The Role of Cinema and Novels in Our Daily Life

By Arun Krishnadas

Edited by Liz Maria Kuriakose, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist

“If God’s imagination is reality, then man’s imagination is cinema”.

Does the former quote seem to reflect a hint of truth? Haven’t we all thought at various times, how astonishing the world around us is? Truly the craft of a master craftsman! But man has been given a special gift, a gift to see beyond the borders of reality, or rather to stretch it. This gift is called imagination, which today primarily depicts itself in the form of novels and cinema.

While novels, and in particular fiction has been on the scene since ancient times, the evolution of cinema has been quite recent, with its origins attributable to the plays and dramas enacted on stage. However, cinema has gone on to capture the interests of millions around the world, and is today even more relevant than novels in shaping our future. It is ironic because what was initially thought to be two different entities all together, namely God’s and man’s imaginations, has today become so interlinked, that it has come to a point where today’s imagination is tomorrow’s reality!

We get to see parents complaining time and again about how their kids are addicted to TV, and countless number of articles pointing out a doomsday, due to the fact that the world is moving towards videos and tech, ignoring books altogether. With all this said and done, one has to realize that neither cinema nor novels actually hold an upper hand in the truest sense. While education and optimisation of time and so on fall under a whole-together different concept, the roles of our two protagonists in the play called “life” are equally important.

Novels, more often than not, happen to be individual efforts, with the aid of a few. They depict a journey through the imagination of the writer, and it is his skill that one gets through 500 pages of writing, not once glancing at the time! It has been scientifically proven, that reading is a very beneficial activity, stimulating creativity, enhancing conversation skills and erasing away stresses for a better life. Despite these advantages, looking from an economic stand-point, there are very few who depend on this for their living. And it doesn’t form the back-bone of any economy, for sure!

Moving on to cinema, the fundamental premise remains the same. Every film is based on a script, which forms its crux and outlines the basic journey. Remember all those giant films which you watched with bated-breath for 2 hours? Cinema is the product of the efforts of many, and also happens to be the bread-winning route for many families. There are economies built on it! Listing its disadvantages would involve its potential to addict, propagation of false notions, such as a hysterical love for larger-than-life characters, unsuitable scenes in movies generating negative influences, and so on. But many of these could easily be attributed to novels too. And movies have its own advantages like being socialising venues, having the potential to inspire and educate like none other and so on.

Neither one stands alone, at least in the times to come. Take for instance, those countless films made from books and vice versa, though the latter is on the decline. It is their complementary effect which should be learnt from. It is true that time and again, the media has created monsters, like jokers in several parts of the world, inspired from the batman series. But despite this, our protagonists continue to hold the immense potential to drive action like none other. Realization of this fact and its effective usage will be a key idea for those seeking to shape societies. A double-edged weapon for sure!

But even in the wake of all these truths, there lies the reality that you are walking through the trees grown from the seeds of another. So the next time, you take up a novel, or watch a movie, try to gather your thoughts. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the creator, and try to improvise. Ah yes! Somewhat like what the critics do. And mind you, media criticism is a very effective work-out for the mind. Who knows, it might be the first step in creating the next Alfred Hitchcock!

 Arun  is a reserved individual, who places his interests at par with those of others around him. He is determined when he sets onto something, but still spends long amounts of time introspecting on his decisions, whatever be the results. He likes to spend time with friends, reading books, watching sports and films, writing his heart out and setting time tables for a better tomorrow. He believes that for some things, there’s today, and for others there’s tomorrow, be it the one that comes or the one that doesn’t.