Monday, February 25, 2008

Indian Film Songs: What If?

I was half-listening to a Hindi film song just now when I realised that the lyrics were quite beautiful. If I had watched the film on DVD at home, I might have skipped the song; in a theatre I may have concentrated on the visuals rather than the words and emotion of the song. What a waste of good lyrics.

This songwriter must have immersed himself in his creative mood and special out-of-the-skin experience to produce the words of this song, and many more. It is his livelihood. Every Hindi film has at least five songs. It's a business. It's a commercial venture involving audio CD production and marketing after music composition, songwriting, singing, and the rest of the creative effort.

Business is important, I respect it. But isn't it a waste to make hundreds of films a year, of which only a fraction is seen? 100s x 5 songs per film = so many lyrics written, effort put in, with a small audience and an even smaller appreciation. The songwriter, the singers, the actors and the rest of the crew are run off their feet trying to keep up with the demand of the business. There's so much money to be made.

What if… instead of two hundred films, only fifty were made per year. More people would watch most of the films, perhaps more than once; the work put into each movie would pay off with the higher number of viewers. And when the scriptwriters and directors have more time to work on each film, they can make each one really good, instead of coming out with fast, formula films. The film folk could be paid more because more money would be made for the lower effort (compared to now), and all would be well enough—or better.


Vinod Ekbote said...

Great idea Hasmita, but will our Bollywood film makers understand it and even if they do, will they agree to it? It is a factory out there...btw, what's the song you were half-listening to...?

Hasmita said...

Thanks, Vinod. It was Dard-e-disco I was listening to :) Hats off to Javed Akhtar.

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