The cinema should be the most important and powerful interpreter of the life and urge of the nation. Unfortunately, it has degenerated into a source of vulgar recreation. There is a constant cry against the evil aspects of cinema but of no avail. By and by cinema has developed into a circle of vices and there seems to be no hope of getting out of it. Saint Vinoba’s cry against obscene pictures and posters is a cry in wilderness. But that day is not far off when we all will realize our responsibility as a citizen of free India and will mend our ways.
Actually, cinema is a very important means of recreation for the young and the old alike. All persons like to enjoy pictures. It is cheap and there is something in every film to please everyone whether he is educated or uneducated. Generally young students like to see pictures as for them a film is a mental problem. Even in the small towns, the cinema halls are fully packed up. A huge crowd may be seen every evening going towards the cinema hall. I am not very fond of pictures but sometimes on account of my friends. I have to go. Only a couple of days ago. I had to follow one of my friends to go to see a film very fine, though old. The name of the picture was ‘Devdas
Occasion of my visit to the picture hall
In my town, there is a picture hall called ‘Prince’. This hall generally shows old but well reputed pictures for the persons of refined taste The film ‘Devdas’ was being displayed in this hall. When my friend invited me to see this picture, I could not resist the temptation of seeing it. It was drawing packed houses. Everyone was full of praise for this film. I also felt a keen desire to see it. My joy knew no bounds when I reached the picture hall and saw that some of my other friends also were there and they praised this breathlessly.
Booking office and the picture hall
Having determined well and getting permission from my parents, I went to Prince’ along with my friend. On the road to the picture hall, we saw that many other persons were going in the same direction. As we approached it, we could hear sweet cinema songs that were bring recorded for the recreation of the people assembled there for the purpose of seeing the film. The compound of the picture hall was well decorated with buntings and festoons. It was beautifully lighted. A large number. of people were moving to and from. Some were taking tea and refreshment. Others were busy in seeing the posters of the running picture and were busy to see the posters of the coming picture named ‘Love in Tokyo’.
There was a huge crowd at the booking window. It was so great a rush that for sometime we could not purchase that tickets though one of may friends was standing in the long queue. Luckily I met a constable who was my brother’s friend. He at once boasted to purchase the tickets for us but he too failed. Now we were at wit’s end but hit upon a plan. I saw that the ladies were purchasing tickets very easily. I reached a girl and requested her to oblige me by purchasing two tickets. Thanks to God! she smiled first and so.
Now we entered the hall. We saw that the students were in their best suits and the ladies in their fashionable dresses. The presence of the young girls in their brilliant dresses was adding beauty to the hall. The hall was packed to its capacity. Fans were going on at their full speed. The people were laughing and talking. Hawkers were selling their goods in their peculiar way. At five minutes to seven the third bell rang. The darkness prevailed in the hall. Some advertisement-slides were shown. After that the news-reels were displayed. Exactly at 7-15 P. M. the real film started.
A brief summary of the play
The story of ‘Devdas’ has been borrowed from the novel bearing the same title written by Sharat Chandra, the father of Bengali fiction. Devdas, the son of a landlord and Jamuna, the daughter of a villager love each other. They often meet and play. After sometime Devdas is sent to Calcutta for education and there he forgets Jamuna. On returning home, his love becomes green. He fails to meet Jamuna as before because she is not a child now. The proposal of Jamuna’s marriage with Devdas is hatefully rejected by Devdas’s father on the ground of a social status. Anyhow Jamuna is married to a widower, a father of grown up boy and she goes to live with his father like husband.
To see all these things, Devdas is badly shocked. He leaves his village and settles in Calcutta. He fails to extinguish his fire of love for Jamuna by various immoral means. He comes in contact with a dancing girl whom he impresses with his goodness and sincerity. She changes the way of life. Devdas indulges in excessive drinking and moves from place to place in search of peace and happiness. At last being dejected and hopeless from all sides, he reaches the station leading to Jamuna’s village. The cart stops. The driver shouts him to get down but to no effect. The driver peeps into the cart and tries to wake him but in vain.
“For Death had illuminated the land of sleep.
And his lifeless body lay.
A worn out fetter that the soul,
Had broken and thrown away.”
Thus, Devdas breathed his last. No one claimed his body as he was not known to anyone. At last a ring on his finger gave a clue. His name was known and it spread like a wild fire in the whole village. Jamuna recognized him but failed to take up the possession of the dead body. She could only see the flames coming of the funeral pyre. With an immeasurable sorrow, she saw the end of her Devdas, whom she retained in the softest corner of her heart even after her marriage.
In my opinion, it was a wonderful story as it produced a mighty effect on the audience. The acting was superb and suitable to the atmosphere. The acting of Saigal was serious, dignified, artistic and appealing. This is the best film I have ever. seen.