Authors: Ayushi Jagdish Karande, Dr. Rakhi Sharma
Certificate: View Certificate
Cinema is the most complex and powerful art form in the present world. India has had a rich tradition of cinema for many decades and the impact of cinema on youth is tremendous. People watch movies for different personal reasons, but whatever the reason may be, watching films consciously and subconsciously impacts their minds. This paper is an attempt to understand the impact of films on the youth of India. It comprises a mixed-method study divided into 10 parts. In order to make it more concentrated on one aspect of the big universe of cinema, this paper focuses only on the impact of “films” and not another type of cinematic media form like shows, YouTube videos, ads, plays etc., on the youth of India.
Cinema has been one of the greatest influences in modern life, and it’s also a form of art, the seventh art along with photography, architecture, literature, play, painting and music. It’s the combination of technology, business, entertainment and aesthetics, each of which has an important role in the present day world. It’s also visible in the variation of its forms, Film is technology (picture taken in the celluloid camera and editing) movie is the business and entertainment, and cinema is the aesthetics. Cinema, popular or parallel, a visual art of story–telling with rich inputs of music, screenplay, cast and script, mirrors the contemporary society in which it functions. From emotional dramas to candy floss romances to action-thrillers, cinema derives its sustenance, ideas and imaginations from its surroundings. The images cinema creates, surreal or tangled waves of deceit, need to be in sync with societal aspirations and the basic urge of humanity to recreate and have fun and entertainment. In its long journey of more than a century, cinema has transformed itself from being a taboo and absolute no-no to a virtual way of life. Social dynamics have always regulated the content of cinema. The main protagonist of any film fights villains who are manifestations of contemporary societal evils - from village money-lender to land-hawks to advocates of dowry, dons and modern day terrorists. It provides a platform that reflects the growth of the economy, politics, and technological advancements. Films are useful for knowing the history of the ancient world. A lot of countries of the world are involved with Filmmaking through their own industry, among them the most powerful, organized, popular and influential is Bollywood which entertains the total world population. A movie is not only a visual treat to its audience but it is also an account of the societal, economic and political set up in which a person is living.
II. REVIEW OF LITERATURE
An impact can be intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect, positive or negative, short-term or long-term. Impact, from a broader perspective, isn’t often just the effects of a given action or program but rather the result of multiple causes.
A. Literature Review On Impact Of Films On The Youth Of India
Getting bored? Let’s watch movies! Nowadays, movies have become a part of everyday lives. Of course, it is one of the best sources of entertainment, especially for the young generation. Movies act as a savior for escaping from busy lives and stressful schedules. But, the question is, is there awareness on how strongly films impact people? Have people ever thought of “how this movie may impact me before I watch it?” Movies leave a great impact on lifestyles and behaviors of people.
They sure are created to bring a sense of refreshment to the people. But film makers consciously put efforts for films to impact people. The level of impact depends from person to person. Some people tend to have a higher level of involvement with watching films. They completely surrender themselves to this powerful visual tool of storytelling and submerge themselves to a level that they heavily get impacted by them and adopt this impact in their day-to-day living. However, there are also people who are aware of the difference between reel life and real life thereby not allowing films to impact them. This clear distinction helps them to use cinema only for the sheer purpose of entertainment or limited learning and they detach themselves from what they have watched. Hence, the attachment one has from watching films, somewhere decides the impact it has on them. The impact of films cannot completely be termed as positive or negative as the decision of it is based on one’s individual thinking and beliefs.
QUOTE “One of the powerful temptations is that of the cinema palace. The cinema has undoubtedly an enormous attraction for boys, and people are constantly cudgeling their brains on how to stop it. But it is one of those things which would be very difficult to stop even if it were altogether desirable.” – Robert Baden-Powell
a. Studies show that about 1600 to 1800 movies are released every year in India in 25+ languages. This shows that Indians are very keen on watching movies.
b. 20 million people in India go to watch movies every day, which equates to nearly 2% of the entire population. (Before the lockdown)
c. 50% of the youth is affected by what they watch in movies as compared to what they see in real life.
d. Studies have found that 91% of movies on television show concepts that are perceived to be “negative”.
e. As per the PwC report, India is poised to be the 3rd largest cinema market in the world.
2. Description: As established, movies have the power to make or break the world. Movies can act as a strong medium for bringing significant changes in society. Nowadays, people prefer watching movies rather than reading books. Visualization leaves a greater impact on the minds of people than imagination. So, the best use of this should be made such that our young generation absorbs all the positive things from it.
Movies such as ‘BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG’, ‘NEERJA’, ‘RAAZI’ etc. brought a sense of patriotism and motivation. Movies such as ‘DANGAL’, ‘MARY KOM’, etc. encouraged girls to participate in sports activities and helped in discouraging gender inequality. Movies can act as a great source of knowledge as well. Many autobiographies have been made, through a lot can be learned about our culture and history. But not everything shown in the movies must be absorbed like fights, violence, vulgarity, smoking, taking drugs, etc.
It all depends upon individual perceptions of what one decides to take out of films. Youth is a stage of life when people are full of energy and very enthusiastic about learning new things. So, if the positive things are taken into consideration, movies can act as a source of social awareness as well as motivation for achieving goals.
B. Key Points Of The Positive And Negative Impact Of Films On The Youth Of India
More on this in detail will be presented later in this paper.
Everything has something good as well as bad in it. It is us who can decide whether to grab good things or bad things. In the same way, movies can have a very good impact on the minds of our youngsters if they learn to catch all the good aspects like learning new things about our history and culture, gain social awareness about the real scenario occurring around us or take the vulgarity and bad things. The youth in today’s time has to make a conscious and smart decision on what they choose to take out of films as they are the future of our country and the learning steps taken by them are the ones that will decide the country’s development in the coming years.
III. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
A. Objectives of Study
B. Significance of Study
C. Scope of Study
IV. DATA COLLECTION, ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION
The data both of quantitative and qualitative kind, has been gathered with an appropriate mix of primary and secondary sources. Owing to the relative and subjective nature of the area under study, it would be impudent to not include insights from extensive previous work under this field. However, the use of such insights are for greater understanding and aid rather than a source of concrete opinions.
A. Mode of Data Collection
The data and information for this paper have been collected through the following ways and sources:
a. Primary data for the purpose of the study has been collected through a self-administered questionnaire. A structured blend of 33 open and close-ended questionnaire format was used to collect data from the respondents which was analyzed by the administration using simple data analysis and chi square testing. The aim behind conducting this survey was to understand the different perspective, ideologies, connection and insight people have on the topic of films and its impact on young minds.
