The Gloomy State Of Jollywood


The Gloomy State Of Jollywood

Rifa Deka | September 21, 2019 17:10 hrs

Films are a reflection of our society through various kinds of creative expression. Films not only entertain, but also inform, educate and transform the masses. Films have the power to influence and persuade an entire generation of people at a scale unfathomable. These facets of culture and art of the masses mediate elite, folk as well as popular culture.

Movies not only help establish social institutions but also play a vital role by contributing to some dramatic changes in how we perceive and thrive in the world surrounding us. Undoubtedly, films draw a lot from real life and portray situations which have most resemblance to everyday lives of people, they also appeal to primary emotions and sentiments of people providing them with photographic realism. A lot of films leave a lasting impression on the audiences while many others come and go like they never mattered.

Coming to Assamese films… Are films really generating popular culture or creating culture waves throughout the state of Assam? Do our regional films revolve around stories of common people and their culture? Are these films able to break role stereotypes or are they able to at least convey important messages to the masses? If the answers to these questions are all positive then one can only wonder why Assamese cinema is doing so poorly.

The Assamese film world, as it is popularly referred to, has seen various pitfalls such as terrorism when films hit the halls, followed by an influx of pirated movies. Today, these problems do not plague the region to that extent as they did before, but even then the growth seems to be stagnant. If the cultural quality of cinema is not of good standard, then we can be assured that cinema has stopped doing a remarkable job in creating “visual consensus” among the masses.
Assamese cinema, in spite of having being taken seriously, has never really been able to break through at a national level, unlike most recent South Indian and other regional films. Although our films have received national awards, these films have not been able to appeal to the masses residing outside of the region. Assamese films of this century have only replicated Bollywood films, in spite of which the industry has been overshadowed by Bollywood.

Lack of trained technicians, media students, finance, and all other such issues are no valid excuse for poor quality films anymore. Only 3 Assamese films were released in the year 2010 in Assam and the number has grown to 18 in 2015 and 24 in 2017. Although there is a slow paced but consistent rise in the number of films released, one cannot ignore the fact that the growing quantity of films produced aren’t enough and neither do any justice to the quality of these films.

Kanchanjangha, the Zubeen Garg production in which he himself stars and which released on 5th September has become the fastest Assamese film to cross the Rs 1 crore mark in just 4 days. The film has also crossed the Rs 2 crore mark within 1 week of its release but J-wood films regularly crossing the 100 crore mark and catering to national audiences is still a distant dream.

(The author is a Mass Comm student of Royal Global University, Guwahati. Opinions expressed are her own)

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