Has Odia Cinema Entered Into A Cross Current of Irreversible Facsimile Syndrome!

  • | Saturday | 13th November, 2021


The general perception about Odia Cinema is,   broadly, disappointing.  Even among the Odia cine goers, it is not that cheering. So let us not hasten for a comparison with other regional films, where it gets dwarfed down to a kind of minnow. What has surfaced is, blind imitations, mainly of Tamil or Telugu remakes or a few copy-paste of Bollywood ‘masala’.

Reasons can be many but the film but critics in this field mainly prefer to cite the lack of finance, technical know-how and a proper exhibition facility besides the constructive promotion of contents to woo the viewers. That is the attitude on the part of the filmmakers.  

And what is, perhaps, conspicuously absent is the intimate blend of the social fine distinctions and values that constitute the core Odia culture and lifestyles. Plus the worrying dearth of inclusion of new thinking and innovations by plucking themes from within the lives and history.

Official Lethargy

Efforts by the administrative apparatus to support this industry have been found a bit wayward. Neither there has been any serious brain-storming by the film fraternity itself nor has there been any concerted attempt by the supervising government apparatus to sync with the ground realities and breathe steam into this mediocrity.

There was an attempt a few years back to incorporate some quality technical upgradation and post production refinement through a joint venture with the Prasad Laboratory of Andhra Pradesh and the state-owned Kalinga  Studio with a share equity pattern. Sadly, after initial euphoria, the venture nearly faltered and the said studio has merely remained to showcase greenery and other cosmetic decorations whereas, the restructuring of the infrastructure fell flat.

Secondly, the Odisha Film Development Corporation(OFDC), which stood for providing several inherent impetus such as, in making, a subsidy induced financial support, the entire process got virtually derailed due to lack of serious supervision and sincerity by the higher-ups in this apparatus.

What practically bugged the OFDC is the improper manning of the corporation as it was handed over to a lot who were from the official background and suffered from a serious dearth of the creative outlook which is a vital ingredient for quality cinema.

So the Corporation ultimately wore the look of an ex-official guild composed of in-office or retired government servants which made a collage of a reluctant lot, where creativity got a slow burial.

Attitude Can Rock

Why do the questions about the attitude of filmmakers arise here? It can be seen as a short version that so much goes into making a good movie keeping in mind the taste of the audience. Notwithstanding the financial constraints here, certain ingredients come into play even at lost cost films.

For example writing of scripts, direction and refinement afterward can be made subjective according to the taste of the audience and later the opinions come from them, which obviously helps a maker to differentiate between good and bad movies.

But the die-hard inclination to depend on borrowed themes and ‘masala’ from others snatches away one’s own creativity or block the makes’ ability to go out of the mindset of copy-paste      

Almost every movie, in whichever language, gets stronger with a good script and that is where many films face problems. Or else the entire production designers fail to conceive what all sets and art designs are supposed to get ready. The same becomes the problem with the director or even the cinematographer. 

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