(Sample Size= 100) An attempt is also made to develop sampling frames in which simple correlations are established through graphs.
b. Primary data was also collected through the responses of an interview conducted virtually with an actor of the Marathi Film industry who has been in the business of films since the past 40 years. (As requested by the actor, his identity remains confidential).
c. Secondary data has been collected through various online and offline sources such as news articles, audio & video interviews of actors and filmmakers, and research papers.
d. Convenience Sampling:Considering the situation during the period of conducting the study and the whole nature of participants available, convenience based sampling was therefore considered as one of the methods to go with. With this method excess data for reference and comparison of interpretations has been collected through conducting unfiltered and raw conversation with a total of 12 samples from different; age groups, designations and state of minds to analyze the purpose of this study.
e. Purposive sampling: Keeping in mind the qualitative nature of this study, most data for this study has been collected from the younger generation of people falling in the age group of 17-25 in order to get a clear perception of young minds and study the true impact films have on them.
B. Limitations Of Study
V. DATA ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION & PRESENTATION
The data gathered from the above mentioned methods has been subjected to a certain mix of deductive and inductive approach of analysis. This mixed approach it to fully utilize the insights and conclusions known prior to the data collection and then make use of information gathered afresh.
The data collected from the SCQ (Social Communication Questionnaire) has been translated to comprehensive charts and percentages for the benefit of cross comparison between closely dependent factors. Some questions of the SCQ have personal opinions and perceptions and the answers of which have hence been used only for study and understanding of the subject.
The data presented in this part of the paper is divided in the following ways:
Simple Data Analysis with the data collected through different mediums.
A. Simple Data Analysis Of Survey
N=100 (Total responses collected were 107 out of which 7 were rejected due to missing data)
The data in table 2 and figure 1 shows that mostly people of all genders, age groups and all types of watchers have a neutral impact of films on them i.e., they feel that movies neither have a positive nor a negative impact on them. However, the data also suggests that people who are not very frequent watchers of films and who mostly fall in the age bracket above 40 feel like movies have a negative impact on them.
2. When asked about the reason for watching films, the following were the reasons given by the respondents.
The options given were:
Note: This question had the option of choosing multiple answers by one candidate, hence many respondents chose more than one answer.
The data indicates that the maximum number of people (75%), watch films for entertainment. The data also suggests that 68% of the respondents feel that refreshment is also a good reason for watching films. Other reasons like detachment from reality (59%), Education & Learning (32%), time-pass (41%), are highlighted through this data.
3. When asked if the respondents feel being emotionally attached with film is wrong or rather dangerous, the following was their point of view:
This data shows that the maximum number of people feel that being emotionally connected with movies is neither wrong nor dangerous. However, based on the other learnings of this paper, one must make a conscious effort to make a clear distinction between reel and real life and hence not be too attached with films.
4. When asked about the opinion people hold of very young age or very old age being a factor for movies impacting a person, following were the responses:
Hence, this data shows that people do not feel like age plays a big role in impacting one’s mind when it comes to watching movies as the maximum number of people feel that movies don't just impact youngsters and have an equal impact on people over the age of 60 as well. This can be backed by giving examples as well. Eg, Like movies like Taare Zameen Par affect and impact young children, movies like baghban impact the older generations.
B. Hypothesis Testing
To further test certain parameters, the researcher has used chi-square testing to determine the relationship between two aspects of the research study.
USING CHI SQUARE TESTING
This test is done to understand whether the likeliness of watching films by people has any relationship with the impact it has on them. By finding out the relationship, we can understand whether people liking to or disliking to watch films has anything to do with impacting them positively or negatively.
Degrees of freedom = (columns-1) (rows-1)
(5-1) (3-1) = 8
Significance Level = 0.05
χ2 tabular= 15.51
χ2 calculated= 124.89
Here, χ2 calculates > χ2 tabular (124.89>15.51)
∴We reject Null hypothesis, and accept alternative hypothesis.
Since the null hypothesis is rejected, it is interpreted that likeliness and impact with reference to watching films is associated and this chi square test proves that there is a significant relation between the likeliness of people watching movies and the impact it has on them.
This testing proves that it doesn't matter whether a person likes watching films or dislikes it. Either way, movies have a significant impact on them. This impact may be positive or negative, but it’s there.
C. Social Media Polls Survey
In order to understand the unfiltered perception of the youth of India, this online polls survey through instagram stories was conducted by giving examples to the audience for better understanding of the questions.
Total Participants of these polls: 70
Note: These polls were conducted on the instagram page of @ayushi_karande. Since the majority of the followers are the youth of India, this analysis was thoroughly done to understand the current generation’s youth perspective.
These polls were done by using visuals in order to make the participants connect to the questions, give it good thought and answer accordingly. The pictorial representation of this data is attached in the annexure.
This polls survey interprets the different perceptions of the young mind. It shows how despite being of the same age, people can have varied opinions, especially on subjects that are as equivocal as the subject of this paper. It also shows how films strongly impact the younger generation. The effect of the impact may be different on different people but its surely there. Through this survey, it is also understood that social media is a great way to understand the young generation.
With tools like polls where people are not aware of the responses of others, they are open to giving unbiased and unfiltered responses. Social Media platforms like Instagram where this survey was conducted are also great mediums to bring the community of like-minded people together.
Hence through this survey, if a community of like-minded people who are heavily impacted by films is formed, a lot of discussions on co-related subjects can be conducted. Such communities can also help each other to fight certain negative repercussions of being heavily impacted by cinema.
The findings of the polls survey suggest that most of the youth is impacted by films in a more progressive way. There are many responses that also show a practical approach the youth likes to take when it comes to being impacted. This shows that the youth has now started to understand that not everything shown in films have to impact you in a certain pre-defined way.
This interview was taken on the 14th of January. The name of the interviewee is kept confidential on their request as the before mentioned belongs to the film industry and does not want the responses of this interview to be misinterpreted in any form.
This interview has been added to the report as a direct transcript of the virtual interview that was conducted through the ZOOM APP. The interview is presented in a question-answer format and the interpretation of the researcher through it is cited below the presented format.
1. Q1. What, according to you, motivates a person to watch a film?
A. “I feel there is nothing in particular that motivates a large audience to watch a film, the answer to this is very personal to each viewer, if you ask me, the magic of turning a script to a beautiful visual is something that impresses me and makes me watch a film. Also the fact that in today’s time where you will find everyone complaining about something or the other in their life, movies are a way of temporary disconnection from the real world, you end up forgetting your worries in the 2-3 hours you give to cinema so for a lot of people that time of being disconnected from the world is very precious so that motivates them and drags them to the cinema houses.”
2. Q2. Do you feel movies impact the younger generation more than the elders?
A.“See, impact is always there. Regardless of one's age, the human mind is bound to be impacted by things they see around them. The impact may be insignificantly minor, but it's there. But of course, when an individual is younger, their brain is still developing right? One hasnt actually figured out what his or her ideologies, values or mindset is going to be because they are still at a developing stage in life. So obviously, when something as powerful as cinema is consumed, the impact is higher. In our age, watching cinema was like a luxury, and not everyone could watch it but now since you can find movies on so many platforms at the most minimal rates, perhaps some even for free, the consumption of cinematic content has increased and thereby the impact has increased. The younger generation does not believe in the thinking that “I will watch a movie when I get the time”. They will make time to watch a movie because somewhere, I feel they are looking forward to the impact the film may have on them. So what I mean is impact is there at all ages and again it totally depends on the person’s thinking of how much they let a film impact them but again, as I said, since younger minds are more fragile with reference to accepting new ideologies, they tend to get impact at least if not more but faster.”
