Can art and commerce balance in Hindi cinema?
Balancing art and commerce has been the perpetual dilemma of the Indian cinema – Hindi mainstream and regional – over the last 50 years.
The problem has been exacerbated by what is popularly known these days as ‘market forces’.
It is widely believed in Mumbai, the headquarters of commercial Hindi films, which have the largest capital investment, followed by Telugu and Tamil productions, that the paying public, already harassed by the travails of life, mainly economic, wants to get away from reality and escape into NeverNever Land.
Does it then mean that nothing that is serious and artistic can be produced in Indian cinema? What invariably happens is a halfway house, between tepid art and a thwarted desire for commercial success. These films, neither possess enough of the artistic truth nor the quality to attract a paying viewer.