VAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, VAHEGURU JI KI FATEH
I REALLY wanted to not do any more wall of text responses, but then there are some that you just cannot help...
Disclaimer: The below is going to look very mean and angry from my responses. In a way it is. But understand that it is directed at the content of the article and the article itself is encouraging feedback and comments. The content is strong as the allegations are strong, given the movie's overwhelming positive reception. The comments are NOT addressed at the writer of this article, but the content itself, in that I do not harbor ill-will or animosity towards her. We are allowed to have our difference of opinion and I find this to be an appropriate vehicle to provide the counterpoint/rebuttal. Lastly, I am not being financially compensated by any movie production studio and am providing my views with the only bias that I like Sikhi movies. Yes, there are typos and misspellings here, I did not have time to (nor do I usually) edit my writing for such.
Glad the positives were recognized, though at times, it sounded strained, as if all of this was done to set up for the negatives.
A) Support the movie financially, morally and in any means possible to encourage more of their kind. B) The Kathavachaks have been repeating the same Katha from Sooraj Parkash for hundreds of years - should we tell them to stop C) The first step to learning is to watch/read over and over. By this action alone, the content seeps into a person's mind and then inner contemplation begins and finally, implementation. We read Gurbani over and over everyday, listen to the same Katha over and over and do seva over and over for a reason. If "rinse and repeat: is inspiring people to be practicing Sikhs, explaining our history and awakening the deep asleep Sikh youth towards their hearitage, why is this an issue?
Everything is effort - perhaps someone needs to spearhead that? Don't expect the Akaal Takht Sahib to do everything for you, the Sikhs - Sikhs and the relevant organizations must do this. Nothing is stopping Vismaad from petitioning likewise.
https://www.facebook.com/#!/video.php?v=665201160259629 - most of this critique can be rebutted through this movie. Of note, Mr. Baweja was interviewed and explicitly stated that he had the script reviewed by the SGPC and stamped so nobody could come back and say it was inaccurate. the beef over content should be with the SGPC.
We'll make more money. If the Sikhs can take a wasteland that was Indian Punjab and make it into the most productive agricultural area in the region, then the well off Sikhs of today can certainly make more money. What money have we spent on the movie? I don't recall anyone forcing anyone to see the movie or demanding investments while the movie was being made. Sad reality - many Sikhs watch nonsensical, anti-Gurmat movies all the time. I don't see anyone raising hue and cry over that state of the Panth. What about the bhangra/gidda/kabaddi and all the other things that invite manmat, kurehits? Has Singhstation campaigned as hard against those social illnesses? The question to ask is if we can spend 10-20 dollars or whatever denomination to inspire others with Sikhi, is it worth it? I could spend thousands of dollars and speak at Gurdwaras and still have less effect than that 10-20 dollar equivalent ticket. Sounds like this movie is doing more per dollar than all of our parchariks combined. I don't even see anyone giving the movie creators and associated staff expensive cars of doing matha tek to them!
We are not starving of money and this spending will only encourage more movies like this and force other studios to step up their game. Same happened with Sadda Haq - great movie that encouraged others to be produced. The critics were very shortsighted in their barrage of complaints against the movie, its creators and the inaccuracies. The viewing audience voted with their money and now there is a vested monetary incentive to produce Sikhi related movies and songs as it sells. Call it whatever you will, this IS a form of parchar.
It's not flowing out anywhere. Maybe it will flow out of the barber shops and liquor thekas back towards Sikhi. That seems to be a point not being considered here. If hundreds or thousands are inspired towards the Sikhi path away from drugs, alcohol and patit-ness, this movie is causing a net gain to Sikhi. Sorry, the economics being presented is off.
Outside of the Vismaad productions and Proud to be Sikh (which I still can't find anywhere to see), I have never heard of the other movies. Sorry, PR and media sells and the makers of Char Sahibzadae did it right - big in its PR, good in quality and ground-breaking in its 3D. The world will teach anyone that if you make a great thing, but are unable to tell anyone about it, it's effects will be minimal, if at all (current state of Sikhi, come to think of it). They made it, they put it in so many locations that the audience was able to see it and they are reaping the rewards for being able to do so. Please don't blame the Char Sahibzadae for doing something that the other movie production studios were unable to do.
