Veteran screenwriter-lyricist Javed Akhtar has questioned contemporary Bollywood filmmakers over the decreasing use of songs in movies, saying they are too integral to Hindi cinema to be ignored by directors.
Akhtar spoke about the evolution of screenplays in Hindi films at the launch of film critic Khalid Mohamed’s debut novel, The Aladia Sisters on Monday evening. The screenwriter said he is sad that today’s film directors are rejecting songs.
“An average Hindi film’s screenplay is nearer to a novel than a short story. Now the new cinema that’s developing is gradually going towards short story and is rejecting the songs. So the epic-like quality is gradually going out of Indian cinema and I am very sad about it. In our indigenous cinema, the way we have used melodrama, look at masters like Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor, Vijay Anand, and how they have used songs.
“Why has it started to embarrass new directors I don’t know. Tomorrow some Japanese will get embarrassed about Kabuki? Or Italians will get embarrassed by Italian opera? They say ‘it’s not real’ but who says art should be real?” he said.
The event was also attended by filmmaker Karan Johar, Anil Kapoor and veteran star Asha Parekh, who have been close to Mohamed for a long time now. The Aladia Sisters is a story of six sisters from a patriarchal Muslim family, investigated by a journalist.