyline. Something is wrong! It is also well known that almost all (90%) of Manipuri films are based on romance and family issues. Films are basically meant for entertainment but it also confers an impact in society. A film with an excellent storyline and a good social message is worth. It is not that the films don’t carry any message but many of them need to be discussed upon.

The script writers (story writers) of Manipuri films seem to be very fond of conservative ideas, emphasizing on religious practices and reminding women about their roles. There is a regular attempt to put the orthodox ideas of purity and impurity, while people are trying hard to come out of this dilemma. In films one would see the elderly folks doing this entire act. This creates a risk in society like ours, where there is a disjunction between the hill and plain people, on the basis of religion (one following the orthodox principle of Hinduism).On the other side, there is tendency to show women confined at home doing the household chores, “serving” the husband. This thing legitimizes the suppression of women, which is mainly due to the influence of conservative ideas of “outside” culture. Films and their scripts should not be based on enforcing such ideas. Films based on love stories has an adverse effect on the psyche of the youths especially the teenagers who get drown into a dream world without knowing the reality. We often take notice of youths committing and attempting suicide for not fulfilling their certain demands. Domestic violence is also rising, which people have a tendency to ignore.

One would also find that some films try to portray a distinction between people of urban and rural areas-one cultured and the other non-cultured (civilized-non-civilized). In simple term it generates a sense of “Lawai-Imphal” sentiment. Social tensions breed in the midst of such division. In our society we have lots of problems and issues which need to be looked upon and start working on it. There is still a lack of sensitiveness among the majority of the film-makers. One will find lots of unnecessary errors in the films which are completely because of unprofessional approach. It will be wise to recall that the Manipuri films use to make its place in the National and International arena in the early phase. All that glory appears to have faded away. There is a need to focus seriously and not to make film-making a child’s play. If the present approach of making films on such stories and scripts persist than the future is very bleak. Instead of advancing ahead we will get back to primitive mode of existence. It will also be good if we can come up with different techniques of making films and without imitating others. There is no need of going to Bangalore, Delhi or “Phoren” land for shooting films. We have enough settings and it’s wastage to spend money in some other place only for the purpose of pulling audience.

It’s a long way to go for the Manipuri films to attain maturity but we can avoid all those small blunders if we are more insightful and cautious. People and specially the film-makers need to be more logical in whatever they are up to. A careful study or research is necessary before presenting anything. That way professionalism will develop.

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