We live in a world that increasingly tries to rely on visuals and imagery for garnering any kind of information. The habit of reading is slowly dying out, and most of us find it hard to read an article without getting overwhelmed by the length of the written text and losing interest in the middle.
We read the news on the Inshorts app because anything longer than 60 words is life threatening.
Movies influence our lives in more ways than we can imagine. They possess the power to change our opinions and teach us new behavior patterns.
In such a scenario, the concept of ‘art with a purpose’ holds a lot of value. Art that throws light upon important issues that most people do not like to engage with. Art in the form of films with a meaning and a message.
Although the Golden Age of Indian Cinema ended in the 1960’s with the demise of Satyajit Ray, we do think Indian Cinema is on the path to glory again.
Let’s talk about some recent National Award winning films of the Indian cinema that deal with relevant themes while keeping us gripped until the last minute, sans the melodrama and singing-dancing-item girls sequence.
#1 Irada is a 2017 Indian thriller film written by Aparnaa Singh and Anushka Rajan. The film stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Divya Dutta, Sharad Kelkar and Sagarika Ghatge in lead roles.
The film is set in a small town in Punjab, with thermal power plants and factories always in the background. It is based on a true story of the people of Bathinda. Irada raises the contemporary ecological issues of uranium poisoning and fertiliser poisoning due to the industrial revolution and their immediate adverse impact on the people of the Malwa region.
Divya Dutta won the Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Irada at the 65th National Film Awards on Friday.
#2 Mom is a 2017 Indian crime thriller film directed by Ravi Udyawar in a screenplay written by Girish Kohli.
The film is about a determined stepmother who wants to seek justice for her daughter, Arya, who is brutally gang-raped by a group of spoiled rich students from her school and two house servants.
Sridevi, who played the role of the stepmother, won Best Actress posthumously for her last film MOM, at the 65th National Film Awards on Friday.
#3 Newton is a comedy drama starring Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil and Raghubir Yadav. The film is co-written and directed by Amit V. Masurkar. Newton received eight nominations at the 63rd Filmfare Awards and is one of the top rated Indian films on IMDb.
According to IMDb, Newton is about a government clerk on election duty in the conflict ridden jungle of Central India who tries his best to conduct free and fair voting despite the apathy of security forces and the looming fear of guerrilla attacks by communist rebels.
Newton won the Best Hindi Film honour and actor Pankaj Tripathi, who was part of it, won a Special Mention for his performance at the 65th National Film Awards on Friday.
#4 The Ghazi Attack is a 2017 Indian war film written and directed by Sankalp Reddy.
The film based on the clandestine and controversial sinking of PNS Ghazi during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The Ghazi Attack is inspired by true events that took place during the war. The film revolves around an executive naval officer of the Indian Submarine and his team, who remained underwater for 18 long days, in 1971.
Ghazi Attack won the Best Regional Film, Telugu, at the 65th National Film Awards, 2018.
For those of us who don’t like watching long films or don’t have the spare time to do the same, here’s a list of some short films of the Indian cinema that touched upon deeper issues, and managed to send out important messages to the audience within very short time durations:
#1 Carbon is a 24 minute, Hindi science fiction short film on global warming, written and directed by Maitrey Bajpai and Ramiz Ilham Khan. The movie stars mainstream Bollywood masala actor Jackky Bhagnani, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Prachi Desai in the lead roles.
The film is set 50 years in the future, in 2067. It throws light upon the prevailing environmental problems in Delhi. The film revolves around the scarcity of oxygen and water and its adverse effects on the the forthcoming generations. It is set in a world, that has dangerously high levels of carbon and dangerously low levels of oxygen.
#2 Interior Café Night is a 12-minute film, directed by Adhiraj Bose, TVF Pitchers fame Naveen Kasturia, and Shweta Basu Prasad.
It captures the story of two lovers who were separated by uncontrollable situations, and who end up meeting after 30 long years. All the memories come flooding back as the two protagonists meet again in the same cafe. The film juxtaposes the two scenarios – the one that happened 30 years ago, and the current one.
#3 Ahalya is a 14 minute, 2015 Bengali short film directed by Sujoy Ghosh with Soumitra Chatterjee, Radhika Apte and Tota Roy Chowdhury playing the lead roles.
The film takes elements from the mythological story of Ahalya from Ramayana but crafts a modern version of it with a spin. In the original tale the young and beautiful Ahalya is seduced by Indra, the king of the gods, and is cursed by Sage Gautama to transform into a stone. But the story is retold with a different plot. Sujoy Ghosh has added a feminist twist to the film by giving more power to the seductive Ahalya who surprisingly does not get punished for her infidelity.
Ahalya was shortlisted for the JIO Filmfare Short Film Awards.
#4 Kriti is a near-20-minute film starring Manoj Bajpayee, Radhika Apte and Neha Sharma.
Kriti centres around a lone, psychologically troubled man who has a close relationship with his therapist, with whom he discusses his personal life in detail during therapy. He talks about his new relationship with his girlfriend who suffers from agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations where the person perceives the environment to be unsafe with no easy way to get away.
Good content + good acting = Killer combo (even in Indian cinema now, finally!)
Image Credits: Google Images
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