Indian people need to dream. The film Industry helps them to dream. Common belief is that Indian cinema are only romantic films. False! There are, like in any other country: thrillers, horror, comedies, dramas and so on. But it is true that in a society that forced marriage and arranged marriage, Indians need to dream about falling in love and choosing the person they will live with forever.
For that reason, those who do not have that much money in India, will very often try to save for a cinema session from time to time…to escape a reality that can sometimes be hard.
The host organization was bringing this group that was in Jaipur only for the orientation session (then going to volunteer in some other parts of India) to the cinema to see a Hindi film, “Singh is King” (Singh, being a popular Indian name). Amit and Gaurav told me about it and asked if I wanted to go with them and I decided I would join.
The cinema is called Raj Mandir (Raj Temple, in Hindi) not far from M.I. Road, the main avenue in Jaipur. Very central.
The first thing that stroke me is that Men and Women do not queue in the same file. There were 2 different queues, and 2 different counters. Meaning that a married couple going to the cinema together cannot buy their tickets together. It is something that never came to my mind before seeing it with my eyes.
Once you have your ticket, then you can enter in the building, after showing it to the man at the door.
The inside of the cinema is like a palace and there is a lot of space near the front door for people to wait that the room opens, a few minutes before the film starts.
When the staff opened the doors, everybody ran into the room to get the seats they wanted, and shortly after the film started.
You know the way it is in Europe, once the lights are switched off, people are supposed to be quiet to let the others listen to the film?
In India it is much more cheerful 🙂 Every time a very popular actor appears on the screen, people shout, or whistle. That is their moment, they want to relax and let the pressure outside the cinema, and express themselves!
As you may know Indian films have loads of music…and that is also why they last most of the time around 3 hours! The music in the movies is the music they have on radios, everyone knows the songs.
So they might even know the songs before the films and when the song comes up during the film, they will freely start singing with the actors, at loud! Well in fact the actors do not sing themselves, it is just playback.
I feel it makes it a great atmosphere, they share something with the rest of the audience in the room.
…and that is the feeling I had about India in general…it was mainly about sharing all the time.