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Marathi and Bhojpuri Cinema: A Comparative Study

August 31, 2010 05:03:59 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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On the one hand where there is a an arm wrestling technique being resorted to, to force the multiplex owners to show Marathi cinema in multiplexes, Bhojpuri cinema without the support of the multiplexes, indeed where does one see a multiplex showing a Bhojpuri film, has carved a niche and a brand identity of its own. Such has been the growth of Bhojpuri cinema that a book has been written about it. The book under question is Cinema Bhojpuri, written by Avijit Ghosh.

Probably the popularity of the genre of Bhojpuri cinema during the recent times could be owing to the element of nostalgia associated with the people who speak this language, predominantly belonging to Eastern UP and Bihar and forming the part of migrants who dot the landscape of the country from Kinnaur to Kanyakumari. No wonder, with such kind of spread of the patrons, the cinema in Bhojpuri has drawn attention of the likes of Amitabh Bachchan as well. For that matter the single screen cinema halls in Mumbai, be it Deepak in Lower Parel, Bandra, Palace in Byculla have got a new lease of life thanks to the advent of Bhojpuri cinema that is patronized by the taxi drivers, construction workers etc. It is the crowd that used to form the front stall in cinema halls before the advent of the multiplexes, but found itself in the midst of Sahara after multiplexes evolved, and has taken out its revenge by patronizing Bhojpuri cinema in a big way. Possibly, this could be the reason why Bhojpuri cinema does not go to multiplexes as its patrons do not form a part of that construct at all.

Therefore it begs a question whether one needs to introspect or not about forcing multiplex owners to see a genre of film. Let the audience dictate the terms and the terms not be imposed upon.

The Bhojpuri films are being lapped up, inspite of injection of vulgarity and crudeness on account of the fact that it continues to underline the traditions and cultural aspects of the class, and the migrants find a source of continuum to their tradition through the cinematic oeuvre dished out to them in the kitsch form on the silver screen.

If one were to understand its outreach, one only has to see it in the small cities in India that are struggling to do away with the chocolate syrupy content dished out to them in the form of a regular fare through various kind of movies being made. No wonder, the quotient of hits is very low, and when one were to compare it with the success that Bhojpuri cinema has achieved, it would be amply clear that indeed the average viewer is not at all interested in living in a state of utopia but wants to have a feel of reality. For instance Hindi cinema does not have villains these days, but for the average migrant villain still exist in his life and therefore he identifies with them through scores of Bhojpuri films.

Reality is different and imposing on it a veneer of gloss cannot do away with it. This is what Marathi cinema is also doing, and if the content indeed is good, the audience would demand it and the multiplexes would show it, after all at the end of the day, it is plain business and economics.

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