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Reel and real life ne'er will meet

Tarangini Sriraman

EducationPlus While college students may be big-time movie buffs, they are not too eager to learn the lessons of life and love from the big screen.


There can be no denying that commercial art is a reflection of real life so that most films are an imitation of real life. The converse, however, may not be as true: while college students ape actors on screen unwittingly or intentionally, this imitation may be in appearance more than in substance.

A nose stud here, spectacles there, ghagras here and wrap-arounds there may be fashioned after what Preiti Zinta or Bipasha Basu may have worn in their films.

The same student that apes her idol in painstaking detail may, however, fight shy of the situations that he or she faces in films.

You can relate to the emotional choices that Kajol has to make in `Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' or that Preiti Zinta Faces in `Dil Chahta Hai'. Shah Rukh Khan's idealism in Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge or the family romances in `Hum Saath Saath Hai'.

Yet such scenarios in my life are at best outlandish, says a student of St. Francis Degree College. Another student, Shruthi of Kasturba College says, "You might sympathise with an actor, but you need not necessarily want to be in the actor's shoes."

Where Telugu movies go, a student of St. Ann's College, Mehdipatnam says, "While most Telugu movies are unrealistic and even lewd in their romantic scenes, there are a few movies that I like.

Anand, for instance is a sensible movie where Raja and Kamlini Mukherjee have their own space and yet find it possible to accommodate each other in that space."

This is how any romance should work out, where neither makes too many demands on the other, she adds.

She says that though Chiranjeevi is slightly incongruous in a romantic role, the film Choodalani Vundi was also mature in its treatment of love. Both Chiranjeevi and Soundarya are haunted by ghosts that take the form of their past lives. A student of Railway Degree College for Women says that there is no film like Geetanjali, which appeals to all generations.

While the film introduces a novel idea by discussing love as something that helps you overcome the fear of death, it at the same time destroys the image of the macho man. Nagarjuna and Girija who are on the brink of death regard death playfully because they have each other to live for.

Other students watch sad and happy romances alike to give themselves a break. "I watch Hindi movies because I want to have a good laugh. The mushier the movie, the better. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw an inebriated Devdas mouth declaration after declaration of his undying love for Paro", says Parul, another student. Are students carried away by amorous scenes in English films? Another student of St. Ann's College, Mehdipatnam says, "You cannot discount Western influences either on Indian films or on notions of romance that students themselves have. But no film works its way into your life independent of other influences." Teenage romance of the kind in a film like `Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' is not just corny, it is absurd, she says.

Where college romance goes, Bollywood and Tollywood films take things to an extreme when they attempt to recreate colleges similar to those in the West. Colleges as are found in the Telugu film, `Boyfriend' or in the Hindi film, `Mohabbatein' are not similar to the set-ups here. Which college authority will let its students dress like the actresses do in films or let boys and girls fool around, she says.

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