Digital revolution and new wave movies have taken the Malayalam film industry by storm. But debate rages over the acceptability of the content and quality of these movies, now commonly called the “new generation films”. Old-timers say that new generation movies in Malayalam are made in haste and described them as “half cooked”.
“During our time, film was a beautiful and cherished dream which many of us used to carry in our hearts. We used to nurture that thought and discuss it during casual talks. There was a time gap before the concept took a final shape. Now the situation has changed. Literally, anyone with a mobile cam can make a film today. Filmmaking has become more convenient and accessible for the new generation,” says director Kamal during the seminar on ‘Malayalam Cinema – Changes and Challenges’ organised as part of the 18th IFFK.
Declaring Director J C Daniel – the unsung hero of Malayalam film industry - as the first new generation film maker in the country, Kamal said that Malayalam film industry has been evolving during the past 25 years.
“Daniel was the first filmmaker to go against all odds and present the audience a slice of the social stigma that prevailed in the society,” Kamal said.
But he conceded that changes were inevitable and said there was nothing wrong in handing over the future of Malayalam movies to the new generation. “This is what time demands. Movie is not an invention, but the reflection of a creative mind. But, I strongly recommend the budding talents to carry film as a dream and do justice to the movies they venture into by not forgetting the beautiful past,” he adds.
Sandra Thomas, who had made some of the most talked about ‘new-gen’ films, too echoed Kamal. “The emphasis should be on quality and not profit,” she said. But she admitted that there was a risk in attempting quality films.
“We were crestfallen after the initial collections of ‘Philips and the Monkey Pen’. We even decided to not make such experimental films in future. But to our surprise, the movie picked by word of mouth,” she said.
Lijo Jose Pallissery lamented on the denial of artistic freedom in a prudish society. “Film is a unique art form which satisfies the narcissism of human beings. An artist’s commitment is to the art form and not to the society. Unfortunately, the film makers are shackled to the norms of society, which brutally denies them the freedom to express their creativity. It’s high time that the industry, which is glued to realism, turn back to fiction. Audience have developed a fatigue for realistic movies. I feel reading is essential to get inspiration for good movies,” he said.
Lijo did not hide his unhappiness at the festival organizers for ignoring his film Amen – one of the critically acclaimed releases of the year. “I was invited here to speak but my movie is not part of the film festival,” he said and then added defiantly: “It’s not Amen’s loss but IFFK’s.”...