With some highly acclaimed and award winning movies like ‘Sri Lokanath’, ‘Nua Bou’, ‘Kaa’, ‘Sesha Srabana’, ‘Chilika Teeray’, etc. These movies depicted a pragmatic view of Odia society - the traditions, culture, superstitions and conventions. The stories were innately Odia. The characters were drawn from reality. Dance numbers by lead characters was unheard of; songs were soft, romantic and melodious.

You can still find yourself humming ‘Jochhana luchana’, ‘Bou lo ki kahibi nua bhauja nka katha’, ‘Jajabara mana mora’, ‘Indradhanu ra sapta ranga’, ‘Kamala desa rajakumara’…Now cut to the 21st century. ‘Jana padiba angel priya sukuti sahu boli’ is what has gone viral now on all social media channels; from the film ‘Laila o laila’. The new age films are completely different from their predecessors. The titles are hip; the stories more reminiscent of Bollywood and Tollywood blockbusters. Gone is the typical Odia touch. The films now follow the metro trend – a heterogeneous mix of all regional Indian cultures. The language spoken by the characters is a combination of Odia-Hindi-English.

Now how acceptable is this? If you look at the cash registers and the audience density in theatres, then certainly these new age films seem to have made their mark. The youngsters just love to watch their favourite actors gyrate to the tune of modern Odia songs. The lyrics of these songs that hardly make sense are on their lips. But what kind of influence are these films having on the Odia society? Considering the fact that films have a huge impact on the impressionable young minds, aren’t these films taking the Gen-X away from their own culture and tradition, and catapulting them into a life where they might actually face an identity crisis one day? Or is this a natural evolutionary journey?

What do you think?

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Odia Samaj

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