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Up to directors to decide what kind of films they want to make: Javed Akhtar

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Veteran lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar on Wednesday said Indian cinema has undergone a lot of changes over the years and it was up to directors to decide what kind of movies they want to make for people.

He said heroes of earlier eras were very different and a similar portrayal of their characters in today’s movies may not work.

The 78-year-old lyricist-poet was speaking after receiving the Padmapani Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to Indian cinema. The award was presented to him at the inauguration of the 9th Ajanta-Ellora International Film Festival (AIFF) in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar in central Maharashtra.

Akhtar said, “We have advanced a lot in making cinemas. However, while boarding the train of future, we have left behind lots of goods on the platform. Language, literature, and classical music have been left behind. But Maharashtra is a state where these values still matter for people who reside in smaller cities.”

Speaking about his work, Akhtar said when he wrote movie scripts he never thought of their financial or social impact.

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On the changing perception of on-screen heroes, he remarked, “There was a period when the hero of a film revolted against his parents to marry the girl of his choice. Later, heroes came to show social inequality, law, courts, and unconstitutional things. However, today we cannot make such characters stand in movies.”

Ultimately, directors should decide what kind of cinema they want to make so that films are well received by viewers and they also strengthen the movie industry, Akhtar said.

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