It’s Time To Call The Bluff Summary Notes

It’s Time To Call The Bluff Author

Dr.Sundar Sarukkai is a professor of Philosophy at the National Institue of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. He has degrees in Physics and Philosophy and has a PhD form Purdue University, USA. He has been a Homi Bhabha Fellow. He has also worked as the Director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy & Humanities, Manipal University.

It’s Time To Call The Bluff Summary

The essay ‘It’s time to call the bluff is by Dr. Sundar Sarukkai. a professor of philosophy at the National Institute of advanced studies, Bangalore. He also writes reviews and columns for reputed newspapers. As the name suggests ‘It’s time to call the bluff the author disputes the views of film lovers who had strongly responded to his critical reviews of the film Bahubali – 2 with their tall claims about the film.

Now, what does the phrase ‘It’s time to call the bluff mean. It means to challenge someone to act their threat or prove that their claim or boast is true when one believes they are making a false claim or idle threat (bluffing). The fans of the film Bahubali – 2 claims that it was a film made to entertain them. (The author had made serious comments on the content of the film.) Many of them had also urged him not to take life seriously and that films were made for fun.

But the author wants to dispel this ‘cliche’ – (an idea that has been used so often, that it is no longer interesting or effective) – that cinema is for mere entertainment. In his opinion, the idea ‘cinema is for entertainment’ is a form of laziness and ethical irresponsibility’. The author defends his criticism and tries to disprove their response to his review by pointing out at their deficiency in not questioning themselves to understand what they mean by entertainment.

The author had noticed that their angry responses to his review focused on other things, such as technical quality, nationalism, aesthetic value, social, and narrative of the film and not on the nature of entertainment. They only focused on the technical quality and its projection of Indian mythology and felt proud of being an Indian.

So the author thinks that if a film is to be judged for all the above-mentioned values it projects than it is open to criticism on all those fronts. And hence he can critique its fake sense of religion or the age-old, much-flogged interpretation of feudalism. The author castigates such people as the ones who demand censorship of films that don’t cater to their ‘taste’ of entertainment. If the film does not deal with the subjects they don’t like or ‘enjoy’, they demand that it should be censored.

The author poses a series of rhetorical questions to those who support the idea of pure ‘entertainment’ as the goal of a film. “What is entertainment?, In what sense does a film entertain the viewer? , By ‘entertainment’ do they mean that they do not have to think or struggle to understand?, Does a film entertain only through comedy? , Through the ‘item’ numbers? If a film makes somebody cry or feel intensely sad, is it also entertainment?”

According to the author the idea of entertainment has changed enormously and continues to change. The author confesses that he gets really involved and agitated while watching sports. But he believes that sports are not merely entertainment but it is about nationhood, power, speed, effort, discipline etc. If people consider sports as entertainment, it would be ‘blasphemous’ – disrespectful, to those who seriously invest their time and energy to pursue sports Similarly, the author asks the reader as to what people reany mean when they say that a film is only entertainment. To analyze this we have to first understand the meaning of entertainment. The author explains the meaning of the word ‘entertain’. To ‘entertain’ means to be amused, to have pleasure, to relax, to have fun, to be carefree, to be distracted etc. But for some people ‘to be entertained’ means to ‘escape’ and for other it means to ‘enjoy’, watching something or to fantasize about a different world.

So it is difficult to ascertain what entertainment means to people in general. So in order to make his point, the author again poses a series of questions. He asks “Is a Pakistan – India cricket match mere entertainment? Is a film that shows violence against women or has sexist jokes mere entertainment? Is a Pornographic film mere entertainment? Isn’t raucous drinking in the public fun and entertainment for many? Isn’t cracking jokes at passing girls entertainment for countless men?

So why aren’t those acts, merely brushed off as ‘mere entertainment. But unfortunately, this is indeed harmless fun for many people. Hence the author says that there is a simple lesson to be leamt by such ‘acts of entertainment ’. The lesson is that ‘Nothing is harmless in public domain’. Someone may shamelessly show a pornographic film in public for mere entertainment, and yet others might protest at such blatant shamelessness. One can watch a pornographic film in private but if it is shown in the public domain, the film has to answer public concerns.

