1. Do you think the cinema has increased or decreased in popularity in recent years?
2. In your opinion, will this trend continue in the future?
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of making films of real-life events?
4. How important do you think it is for a filmmaker to remain true to the original story?
5. Should films and television be censored or should we be free to choose what we see?
6. How do you think censorship laws will change in the next 20 years?
Q. 1: Do you think the cinema has increased or decreased in popularity in recent years?
Answer: That’s a bit complex issue as the answer might seem paradoxical. Well, I heartily believe that more people enjoy movies today than ever before but most of them do not go to a movie theatre to enjoy a movie. Thus the cinema halls have lost their glorious days, especially in my country, but an increasing number of people make time to watch movies either on TVs or on their computers. Gone are the days when my parents used to take me to a movie theatre and that was once in a while. These days we enjoy more than 3-4 movies a week but do not go to a cinema hall at all. I believe the popularity of international movies, low-quality local movies and amenities to get great movie-viewing experience at home are the reasons for this shifting trend.
Q. 2: In your opinion, will this trend continue in the future?
Answer: Unless radical changes are brought to the cinema halls and restrictions are imposed on the way we stream and watch the latest movies at home, the trend will continue in the future. Movie theatres would lose their attractions further and technology would assist us to watch movies on demand at home. However, some people will still go to the cinema with friends and family to enjoy a movie on a day out.
Q. 3: What are the advantages and disadvantages of making films of real-life events?
Answer: Among the advantages, I assume, those movies have a ready-made plot, the storylines are already popular and the producer can think of characters easily. Such movies often win awards considering their historical values and are positively taken by the audience and critics.
However, there are some drawbacks in making such movies based on real-life events. First and foremost, people and critics scrutinise such movies more thoroughly and they are often subject to controversy. Secondly, the story is already known to people and the movie has to promise something more than its storyline. Furthermore, making such movies require a huge sum of money and they often end up poorly in the box office.
Q. 4: How important do you think it is for a filmmaker to remain true to the original story?
Answer: I believe true facts from history should be intact in a movie and every filmmaker should adhere to the truth as much as possible while making a movie based on a real-life event or a prominent historical figure. Otherwise, the film would end up receiving resentments and negative criticism from ordinary viewers as well as from movie critics. Sometimes, a filmmaker needs to add some surprises and twists to make such a movie more appealing but they can always do so by not distorting the main facts. We should keep in mind that children who watch such movies often take them as evidence of real events from history. So such movies should not misrepresent history and invite controversy.
Q. 5: Should films and television be censored or should we be free to choose what we see?
Answer: I believe some sort of censorship is required in the TV and film industry so that we can enjoy movies and watch TV programmes without embarrassments and getting offended. For instance, if I start watching a movie with my parents and the film has too many sensual and violent scenes, we would feel embarrassed. Since movies have a major impact on the viewers’ mind, we should not allow too much violence, hatred and offensive scenes to be shown. However, I also believe that creative artists should be allowed to express their feelings and thoughts through these media. Hence, too much tight censorship, that we see in some countries, is not desirable as well. We, as adults, might often choose what we want to watch but we should always monitor what our youngsters are watching for their own good.
Q. 6: How do you think censorship laws will change in the next 20 years?
Answer: Well, that’s a tough question to answer, but I will nevertheless try! In my opinion, after two decades or so, some first world countries, where censorship laws are too much flexible, would find themselves amending laws to make it more a bit rigid. While an opposite approach would be taken in developing countries to give more freedom to creative artists. All countries, in my opinion, will try to make a balance in censorship laws to make it more friendly and helpful to the viewers.