‘Showman’ Subhash Ghai says modern films fail to make audience an integral part of their story
Subhash Ghai, Bollywood’s ‘showman’, feels the soul is missing from the films being made today. The veteran filmmaker says directors focus more on the business model of a project instead of the story, and that is why they fail to connect with the audience.
“Right now, the common tendency is to take money and make a film. That is why people are making projects, they are not making motion pictures… Pick star cast, make the film, and do marketing in such a way that it crosses Rs 100 crore in four days – that is how films are being made today,” Ghai said.
Known for spinning magic on the silver screen in the 1980s and 1990s, Ghai also said films now don’t offer something valuable to the audience and instead use a flat storytelling technique. “They fail to transport the audience to the world of the movie, and don’t make them a part of the story as well,” Ghai said.
“People take their families for a movie thinking that they will enter a new universe through the film, and go back with something that will stay with them forever. But watching films today seems like reading a novel. We read the story and come back home without taking away anything from it,” he added.
Ghai said “there have been hardly two or three films in the last three or four years that give you something to take home”.
Talking about his work, he said: “I still meet some people at the airport who tell me that they have seen my movies at least 30 times. I am a cinema child and student. When I started making movies, I had one thing in mind that the films need to survive for 50-100 years.”
Having started his directorial career with the 1976 film Kalicharan, Ghai’s repertoire is studded with cinematic gems like Karz, Ram Lakhan, Khalnayak, Pardes, Taal, Saudagar and Karma.
His last few movies Yuvvraaj, Kaanchi: The Unbreakable and Black & White – failed to spin magic at the box office, and went unnoticed. He also backs films under his banner Mukta Arts, has a film school Whistling Woods International and is working towards reviving classic cinema with Mukta A2 Cinemas, a division of Mukta Arts Limited.
Under this initiative, he recently re-release his hits starting with Taal at New Excelsior Mukta A2 Cinema. It will be followed by his other films, and will move on to films like Rang De Basanti and Lagaan.
Talking about the initiative, the 72-year-old said: “Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and other people asked me to release my films once again in this theatre. When we saw the specimen, the pictures looked so different than what we have seen on television or computer due to advanced technology. “The kind of motion pictures which will take you to the locales of the film…That is real cinema.”
Ghai – who also expressed his disappointment over the shutdown of the iconic Regal Cinema in Delhi – says he is devoted to reviving classic cinema, and plans to take his endeavour out of Mumbai. “We will see the response first and then go to all metro cities.” Ghai also stressed the importance of building drama theatre auditoriums by the Indian government.