And hence the author proves that nothing is ‘mere entertainment when it is part of public viewing. So the author substantiates his argument that he has the right to criticize a film because it is apart of the public domain, in his perception a film is a product of a system that is indebted to the demands of a larger society. According to the author a film ceases to be mere entertainment when it is part of public viewing. The moment a film becomes a part of public space, it has to answer public concerns. Moreover, the filmmakers are always answerable to ethical questions from the larger society, although theyfsociety) cannot censor or control the content of the film, but a cinema arises from the support of the larger society. He argues that it would be even difficult to make a film in some societies but in India filmmakers can make any film they want to because our society allows them to do it, and hence they are answerable to ethical questions from the larger society.

In conclusion the author firmly says that films are for ‘mere entertainment’ is not an authentic excuse to show whatever one wants and it is a ‘cynical’ – (an act of selfishness)- attempt to escape from the concept of responsibility while creating a public product, such as a film. The author feels that many viewers are gullible enough to accept that films are for ‘Mere entertainment’ and msh to theaters to watch and appreciate such films. The author expresses his concern while saying that this “gullibility” of viewers has lead to the production of innumerable worthless films in India and all over the world.

It’s Time To Call The Bluff Glossary

Cliche          : a phrase or opinion that is very common and overused
Legitimize   : authorize, sanction
Regressive  : going back to a less developed state
Semioties   : the study of signs and symbols
Raucous     : harsh, rough

It’s Time To Call The Bluff Questions & Answers

Comprehension

Question 1.
What is the worn-out cliche that most filmmakers use according to the author? Does he subscribe to it?
Answer:
The worn-out Cliche (opinion) that most filmmakers use is that films are only for entertainment. No, the author does not subscribe to it. He feels that it is a simple way to legitimize a particular form of laziness and ethical irresponsibility.

Question 2.
Which aspects of the film Bahubali were applauded by the audience?
Answer:
The aspects of the film Bahubali which were applauded by the audience were its technical quality and its pure entertainment, nation, aesthetic, social, and narrative value.

Question 3.
By claiming that a film is merely for entertainment, one is legitimizing __________ and __________ according to the author.
Answer:
Laziness and ethical irresponsibility

Question 4.
Which of these arguments is not put forward by the author to say that a film cannot be merely for entertainment? (you may find more than one)
a. One should also look at the other aspects like technical, aesthetic, national values when talking about a film.
b. Only a comedy film can be entertaining.
c. Even a film that shows violence, sexism, alcoholism ect. can be called entertaining.
d. Sports are mere enterainment.
e. One does not need a censor board because everything should be allowed in the name of entertainment.
f By claiming that a film is only for entertainment, one is bypassing all responsibilities.
Answer:
b and c

Question 5.
Why does the author say that the idea of entertainment has changed over the years? Do you agree with him? Can you provide more examples to substantiate this claim?
Answer:
The author says that the idea of entertainment has changed enormously and continues to change. The author feels that films are not only for entertainment. He thinks that the phrase ‘only for entertainment does not hold water anymore. He criticizes the people who think that films are only for entertainment as lazy and ethically irresponsible. In the author’s opinion, a film must be judged by the nature of its entertainment value and not merely as entertainment. The author argues that quality defines the nature of the cinematic medium

Question 6.
What is the author’s response to those who say films are for entertainment only? Discuss.
Answer:
The author questions those who say films are for entertainment. What is entertainment? In what sense does a film entertain (the viewer) By ‘ entertainment ’, do they mean that they do not have to think or struggle to understand’ Does a film entertain only through comedy? Through the ‘item number? If a film makes somebody cry or feels intensely sad, is it also entertainment.?

Question 7.
When does a film cease to be mere entertainment according to the author? Why?
Answer:
According to the author, a film ceases to be mere entertainment when it is part of public viewing. Because a film is a product of a system that is indebted to the demands of the larger society. The moment a film becomes ‘part of public space, the film has to answer public concerns. Moreover; the filmmakers are always answerable to ethical questions from the larger society although they cannot censor or control the content of the film.

Question 8.
What are the issues that the author criticizes in the film? Can you find a few examples in the film to substantiate his views?
Answer:
The author criticizes the movie as the worst thing to have happened to Indian films and the film cynically played on the gullibility of the spectators. The author feels that the script is ordinary and seems to care little for narrative details. The author writes that the film panders to feudal worship with fake expressions of equality between the king and his subjects, with a mediocre’ and cliched storyline of the queen mother or the deformed scheming uncle.