3. Q3. What is your opinion on the type of cinema being created in today’s time? Like I’m sure you will agree, the type of films being made now have massively changed from before. And how do you think this change is for today’s youth?
A. “Honestly it's a relief that nowadays films, especially Indian films, are not just for entertainment because there are a lot of movies which have a message in them. There are many that are made to teach the audience something. Films are luckily no longer just restricted to the mainstream hero loves heroine, hero saves heroine kind of plots anymore. Some movies are based on bringing forward the dark parts of our society which people had no clue about and I feel it's so important to do that. Recently I saw this film called Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, it was such a brave concept to put forward yet in a light hearted way. Then there are films like Shershah or Tanhaji being made too, it's so important to make such films to make people aware of our country’s history. So I feel the movies being made now are very thoughtful conceptually and of course because now more things can be done through improved editing and VFX, a lot of stories which filmmakers only imagined before are now actually being made. But again, if you ask me about impact, it completely depends upon how one understands the film, with what intention is someone watching a film. If you ask my dad if he liked Chandigarh Kare aashiqui he will pick a fight with you because most of that generation doesn't, and doesn't even want to understand certain concepts so naturally such movies will have a negative impact on them and they will feel it has a negative impact on others too because they don’t relate to it. But if you ask my friend who belongs to the LGBTQ community, she will tell you how positively the film impacted her.
So what I mean is no matter how well or how badly a film is made, the impact of it is very personal to each individual. And as i told you earlier, the young have fragile minds, so it makes them think more about what they see in films and it creates curiosity in them to know more, so the impact is faster on them.”
4. Q4. What is your opinion on censorship and do you feel it limits the impact a movie could have on an individual, like for example, as per reports the films Padmavat was going to be way more impactful than it already was but a lot of that movie was censored and the real film never reached the audience, so what is your opinion on that?
A. “The topic of censorship firstly is very controversial; I hope no one from the industry hears this or I will be in trouble hahaha. But honestly censorship is something that is very much required, especially in a country like ours. Like so many friends of mine who are also into acting, we have had this conversation where we don't want a particular scene in the film because it may be against our values and ideals but because the script demands it we have to do them, but somewhere at the back of our minds we hope that the censor board only removes this scene. So what I mean is, I feel some things have to be censored because the filmmaker's vision might say that it's a beautiful and important scene but the audience may not be ready for it, unfortunately we live in a society where it doesn't take time to create issues out of small things. And because our country is so so attached to cinema the bad impact of not censoring something is way larger than the positive impact that particular scene may or may not have on the viewer. I’ll give you an example, your favorite actor curses someone badly in the film, now the reason may be the one he is cursing is the villain and did a dreadful thing so he deserves it but you as a viewer subconsciously think that hey the next time someone says anything which I think is bad to me I will also abuse. So its reasons like this censorship is important because at times people forget that it’s all reel and not real so the film industry tries to limit such impact which I feel is good.
5. Q5. What do you feel is the impact of films on the youth, like completely your opinion not the politically right answer?
A. “Look, since I belong to the film industry, I will obviously have a bias and say that movies are good and have a good impact only. But I also come from the school of thought that anything extreme in life is detrimental even if it is a good habit like drinking water or working out. I know some people who have very strong opinions like films are corrupting the youth and all but according to me, films are not corrupting the youth. Watching a movie is not the problem, we just need to limit ourselves regarding what we are watching and how much time we are spending on watching movies. Because even if our intention is not to get affected, if we, what people say these days, “binge watch” a lot it is bound to impact us. We should also make sure to find a way for movies to not dictate the way we shape our morals and values. We all should have our own set of beliefs and ideologies and movies should only be a contributor to make us learn more about them and not further confuse us to ultimately reach a place where we ourselves don't know what we believe in.
So I personally feel movies have a positive impact but that is on me because I know when to stop consuming that content, for those who don't have the control yet, for them I feel films are negative because once you forget the or rather cross the line that differentiates reel and real, it’s bound to become not just negative but also to an extend dangerous.”
This interview helps in understanding how people from the film fraternity measure impact and how differently their work affects them than what they show to the audience. This interview is a great way to understand how certain things are kept hidden from the audience to impact them in a certain way that may be favorable to the film.
It is clear through this interview that the power of influence of films on young minds should not be ignored and if one deeply tries to understand what goes behind creating films, a better outcome can be derived with reference to what should be taken out of the content shared by filmmakers.
E. Comparison Between Other Relevant Factors
Interpretation through both Primary & Secondary Data
This part of the study focuses on the interpretation of the researcher on how different aspects of the study can be compared. It involves the following comparisons:
The analysis and interpretation is done by referring to both, the primary data which was collected through the SCQ and interview, and the secondary data which was collected through various articles and pieces of information available on the internet.
VI. ADVANTAGES VS DISADVANTAGES OF CINEMA
A. Advantages of Cinema
Cinema has a lot of advantages if one looks at the positive side of it. It is said to be a reflection of society. So, it helps one come face to face with the actuality of what’s happening in the society. In today’s time, films try being more relatable to the audience and portray things as they are which in turn helps people in opening their eyes to issues they may have well ignored in the past.
Similarly, it helps people socialize better. It connects people and helps break the ice. People often discuss cinema to start a conversation or more. Moreover, it is also very interesting to talk about rather than politics and sports which are often divided and rather controversial.
Above all, it also enhances the imagination powers of people. Cinema is a way of showing the world from the perspective of the director, thus it inspires other people too to broaden their thinking and imagination.
Most importantly, cinema brings to the audience, the different cultures of the world. It introduces the audience to various art forms and helps them in gaining knowledge about how different people lead their lives.
In a way, it brings the world closer and makes it more accepting of different art forms and cultures. Cinema also teaches a thing or two about practical life. Incidents are shown in movies of emergencies like robbery, fire, kidnapping and more help to learn things which one can apply in real life to save oneself. Thus, it makes people more aware and teaches them to improvise. They also, somewhere inspire us to dream and look at the bigger picture in life. They give one hope and confidence to even dare to imagine that something as good can happen in real life.
B. Disadvantages of Cinema
While cinema may be beneficial in many ways, it is also very damaging in various areas. Firstly, it stereotypes a lot of things including gender roles, religious practices, communities and more. This creates a false notion and a negative impact against that certain group of people who already may be confused about certain concepts, thereby causing a hindrance to their thinking and ways of believing in certain concepts.
People also consider it to be a waste of time and money as most of the movies nowadays are not showing or teaching anything valuable. It is just trash content with objectification and lies. Moreover, it also makes people addicted to the concept of depending on films for passing time because movie buffs flock to the theater every weekend just to watch the latest movie for the sake of it.
Most importantly, cinema shows pretty violent and sexual content. It contributes to the vulgarity and eve-teasing present in our society today. Thus, it harms the young minds of the world very gravely. Films normalize politically incorrect concepts and make people believe in it being okay to live in a society without worrying about feelings of the masses.
