Veteran writer Javed Akhtar has ruled that the "epic-like" quality of Indian cinema is slowly fading away as the new crop of directors seem "embarrassed" about using songs in their films. The lyricist said many generations grew up listening to larger-than-life stories like the Ramayana and Mahabharata and it was sad the country was losing out on it.
"An average Hindi film's screenplay is nearer to a novel than a short story. Now the new cinema that's developing is gradually going towards short story and is rejecting the songs. So the epic-like quality is gradually going out of Indian cinema and I am very sad about it," Akhtar said on Monday.
The 74-year-old writer was speaking at the launch of journalist Khalid Mohamed's novel "The Aladia Sisters". Akhtar wondered how can people be embarrassed about something which is embedded in their culture.
"In our indigenous cinema, the way we have used melodrama, look at masters like Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor and Vijay Anand, and how they have used songs. Why has it started to embarrass new directors, I don't know," he said.
"Tomorrow some Japanese will get embarrassed about Kabuki? Or Italians will get embarrassed by Italian Opera?" he asked.
Also present at the event were Anil Kapoor, Karan Johar and yesteryear actor Asha Parekh.