I watched Dostana the other day. This was, in fact, for the second time. It is once again a wonderful “formula movie” that has one song of a popular genre each (a disco, a sufi, a bhangra and a soft number), it is a farce and has attractive faces (not to forget the attractive bodies!). The plot revolves around the pretty Priyanka Chopra and the two men John and Abhishek who pretend to be gay. It certainly entertained me and I laughed and laughed, though I saw myself in disbelief with the unprecedented breaches of the bollywood’s “fine lines”, well protected in its mainstream stereotypicality, until recently. Such violations are abundant in the movie with its constant humor on and references to homosexuality and the double entendre. I call this the ‘Borat-ish’ way of humor! On the other hand, I completed the movie Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi, in two instalments, when I didnt have much to do one evening on a business trip to Tupelo, TN ! In comparison, the latter lacked the “pace” and the “masala” of its contemporaries, especially formula movies like “Dostana”. However, there was something that was stood out. I realized that for ‘Ek Vivah…’ the movie revolves around two young people in love. Yet, quite differently, this love subordinates the feeling of sacrifice. The feelings of romantic love were not based on self-centric gains, but on self-control and deference of self-gratification, the emphasiss being on ones duty or “dharma“. Such concepts did seem “old school” because of their sheer absence in …. er.. in, I guess, the films, in our lives or in moslty everything and everywhere! As I say this, I wonder if its the movies that had the impact on the society (along with so many other factors, of course), or is it vice versa. Priorities have changed in bollywood, and so also in our society in general, and in our generation in particular.
What actually was an eye-opener in this atypical movie was the not-so-positive character in the film Natasha – the newly wed bahu with a “modern outlook”, entering this household of sacrificing beings. Whatever she said or did sound so plausible and certainly not beyond reason in the contemporary lifestyle; it seemed very acceptable. A lie told often enough becomes the truth, I thought to myself. I am saddened to see how the rights and wrongs have changed over the years, especially when I see myself as the link generation between the older and the newer. Cinema reflects the present society; but cinema also has the power to change and shape the society to a large extent. And Rajshri Productions have been steadfast in their attempt to showcase finer feelings and emotions. I applaud them for it. I find such values, as depicted in their movies, close to my heart, and it was good to see them on screen – for a change. I am sure it has made its impact. At least, it made me think and look at my ‘life rules’ with a renewed perspective.