Films often make people disconnect with reality. This disconnection may be harmful as films don’t always show the harsh realities of life. Even if they do, they make sure to end on happy notes which is not always the case in real life. There have been cases when people become so impacted by what they see in films, they often get disappointed when the same set of events don't happen in their real life, thereby making them dislike their life.
C. Positive Vs Negative Impact Of Cinema
As per the data collected through the SCQ, the following table shows whether films impact the individual respondents positively, negatively or neutrally.
The data shows that maximum respondents consider movies to have a neutral impact on the. This should not be mistaken by understanding that films have no impact on them. This may be perceived such that movies have both positive and negative impact on the individual.
The following analysis and interpretation is derived from various sources like articles, books citation and pieces of content from the internet.
D. Positive Impact
As already mentioned above, here is a summary of all key pointers that suggest that movies have a positive impact on the youth of India:
E. Indian movies show eve Negative Impact
VII. COMPARISON OF CONCEPTS THAT CAN BE BOTH POSITIVE & NEGATIVE
This comparison is done by taking references from both, the primary and the secondary data. The interpretation of data in this part of the study is majorly from the researcher’s understanding. The comparison is done by considering 3 concepts that can have both positive and negative outcomes when it comes to analyzing impact. The 3 concepts considered for study are:
VIII. FINDINGS & SUGGESTIONS
From the data analyzed, it is found that there is a definite connection between the viewing habits of cinema and the impact cinema has on the people, especially younger people, of India. It is certain from some parts of the data that movies have a significant impact on one’s life. Thus, it is found that the impact of films is a considerably sensitive topic of study as it is associated with many factors that involve the human mindset, culture and society as a whole. Below mentioned are a few finding that throw light upon the impact of movies on the society, the psychological impact of cinema on one’s mind and mental health. The researcher has also done a thorough study on understanding the behavioral pattern of watching films and how the habit of watching films can have negative repercussions.
IX. IMPACT OF MOVIES ON THE SOCIETY, ESPECIALLY THE YOUTH OF INDIA
How Do Movies Affect Society?
Movies are watched by everyone. We all enjoy them. From thrillers to adventures, comedy to horror movies is part of everyday life and the industry is growing every single day. But let’s take a deep dive on how they affect the society.
Audiovisual input and output devices are in abundance these days and so are movies and films. Everyone watches films, be it on TV, or at the cinema houses. The film industry is arguably one of the most impactful sectors in modern society. Comedy films make us laugh, psychological thrillers help us see the world from an improved perspective, and historical films help us understand where we’ve come from as people. Every film reflects society and transforms opinions.
The Raw Power of Movies
The power of audiovisuals has been manifested and exploited politically, socially, and economically throughout history. Leaders such as Adolf Hitler, for example, successfully used films as propaganda tools during World War II. Facts like these show the raw power of film: An immense power that has even caused revolutions.
As the technology keeps growing, political and economic leaders have utilized cinema in changing and shaping people’s outlooks either for their own benefit or for the benefit of the people. Audiovisual translations are also readily available and extremely affordable for everyone these days, which makes it easy for filmmakers to reach their target audiences from all corners of the world; in their mother tongue.
Cinema can easily change people’s opinions and their outlooks on life. Good films almost always impact the viewer; just how much varies by movie and person. Individually, people are bound to get affected by movies given that a main goal the cinematic art form has is exactly to impact and send a message. There are also numerous ways in which movies affect society and the modern world we live in: some of them negative, some of them positive. Since the cinema industry is so big and because films have become such a big part of our lives, the overall impact and influence that cinema has on our society is immense.
A. One Of The Ways In Which Films Affect Society Is By Expanding Our Knowledge Of History And Culture
Some movies are like history lessons to the viewers, since they show real life past events. An example of this is the award winning films of Hritik Roshan, “Jodha Akbar”. Although one cannot prove if all scenes of the film are factually correct but movies like these represent ancient India in great manner. Even films like “Baahubali” are great reflections of the ancient times. Even though most of the plot in “Baahubali” is fictional, for example the showcase of climbing huge mountains with ease in the name of love, the film does depict real life past situations like the family politics and type of wars that used to happen to prove the king’s candidature for its kingdom. People who watch such films surely gain some knowledge from them.
Most history movies are fact-based and, even for the few that are fictional, they still depict a realistic and fantastic picture of how the world was before the invention of the audiovisual devices that we know today. They connect the modern world with past generations and make the audience feel more connected to their culture.
A good example is the film “Padmavat” that explain what transpired back in the day and help today’s generation to appreciate the significance of war, both positive and negative. Movies like this help people admire the sacrifices made in the past in the name of honor and justice.
Other Indian film examples include films like Bajirao Mastani, Asoka, Tanhaji, Kesari etc.
Movies mirror culture
Every movie is set and developed in a particular culture. They are an integral part of us; they mirror what people believe in and how the world coexists. It is easier to see concerns, attitudes, flaws, and strengths in films than it is to decipher them from daily interactions. When prevalent beliefs and ideologies are challenged in films, people are able to interrogate themselves and embrace change. And thanks to audiovisual translations, people from all over the world are able to watch movies and understand the cultures of faraway communities. That has, in turn, helped people to become more united even when cultures all over the world are so different and diverse.
Films also describe and explore different cultures around the world. A perfect example of this is the critically acclaimed film “Masaan” which takes place in a village of Varanasi. The film surely impacts the viewer since it shows certain situations and truths about the life of people from small parts of the country that most people don’t know. Besides mirroring our diverse cultures, the film has also contributed in shaping our beliefs and values. A good example is also of when people copy fashion trends from movie stars or the characters that they play in films. It is also common these days to find societies using figures of speech that are inspired by the film industry. For example, when a person is sad, people use the phrase “devdas banke baitha hai”, this means the person is in a sad state of mind like the character Devdas from the 2002 film. At the very least, film solidifies selected cultural beliefs and renders some redundant.
B. Another Huge, And Often Rather Ignored, Way That Movies Affect Society Is Through Advertisement Of Different Products
Often, companies pay studios to include their products in movies; when so many people watch the production, surely some of them get the urge to buy the can of Coca-Cola that their favorite character was drinking all throughout. An example of this is in the movie “Koi Mil Gaya” starring Hrithik Roshan. It’s fairly obvious the film was hugely advertising for Bournvita. Millions of people went to see that movie; especially children and many of them probably felt that bournvita actually makes one strong and intelligent. Even the film “Mere Dad ki Maruti” starring Ram Kapoor advertised Maruti in very direct manner and the importance given to the Maruti car shown in the film may have urged many people to buy the car because they saw how well it was working in the hands of the characters and moreover how important having the car seemed.
