Every time you hum the soulful tunes of ‘Rang De Basanti‘ song ‘Luka Chhupi’ or the ode to mothers in ‘Taare Zameen Par‘, ‘Maa’, you have Prasoon Joshi to thank. The poet-writer-lyricist-screenwriter and current Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson in conversation with Vani Tripathi, actor and former national secretary of the Bharatiya Janta Party, at the Times LitFest’s event discussed films, OTT, and the way female characters are represented in his stories.
When asked if he felt that the digital format of storytelling that got a major boost due to the shutdown of theatres in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, posed a threat to the long format of cinema, Prasoon said he thinks both forms can and will coexist. “Because on one side, people’s attention spans have reduced, on the other hand, they are also binge watching for 6-7 hours in a day, which we saw during the pandemic. So the long form of storytelling will stay,” he assured.
Talking about the pandemic and what he made out of it, the eminent lyricist mentioned that in pre-pandemic times, people were under the impression that there was only one language and one kind of thought everywhere, nothing beyond that. “But after the pandemic, a ‘democratisation’ has happened. Technology opened the world to us,” he observed.
But when an audience member posed a question if a line needs to be drawn in the manner in which web series treat the subject, including the use of violence, Prasoon stated, “This is a collective decision. It is very important for the creative industry to not lose the trust of its audience. I keep telling my friends in the industry that the biggest thing is the trust between the creator and the audience. If you want to know the line you should draw to portray certain things, just ask yourself whether the thing you are presenting to them has the potential to break their trust or not”.