Down the years, cinema in India has reached its own destination, created its own history, and touched its own milestones. From stereotyped love stories to action to drama to realistic to fictional – the silver screen in its every aspect has mesmerized, captured an d tantalized millions of every age, class, sex and community. The journey from mute film to voiced, from black and white to coloured has been a long. It has catered to the dreams and aspirations of many who have hungered for glamour and reached ‘Bombay’ and it still does. Thousands of young boys and girls haunt the city to see their dreams fulfilled. Some do see them bloom and others see them break. But then that is life, luck and cinema all about!
There have been two streams of cinema in India—one is the commercial cinema which has the sole aim of entertaining and making money in return. The second stream is the Parallel cinema or the Art cinema which aims at sensitizing the people on various social issues and problems of the society. Where commercial cinema appeals to all sections of the society, parallel cinema appeals mainly to the intellectual class and a half. A general awareness among people has increased and art cinema is being more and more appreciated by a large number of people. Many a times an art film does much better at the box-office than a mainstream commercial film. This has resulted in the thinning of the differentiating line between Art and Commercial Cinema.
Cinema has an educative value too. Because it exercises a deep influence upon the minds of the people, cinema can be use as a very effective reformative instrument. Social awareness on issues like dowry, women education, abortion, girl feticide, youth unrest, corruption, unemployment, poverty, illiteracy etc. Cinema can expose the evils prevalent in society. It is the most effective means of mass communication. Cinema also is great unifying force in a diversified country like ours. People belonging to all communities and sections, speaking and language watch the cinema with the same fascination and excitement. Moreover, people can go places with cinema. We travel from Ooty to Shimla to Switzerland to Washington to Sydney. It also encourages the art of music, singing, dancing, script-writing, direction etc. It employs a large number of people from technicians to producers to spot-boys to dress-makers. Thousands of people earn their livelihood through cinema.
The Silver screen spreads and sells not just drams but captivates the hearts of young boys and girls. Thus, if this medium is not used judiciously and wisely, it can distract the youth from the right direction. Thus, the film-makers should undertake film-making as a social responsibility and use their sense of direction. The trend of making films on famous novels and plays should be encouraged to spread good literature and its appreciation among common man. Sensible and relevant themes should be picked to make film. Films need not be didactic but they still can pass on constructive messages subtly to the masses. Hence, if used with pure sensibility, cinema can help in bringing subtly to the masses. Hence, if used with pure sensibility, cinema can help in bringing about positive changes in the society and the attitudes of the people.