It is not often that someone from the Hindi film industry risks calling out the sheer hypocrisy that is the norm- privilege informs everything from opportunities to acknowledgement. Music composer Amaal Mallik has done just that, and that deserves the attention of a country obsessed with its film stars and everything they do.
Without naming them explicitly, Amaal Mallik, who shot to limelight with ‘Sooraj Dooba Hai’ from Roy (2015), has lashed out at the unfair set of nominations at the Filmfare Awards 2017. A lengthy Facebook post by Amaal went thus:
Nobody in their right minds believes that awards doled out in the Hindi film industry have anything to do with good cinema, or for that matter, logic. For most of us, it is a distraction on a boring Sunday evening when there is nothing better to do but watch actors dance to stale old routines while the rest of their mutual admiration club cheers and guffaws over corny inside jokes.
What we do not realise, is that the normalisation- even glorification of this behaviour of the film industry that favours pomp over substance- is detrimental to cinema in general. A Nawazuddin or an Irrfan only gets a polite, patronising applause (and maybe one Critics’ Choice) in this circus, which claims to represent Hindi cinema. And we as consumers accept everything dished out to us without complaint because hey, Shahid Kapoor will dance on an obscenely grand set so we all win, right?
It is worth noting that Amaal, unlike Aamir Khan, has not denounced awards altogether, but is only questioning their criteria. What warrants our appreciation is his ability to regard his work vis-a-vis that of others and acknowledge the superior work of other composers- a rare quality. It is not everyday that someone with roots deep in the industry (Amaal is the grandson of noted yesteryears music director Sardar Malik, and nephew of Anu Malik) refuses to take his privilege for granted and speaks up for promoting fresh talent.
Call us overly optimistic, but we hope that this outrage of his helps shake a complacent industry, and a passive audience, out of its slumber.
Title image: indiawest