Unlike the before mentioned films, some productions have found ways to advertise products without shoving them in people’s faces. An example of this is the movie “Chak De India”, where while leaving the team, the coach treats everyone at McDonalds. Research has shown that people want to mimic their idols, so productions will often cast famous actors for the sole purpose of advertisement. If someone’s favorite actor is Akshay Kumar, for example, they would subconsciously try to mimic him. If Akshay Kumar promotes Dollar Big Boss innerwear, the male fans would subconsciously want to buy a Dollar Big Boss innerwear to be like their favorite actor, or women fans of Akshay Kumar would insist on their spouses or partners to purchase what Akshay Kumar promotes to be cool and trendy like him even though it’s highly possible that Akshay Kumar in real life does not wear use the brand he endorses yet the audience like to believe that he does. Once people try the product to mimic their favorite actors, subconsciously they even end up being loyal customers of a particular brand.
People try to mimic things they’ve seen in cinema constantly and in numerous different ways. For example, violence in films can be very influential to many young viewers. People may subconsciously try to be like a character they see in a film they very much like, even if that character has wicked intentions. In 2012 in the film “Agneepath”, Sanjay Dutt’s promising role of Kancha Cheena kills people by hanging them from the tree along the seashore to show his power. Psychologists have conducted studies on this character and even though there is no concrete theory proved, one of the theories is that due to having a difficult childhood when he was bullied for his look, he looked upon the world as his enemy and came to the conclusion that power comes with money. Although this is a very exaggerated example, it’s a fact that the violence teenagers all around the world watch in movies makes them want to cause violence. For example, in 2016, when the film “Sairat” came out, it influenced a young mind to hit his teacher for scolding him in front of his friends. Movies like this make concepts of violence look “cool” in front of young minds.
But it’s not only through violence that people strive to mimic their favorite character and actors. Watching movies that include young people smoking often makes young people want to smoke. Most big movie studios have a tobacco policy in force, which states that PG-13 rated movies must not include smoking or any other use of tobacco in them. That is because the use of tobacco in films affects the teens watching them in a way that they think it’s okay to smoke, since the characters they are seeing smoke are liked by the other characters of the film. However, almost half of all PG-13 films produced by big movie studios do include tobacco use in them and the studios are obligated to pay a fine when that happens. This fine is not a hefty amount that thereby encourages filmmakers to not pay much heed to it.
But there are some positive effects to this mimicking. People are inspired to be like characters they love and that motivates them to work on themselves. When we see someone we really like on screen, we always subconsciously try to be more like them. For example, after seeing Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in 2013, many youngsters were inspired to make a fit body like Farhan Akhtar’s character and worked on their appearance.
C. Another Way In Which Movies Affect Our Modern World Is That They Help The Economy Grow And Prosper
Take, for example, action figures. For every big blockbuster, action figures are created and distributed. Fans buy them for aesthetic and collectible value.
Action figures don’t have any real application or impact on people’s lives, they are just for fun. It doesn’t cost a lot for an action figure to be made, they are mostly all made of either plastic, rubber, or both. But since they have such a high collectible value, fans buy them at ridiculously high prices to prove their fandom. That way, people bring money into the country, into companies, and into private manufacturers. And it’s not only action figures, it’s any form of merchandise. The industry size is estimated at INR 14,684 cr (US$ 2.3 bn) in FY2017. Going forward, it is expected for the industry to grow at a CAGR of 6%, to reach INR 20,060 cr (US$ 3.1 bn) in FY2022. Furthermore, the money the theater makes from selling snacks before every screening is 85% of that theater’s total profit. Some of that money goes to the country in the form of taxes.
Another example of this is simply the tickets sold for projections. Although most of the money goes directly to the studio that has produced the movie, some of it goes to the country. And it’s not only direct influence to the country’s economy that films have; the industry itself is of huge significance.
A lot of people find jobs in the film industry, especially in India. About 2 million people in India work in the film industry. Although that may seem like a low number compared to India’s vast population, it’s actually higher than that of a lot of other fields.
So, because of big productions, it’s not only that money goes to the country and thus the economy is developed, but private manufacturers and companies prosper and there are more workers in the field.
Films can also both improve and ruin the health of individuals. Studies show that adrenaline junkies love going to horror films since being scared gives them real pleasure. However, most of them don’t know that being scared or excited while watching a movie increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack and even death.
For example, a man in the South of India died in the theater from a heart attack while watching “Lingaa”, a Rajnikanth film. He as a fan of Rajnikanth got so excited at one of his scenes that he got a heart attack from the excitement and died before the movie even ended. And yes, this is a very specific example, but the principle applies on a smaller scale, too. But of course, films can also give benefits to one’s health. Comedies help lower your blood pressure and can make your blood vessels dilate. There have been studies that show that 15 minutes of intense laughing while watching a movie have the same effect on the cardiovascular system as exercising.
D. Perhaps The Most Influential Ways In Which Films Affect Society Is Through Giving Individual People The Opportunity To Fantasize And Inspiring Them About Who They Want To Be
A good movie will entertain, educate, and inspire the viewer in many ways. Think of the impact that songs have on people, for example. They make people think. They make people compassionate. They inspire people to help others and to do good to and for humanity.
Romantic movies, on the other hand, remind the audience why love is important and why it is worth fighting for. They make people cry and laugh at their own romantic flaws, consequently helping them understand their partners and family members more. They make life worth living and make people feel alive. That’s without forgetting how affordable transcription services have made it easy for people to watch and understand movies that teach meditation and mindfulness. There are many films whose plots give us reasons to rise up every morning and venture into the world with hope and optimism. They encourage us to conquer personal pains and to impact positively on other people’s lives.
Movies such as The Pursuit of Happiness (2006) and Munna Bhai MBBS (2003), for example, have inspired their viewers to work towards making the world better for everyone.
Although this might sound great, there are, as always, some negative sides to it. Take, for example, the five time Oscar nominated, “The Wolf of Wall Street”. In it is the character of Jordan Belfort: a sinister, self-centered, arrogant, and egoistic millionaire. The movie is based on a real story and explores the life of this Wall Street broker. Throughout the movie, there are numerous scenes where the audience sees Jordan spending his money on ridiculous things, doing whatever he wants because he has money, behaving immorally, and actually enjoying his life. By seeing his extravagant lifestyle, viewers may want to be like him.
However, in that particular movie, the character feels absolutely no remorse when it comes to his actions. Jordan feels amazing while spending his money and unlike most other films about greed, there is no lesson to learn from “Wolf of Wall Street”. In the end of the movie, Jordan does go to prison, but he states that he feels at peace there. He doesn’t learn from his mistakes that much and the movie isn’t apologetic about his greed. Someone watching that will see how great it is to be rich and arrogant and might subconsciously think that there are absolutely no downsides to that and may strive towards it. However, the positives on this one do probably outweigh the negative.
Films inspire people to get in the industry and create dreams. Most actors, directors, cinematographers, etc. probably saw some film as children and were thus inspired to create something themselves. This is a very important aspect of how films affect society: they inspire. They inspire individuals to work towards their dreams and inspire them to get into the industry. Not only that, good movies teach valuable lessons. The aim of that is to affect the viewer and to send a message, and so many individuals change their ideals and beliefs because of what they see in films. For example, famous actress Shraddha Kapoor was inspired to turn vegetarian after watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Cowspiracy” to do her share of saving animals from cruelty.