Question 9.
Why does the author say that filmmakers should be made answerable to larger ethical questions? Explain in the light of contemporary debates regarding the issue.
Answer:
The author says that filmmakers should be made answerable to larger ethical questions because a film is a product of a system that is indebted to the demands of the larger society. A cinema arises from the support of the larger society. He argues that it would be even difficult to make a film in some societies but in India, filmmakers can make any film they want to, because our society allows them to do it, and hence they are always answerable to ethical questions from the larger society. The argument that films are made only for entertainment is not a tangible excuse for a film to show want it wants. It is a cynical attempt to bypass any notion of responsibility in creating a public product.

Question 10.
Do you agree with the author’s views about the prevalence of sexism in movies? Substantiate with instances from movies you have watched.
Answer:
Yes, I agree with the author’s views about the prevalence of sexism in movies.

Question 11.
Write an essay about “Present-day Cinema and its Effect on the Youth.” Put forward each argument in a separate paragraph and substantiate.
Answer:
Cinema is a very useful and educative entertainment. There is hardly any aspect of human life that is outside the scope of the cinema. It has created a better understanding and goodwill among different countries by showing their social, economic, and cultural life. It has brought people of different countries of the world nearer to one another. It presents a true picture of human civilization. The cinema represents the mystery of human life and throws light on the inner secrets of human life and heart. A good cinema has a positive impact on the viewer. Progressive thoughts Such as gender equality, organ donation can be spread easily through movies. For example, ‘Dangaf movie inspired many to encourage their daughters in sports.

Till recently, most Indians preferred engineering or medicine as their career choice. This belief is changing these days, and movies too have a role in this change. Careers of lead characters in movies impact young people greatly. For example, ‘Ghaji’ movie attracted many towards career in Navy. Though most of Indian movies concentrate on love between lead roles, these days many movies are coming with wonderful story lines and is influencing youth to focus on life goals rather than just concentrating on love .Several Indian movies on current issues are thought provoking and are highlighting the mistakes people are doing. For example, ‘Shatamanambhavathi’ movie highlights the plight ofparents that are left behind by abroad-settled children. Movies are a great source of entertainment. People can relive from stress and pressure at work or studies by watching movies.

Through movies, cultures are depicted wonderfully. Hence, movies increases cultural sensitivity. Unfortunately cinema has undesirable dangers lurking in it. Going to the pictures has now become a craze with young people, both boys and girls, and it has been noticed that they often economize on other items of expenditure but they must see films every week, if not twice or thrice a week. A healthy hobby is, of course, to be welcomed but seeing films too frequently is far from such a hobby.

This fast growing habit is not only expensive (because of the high rates of admission to cinema halls) but also results in considerable waste of precious time which can certainly be devoted to healthier, less wasteful and more gainful pursuits.

If Indian films had been well and properly made, with a sound educative theme forming a part of the story, the harm done to youth would have been much less than it actually is. But the tragedy is that most Indian films present scenes of sex, violence, crime and other deviations from normal human behaviour. The pernicious influence of films is thus obvious.

When grossly vulgar and crude romantic scenes are presented on the screen, along with songs and duets, and when boys are shown chasing girls, indulging in improper jokes, and singing catchy, lilting tunes, it is no wonder that young boys imitate the screen heroes in everyday life and try to convert what they see in films into realities. Education and other experts have repeatedly found that the main source of eve teasing and assaults on girls in our towns and cities, in the market place and elsewhere, is the cinema. Young people see on the screen a hero running after a heroine, approaching and tempting her in subtle ways. Such talk and gestures naturally catch the attention of the immature cinema fans and affect then- thinking and conduct. Thus, the social fabric and the morals of the young people are adversely affected.

The efforts of parents and teachers to give their boys and girls sound education and to teach them good, ethical behaviour and good morals in order that they may become good citizens are thus defeated. The parents own hard- earned money is spent by theft- grown-up boys and girls in watching films which have an adverse impact on character and morals, apart from queering the pitch for the training for good citizenship. The cinema, it is said, can serve as a good medium of education and instruction, and the message that can be conveyed through films cannot be conveyed as effectively through any other channel, such as the radio, because of the colourful, visual impact made by gorgeously dressed girls conducting themselves in a particular fashion, defying their parents and guardians, challenging their judgment, describing them as old-fashioned etc., walking out of their houses at odd hours and sometimes marrying the hero secretly and then creating awkward situations or giving major shocks to their parents.

The love scenes, the amorous couples, the stereotyped formula stories and the eternal triangle all create an effect that is far from healthy or conducive to good morals and good conduct. Young boys and girls are attracted by the affluence and glamour they see on the screen, and there are many cases of youth either running away from home or pressing their parents to let them go to Bombay to try their luck in Bollywood. Each cinema-crazy boy and girl (especially those having an attractive personality) thinks he or she can prosper like – the heroes and the stars seen on the screen. All the stories they hear of top stars being paid lakhs of rupees for each film and living in grand style proves irresistible.

