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Movies Encourage Social Evils

Movies Encourage Social Evils

Assistant Editor

01 May, 2019

Entertainment is an important part of human life. Important because it brings people together, it is a wonderful way where family and friends bond. Human beings from ancient times have tried to find ways and means to entertain themselves after a hard day of work to unwind. Back in old days, people would entertain themselves through sports, music, or theatre. Entertainment is important as it helps break the monotony of everyday activities which can at times feel like a burden. Entertainment helps relax, refresh, and take the mind off from worrying about the things that are to be done. Most importantly entertainment brings happiness, which is fundamental to the well-being of a person. Happy people are healthy and more productive. Happiness can even reduce stress and tensions. An hour or two of entertainment makes a person forget all about their anxiety, worries, and troubles for that time being.  

Do Movies Encourage Social Evils?

The history of filmmaking is not very clearly defined. However, on the 28th of December 1895, the Lumiere Brothers screened ten short films in Paris and that can be regarded as the real breakthrough of projected cinematographic motion pictures. Though earlier others had tried their hands those lacked the quality or the momentum that the screenings of the Lumiere Brothers, which were a worldwide success. Soon many people jumped into film production all over the globe. Within a decade the motion pictures moved from being a novelty to an established mass entertainment industry. The early movies made were black and white and without any sound. 

Slowly new film techniques were introduced, like the use of artificial lights, fire effects, and low-key lighting. The films grew longer and writers were employed to simplify complex stories from famous novels to make them shorter enough to be able to contain one reel without losing the essence of the original story but at the same time easier for the audience to understand. Soon different genres began to be used as categories, mainly comedy and drama but these further got subdivided.  

The real breakthrough came with the "talking pictures" or "talkies" which included synchronized dialogues. By the early 1930s, talkies became a Global Phenomenon. Though in many parts of the world it took time to take root, however, in India sound was the transformative element that led to the rapid expansion of the Indian Film Industry.

Movies Encourage Social Evils

Movies have a profound impact on our minds. In Britain, realistic war dramas created a renaissance in the film industry. In America, during the Second World War, movies were made that were heavily laced with the theme of patriotism and propaganda. Undoubtedly movies wield a tremendous influence on society. Movies have the greatest potential to be the most effective mass media instrument. Not just a means of entertainment, movies can also be the means of mass instruction and mass education. As movies combine primarily both audio and video and are very appealing to the eyes and ears, and as such have a lasting effect on the audience. The audience also gets emotionally involved through the course of the movie with its different characters.

Now with all the technological advancements anyone can either go ahead and watch a movie online or download all the movies that they want from plentiful websites that are available. Movies have the potential not just to convey positive messages but can also negatively impact the mindset of youngsters.  Specifically, the amount of violence that is present in movies has have had a negative impact. The news of shootings in the school, homicides committed by youths at such an early age is alarming. On interrogation, many juvenile offenders have admitted that they were influenced by certain movies and followed those sequences while committing the crime. These young teenagers simply imitate the behaviors depicted in the movies like stabbing or shooting without thinking of the consequences of their actions because the movies don’t tell them what will happen once they are done with their negative actions.

How Can Movies Help In Fighting Social Evils?

One other aspect that has negatively impacted the youth is the use of drugs, alcohol, and smoking scenes in the movies. Young moviegoers are also curious and as a natural process these kids grow up with desires. There is always an urge to experiment with the unknown; the thought is very invigorating and thrilling. In search of this thrill, youngsters fall into a trap from where their life goes into a downward spiral. Close to the heels of drug abuse is premature sex and sexual abuse that has become quite rampant. Drugs and the urge to imitate scenes from the movies have mostly led to not just premature sex, but serious offenses against women. Some are so gory that it sends a shiver down the spine. 

It might sound too harsh to blame everything negative on movies when movies are made taking a cue from real life most of the time. However, according to Psychology, the human brain has something known as the "negative bias". The human brain is built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news. During the research, it was found that the human brain reacts more strongly to stimuli it considers negative. There is a greater surge in the brain's electrical activity, thus our attitudes are more heavily influenced by downbeat news than good news and when this information is passed on through audiovisual the impact is even more profound. Hence movies that show too much violence, drugs, and are sexual plays a great role in negatively impacting the mind of the masses.  

It is indeed a matter of great concern and moviemakers have a great responsibility to ensure that they make movies responsibly. Producers, directors, and actors try to make movies on social issues; however, it is important to treat the movie in such a way that the moral of the story or the actual message does not get overshadowed by the negative characters and their portrayal. Though the perspective of the viewer is important we cannot deny the moral responsibility of the movie maker to treat the movie and the story responsibly so that it does not add more to the already prevailing desensitivity in our society.

By: Madhuchanda Saxena

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