Entertainment entertainment entertainment- the most talked about dialogue of the film ‘The Dirty Picture’, is the real reel backbone of laughter, lust, love story. Every person irrespective of gender, age, temperament needs a place to vent off his stress, depression, agony, feelings & needs someone to tell or hear a story. Court dances, musicians, quawallis, sword fights, animal fights were the first generation of entertainment, then came stage dramas & then the magnificent silent movie era where a person used to stand alongside and give commentary and dialogues followed by the great soundtrack movies- the mind machines of script, sets, costumes, directors, actors and audience.
The process of film making in the world started in the year 1878. The history of movies can be traced down to the last of 18th Century.
The first ever motion picture made was ‘The Horse in motion’ in the year 1878 & the first feature film was ‘The story of Kelly gang’ in 1906. France, England & America were the first in the history of movies to produce motion pictures. The rise of European cinema was interrupted by World War 1 & American cinema took the forward step. In India, to trace the history of bollywood movies, late Dada Sahib Phalke was the first to produce the silent movie in 1913 titled Raja Harishchandra where even the female lead roles were done by men. It was in 1931 that Ardeshir Irani made the first talking movie (with sound track) titled Alam Ara & latter in 1937 the first color movie Kisan Kanya .
The period from 1933 onwards saw the rise of film industry & the British raj also came up with acts to promote English movie versus American in that period, but the technical up man ship of American movies could not be blocked with the weak laws. Hindi movies did gain momentum but the world war 2, was the cause of slow progress in movies & even the story lines were mythological. Iit was after the independence & partition of the country, the sufferings and the partition story’s took the center theme for the history of bollywood movies. The Peshawar boys Dalip Kumar & Raj Kapoor along with Gurdaspaur man Dev Anand (though graduated in Lahore) were the trend setters for their style. The sufferings in the history of bollywood movies were imbibed by Dalip Kumar (Deedar ,Mela) & Raj Kapoor(Aag,Awara ). Themes of unemployment & petty cheatings, gangster,
The period 1950 to 60 was of struggling. Stories of rich landlords excessive money torturing were the prime show stellar. Nargis (Mother India), Rajender Kumar’s (Goonj uthi Shehnai) – it was during this period some of Nehru’s socialism was highlighted in Sunil Dutt’s (Hum Hindustani ), industrialization Dalip kumar ‘s (Paigham ). The mood of the audience was introvert, suppressed & struggling for livelihood movies were less cheering & had a dark side, the period saw sufferings & partition trauma. It was during this time an urban image of laughter coupled with rock music emerged in the form of Shammi Kapoor. The mood swing was to happiness & content and both the history of bollywood movies and the country was in the phase of restlessness to settling .
1960, Nehru’s socialism was high on agenda. The country was thinking of projects & the common man was striving for essential elements and the mood was reflected in the movies of the time. Suddenly the Chinese war broke & new story turn took the center stage, movies like Haqeeqat, Phool bane angaaray & a bunch of war story movies followed in the history of bollywood movies.
The country took a new turn in Vinoba Bhave’s movement where the Dacoits were in rise & surrender to the statesman (police) was the norm. Film industry too took the hot subject & portrayed the time lines in Dalip Kumar’s Ganga Jamuna ,Raj Kapoor’s Jis desh main Ganga Behti hai , Sunil Dutt’s Mujhe jeene do .
The reel life was always the reflection of the time. Love was the element, happy go lucky was the theme & emergence of Shashi kapoor ( Jab Jab phool khile), Rajesh Khanna’s Aradhana and Anand was the answer of time & love stories were the flavor .
Things were going in the direction of love, romances, black-marketing, hoarding but with inputs of the 1971 war & formation of Bangladesh- the themes were again on war movies.
Enter 1970s, the youth was frustrated with rising unemployment, Bombay becoming the underworld to supply imported goods, gold & situation leading to the emergency in the country gave birth to the angry young man, Amitabh Bachchan with his Zanjeer, Sholay, Don, Muqadar ka Sikander were the essence of the happening in the real life for the 1970s and the history of bollywood movies again saw a change.
Come 1980, the country got back its first iron lady Indira Gandhi back to power. The situation in the country was below stable & movies like Amitabh Bachchan’s Inquilab showed the anger of masses/corrupt politicians, but overall the decade was the worst for film industry. Music was low, stories un appealing, issues not addressed. This was the era of Jeetinder with no powerful roles & stories & music too lost its richness & talent took back seat. Music wizards RD Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal were without composing music & street music of Bappi lahri was in. The Disco dancer fever took the swinging youth. The reason for poor movies screening was also attributed to the phenomenon rise of video cassette recorders, pulling the audiences from theaters to drawing rooms & rural people even gathered under trees to see the videos of the movies irrespective of the content. This was the most loss making , un-rememberable period of Bollywood.
Come 1990, the country takes the route to globalization, foreign investments pour into the country, MNCs enter the country with their product portfolio, license raj & the era of shortages takes the back seat, marketers draw new Point of purchase strategies & the New breed of Directors give global stories, love making takes a twist, arrogance & agile approach is seen in the heroes. DDLJ is the treat for eyes and happy marriages are the focus of film makers like Sooraj Barjatiya’s(Hum aapke hain kaun ) & Karan Johars(Kutch kutch hota hai )are the flavor of the decade .
Entry to the millennium 2000 cascaded the history of bollywood movies with globalization, foreign studios, corporate houses entering the film industry & big budget with global audience approach. Films got made with lyrical richness, music, special effects, foreign locales as the main ingredients for the success. The main contributor for watching such movies is the happy go lucky good earning youth with MNC culture with his desire to scream and vent off the work stress along with over worked and time short crazy youth finds the multiscreen display for movies as the catalyst for change.
This millennium started with panoramic approach to multi tasked youth. New Directors with fresh approach & subjects came as a journey to realism, movies of Farhan Akthar’s Dil Chhata hai and Lakshya showed the restlessness in youth & Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhi gum brought the family, values, love, locales of Indians well established overseas, followed by Aditya Chopra’s Mujse dosti karoge.
Movies literally became fun, masti & treat to global families, overseas markets with NRI & local population became the target audience for Indian movies. The canvass changed to superlative effects. India organized awards at all international locations, new movies were marketed at international arenas, even Dharmendra’s Yamla pagla diwana was in talk at Canada film awards .
The journey of Hindi movies from 1940 to date is summed as sorrow, struggle, despair, revenge, awareness, rebellion, good for nothing, love, family values, globalization, corporatization. But every era was unique in itself with footprints of love and hand in hand on that land where dreams come true .