Thousands of young boys and girls have virtually ruined themselves in the senseless quest for becoming cinema stars. Only a handful of talented actors and actresses prosper, while most of the young aspirants have to face intense frustration and utter disappointment because everyone cannot become a cinema hero or heroine. Most of them have to remain content with secondary or supporting roles, sometimes not even that. Another notable aspect of the situation is that whenever some enterprising producer presents a simple, true-to-life story, based on the works of famous short story or fiction writers as Prem Chand or Sarat Chandra, such films, and also art films free of glamour, seldom prove successful and prove to be flops at the box office. The modem audiences want songs and dances, spectacle and gorgeous costumes, love scenes and fights. What sort of citizens can the country hope to produce when the films the young see are totally misleading, lack aesthetical values.

The film censors also seem to be more liberal than ever and allow sex and violent scenes which have a bad effect on the mental make-up of youth. Visiting the cinemas too often at the cost of class lectures and by missing lectures also spoils the education of youth. Instead of imbibing the basic virtues of life, our youth begin to think of flirting and seducing, like the screen heroes. The youth imbibe negative social values. Both rural and urban youth thus fall victims to vicious temptations. It is not contended that there should be a total ban on films. But steps should.certainly be taken to see that good instructive films are made, not trash and ruinous presentations merely to cater to cheap tastes. Indian Cinema is changing for good. But still there are many elements that need to be changed for the betterment of society. Filmmakers need to realize their responsibility towards society, instead of just concentrating on success.

LANGUAGE ACTIVITY

Writing a Review

The given text is a review about the film Bahubli 2. Unlike other reviews where the reviewer talks about the basic plot, the production and acting scene and the box office predictions, this review connects the movie to larger questions that affect the society. One can write reviews about books, plays, movies, products and also services. You could review the World Cup Football finals that you watched or even the food you ate last week in a restaurant near home. To write a good reviw let us first understand what a reviw is and also a few points to help write a review.

A review is a write up that evaluates or judges something. It is a way of letting other people know if you liked a book, film, programme ect. It is a short description to express your opinion and recommendation about a book, film, product ect. Before starting to write a review, do this simple preparatory exercise for writing a film review.

Exercise:

I. Say if the following sentences are True of False.

Question 1.
You should watch a film before writing a review.
Answer:
True

Question 2.
You should give your opinion of the film.
Answer:
True

Question 3.
You should give the basic information of the film including the title, names of actors, director ect.
Answer:
True

Question 4.
You should talk about every individual aspect of the film including cinematography, background score, music, direction ect.
Answer:
True

Question 5.
You should tell the readers whether the film is worth their time.
Answer:
True

II. Reorganize the following sentence and write them in the right order

  1. The special effects in the film are crucial to the storyline and therefore seamlessly entwined with it.
  2. On the whole, it is worth every penny you spend and you can be sure of going through all the emotions of joy, happiness, hatred, and sorrow.
  3. Directed by James Cameron, it is well crafted and spell-binding.
  4. The romantic angle to the film is provided by actors Kate Winslet Leonardo Di Caprio who look very convincing in their roles.
  5. The Titanic is a $200 million film in the tradition of the great Hollywood epics.
  6. It is a wonderful experience to view the journey of the ‘unsinkable ship in the mighty ocean and one cannot help but marvel at the technical craftsmanship involved.
  7. It has both drama and history in the right proportion.
  8. The two fall in love when on a voyage in the ship and become – witnesses of the last hours of the ship.

Answer:
Right order sequence.

  1. The Titanic is a $200 million film in the tradition of the great Hollywood epics.
  2. Directed by James Cameron, it is well crafted and spell-binding.
  3. It is a wonderful experience to view the journey of the ‘unsinkable ship in the mighty ocean and one cannot help but marvel at the technical craftsmanship involved.
  4. The special effects in the film are crucial to the storyline and therefore seamlessly entwined with it.
  5. It has both drama and history in the right proportion.
  6. The romantic angle to the film is provided by actors Kate Winslet Leonardo Di Caprio who look very convincing in their roles.
  7. The two fall in love when on a voyage in the ship and become – witnesses of the last hours of the ship.
  8. On the whole, it is worth every penny you spend and you can be sure of going through all the emotions of joy, happiness, hatred, and sorrow.

