Cliche, a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays the lack of original thought (google definition). Cliches are seen and used in our day to day lives, a lot of us live a very cliched life. But now that’s not our topic, we are going to inspect the cliches used in our movies! With God’s grace, our Indian films have a wonderful set of cliches that are entertaining enough to take a look at (that doesn’t mean that foreign films don’t use cliches, but today we will stay in India). It is not just about which are the most used ones but also why do we get them repeatedly, why the mass masala films are always in the cliched manner, how do the screenplay writers fall into cliches? Without further ado, we will get into the topic.
The most common cliches that we find in the movies will be the following and interestingly most of them are found in the section of ROMANCE!
- The wind always blows against the heroine’s face and if it’s her introduction, then rain accompanies with slow motion!
- If one of the leading pair is a rich character then they will definitely find their soulmate in a pauper, and of course we can’t blame them, opposites attract you know!
- If the hero is a police officer then his wife/girlfriend is destined to die! (You will find that poor soul only in the flashback.)
- The dying person will die only after finishing a three minutes (at least) long speech! (Mostly they will ask the hero to promise that he will lead a peaceful life ahead.)
- The heroine will be the most beautiful girl in the city but her first love will be the hero, she may have a lot of stalkers or even a fiance but eventually she will find her love in the hero!
- The villains gang will never have an intelligent guy! Yes, if you are a goon or a henchman you have no brain! And I expect there is no need to say that our hero is the most intelligent guy in the planet! He knows how to fool everybody!
- The hero will have a strict father, an innocent mother and a mischievous sister! That’s his family!
- Want to sweep off a girl’s feet? Stalk her! It’s as simple as that!
- Size doesn’t matter (no pun intended)! The villain may be as huge as the mountain but our thin hero will hit him down in the climax!
- Rain! Enough said!
The above said are only a few and if we have to list everything down, it’s going to take years. Some of the special mentions would be :- the heroine’s veil will exactly fly to the hero’s face, it is always difficult for the girls to catch train, there will always be a climax drama at the airport, it’s ok not
Now, do we say cliches are totally unacceptable? No, if the film is good and the script is well written then even the cliches go unnoticed or at least they are forgiven and a most of the time a cliche is inevitable in order to move a story ahead. But sometimes we find an entire film a cliche and the worst part is that the over enthusiastic audience start shouting out what will happen next! It’s the death of a film! Sometimes the experience in the movie hall while watching these films can turn out to be very entertaining!
The mass films, especially with big stars, contain the most stereotypical story lines, now the lamest excuse the makers would give us is that it is what the fans expect. The Super Star image that many of the male actors carry on their shoulders is one of the major reasons of repeated plots, all they deliver is some heroic moments. And in such situations, the other elements of the film will automatically turn into a cliche. Another reason is, when a formula gets clicked then the makers run to make similar films thinking that now the audience would prefer to watch such films. An era in Hindi cinema was all about lost and found siblings! The commercial thought of what would make money sometimes kills creativity (No denial of the fact that money is extremely important). We always feel pity for the ladies in the films, those poor creatures get the same part again and again, since 2010 we see the scenario slowly changing, which is good but still the money grossing mass films are about the heroes.
Every generation of movie goers have their own common sensibilities and intelligence, this current era wants the movies to be something beyond ‘just entertainment’, now is that good or bad is an entirely different debate but we need to get over some of the overused elements, like we know if a character is waiting outside the gate of someone’s residence for a long time, it will finally rain! We respect film makers who avoid cliches and also the ones who use them nicely. So to speak even the protagonist’s victory at the end is a cliche but we cannot do anything about that!
So finally, we wish some cliches would vanish from the films as soon as possible and we look forward to know how the directors use them differently in the future and also we don’t want the cliches to completely disappear as they sometimes are fun! [WINK!]
Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.