Bollywood is the terrain of the competitive; its essence very consumerist and businesslike. Every movie that is released obeys the set out mainstream formula. Most movies aim to garner profits more than experiment with the contours of film making. However, there is an emerging genre of independent cinema which essentially tries to defy shackles of Bollywood and create unique cinema beyond it.
Mostly independent cinema is self produced and doesn’t entertain interference from any production house to follow a set out recipe of movie making. The entire motive of independent cinema is to create a well defined and unique artistic vision and reach it out to people. Mostly such cinema doesn’t incur higher costs and is released to a limited audience who can appreciate the essence of the film better.
Anurag Kashyap is the King of independent cinema who has managed to channelize mainstream audiences towards taking a keen interest in this genre of cinema. Movies like “Black Friday”, “Gangs of Wasseypur”, “Paanch” are movies which have evolved the new wave of Indian cinema into mainstream. But at the same time, anything that doesn’t fall into the Bolly formula is not independent cinema. Often directors steal obscure ideas from random foreign film and sell an Indian-ized version of it.
Independent cinema is fast enmeshing itself in the mainstream cinema. The parameters of mainstream cinema have also broadened enough to fit in tertiary elements of cinema. Conforming to regular ideas, independent cinema tries different styles and themes of film making. Often camera angles can define a film as independent cinema. Their basic motive is to encourage unique thoughts and support the struggle to create and evolve something new and unseen. Bengali film “Gandu” by director Q goes a step ahead and attempts of free cinema from hostile ideas of morality and perversion.
Onir’s “I Am” or Amitabh Chakravarty’s “Cosmic Sex” are both films which have refrained from studio funding and have hence managed to protect the message and the essence of their story.
It is important to give the director full control of what he wants to create and how he wants to create it. More often than not, most directors fail to stick to their individual style of narration or compromise with their theme because of the exceeding pressure producers put on them. Independent cinema recklessly defies any pressure. One doesn’t always have to create something extraordinarily genius, but it is more important to create something individual and rare.