Kolkata: The new wave Bengali cinema has met success at the box office and also won critical acclaim at the same time, but eminent Malayali filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan dismisses the phenomenon as a 'compromise'.
"I cannot appreciate the trend. It is a compromise on the part of the filmmakers. They are doing something which is a submission to the demands of the market," Gopalakrishnan said during a recent visit to the city.
For the last two to three years, Bengali cinema has found a new idiom in which off-beat storylines and commercial considerations have shared equal space. A string of such movies like 'Autograph', 'Baishe Srabon', 'Uro Chithi', 'Ichche' and 'Moner Manush' have been sleeper hits.
Describing these movies as 'khichidi', Gopalakrishnan said, "They add elements just to please others. As a filmmaker, I have always made films which I wanted to make without making any compromise by thinking what others will say about them," said the 70-year-old veteran. It was Adoor who had led the parallel cinema movement in Kerala with his debut film 'Swayamvaram' (The Selection) in 1972.
The Dadasaheb Phalke awardee has regularly won the National Film Awards for path-breaking movies like 'Kathapurushan' (The protagonist), 'Mukhamukham' (Face to Face), 'Anantharam' (Afterwards) and 'Naalu Pennungal' (Four Women). Suggesting that the new generation directors should make films on their own terms, he felt the audience would come automatically if the film is good.
"Let the audience come to watch such films. Why can't we cater to a different taste of cinema?" To get audiences for good cinema instead of the typical commercial fare being dished out, he said film appreciation courses should be started in schools.
"Cinema is like any other art form. When literature is taught at schools, why can't we teach them how to appreciate cinema at an early age? This is the best way to make people understand cinema and develop a taste for it," he said. Giving an example of Kerala, the director said, "The state has such a system and that is why the people there have a taste for good films". Even one of his film scripts has found a place in the textbooks, he said.