I was not a movie-goer type during my B.Tech. or Ph.D days here. However, I oblige myself with 2-3 movies a semester now. In those days, we had a yell emanating from the movie hall "T-a-r-a-p-a-d-a", every occasion something went wrong with movie projection. We were told that the character Tarapada is a myth. Whoever handles the projection system becomes Tarapada.
One of the reason why I do not hear Tarapada-shout now is the decreased number of footfalls. The 60 year old movie projection system was no more reliable in terms of audio and video quality. Also, it is difficult to get movie prints of all the films on reels. The technology has moved to digital systems - hard disk, satellite download etc.
An effort started this year to move to digital projection system. I was a part of the team that visited few modern cinema halls in Kolkata. We educated ourselves with lots of literature, met people, visited projection rooms. The new system implemented is what our Technology Film Society (TFS) found good and what takes care of technology, operational and other issues.
This has been the first movie weekend with the new system. Wanted to meet our TFS colleagues, with whom I spent few days earlier this year, after this transition which is major for them. Also, wanted to have a feel of the new system.
The 3:00 - 6:00 PM show was housefull! Chatted with TFS staffs, and learnt how they are handling the new system. Visited the projection room. They told what more they need. Watched the movie till halftime. The movie was Aashiqui II. Both audio and video quality have improved and there was no interruption. Didn't watch after half-time as (i)I learnt that there is a sad end (Hero dies) and (ii)I had some other responsibility.
I watched two movies last sem. and felt so bad that the persons with shady character and doing unlawful things were portrayed as hero in those movies. No wonder that we see so much indifference or rather inclination towards such stuffs if this is what we feed our young population. Yes, they were primarily comedy (Race 2 and Special 26) but people who watch them take the comic as well as the unlawful stuff. Not so easy to unmix them and slowly but surely they enter our value system. Compared to that this movie was more of tragedy but has certain respect for value system. The hero, however, does lots of unnecessary and illogical maneuvers to increase melodrama quotient. But who watches mainstream Bollywood movie to find rationality in it :-) Perhaps, I would have liked struggle or ending like Ek Vivaah .. Aisa Bhi [Youtube Link], watched two semester back where too one comes forward to extend help to another. But there is a difference between Rajshri and Masheh Bhatt production!! Isn't it?
People watched Aashiqui with the first projection system IIT Kharagpur had. They begin journey II with the second movie projection system here when Aashiqui II is screened. While we welcome the new, we feel sad for the demise of the old system that stood by us for six l-o-n-g decades. Our homage to the old system. It is time to see if we become Aashiq of the new system and TFS officials get what they were lamenting for, more footfalls, more yaarana from movie buffs. One must say that the beginning has been good.