E. Movies Can Create Awareness On Multiple Aspects Of Life
Films are not just for entertainment because there are a lot of movies which have a message in them. Some movies are based on social evils these movies not only depict social problems but make people aware of painful experiences.
People need to be reminded about the importance of formal education as well as co-curricular school activities such as art and sports. School-related films underline this importance and give education stakeholders ideas on how to improve education systems in different parts of the world.
Besides that, the film brings us to understand the negative effects of drugs, alcohol, and substance abuse. Crime and action TV shows also warn us about the dangers of criminal activities, terrorism, and war.
Speaking of war, movies help people understand the atrocity of living homeless and miserably in refugee camps. Movies awaken the senses of empathy in people who have never experienced uncomfortable and horrific situations firsthand.
They help us feel responsible for our brothers and sisters living in war-torn countries even as much as we’ve never been there ourselves. This is the awareness that has fueled the growth of so many charity organizations and trust funds.
X. PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF FILMS
Most of us would agree that movies are a great conversation starter. We often resort to it when striking up a conversation with friends or even someone we have met recently. Movies are also a great to-go-to on a night-in with friends or alone. However, it’s a proven fact that, movies are not just an entertainer, but also beneficial for overall health of individuals.
Cognitive neuroscience research demonstrates that some movies can exert considerable control over brain activity and eye movements so besides the impact films have on the economy, society, politics, rationalism etc. it exerts a tremendous effect on people’s psychology. People are exposed to all kinds of emotions in cinema within a short span of 2 to 3 hours. Love, hatred, vengeance, savage violence, rape and many other undesirable activities are shown within such a short period of time.
Since childhood, people have been told, and science proves that excessive screen time is detrimental to the brain structure and impacts one’s cognitive abilities such as memory and focus. However, as it turns out, the same is not the case with movies. Some studies show that watching movies can make people more productive and help them with mental wellbeing. A study conducted by researchers at University College London and Vue Cinema found that people who watched movies experienced improved mental focus and fixation towards the movie. This focused watching (according to the study) helps to improve cognition and memory. Another study has also highlighted that liking trash films is linked to a high level of intellectual intelligence.
Keyvan Sarkhosh, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, says, "to such viewers, trash films appear as an interesting and welcome deviation from the mainstream fare. We are dealing here with an audience with above-average education, which one could describe as 'cultural omnivores'. Such viewers are interested in a broad spectrum of art and media across the traditional boundaries of high and popular culture." Keyvan has conducted similar studies and found that people who watch horror movies have above-average intelligence.
Basis these studies, The Bridge Chronicle explored various other benefits of watching movies:
Watching movies makes you more empathetic and strengthen relationships:
Have you ever felt a character in a film was exactly like you or very similar to you? Maybe it is something about their personality or the portrayal of a character. However, this association also impacts individuals on an emotional level. Studies suggest that watching movies can increase our emotional intelligence and also help in improving social connectivity. A study conducted by psychologists at Oklahoma University studied the relation between fictional drama and emotions. For the purpose of the study, the subjects were divided into two groups. One group was shown fictional dramas or documentaries. While the other group was asked to either watch documentaries or nothing at all. These groups then underwent reading the eyes in the mind test. According to the results of the test, researchers found a consistency in the feelings of the participants who watched the fictional drama.
XI. EFFECT OF MOVIES ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Movies can boost mood and improve mental health:
Imagine one has had a really hard day at work, and is trying hard to take the mind off a few things. But the problem is that the mind keeps going back to worrying about work. How does one fix it? Watch a movie or Netflix maybe? Psychological research and therapeutic practitioners verify that watching movies is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety or depression.
Dr Noah Uhrig, a group leader of a study on similar lines says, "The cinema is a form of social participation with strong egalitarian properties. The costs of attending the cinema are less prohibitive than other forms of cultural consumption such as the symphony, the ballot or the opera. At the same time, cinema attendance is not a wholly low-brow activity as it is also an integral component of an omnivorous leisure portfolio, i.e., those that attend higher cultural activities also attend the cinema."
Sad films can make us happy: It is similar to the effect that sad songs have on our mood, they uplift us and make us feel lighter. Sad music resonates with our feelings helping us find an outlet for them. Similarly, sad movies help us find an outlet for our feelings hence making us feel less sad. However, there hasn't been any study on the same, but studies on the effect of sad music in uplifting moods in people help understand the phenomenon better. Whether it is thriller, drama, horror or romance — whichever genre that you prefer, now there is proof that movies don't only entertain you but also help your mental wellbeing.
A. More Benefits Of Watching Movies On Our Mental Health
Cinema therapy can be a powerful catalyst for healing and growth for anybody who is open to learning how movies affect us and to watching certain films with conscious awareness. Cinema therapy allows us to use the effect of imagery, plot, music, etc. in films on our psyche for insight, inspiration, emotional release or relief and natural change.
While cinema therapy is a “real thing” sometimes prescribed by therapists, it is often self-administered. Being aware that movies can change the way we think, feel, and ultimately deal with life’s ups and downs can make watching them invaluable.
Gary Solomon Ph.D., MPH, MSW, the author of two books on cinema therapy, says, “the idea is to choose movies with themes that mirror your current problems or situation., for example, if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you might want to watch Clean and Sober or When a Man Loves a Woman. If you are coping with the serious illness or death of a loved one, one of the many movies dealing with these issues might be helpful.”
How can watching movies that mirror one’s own struggles or experiences help them?
Some ways include:
Going out to a movie theater is not for everyone. Some of us struggle with sensory issues or being in crowds. And others just prefer to watch movies at home, on the couch and in their pajamas. The good news is it doesn’t matter if you’re watching Netflix at home or sitting in a crowded theater. The results are the same — watching movies is somewhat therapeutic for us.
However, as beneficial as movies are, one must watch them in limit as they can affect our psychology negatively too. The human brain is such that when it experiences something new through visual simulation, it wonders how something like this could actually be done in real life. As seen in cinema, many people would not have had occasions in their real-life to experience the kind of scenes such as murder, rape, vengeance shown in the cinema. But such scenes are shown to everyone without any hesitation or restriction in the name of what the cinema people call entertainment and this can have serious repercussions on people’s attitude and life. The children and youth may get desensitized and become insensitive to crimes subsequently in their life.
B. Study On The Behavioral Pattern Of Watching Films
"Our behaviors and thoughts, when repeated over time, can become actual neural patterns and habits that are hard to break or change," says Northwestern Medicine Psychiatrist Danesh A. Alam, MD.
Watching movies started off as a luxurious activity. However, now it has become an answer to the boredom faced by many. In today's time, due to the easily available cinematic content, people make watching movies a habit.
The official meaning of habit is “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary “.
Nowadays, when people have free time, they make watching films an involuntary activity for them. Based on this, the following table shows the study of how the habit of watching films impacts one’s mind.
