One hundred years back the first silent feature film Raja Harishchandra was released in India on 3rd may 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke. A century later, Bollywood is still producing movies and establishing milestones .Indian cinema commonly known as bollywood is a flourishing and unique industry. Indian cinema has changed from the black and white silent films to 3D movies but it continues to retain its basic concept of ‘larger than life ’.The silent era ended when Ardesher Irani produced first talking movie-Alam Ara in 1931.The talkies changed the trend of Indian cinema.
The era of forties was a chaotic decade. The first half was witnessed by war and the second saw drastic political changes in the world. In 1945,’Kismet’ movie starring Ashok Kumar came and became one of the biggest hits in the history of Indian cinema. After this movie a close relationship between epic consciousness and the art of cinema was established. Filmmakers like V.Shantaram, Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor and Mehboob Khan gave the hit films. 1940s to late 1950s was also the golden era of music. Shankar Jaikishan, O.P. Nayyar, Madan Mohan, C. Ramchandra, Salil Chaudhury, Naushad, S.D. Burman – all had their unique style. Each one produced some of the most unforgettable melodies India has ever known.
The Golden Fifties
The era of 50s and 60s were considered as the Golden Age of Indian cinema. Filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, Mehboob Khan, K Asif, Raj Kapoor, KV Reddy, L V Prasad and Ramu Kariat made superhit films and they went on to make classics like Pather Panchali, Madhumati, Do Bheega Zameen, Shree 420, Awaara, Pyasa, Mother India, Mughal E Azam, Mayabazar and Chemmeen among many other films.The 70s completely changed the way films were made. Narration and story style were changed. Masala films were the demand of the time. Sholay was the biggest hit of that time. A remarkable performance by starcast especially by Gabbar remains unforgettable. It was also the age of the angry young man Amitabh Bachchan who gave Sholay, Zanjeer and Deewar. While Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Jitendra and Dharmendra continued to bask in the glory of back to back hits, the actresses were not far behind. Right from the time of Savitri, Vyjayanthi Mala, Nargis, Waheeda Rahman and Sharmila Tagore to Sridevi, Rekha, Smita Patil, Hema Malini, several actresses became heartthrobs of the nation.
While Indian commercial cinema enjoyed popularity than Indian art cinema did not go unnoticed. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Ritwik Ghatak, Aravindan, Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Shaji Karun and several other art film directors were making movies that gave India international fame and glory. The eighties saw the beginning of women film makers such as Vijaya Mehta, Aparna Sen, Sai Pranjpye, Kalpana Lajimi and Meera Nair.
And then in 90’s, it was a mixed genre of romantic, thrillers, action and comedy films. A stark upgrade can be seen on the canvas as technology gifted the industry Dolby digital sound effects, advanced special effects, choreography and international appeal. The development brought about investments from the corporate sector along with finer scripts and performances. It was time to shift focus to aesthetic appeal. And stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Rajnikanth, Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Chiranjeevi, Juhi Chawla and Hrithik Roshan began to explore ways to use new techniques to enrich Indian cinema with their performances.
In recent years, Hindi cinema has undergone with a change due to the emergence of new age filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap, Rajkumar Hirani, Dibakar Banerjee and Vishal Bhardwaj. As the world has become a global village, the Indian film industry has reached out further to international audiences.
Indian cinema, despite all its peculiarities, has been a reflection of the socio-economic, political and cultural changes that took place in the country. Here’s we are hoping that Indian movies continue to entertain us the way they have been doing since 10 decades.