The making of Indian movies is based on one profound assumption about one profound fact. The profound fact is that more than half of Indian population are illiterates and live below the poverty line. The profound assumption is that the illiterate and poor Indian masses want to escape from stark realities and enjoy momentarily in a make believe world of cinema. So, Indian mainstream movies are made basically to ‘entertain’ them. Serious films are not supposed to be entertainers. The ‘entertainment formula’ practiced over the decades will gradually become clear as you read on.
Rooted to the above assumption the following guidelines have been worked out to help you enjoy an Indian movie.
- The most important factor is your time—you must have enough of it. The movies normally go on for about three hours or even more. If you prefer to watch them on movie channels it may take up to five hours with all the mandatory breaks in between. If you take a DVD/VCD home the frequent ‘forwarding’ that you have to do to get rid of the intruding junk eventually tires you out of it. So it is more advisable to venture out to the theatres. Nowadays, of course, smart producers are making shorter—say less or equal to 2 hours.
- You must have an insatiable appetite for musical celebrations. Songs and dances lurk in the most unexpected most dramatic or most mundane moments of the movie and almost always catch you unawares. These ‘items’ constitute more than one third of the movie’s duration. If you are not quite a musical sort you enforce upon you a break and go for a fag or a leak. But the moot point is how often. Musical orientation is the best way in.
- You must have robust family ties or more preferably joint family ties and a strong sense of sentiments. Else you are likely to go overboard with the father-son, mother-son, brother-sister, brother-brother or father-daughter conflicts enlivened by the movie.
- You must also possess the spirit of an avenging angel. The unabated unjustified violence against good must enrage you so much that when the avenging hero finally lands in the elimination round you go nuts with gratification.
- You must laugh heartily at the most coarse and crude humor consisting mostly of body gyrations, grimacing or distorting faces, loud double meaning dialogues or some true blue humor.
- If you happen to have an overabundance of grey cells you must leave most of them at home before coming to the theatre. If you also possess a logical mind do all the needful to make it desert you totally for the marked hours.
- You can take your family along most of the times. Hot proceedings, if any, are bound to end just before the inevitable. It’s wholesome entertainment for whole family. Enjoy!
These guidelines are not applicable to the serious, off-beat or different films; some of which were also made in the old times and more of which are being made now for the growing urban moviegoers frequenting the multiplexes.