In an interview recently, I was asked the sort of question that makes my toes curl in terror — something about "the nature and purpose of cinema". Cornered, I reluctantly mumbled something like: "A really good film is one where form and content come together in the best possible way — irrespective of whether the subject matter is escapist or grounded in hard realities."
Since then I've received some feedback by readers who felt I was short-selling the importance of plot. Isn't the story — or the content — the most important thing, with everything else following?
This is a commonly expressed idea. Viewers emerge from movie halls and sagely tell the TV-channel reporter standing outside with a microphone, "film bakwaas hai, story original nahin hai". The condescending phrase "all style, no substance" is often used to describe just about any film that is visually daring (therefore "flashy") and tries to tell a story in cinematic language rather than by relying on "pictures of peopleRead More »from Heard a good story?