- Its advantages.
- It’s disadvantages.
The cinema has come to stay with us for good or bad. We cannot get away with it. We should not get away with it. It is the cheapest form of delight and entertainment for the millions. It is a blessing to every one. Our country now is full of cinemas. Cities, towns and villages even are full of cinema houses. Going to see the pictures has become a hobby with all and a passion with a few. The Cinema stars are more wonderful than the stars above. They draw us more powerfully than any other single factor of modern life. We, sometimes,dream of becoming actors on the screen. At any rate we go to see pictures more often than we go to temples and mosques and churches.There are all sorts of attraction in these cinemas. Formerly, only a few years ago, there were only silent pictures. It was these silent pictures, which were introduced into our country. They were called Kinematographs or, as we now call them Cinematography. That is to say, they were a series of photographs, shown on a screen. They gave a moving picture pictures or photographs of the original scene. They were also called Movies or moving pictures. These shows were taken from place to place and displayed at fairs and melas. They were shown in tents and temporary structures.
Today, however, these pictures have begun to speak and sing as well as move. They have become talkies as well as movies. Naturally, they have become more numerous and more popular. They are now housed in huge theatres or cinema houses. They have become a permanent feature of our urban life; and they are slowly but surely moving towards our smaller towns and bigger villages. They have captured the mind of almost everyone in our country. They have grown up into big industries also. Formerly we used to get films made in foreign countries. Today our own people are producing several good films. Some of these have received international prizes. There are several prosperous film companies. There are thousands of actors, actresses, producers are artists of all kinds engaged in this national industry of ours. In short, we have become cinema-minded most definitely. Our Government has instituted good prizes and awards for the best films, the best actors and the best producers. We are encouraging this profession and industry in many unmistakable ways.
Undoubtedly, the cinema has several good hings to give us. They are first and foremost a very cheap form of popular entertainment. Machines have come to multiply this entertainment on a very big scale. In pre-cinema days our dramatists and poets used to provide us with dramas and operas for our entertainment. Dramatic companies used to supply our demands for amusement. We saw living men and women act and play their parts on the stage. This dramatic entertainment, ‘however, was a costly affair. It was also restricted in its appeals because the same company had to move from place to place. Drama had to cater only to limited audience in a limited season of the year.
But the mechanical devices used in showing pictures have changed this slow tempo of dramatic production. Today one and the same film could be shown in several places drawing millions of people. Science and technology have thus brought a revolution in our modes of entertainment. One set of actors producing a film can thus cater to millions of people.
Secondly, the cinema can show a greater variety of scenes than is possible to do in dramas. In other words, cinemas are more colourful and thrilling than dramas. The science and art of photography have grown to perfection. By their means almost any scene could be shown on the screen. Wild jungles, wild animals, seafighters, fires, floods, earthquakes and tempests are shown on the screen. Swordfights, thrilling fights and gripping escapes are vividly shown in the films. The scenes in the pictures are varied and thrilling. There is rich colour and detail in these scenes. Nature can be brought on the screen in any of its moods and seasons. Lovers are shown in spring, surrounded by flowers and songs of birds. A street scene is shown in vivid, realistic details. The crowds can be pictured as moving in real life. Scenes consisting of hundreds of persons are photographed and shown on the screen. In short, the screen can display any and every scene most vividly.
This variety of scenes and the thrill they give are the greatest attractions of the cinema. They are specially pleasing to the masses who want vivid colour and variety. In this respect the drama is no comparison at all. Their scenes and curtains are a poor show when compared with the variety and richness of those in the films.
Thirdly, the cinemas have an educational value which is most important. They are a form of visual education. They give information, news, instructions and enlightenment. The films called documentaries’ are a great force in educating public. In a country like ours where literacy is very low, the cinemas are very welcome. They are the most powerful agencies for spreading knowledge and information. To the pcople in villages, the films can bring the most upto-date items of knowledge in agriculture, industry and education They can teach them the principles of cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene. They can show the dangers of dirty rotten garbage and marshy jungles. They can show them how to prevent such things, and how to build up the good life.
In short, the cinema has a very definite place in developing the health, knowledge and wealth of the masses. It caters to the need of the classes as well as the masses. If used properly, the cinema is an unmixed blessing for all.
But, all this is true only if the cinema is properly used. If it is abused or misused, the cinema can be as harmful as an epidemic. The greatest danger of the abuse of cinema is the danger of making people vulgar and low in their tastes and outlook. A nation is judged by the standard of its targets and value. If films begin to show vulgar and indecent pictures of animal passion, the harm done is huge. This is particularly so in the case of young men and women and small childern. Some of the films show nothing but scenes of shameless lovemaking, kissing and hugging. The songs sung are cheap, immelodious and indecent. Such scenes and songs demoralise the growing minds of our youth. Some of the films are full of low appeal sexual. Such films should be banned. Some films are used for propaganda. They do no good. Some films make crime, and look romantic. This is most dangerous because people begin to dream of becoming such heroes.
Cinema-going should not be a drug or wild passion. It is likely to lead young people to neglect their serious duties. There should be a proper control of such tendencies among boys and girls.
As an industry, also, the cinema compainies are dangerous when they are misused. We read reports in the paper about young people running away from homes in order to join the profession of actors. Many such youths are exploited by selfish compainies and they encourage indiscipline. Government should control these abuses. There should be no exploitation of unsuspecting youths.
Perhaps the most tragic aspect of the growth of cinemas is the decay of our drama. The screen has affected the stage most powerfully. We do not hear of good dramas or of good dramtic and theatrical companies. The drama is a very ancient, a very beautiful art which should be encouraged. Our Government is doing all it can to encourage this decaying art of ours. The drama has’a human appeal and interest which the cinema can never have. The cinema is subject to all the limitations of the machine. It is too mechanical to inspire human hearts. It cannot appeal in the same human way that drama does.
In conclusion we may say that the cinema has come to stay with us for good or bad. It is up to us to make it a good thing. We can so use, it as to give us beneficial results. It is a wonderful invention of science, and like all scientific inventions it is a double-edged weapon. It can do splendid service in spreading knowledge as well as delight among the millions. Let us hope that its abuses will be controlled so as to make it an honourable profession and a source of life-giving entertainment to the millions.