The Indian film industry produces over 1,000 movies annually. But acclaimed filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra describes it as a ‘cottage industry’ and believes it will really evolve when it crosses the phase of ‘intellectual bankruptcy’.
Indian cinema completes a century of its existence this year and Mehra, the maker of movies like Aks, Rang De Basanti and Delhi-6, says the babysteps towards ‘global’ cinema have only just begun.
‘It is a very comforting feeling for me at least, that now there is a life beyond a boy-girl romance (in cinema). I believe we are still a cottage industry and we are (slowly) growing out of it. We are an industry of a few families and a few genres,’ said Mehra.
Sadly? ‘No, not sadly! Even our politics is like that. It is the country as such. But when the country and society explodes, so will the cinema. Right now, we are not one step ahead of what’s going on.
As filmmakers and storytellers, we need to be 100 steps ahead and need to visualise. Real work of art happens with imagination. Real commerce also follows imagination,’ said Mehra.
That, he feels, is clearly not happening.