I say this being an active volunteer for Vismaad (at least in the past releases) in the local area with other Gursikhs who had to work their butts to get it to show in one (only one) theater for one weekend - and that took a month of effort. I know Bhai Sukhvinder Singh personally and he is a great Gursikh. I hope this success of the Char Sahibzadae inspires him and Vismaad studios to go for better, bigger and 3D. It is not a competition - we have so few movies related to Sikhi that whenever one comes out, the Gursikhs (at least here) run to see it. No money is being taken away from anyone. The only thing this movie threatens to do is that the next time an animated film comes out, it WILL be compared to Char Sahibzadae, so all production studios should take note of this.
What studies? Are they double blind, multi-national, adequately powered, randomized? This is not a drug being brought to the market, it's a MOVIE. Finally, the difference is that it is about choice - the audience is CHOOSING to see this movie based on others' feedback and continue to compound the favorable reviews because is really is a good movie. Are their shortcomings? Yes. I can tell you that I am one of the stone hearted individuals who did not shed a tear in that movie - the reason was Mata Gujri's portrayal and I will be the first to admit that her portrayal was inaccurate and a few others (history says that the Vadde Sahibzadae killed hundreds in the battlefield, not a handful, and a couple of other minor issues. I was emotional during Vismaad's Sahibzadae production, but that is because the history is such). But the Vismaad that you are portraying as superior also has inaccuracies. I highly doubt that Gursikhs were jailed with Kirpans and bana as shown in the beginning of Bhai Subeg Singh Bhai Shabaz Singh and in the Sahibzadae movie. Such license has to be taken to get an audience to relate the characters and the settings to what they know. Nobody would know that a Nishan Sahib originally had a Kataar, Tegh and Dhaal on it, but that would be the historically accurate thing to portray. These artistic licenses have to be taken to get the viewer involved and relate to the story being told. In Sahibzadae, Mata Gujri is seen as angry at Gangu and calling him an akritghan before she is escorted to the Mughals, whereas other accounts see Mata Ji as always content and never uttering such language. The Char Sahibzadae clearly provided that disclaimer in the beginning of the movie that there was use of artistic license to appeal to the audience. if historical accuracy is desired, please read books. In fact, movies such as these are likely to inspire at least a few handful of viewers to read for more detail - all the better.
I pay the same for both movie tickets. The makers of Char Sahibzadae did not come to my door and ask for money. Vismaad does actively campaign for funding of their priojects. Would I give them both money? YES. What is the problem exactly if they used loads of THEIR OWN money to make this movie and we are buying tickets and seeing the movie? What cost is being referred to here? So it is wholly better that movies not be made like this and our youth spoil their minds with filth like Minions, Lord of the Rings, Spongebob and others? The argument doesn't hold water.
Let me explain this simply. The creators of Char Sahibzadae made a movie, put it out in the media on a large scale, the audience loved it, voted with their money and found it to be a wonderful movie. Question: Who right now in our community is able to do such a project? Do you (any of the readers) know anyone (please don't say Vismaad - I am more than aware of their budgetary constraints and Bhai Sukhvinder Singh would be more than willing to admit this). There is NOBODY. Stop pretending that there is, because there isn't. Those who are (SGPC) will NEVER do this for the Sikhs. This is reality. I am sorry it is this way, but it is.
I didn't know there was a flood of them of equivalent quality. Please provide a list of these hundreds of movies. Personally, the pool of movies is so shallow, I could probably marathon-watch them all in a week. It's not like we have a Sikh Movie Archive, and if we did, we could probably house them all in one filing cabinet.
Maya Di Barhi Phikar Payi???!! Guru Sahib will send us more, don't worry. Spend it on Sikhi affairs and the Sikhs will never be poor. We are one of the richest communities in the world in a per person basis. I don't need a study to exhibit this - it is apparent from the flashy suits, cars and cell phones.
Long term? What long term? Worry about the next 5-10 years and how many youth will be patits and others addicted to drugs, alcohol, gangs, relationships and other manmat. Our religion is bleeding Sikhs to manmat and non-Sikhi activities. I say spend like fools on whatever will stop this flood and get them back towards Sikhi.
Again, it is a CHOICE. It is not mandated by the Akaal Takht Sahib to see this movie. I will readily accept that there are shortcomings in this movie and that should be the subject of any criticism and CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. But it is ground-breaking, of a quality that I would not be embarrassed to recommend to Americans, Canadians, etc. (basically Westerners) who are not Sikh to demonstrate a chapter in our history.
TL;DR: Stop bashing a good movie. The counterpoints don't make sense