Does Cinema Reflect Society?
By Anushka Verma
“India cinema has virtually become a parallel culture. Talk of India with a foreigner and it would centre on Indian films”, said Amitabh Banchchan. We are a nation of movie buffs. Thereby, it becomes crucial to think and analyse how cinema influences society. Art is the manifestation or implementation of human creativity, talent and imagination. It can influence our society in ways that we cannot comprehend. One such arts is cinema which has a beautiful combination of art, literature and science. Cinema undoubtedly is reflective of the society itself. What we see or do in reality is more often than not what we see on the silver screen. Its not rare that we encounter incidents in our daily lives that are in most ways very similar to the ones that we witness in movies. We often see startling resemblances between events of real and reel life, be it films or documentaries.
Cinema has a lot of advantages if we look at the positive side. It is said to be a reflection of the society’s it helps us to come face to face with actuality of what’s happening in our society. It portrays things as they are and helps in opening our eyes to issues, we may have well ignored in the past. Students envision themselves as world-renowned experts in their own fields. Many times, lack the motivation to get up from their comfortable beds and go through the grind. But there are movies which motivate the youth. ‘3 Idiots’ is not only a comedy movie but best motivational movies of all time. The movie revolves around the lives of engineering students Rancho, Raju and Farhan who study at a premier institute in Delhi. The movie showcases the enormous pressure students taken upon themselves to provide their worth and how important it is to study for the love of it and not for the love of marks.
There are films which awoke the patriotic feeling on one’s heart. These movies stand united to instil a sense of patriotism in us every time we watch them. One of the best movies of Shah Rukh Khan’s career,’Chak De India’ will forever be etched as one of the most patriotic films. A movie that commercialised a sport other than cricket, it is about the spirit of sportsmanship, patriotism and fighting of one’s country with everything you have. ‘Razzi’ which could easily be passed of as a niche films became one of the biggest box office hits of 2018. One of those patriotic films which is also thriller and most of all based on real story.
Earlier, in cinema female characters were generally depicted as submissive, passive and secondary which was the reality of society in previous decades. But in changed scenarios, we are seeing women fighting for their rights and freedom in society. These days same is being depicted in movies. Female characters are shown fighting for their freedom and rights. ‘English Vinglish’ is a heart-warming and empowering tale of an Indian mother on the journey of reclaiming her selfhood. Starring late veteran actress Sridevi as the Indian homemaker Shashi, the film dives into the hardships posed by linguistic barriers in personal as well as social lives and the freedom gained by education and independence. The 2014 biographical sports drama stars Priyanka Chopra as the eponymous boxer as it recounts Mary Kom’s life journey from the daughter of a rice farmer in Manipur to India’s most fampus female boxer. ‘Mary Kom’ captures the spirit of a sportswoman through Chopra’s uninhibited portrayal as the biopic centres around a woman’s journey towards her goals and smashing obstacles and stereotypes.
In a nutshell, films are the mirror of society and reflect the harsh truth of it. Cinema while providing much needed entertainment to movie buffs can also became a source of inspirations. Cinema is portraying modern day women who are independent and can take their own stand. Cinema’s archives abound with titles to turn when you experience a rush of patriotic fervour. Over the years Indian cinema has delivered cinematic gems that have helped us make sense of the natin’s realities. It is well said ‘cinema is mirror ,sharp reflection of society’-Yasmin Reza.
By Anushka Verma