Bollywood, or the Hindi film industry of India which produces almost 1000 films every year is the world’s largest film industry. From the time the first Indian sound film, Alam Ara was produced in 1931 till the present decade, this industry has a remarkably rich history of producing a variety of movies, showcasing different spheres of Indian life, in myriad themes, be it comedy, romance, thriller, horror or drama. However, there has been a changing trend in the representation of Indian films through the years. The way movies were made in the 1950s is completely different from the way it is done in the twenty first century.
In this presentation I would like to share the changes that the Indian film industry has seen over the decades.
In order to understand the trends better let us divide it into 4 phases!
The first phase would consist of the movies made from the 1940s till the early 1960s. This phase is called the “Golden Era of the India cinema” where critically acclaimed movies like Awaara(1951), Shree 420(1955) and Mother India(1957) to name a few were made. These movies revolved around the common man, who faced various struggles in life, which the audience could relate to and would finally come out as a man with the right morals. These stories showed the protagonist to be poor who even though wavered from his path (mainly due to greed and success) would finally realize his mistakes and be a better person in the end and overcome his troubles in a just manner.
The second phase is the phase from late 1960s to the early 1980s. This phase saw a distinctive shift in the general storyline of the movies. Movies like Aradhana( 1969) , Anand (1970) , Bobby (1973) and Sholay(1975) mark this period. Â These movies were more action based and romantic in nature. Violence became an integral part of the movies, and a lot of emphasis was given on villains, who were basically underworld mafias. The image of the “angry young man” was introduced here, a brooding hero who was very good at delivering his punches and kicks, would destroy the villains and win the lady’s heart in the end. A lot of films during this time revolved around this basic theme.
The third phase is from the late 1980s till early 2000s. This phase saw the most diverse shifts in the movie-making procedure in India. Advanced technology was introduced in the country. The first Indian sci-fi movie Mr. India was released in 1987 which was a runaway hit. Romance was still the main theme. Romance films have been popular with the masses in India. The target audience in the romance genre is youth. As urban populations grew in the 80s, the number of youth-centric romantic comedies increased considerably.The new wave of romance movies had situational comedy that became a hit with audiences.
A lot of movies were shot abroad in this phase. Some of the best Bollywood romance movies and romantic comedies from late 1980s to early 2000s are – Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak- 1988, Andaz Apna Apna- 1994 Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge- 1995, Jab we met (2007) , Dostana(2008) and others.
The last and the ongoing phase started in late 2000s. This phase introduced a lot of technical advancements in the ways movies are made. From Koi Mil Gaya(2003) Ra.One(2011) to Mission Mangal (2019) movies put a greater emphasis on the visual effects rather than the story. A lot of movies have been shot abroad, with only the mention of India.
Categories: Culture and History, Entertainment, India
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