In a previous Op-Ed we argued that the 3.5 crore band-aid plan for the revival of Malayalam Cinema is, for lack of better word, idiotic. While the cost of living, though subsidized by the hard working Gulf Malayalees, is going through the roof, the band-aid plan will make people more poor instead of the other way. It just adds an artificial constraint, without addressing the fundamental issues of script and infrastructure. This is like replacing the roof when a flood is attacking the basement.
Even if you make low-budget movies, where is the infrastructure to release it and where are the multiplexes to show it? One of the pioneers of parallel cinema, or movies which showed what socialism did to India, Shyam Benegal tells us that without corporate houses and multiplexes, the film industry cannot survive.
But with the multiplexes having come in today, theatre themselves are 200-300 seaters. And even if you sell 20 tickets or 30 tickets, you’re still okay. And it’s much more equitable sharing. This has made a difference and the economics of filmmaking has changed to that extent.
The advantage when you make with corporates is that you don’t have a problem of releasing the film. The films will get released. If you don’t have that kind of backing, you make a small picture [that] does not cost much [but] if you’re not going to get a release it’s a problem.[ ‘Star prices have hit the roof”]
We saw one excellent movie – Kanne Madanguka – few years back. Navya Nair got the best actress award too. The director of the movie himself was sticking posters in various film festivals. There was another movie called Saira, for which won the best actress award. Thus excellent movies, which don’t get released, are still being made. It would be a boost to those film makers, if the “band-aid” people had little more depth in thinking.