The cinema occupies a very important place in modern life. In every large city, there are several cinema houses, while even the smallest town can boast of one or two. Mobile cinema houses now reach even the remote villages. Young and old, men and women, all like to enjoy a picture. In big cities, thousands may be seen every evening going to enjoy a cinema show. It, therefore, exercises a profound influence on the minds of the people, especially on those of the young.
Excessive visits to the cinema have an injurious effect on health. People have to sit crowded together in the suffocating atmosphere of closed halls. This is favourable to spread of infectious diseases. It is also very injurious to eye-sight. Frequent visits to the cinema weaken eye sight.
The cinema has an adverse effect on public morals. The lure of the cinema is so great that boys often steal to purchase the ticket and often tell order to enjoy a matinee. The dirty songs, dances and love sense so common in Indian films. Corrupt the public morals and have an exciting effect on the young. They become sex conscious at an early age.
The cinema creates dissatisfaction with one’s present position and status in life. In the pictures, the hero and heroine are often shown rolling in most fashionable clothes to wear. They seem to have nothing to do except make Love and enjoy. All this show of wealth and comfort naturally makes those persons dissatisfied who are not so favourable placed. They also want to enjoy like the characters of the film; and hence lose all happiness in their present life. This evil effect of the cinema is clearly seen in the behavior of a large number of boys and girls, who run away from their homes to become film heroes and heroines.
The cinema also increases crime. People learn from it new methods of committing crime. Many films glorify the career of criminal. He is often adverse effects, especially on those whose minds are immature and who cannot think for themselves.
But the evil effects of cinema should not make us forget its many advantages. It is well known that it is an important means of recreation. We can even say that for the poor masses of India it is the only means of amusement. It is cheap and so within the reach of every one. Besides, ‘the films provided entertainment for persons of all tastes. Music, dance, dialogues and story are all combined in one, so that every one can find something to amuse him in a cinema film.
The cinema is also an important means of publicity and propaganda. The government uses it to place its own programmes and achievements before the people. It is through the cinema that the people are being the country. It also serves as an important means of social reform. Various social evils as untouchability, child marriage, purdah system, etc, are shown in a light. So the people are made to dislike these evils.
Such are the various advantages and disadvantages of the cinema. Strict censorship and government control is needed to make it an unmixed blessing for the people. It has come to stay and it is useless to condemn it as evil. On the other hand, every effort should be made to improve the quality of films so as to avoid their evils.
However, it will have to be admitted that cinema has been facing stiff competition from T.V. with the availability of number of channels. As a result, the quality of pictures has gone down. The Cinema halls, too, are not run of films tell their own story. New halls are no longer being constructed and the old are either deteriorating or being pulled down.
However, very recently it appears that the trend is reversed with more and more people now going to cinema halls.