Satyen K Bordoloi finds a metaphor for indie cinema in the children’s film Gattu and wonders if the Children’s Film Society India can become the next NFDC.
In a small town, a monstrous black kite called Kali cuts every other kite that threatens its domination of the skies. Gattu, a kid unmindful of his small size or poverty, dreams of ending Kali’s reign and has to rake up all his resourcefulness, street-smartness and intelligence to reach his objective.
On the face of it, this can be read as the brief synopsis of the film Gattu directed by Rajan Khosa, which has earned the unique distinction of being the first film that the 57 year old Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) is releasing all guns blazing.
On another level, replace ‘Kali’ with ‘commercial cinema’, Gattu with the struggling indie filmmaker and the sky with the Indian cinema space, and you have the perfect metaphor for cinema in India.
Indian cinematic skies are ruled by commercial monstrosities like ‘Kali’. The problem is not their commercial mindset, but that with a clockwork precision, most of them dismantle any semblance of intelligence and logic in their films in their desperate attempt to pander to the lowest common denominator.
What we get in the end are senile films that lack either sensibility, sensitivity or even a tempered down representation of realism to anything existing in the world.
This happens in a country of thousands of directorial aspirants, of small guys with big ideas. These guys, like Gattu, are orphans and illiterate with the ways of the cinematic world and their secrets. No wonder most either lose heart along the way or go away to buy another reality. A handful, succeed.