All behavior is driven by the desire to solve a problem. Sometimes the problem is that you notice something good and you want to obtain it. Sometimes the problem is that you are experiencing pain and you want to relieve it. Either way, the purpose of every habit is to solve the problems you face.
The following table is divided into two phases: -
1. The problem phase which is further divided in two parts:
a. Cue: The cue triggers your brain to initiate a behavior. A little bit of information that predicts a reward.
b. Craving: The motivational phase behind every habit. This gives us a reason to act.
2. The solution phase which is further divided in two parts:
a. Response: Actual habit performed that takes the form of a thought/ an action.
b. Reward: End goal of every habit derived from the response.
This study helps us to understand the “why'' behind people watching films regularly and how this regularity can impact their thinking. The table makes it easy for one to understand why someone watches a film and explains the journey from watching a film to the impact it has on them. Again, through this study as well, we cannot clearly determine if a movie always has a positive or negative impact on one's mind, as the response of watching a film can be both positive and negative based on one’s perception. However, this study helps us to compare the positive and negative impact in order to make better and more conscious decisions when it comes to watching films.
The table presented below is solely the researcher’s understanding of the concept of The Habit Loop and the researcher has made relevant efforts to associate the concept with the subject matter of this study. The theory presented below is inspired by James Franco’s concept of the habit loop. The theory mentioned below, however, is not suggested by him.
The theory presented below follows the format of the habit loop only not its text.
C. Case Studies On The Impact Of Movies On The Youth Of India
It’s known fact how real life has inspired fiction but it also works the other way round. Works of fiction always have a bit of reality in them but what happens when the line blurs? It would be interesting to see how a couple would sing in the middle of corn fields and forget that the rest of the world exists. There are things one can be inspired by from fiction and lead to a better reality. Obviously, the lines have been blurred a few times and gone way ahead.
Here are a few movies that inspired and impacted people to do questionable things in real life. The source of these case studies is are different news articles published at different point of time. These news pieces have been collected for reference for this study.
1. Dhoom (2004)
We absolutely adored the movie but some might have been a little too inspired by it. The number of petty crimes increased after this too. The most similar case that came forward out of the 15 cases that it inspired, the one in Kerala's Malappuram district was a theft gone from reel to real. A gang of 4 robbers went ahead to make a hole on the floor and managed to loot the bank of 80 kgs gold and 50,00,000 rupees. And also they confessed to being inspired by the movie!
Source: Article from Malyala Manorama (2005)
A child aged 5 years old from Delhi jumped off the 12th floor of his residential building. He was certain that nothing was to happen to him as he believed that his friendly nieghbourhood Spiderman, his favorite superhero, will come to save him the way he saves people in the film. The child had multiple serious injuries and took a total of 4.5 years to recover from the horrific incident.
Source: Article from The Indian Express (2005)
Kolhapur teenager beheads sister for daring to love. Kirti from Kolhapur eloped with Avinash, her lover from the school she went to. Her family was disapproving of their relationship and angry that she ran away and got married without their permission.
After a few months of her marriage, she thought that her family was finally coming to terms with her ‘love marriage’. Her mother and younger brother were coming to visit her after months of estrangement. When her mother and brother came to visit, she rushed to them to invite them into her house. She went to the kitchen to make them tea. Then the thing that she never expected to happen, happened. Her mother came up behind Kirti in the kitchen, dragged her down by her leg. Her brother went on to chop Kirti’s head off. In both the reel and reality versions, there’s no remorse, guilt or any sort of emotion shown by the murderers. In the latest case, the brother paraded around the neighborhood with the severed head of his sister taunting on what happens if you try to be like Archie (the character of the movie Sairat), showing off his work. There's more: they clicked selfies with the decapitated head tagging the film makers.
Source: Article from Lokmat (2017)
4. Special 26 —16 cases
The movie itself was inspired by a true story. In June 2013, a group of 8 men posed as Income Tax officers and entered a businessman Jayanthibhai Sarvaiya's home and looted gold and cash worth Rs 12 lakhs.
Source: Article from Hindustan Times (2013)
5. Munnabhai MBBS
Who wouldn't want to cheat like Munna did? Genuinely? One kid did, and that too in the 12th examination, in 2013. This case was not only inspired by the movie Munna Bhai MBBS, but the steps involved were also very similar to the ones shown in the movie. It was a case of a paper leak which involved one of the sub-inspectors from the Delhi Police. That sub-inspector would message the answers to the candidates. The cheating syndicate leaked the question paper of the Combined Higher Secondary Level examination and the answers were provided through SMSes!"
Source: Article from The Times of India (2013)
Source Snapdeal's executive got abducted by a psycho stalker. He said he took inspiration from the 1993 film to follow Dipti for 14 months before staging her kidnapping. He had first seen Dipti in Delhi Metro. Out of all the Shah Rukh Khan movies, why this one?
Source: Article from The Indian express
7. Khosla Ka Ghosla
The movie was quite an entertaining roller coaster. But in real life, three fraudsters, including two serving employees of DDA, were involved in the fake allotment of DDA plots. They would resell the DDA plots by forging a document and earned in crores.
Source: News telecasted on ABP News
This movie is undoubtedly a brilliant one. But who would have imagined that it would inspire a man to kill and hide the body mysteriously? The victim's body was found floating in the city's Hathaikheda Dam and rigorous investigations into the incident began when Sumitra, the wife of the deceased, lodged a missing complaint with the Ayodhya Nagar police on December 25, 2015. The accused has also confessed that he was inspired by Ajay's character.
Source: Article from The Times of India (2015)
9. Bunty Aur Babli
The memorable fun film starring Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherji was a hit in 2005. A couple went ahead and committed 23 crimes including an attempt to murder, theft, robbery, snatching, assault and attacking policemen. In 2013, the two were arrested but received bail and continued committing crimes. When asked they said they were the real Bunty Aur Babli. Another couple looted two houses in West Delhi after taking inspiration from the film. The woman would enter the house as a beautician, put on a face mask on the victim, and tell them to not remove it for an hour. And then they would ransack the house.
Source: Article from The Times of India (2013)
10. The Shawshank Redemption
A man aged 23 years was diagnosed with depression and tried commiting suicide 6 times. He then, one fine evening, watched the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” and claimed that it changed his life.
He said that the film should be considered an ode to hope. He also says that the dialogue, “you either get busy living or you get busy dying – the choice is yours”, still heavily impacts him and gives him hope.
Source: Instagram Post (2016)
19-year-old Ashay from Bhopal was inspired by the movie Udaan and decided to leave his father who was physically and verbally abusive to him. He also spoke about his experience being with him and said how the film inspired him to take a step like this at such a young age. He also says how he actually felt like he was on cloud9 after running away from his father.
Source: Tweet (2015)
Swades literally opened everyone’s eyes. We all realized that we all have been running behind good grades, high-paying jobs, and hope to settle abroad. What we don’t see is that our country needs us too. After watching the movie, famous influencer Ranveer Allahbadia, made the decision to not leave the country and contribute to the country’s economy instead of going abroad.
