Filmmaker Suneel Darshan gave a lot of successful films as producer, director and writer during the late ’90s and early 2000s. His frequent collaborations with Akshay Kumar, Karisma Kapoor, Juhi Chawla and Bobby Deol used to be box office blockbusters. Recently two of his films achieved a special feat as Ek Rishtaa: The Bond Of Love completed 20 years last week while Andaaz completed 18 years yesterday.
However, the cinema has changed a lot since Suneel was more active in filmmaking, and the filmmaker gives his two cents on the subject. “Films today can be divided into two segments. The first is cinema, the Indian film industry that I call and from where I belong and the second is Bollywood content, which is being generated from the last decade,” he asserts.
Suneel goes on to say that the latter is being generated like a factory production. “Most of it is being fired like missiles, week after week. There is a lot of noise and advertising around it but they are not really consequential and you won’t remember it two weeks after its release. Where I come from, I feel tremendously elated by the fact that people are not just watching but also learning from my films,” he says proudly.
Suneel focuses on what caused this change in Hindi cinema. “Two decades back, we were hit by this westernisation to our culture. After 2001, the corporates came to India, and I felt it was a fabulous thing to happen to our industry. I thought that they would help bring the technology to us. We did not have labs, equipment and a lot of education that could be imparted to us from their experiences. But the entire thing got misconstrued and misused by a lot of people,” he rues.
The measure of a film’s success has changed over the years, and Suneel laments that. “I remember earlier, we used to count the number of weeks our movies ran, and felt elated by that but then we came to this time when we are just counting how many crores a film made. There is no respect and regard for our movies, rather we are just counting the bucks like Americans. Where is that Indian at heart? Why have we forgotten that? And that is the big difference,” he iterates.
But Suneel maintains that it doesn’t mean that every film made in the last two decades has been bad. “It is not like every movie was absolutely rubbish during this while. There were some good filmmakers and good movies and the films that had heart, they worked. But there were also a lot of movies that were just cashing in on the success of the star value and were just rubbish. But I guess it’s time to change for the better. Even the corporations need to be more responsible,” he states.
Suneel even goes on to point out the obsession with negativity in the digital space. “Look at the content on OTT today. I come across a lot of people, including youngsters, that ask why everything is so negative. It’s so on the nose and tears you apart. Are human beings really so negative? I don’t think so. Why does everyone have to be so negative, rude and sinister?” he signs off with this question.
Image source: Think Ink PR
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