How KJo films changed Indian Cinema?
KJo’s films are classic romance encounters where it is never too late for the protagonists to find love or the family to resolve their feud. Just like warriors used to practice with cudgels before taking the swords in their hands, KJo is known for using his ticking-clock finale’s and hallmark moments to build a consumerist utopia. I read this chapter from a book about Hindu Cinema by Sangita Gopal, “Family matters: Affect, Authority, And the codification of Hindu Cinema” which talks about how KJo movies have portrayed Indian Families in its worldwide loved classics.
In this article, I want to talk about how KJo’s films have liberalized India?
How has he changed the role of a family in the Indian cinema? How his narrative techniques in the films have kept the older forms of cinematography alive? And most importantly, the role time and space have played in the evolution of KJo films.
The author talks about melodrama and its insignificance in KJo films. There is change in the way variables are used. Family, romantic gestures, heroic moments and songs go in sync with the storyline. There is no out of context reference in the films. The author talks about the critics who have drawn attention towards the glamour in KJo’s films and how only upper-class, upper-caste Hindu home has taken space in his films, discarding the actual scenario in which the Indian audience lived. Hence, according to me he tried to build an imagery of an ideal situation through cinema.
The author talks about the flexible citizen in KJo films who skillfully navigates the flows and disparate spatial-temporalities of globalization. Here Tina, the protagonist in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai belongs to India [place] (she just returned from London where she completed her studies) but is portrayed as an anachronistic [time] who has not forgotten Indian traditions (by singing a Hindu Hymn). She belongs to a globalized world but her recessive milieu has not yet gone for a toss. There are instances where the author is talking about the mismatch between time and space in KJo’s films. In Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, the acceptance of serial monogamy was not a new thing in India. The growing social reality for this kind of relationships was prominent in India but when it came to shooting the same sequence in the native country, the director was not convinced. The place, in this case, it was India, was not suitable to shoot the scenes. The place wouldn’t let the protagonists encounter an unhindered or unobserved love affair. Let us take another example where KJo is talking about the changing values of the family. The disappearance of society and state, parents facilitating the desires of their children seemed unreal at that point in time. This was because the time had not yet arrived for such changes in Indian society.
The author talks about time again when he addresses the sentiments of the youth. The subject which can be the traditions and rituals are flexible and the self which is the youth is molding itself around it. There is an elimination of events in KJo’s films where the subject was unable to act upon his desires. These events are replaced by resolution through interpersonal communication.
According to the author, the sentimental symptoms have changed when we look at older Hindi cinema and KJo films. The melodramatic situations in KJo films hit humorous pitfall when the older generation understand the new ways of society and are willing to accept the change. Also, the young generation in their space of modern romance acts like they have to withstand the responsibilities of the family. Thus keeping the values passed on to them alive. The reverse role where the young generation is concerned about social obligation and the older generation is rooting for personal fulfillment is the twist in KJo classic romance tragedy Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.
The author also talks about other “hatke” films who took the Indian cinema for its modern approach towards relationships and conjugality but KJo had something new to offer to the audience by adding value to the old traditions.
According to me, what made KJo films a hit was the realism which dripped like honey out of every scene. The viewer must believe that the scene exists outside the shot of the cinematic frame to maintain the picture’s realism. In movies, there is always a debate between what is real and what is unreal. The valuable souvenirs which KJo has offered the Indian film industry seem to favor real more.