Exercise

Write a review of your favorite book/pav/movie/phone/restaurant

REVIEW OF THE KANNADA MOVIE – K. G .F. CHAPTER-I

Ambitions aspiration, humongous scope, and big-ticket budgeting— K.GF. Chapter I has it all. Actor Yash has sought to shed his romantic hero image for a heavy-duty action hero avatar. However, all the pluses do not translate to an enjoyable experience. Director Prashanth Neel’s hope of pouring money on the screen in the hope of things falling in place is exceedingly optimistic. Neel loses the plot as he focuses on image building rather than coming up with a credible tale. Raja Krishnappa Beria aka Rocky takes on the big bad world of gold smuggling. After stopping Inayat Khalil from establishing his fiefdom in the bullion black market in Mumbai, Rocky is sent back home to cross swords with Garuda, who runs the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF with an iron hand.

The plight of the enslaved gold diggers in KGF distracts Rocky. He, however, steels himself to achieve his objective, successfully setting up for Part II.

Despite taking one back to the 70s and 80s when smuggling was almost a rite of passage for the good life, with well-designed sets and black-and-white photography, the film fails to live up to expectations. Filmmakers need to understand that wielding a machete and thundering dialogues do not make a powerful film. Yash goes about his task like a zombie, never rising above the poor script.

The film’s format of a writer telling Rocky’s story to the editor of a TV channel is unconvincing. By using a non-linear structure Neel has provided a different feel and texture to K.G.F. Chapter I. There is a certain finesse to the edgy, moody cinematography (Bhuvan Gowda). The audience will be lost in the world of the goldfields of the 70s. Neel proves again that he is a master of the craft. There are sequences where three scenes run simultaneously. The director has used VFX, and the effort to go on location is evident.

As far as the color scheme is concerned, Neel and Gowda have used black and brown for a raw feel. The climax is spectacular with the support of a brilliant cast. The sets and locations are spots on. Beyond that, there is nothing in the film that we have not seen before. It lacks soul, a believable story, and a rounded protagonist.

Exercise

I. Choose the correctly spelled words among the following:

Question 1.
aprove, approve, approov
Answer:
Approve

Question 2.
receipt, reciept, recept
Answer:
Receipt

Question 3.
momento, memento, mementoe
Answer:
Memento

Question 4.
arguement, argument, argyument
Answer:
Arguement

Question 5.
conscience, consceince, consiounce
Answer:
Conscience

Question 6.
embarrass, embarass, embarras
Answer:
Embarrass

Question 7.
aparrently, apparently, aparently
Answer:
Apparently

Question 8.
calender, callender, calandar
Answer:
Calendar

II. Choose the right word to fill in the blanks

Question 1.
The __________ was against the decision taken by the authorities, (comitee, committee, comittee)
Answer:
Committee

Question 2.
The __________ of several other galaxies has been proved by scientists, (existance, existens, existence)
Answer:
existence

Question 3.
These _____________ lamps are very expensive. (florescent, fluorescent, flourescent)
Answer:
fluorescent

Question 4.
“What _______________?” she asked (happened, happermed, happened)
Answer:
happened

Question 5.
Please attend to this ____________.
(immeddiately, immediately, immediately)
Answer:
immediately

Task exercises

Punctuate the following:
Question 1.
Why are you cry ing asked the teacher
Answer:
“Why are you crying” asked the teacher.

Question 2.
excuse me sir where is the nearest atm.
Answer:
“Excuse me sir, where is the nearest ATM”?

Question 3.
ah how strange how did this happen
Answer:
“Ah! How strange?, How did this happen?”

Question 4.
mrchandra i am not happy with the progress of the project.
Answer:
“Mr. Chandra, I am not happy with the progress of the project”.

Question 5.
my friend Ramya her parent’s brother and other friends are coming today for the party
Answer:
My friend Ramya, her parents, brothers and other friends are coming today for the party.

Question 6.
i really don’t think he knew much about it mrholmes he was looking very bad
Answer:
I really don’t think he knew much about it, Mr.Holmes, he was looking very bad.

Question 7.
did you say you have done bsc
Answer:
Did you say you have done B.Sc?

Question 8.
river kaveri is the lifeline of south india
Answer:
River Kaveri is the lifeline of South India.

Question 9.
we shall meet on Tuesday
Answer:
We shall meet, on Tuesday

Question 10.
raju my friend is ill
Answer:
Raju, my friend is ill.

English Summary

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