Source: Youtube Video on Beer Bicep’s Page (2020)
13. Taare Zameen Par
After watching the 2007 blockbuster, a parent from New Delhi realized that his child is actually a victim of dyslexia and is not pretending to perform poorly in his school to trouble his teachers. He diagnosed this disability and put his child in a special needs institute to get help. Source: Comment on Quora (Date unknown)
The heartfelt comedy that was emotional yet wholesome to many actually inspired the 26-year-old Jiya to take a solo honeymoon trip to Shimla after being dumped by her fiance 2 weeks before her big wedding day. She said, as devastated as she was, the queen within her inspired her to take the well-deserved vacation.
Source: ABP News Report (Bulletin)
15. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
After watching this dharmatic movie, a woman from Kolkata was inspired to divorce her husband because she was in love with another man. She said she resonated a lot with the movie because even though her ex-husband was a nice man, she never fell in love with him. She left him and has now settled with her lover. She also says how more such movies should be made to inspire people to take steps they are normally afraid to.
Source: Instagram Post (Page unknown)
D. Findings & Takeaways
This research paper has opened many areas of wide thought processes on this topic in multiple ways. The researcher of this study belongs to that category of youth who loves to “binge watch” movies and is emotionally connected to cinema and thereby this study helps in understanding the different areas of impact films can have if one does not keep the bias of liking cinema.
Through the research done for this paper, different aspects of understanding cinema and its impact on the youth of India have come forward. In the researcher’s understanding, films cannot be categorized based on the impact they can have on one’s mind. Films that are positive for one may be negative for another and vice versa. What is important is, one must make boundaries when it comes to consumption of cinematic content. It is an age-old saying that anything in excess is always dangerous. So, people must limit the number of movies they watch. For people who don’t even realize “how” movies impact them, they must be more precautious of the subconscious effects cinema has on their everyday decision making. In the researcher’s understanding, movies have a considerably higher negative impact on young minds as the effect of impact is higher on developing and growing minds. Hence the youth must make conscious efforts to limit their cinematic consumption and not waste a considerably high amount of time watching movies in the productive years of their lives. Another problem with youth is comparison. The youth must also not compare their life to the fictional life of film characters and feel bad about certain concepts being commercialized which may not be possible for them to live by in real life. Since the youth loves to explore beyond conventional means, they tend to get drawn more towards western cultures thereby making them either forget or dislike their own culture. Hence, even if not measured by age, movies have a slightly higher negative effect on those with fragile minds and emotional mindsets as they are more prone to being personally affected by films to large extents. However, despite the many negative effects cinema may have, it also holds the power to bring positivity and hope in one’s life. Once you know how to distinguish between reel and real life, there are many positive outcomes one can get from movies. In the researcher’s opinion, movies are the best type of stress busters and mood lifters. They give one hope to live a happy life and inspire the world to live life to the fullest. Some movies are also very relatable that show the bad aspects of life as well and hence give hope to fight tough times like heroes/heroines. They motivate people to work hard for getting happy endings in real life as well. Many movies also teach things that one can never learn by conventional learning methods. The researcher personally also feels that movies help you to concentrate. There are many people who are not easily interested in doing things and are often distracted. Good movies make people want to know what will happen next and hence helps one to concentrate. However, this may also have a negative repercussion and deep concentration is what causes deep impact which may not always be positive.
Hence, as a conclusive understanding of this topic, like everything is life, even movies have both positive and negative sides to them which may impact an individual based on his/her personality and state of being. However, one must keep control on what is being watched by them and how much of it is worth setting an impact on one’s life. One must also remember that attachment and addiction have a fine line of difference and once that line is crossed something like cinema which while consuming may feel good can end up having dangerous repercussions on one’s mind.
Through this paper, one can understand the importance of putting conscious effort to control the urge of “binge watching” and mindlessly consuming cinema. It is also suggested that one needs to find more alternatives to curb their boredom. Since films are the most convenient and fun form of passing time, people tend to avoid exploring other ways of passing time.
Hence, the major learning aspect of this paper is understanding that movies can be both positive and negative and they surely have an impact one one’s mind. The main impact they have on one is based on the amount of cinematic consumption one chooses to do. There are many things one can learn from movies and benefit from them too, however if watched in excess, they can have negative effects on the mind and ways of thinking can be challenged and rather even put in confusion.
Even though it’s called ‘the seventh art’, cinema is surely the most influential art form. Most people don’t follow sculpture or architecture and don’t get affected by new sculptures or buildings. Movies, however, are everywhere. So many people see movies every day and the film industry is becoming bigger and more influential by the day. As per the findings of this research paper, we can conclude saying that movies can affect society in both positive and negative ways. They can help the economy grow, inspire individuals, and expand our basic knowledge of the world around us. Movies can also create violence and bad habits, can make people greedier, and can send a bad message to the public. The effects that films have on society are numerous and two-fold. And as movies are such an impactful art form, big movie studios must be very careful in what they include in their productions, since even the smallest things can affect the viewer. Individuals must be careful about what they take from movies, since even the smallest thing can push them to do something bad or to become someone different. It’s fairly clear that movies affect society very much. Not only that, they shape the modern world we live in and help individuals develop. In the big picture, it might be too early to say in what way. All people can currently do is think critically and not allow films to entirely change who they are. One must limit their consumption of cinematic content in order to be more rational and at peace in their life. The impact a film has on one’s mind completely depends on their perception of good and bad. What may be good for one is something that can be bad for another. Thus, the impact films have on one’s life, whether positive or negative, is very personal to each human being. However, any consumed in excess is always considered negative for growth and development. Hence, one should consume cinematic content in limit and make a conscious effort towards differentiating between reel & real life. The impact of films on one’s mind is only as much as one let’s thyself be impacted. “Anything in excess is a poison.”- Quote by Theodore Levitt This quotes rightly concludes the study of this paper as the impact of films on one’s mind can ultimately end up being negative as anything consumed in excess is dangerous and can have unpredictable repercussions.
 Atomic Habits, Book by James Clear  The Filmmaker Says, Book by JAMIE THOMPSON STERN  NCBI: Impact of Films: Changes in Young People’s Attitudes after Watching a Movie: Research paper by Tina Kubrak  “Negative Impact of Cinema”, Article by VK Muthu in the Times of India  https://www.ourmovielife.com/  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/  https://mbakarlo.com/impact-of-movies-on-youth/  https://myessaypoint.com/positive-negative-effects-movies  https://blog.oureducation.in/films-are-corrupting-indian-youth/  https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2019/06/impact-of-movies-on-youth/  https://psychcentral.com/blog/  https://yourstory.com/mystory/how-movies-impact-societies/amp  https://www.toppr.com/guides/essays/essay-on-impact-of-cinema-in-life/  https://www.eatmy.news/2021/08/positive-and-negative-impacts-of-films  https://www.spss-tutorials.com/chi-square  https://www.thebridgechronicle.com/lifestyle/living/watching-movies-has-psychological-benefits-and-here-is-all-we-know-about-it
Copyright © 2022 Ayushi Jagdish Karande, Dr. Rakhi Sharma. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.