Noticed the increasing number of remixes, remakes, and whatnot? Who am I kidding, of course, you have. It’s freaking everywhere. Movies, songs, shows. Most forms of art/media/entertainment today are a rip-off of some old, likable things that people enjoyed. And this trend isn’t just ‘India-specific’ either. It’s happening in the west too.
Hollywood is milking franchises like Star-Wars to death. Why? Because it’s loved by an entire generation. And this phenomenon isn’t just restricted to Star-Wars. These media and production houses have ruined most of the beloved franchises for profits. Hell, even old Cartoons are not spared.
But, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
And before you start preparing the worst of abuses to write in the comment section, hear me out.
I truly believe that this ‘ruining of old things’ is a good thing. To know why we must first understand why it’s happening.
The problem is, the last generation (and maybe ours) isn’t too fond of art. This may offend a lot of people, but I believe it’s true. I don’t have the research to back it up; it’s just my opinion, based on my observations and interactions with the previous generation.
Coming back to the point, I believe that the last generation doesn’t really like art or freedom of expressions that much. This may be because as a generation, their childhood wasn’t that great compared to today’s average kid. That could be because they were born during the Cold War, and had this ‘responsibility’ to build a new, better world as soon as they started working. I am talking people who were born in the 60s or later. Most of them grew up poor and developed an ‘aversion’ to poverty.
And then these people started working. And they worked HARD. These people built and shaped the world as we see now. They were engineers, doctors, businessmen. These are the people who created cities and built empires. They made the skyscrapers and awesome cars and massive militaries, unparalleled with anything that the history has ever seen. And almost all of them did all of that because they wanted to be rich or rather, escape poverty.
And this was where it became a problem.
In this ‘race’ of becoming more successful, they lost something – Art.
This doesn’t mean that they are not creative, it’s just that they don’t really care about art. This may sound like a massive generalization but it’s true to some extent and it doesn’t take a genius to see that. Our parent’s generation didn’t care about arts. I mean, why would they? They wanted to get rich. Why would anyone who wants to get rich be an artist? Very, VERY few artists are rich. Most of them struggle to make ends meet. And this is exactly what that generation didn’t want. They struggled enough growing up, they weren’t willing to experience more of that.
That is why you see them pressuring you into these fields and careers. For them, these professions have proven to make money. This is where the whole ‘Ye karlo, phir to aish hi aish’ thinking comes from. Because THEY have actually seen that.
But they craved art. That’s why the movie industry grew exponentially. They crave for something that was missing from their lives. That’s why they turned to movies, music, TV shows, etc. But what happens when you put a generation, who has abstained from art all their lives and who want to make money by any means, on a task to create art?
The answer: They turn art into a business.
Over the years, only a few hundred movies and music have been truly exceptional, in a sense that they created some value. Otherwise, most of the movies made after the late 70s had one goal – to make money. Only a very few were made because a storyteller wanted it to be made. However, many of them made money. Filmmakers soon realized that people are not looking for value, they wanted distractions. So, art didn’t matter as long as it was distracting enough, they could just rehash or remake old stories. And it has been successful…. so far.
Today, the millennials have taken the center-stage. We have become the consumers. However, we’re a little behind when it comes to production.
The millennials have been more fortunate growing up, compared to the previous generation. They didn’t have to struggle to make ends meet while growing up. Also, they had internet – this whole new world where everything from science to art, was available instantly. The millennials were exposed to more art while growing up and this has created a sort of a problem for our parent’s generation. They don’t know how to sell entertainment to us because for them, the definition of entertainment is very different.
That’s why they try to sell the popular things of their time to us as ‘remakes’. They believe that because it has worked for them, it will work for us. What they don’t realize is that we don’t want it.
There has been a significant rise in the number of remakes and remixes. It’s not a coincidence. People who are in the entertainment business don’t know what to make any more. They haven’t put much thought into it before. They certainly aren’t going to do that now. That is why what’s happening is happening.
So, why do I think that it’s a good thing?
Because we’re reaching a tipping point. Maybe we’re not fast enough, but we’re getting there. There has been a rise in low budget movies with good plots, beautiful new songs, awesome shows, even animated ones have strong plots with a subtle social commentary. This shift in the audience is forcing an entire generation of producers and entertainers to take more risks. They know that they can’t get us with their crappy remakes. It’s not all about money anymore, it’s about creating something of value.
Bear in mind, I am not trying to show our parent’s generation in a bad light. The socio-economic condition they grew up in demanded this approach. And they did a tremendous job, as far as building a new world was concerned. But now, the world is in a much better place than it was 40 years ago. Our generation can do something that the previous ones couldn’t – find a balance.
We don’t have to stick to these norms anymore. Now, we can move past than just making money. Sure, money is awesome and the more you have of it, the better. But this paradigm shift has given us the freedom of choice. We can start by giving art and philosophy the same importance as science and commerce. If Einstein was a genius, then Beethoven was one too. If Bill Gates is idealized then Hans Zimmer should be too. The problem is, most people don’t consider them as equals because art and philosophy do not give them something ‘tangible’. For them, it can’t be quantified and hence they refuse to acknowledge its importance.
But now, we can change that. We’re going to form the society in the coming years. And it needs reforming. It doesn’t mean disrespecting the old values, it means creating new ones, which are more in line with today’s world – exactly what the previous generation and the generations before them did.
And I truly believe we’re gonna do a damn good job.
Image Sources – Ladbible, Wikimedia Commons, YouTube, Pixabay, Pxhere,