Aspirants, 12th Fail and The Big Billion Business

By Saptarshi Nag

Whenever a motivational movie about success hits the theatre, my instinct always urges me to watch it without a second thought. Afterall, I am a small level motivational speaker myself and there is something to learn from everything. On another level, conscience becomes my guardian angel and forbids me from doing so. Questions from my Antaratma are like- Are you an aspirant? Do you lack motivation? Do you want to promote some coaching institutions? Or do you have aspirations as a movie maker?

 I was a bit shocked. What connection does business have with motivation? Yes, movie making is a passion I am learning but for promotion? Hell, no. I received a strong slap by my conscience. And I started observing instead of seeing.

Nearly a couple of months ago Indian social media forgot everything else. Nothing was bad in the world. Everything was gettable. Everything was possible. Everything was ‘Achievable’. Everyone was about to become an IPS. 12th Fail was available on the OTT and it’s HD version was downloadable on every torrent platform. My own social media page was showing nothing else, but how dreams are so much gettable and possible for even the so-called underachievers. In the movie, the protagonist was talking about the problems of ‘The Real India’ and for a month or so the problems of the real India were out of everyone’s mind. ‘12th Fail’ after doing mediocre business in its runtime at the cinema halls was a blockbuster in peoples’ hearts. Vikrant Massey started appearing shoulder to shoulder with the bigshots of Bollywood. He, however, was not a popular choice among the celebrities even after putting his guts out in movies or TV shows like Mirzapur, A Death in the Gunj, Copy, Criminal Justice, Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi or even cheap films like Haseen Dilrubah or Love Hostel where as an actor his performance was much better than his over-the-top acting skills in 12th Fail. But who cares? ‘Movie ho to propaganda jaisi ho warna na ho’- an illusion or who known an allusion so much venerated among all of us that we cannot even spare motivation, which is absolutely intrinsic from its shadowy clutches.

Sufferers? Poor Indian Students who have not learnt the art of getting out from how romanticism is cleverly mixed with dreams by today’s dream-mongers.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra was being hailed suddenly as a stalwart filmmaker for every cinephile in India. His last attempt to show the pains of the Kashmiri Pandits in ‘Shikara’ which was outrageously boycotted by the nationalists was forgotten and he was being hailed as a messiah of the average Indians-the dream seller who sold his product in the garb of a movie, sponsored by a very reputed coaching institute of Delhi. Isn’t he the same VVC who exactly 35 years back gave us a gem like ‘Parinda’? I even loved his ‘Khamosh’, a murder mystery set in the backdrop of a picturesque Kashmir with doyens of acting like Shabanah Azmee, Amol Palekar, Pankaj Kapoor or ‘Sazaaye Maut’ helmed by the great Nasiruddin Shah, or even the less remembered ‘Eklavya’. I am not mentioning his brilliance as a producer to help the rise of perhaps one of the finest directors of out time, none other than Raj Kumar Hirani. Anupama Chopra, Vidhu ji’s wife and such a pragmatic and ever lovable film critic who has been undeservedly lambasted for her feminism and courage to call a spade a spade was suddenly basking in the glory of the accolades somehow accidentally received by her husband. ‘Shikara was out and 12th Fail was in’. Just the way’ Adipurush was out but its actor was in, in Salaar’, Truth once trashed by many as propaganda of feminism in the voice of Mrs. Chopra suddenly became subtle art of understanding films by the average YouTube goers. Someone who gave garbage like Radhey Shyam, Saaho or Adipurush was revered for another trash like Salaar as we were looking for the opportunities to hail a movie star from the South, not to promote our Indian Oneness but just for the sake of promoting a region untouched by the so-called nationalists. I am even planning to make a movie from Manipur about how an aspirant cracks UPSC despite all the odds. I am not focussing on how to make it a good movie.  I believe cheap motivation and a few nationalist lines will surely hit the eyes I target- Bull, the opposite gender of Cow !

    Coming back to where I left after I talked about 12th Fail or another ‘Gem’ of its genre ‘Aspirants’ being so easily available, as I was a bit curious to investigate the cause of why such easy and free downloads aren’t attracting the wrath of the makers who would have surely incurred loss of revenue for such piracy, I just fact checked and found every time a movie about a propaganda is released, the makers are mysteriously generous to ignore the ones responsible for the pirated versions of such movies. Money making is a two-way bullshit. Either you hit the bull’s eye and mint money or you take the other route of making people cry and empathise with you or your product and in the end, you are left with none other option but to swallow the shit.  It happened in politics and you may please check it out yourself the recurrence of propaganda, politics and the manifestation on the silver screen. And that happened in the field of motivation as well. In case of political propaganda, common people most of whom want nothing but to be fooled of themselves are the target audiences. That, considering India’s present level of education and highly volatile public perception dictated by cheap media ambushing is acceptable. But when a section of the educated Indians gets bamboozled, the real scenario is, in every scene of a creation cleverly titled as ‘12th Fail’ have you understood the ardent desire to promote one institution based at Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi? In ‘Aspirants’, the makers (TVF, for God’s sake which has given us a true gem like Panchayat submitted to them so cheaply) were too desperate to promote their own name within 10 minutes into the show.

‘Aspirants will never have the Drishti to differentiate between the truth and the business’- I say this as millions of students are being deprived of the right to see the proper and rightful dream. They deserve to be a section officer and you guys are feeding him or his parents to be IAS or IPS or State PSC officer. She deserves to be a dancer. But you want her to be managing the Sanitary aspects of Indian life. He has the talent of a footballer. But you are inspiring him to be an Income Tax Officer. Are you not ignoring the plights of someone who has the loftiness of her or his heart to dream but not big enough to see the dreams being turned to reality by being grounded. Are 12th Fail or Aspirants or Millions of Bhaiyas in India doing justice to their dreams?

“The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.” – Bob Dylan

News Reporter

1 thought on “Aspirants, 12th Fail and The Big Billion Business

  1. When a writer puts his heart open and unchained, the simultaneous overflow of emotions mixed with creative, literary and genuine brilliance just washes away each and each an every instinct of the body (okay, except the skin). This piece of writing, apart from being an eye-opener and hard hitter is something very very deep. It is a wage of war against the horrible practice of feeding the wallets by selling hopes to the needy. No surprise it’s from a man of steel. Just love it!❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *