Time to Introspect

A quote of Javed Akhtar caught my eyeballs while flipping through the pages of a book on Bollywood. The famous script writer, lyricist and poet was quoted saying – “There is one more state in this country and that is Hindi cinema. And Hindi cinema also has its own culture……..quite different from Indian culture but it’s not that alien to us. We understand it.” This directly refers to the credibility and status created by the Hindi cinema in India. At a time when the entire country is on a festive mood celebrating the spirit of freedom on the sixtieth year of independence and media is abuzz with the tale of sixty-year journey of Indian Cinema, a similar look into Ollywood seems evident. 

Can we claim a cult status for Odia cinema after more than seventy years of its existence!
At this point of time when the opportunities are rife, market it booming and the Odia film industry is slowly graduating to create an identity beyond the boundaries of Odisha, the industry insiders need introspection. It’s true that the very own culture of Odisha has been portrayed on celluloid in many versions over a period of time. Be it the saas-bahu saga, family as the epicenters of personal life, the changing socio economic scenario or the challenges before highly ambitious gen-next Odias, all aspects have made its presence on silver screen. 

Though the Odia cinema has made an entry to the ordinary life of the people of Orissa, still as an industry Ollywood is yet to emerge as the top grosser in the showbiz world. While going ahead to meet the needs of the Odia audience the film makers need to have a look into the challenges rising out of an expanding horizon of business.
First Odia Film Sita Bibaha 
It is a good symbol that we have gone beyond the boundaries of Orissa. Bollywood names like Bharat Shah, Mithun Chakraborty, Ashish Vidyarthi are making their entry into Ollywood. We have also started to recognize the potential of the filmmakers like Manmohan Mahapatra, Nirad Mahapatra, Himanshu Khatua and Sabyasachi Mahapatra—who were often cornered as art film makers even after winning several awards and international glory for the Odia film industry. We are no more rushing to Kolkata or Hyderabad for our minimum requirements rather have established the units to support our technical needs. Directors, like Hara Patanaik, are open to experiment and have created movies at par with that of Bollywood.

Starting from ‘Sita Bibaha’ way back in 1935 to ‘Chaka Chaka Bhaunri’ in 2007, the industry has experienced a long journey, but many times mired with controversies and criticism. Imitation, stealing of ideas and lack of innovative thoughts are some of the ghosts which still prove to be a bane for the industry. Initially it was the spiritual or devotional stories from the popular tales mostly centering Jagannath that made its way into the filmdom. Then the family feud, saas-bahu sagas, breaking of joint family patterns and the gory tells of feudalism attracted the attention of movie makers. Then the stories of romancing in the park, the college going youth, challenges before the modern urbanite and complexities of the ambitious middle-class drew the laurel of Odia cinegoers till the late 1990s. But afterwards the industry seemed to be in a doldrums. With televisions making its entry into our drawing rooms the Odia films apparently failed to meet the aspirations of the young ambitious and enthusiastic Odia audience. The film industry was capable of matching the needs of the elders but failed to attract the youth. This in turn drew a flack and the result was visible in terms of copycat culture and populist approach of producers to mint easy money.

While keeping a track with the growing opportunities the industry insiders must not forget to establish the past glory of this more than seventy year old industry. If we can create a celluloid identity of our very own culture then perhaps we would be able to make a claim like that of Javed Akhtar by only substituting Odia Cinema in place Hindi Cinema.

Can we! If not, definitely it is the time to introspect.
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  1. Hi Nice Blog . In this, the body is studied by regions rather than by organs. This is of importance to the surgeon who exposes different planes after the skin incision and who, of course, must be perfectly familiar with structures as he explores the limbs and spine anatomy cavities.

  2. hi Anesha!
    Thanks a lot for your comment. Don't know whether u r an oriya! But ur comment sounds very interesting to me and u appear as an ardent lover of this marvelous art form of cinema. I'm very much aware of the organs and anatomy of cinema. N also understand the state of the odia film industry at present. But yes it's an evergoing process n also i would keep on exploring. Thanks a lot again for showing me the mirror.