Is Agra the most shocking Indian film ever made?

by The Insights

However, the rise of digital technology in the 21st century, which has made cinema cheaper, has led to a revival of independent Indian cinema in recent years, with filmmakers such as Shonali Bose and Anurag Kashyap gaining momentum. importance. As censorship has loosened, the topics covered have broadened, with films dealing with disturbing political stories and social causes such as LGBTQ rights. These films have found their audiences at festivals like Berlin and Cannes. Kashyap’s latest film, the neo-noir Kennedy, supposedly based on real-life police corruption in India, is on view at the midnight section of the Cannes Film Festival, a section that celebrates cinema that pushes the boundaries.

And as this strand of Indian cinema began to gain critical acclaim around the world, it also had an impact on popular Bollywood cinema, with studios having to adapt their films to the changing tastes of audiences, making them less chaste and tackling daring subjects. “It’s led the ‘masala’ guys in Bollywood to deal with more current topics in a realistic way,” says Shedde, who also conversely points out that filmmakers in the indie scene have “embraced song and dance to be more accessible to a wide audience.

It is certainly an exciting time for Indian cinema, with the promise of an era of rich, diverse and divisive films that are more in tune with the transgressive roots of Indian cinema than the Bollywood production that has taken over. These films are a mirror of society and, like the works of Gaspar NoĆ©, Jack Smith and Kenneth Anger (who died this week), to name just three filmmakers, they are inherently incredibly divisive and sometimes extremely difficult to watch. . Agra fits into this mould. Behl is so successful in getting us into Guru’s psyche that the film becomes obnoxious, attacks our senses, and creates an unpleasant visceral reaction. Even though the plot expands to include money lending, the distinction between fact and fiction is hard to discern, which some will find deeply unnerving, and others simply confusing. But the best thing about Behl’s work is that it manages to tackle one of India’s biggest and least discussed issues without feeling like a lecture. May Indian cinema increasingly be equally provocative and daringly creative.

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