Tag Archives: history and culture

Evolution of Bollywood- from 1920’s to 2020

Lights Camera Action……..!!!!!

The word Bollywood is a play on Hollywood, with the B coming from Bombay (now known as Mumbai), which is the center of the Indian film world.The word was coined in the 1970
As their popularity grow, movies created in the Mumbay’s reached the number of 200 annual movies, West continued to ignore cinema efforts of Indian filmmakers, but they acknowledged them when India managed to overtook America as the biggest producer of movies in the world.

In 1913 and the silent film “Raja Harishchandra”the first-ever Indian feature film and First full-length Bollywood silent movie.Its producer, Dadasaheb Phalke, was Indian cinema’s first mogul, and he oversaw the production of 23 films between 1913 and 1918 Dadasaheb Phalke is considered the father of Indian cinema.

Its great success paved the way for the countless movies that followed him and the expansion of the indian cinema industry to incredible heights. One of the largest successes of that time was “Alam Ara” from 1931, sound movie that became basis of the joyful modern Bollywood musical. First Indian Colour movie “Kisan Kanya” was created in 1937, but such movies found popularity only in late 1950s and early 1960s.

Gaining independence from the British Raj was tough and spanned from 1857 to 1947 – lasting a gruelling 900 years. However, the struggles in gaining India’s independence enthused the film industry. Some of the most critically acclaimed films in Indian cinema were created during this time and explored the difficult working-class life in India and the reality of urban life.

It was around 1947 that the industry went through significant changes. The historical and mythological stories of the past were now being replaced by social-reformist films, The 1950s saw filmmakers such as Bimal Roy and Satyajit Ray focusing on the lives of the lower classes, who until then were mostly ignored as subjects.

Golden Age of Indian cinema took place between 1940s and 1960s. During that time countless influential Bollywood movies were released, exploring new storytelling techniues, social themes (mostly struggles and wonders of urban life), epic productions such as Mother India (1957). This period also popularized many Indian actors (Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt) and actresses such as (Nargis, Vyjayanthimala, Meena Kumari, Nutan, Madhubala, and others).

1950 – The decade of extreme close-up The black and white era of 1950s was marked by songs shot in static frames with all the action happening through the eyes and eyebrows of our lead actors. So from extreme close-ups of the face to some relevant cut-ins of the moon, the flowers and the rustling of leaves, Bollywood songs welcomed more elements of dynamics of romance. Leading from the 1960s to the early 1970s came the birth of Modern Bollywood Cinema. This included the domination of two distinct genres: boy-meets-girl romance films and gritty action productions.

1960 – The decade of pure dance and enchnating eyes
Actors like Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha slowly brought dance in the 1960s. Songs like “Honton Mein Aisi Baat” and “Piya Tose Naina Laage Re” resonate not just the beauty of these divas but also the sanctity of songs of this era. Even in their guest appearances Helen, Bindu and Aruna Irani became the perfect face of RD Burman’s tracks in the 1970s. They either happened inside the villain’s den or were meant to add thrill to the climax. From “Piya Tu Ab To Aaja” to “Mera Naam Hai Shabnam” and “Chadti Jawani Meri Chaal Mastani”, the songs of this phase still hold a place in our party playlist.In the 1970’s the name “Bollywood” was officially coined as conventions of commercial Bollywood films truly became defined.

1980 – The decade of growing romance.
Come 1980s and the royal reign of RD Burman continued Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman lead the epic playlist of this era. “Pyar Mein Dil Pe Maar De Goli” had as much stuff happening in the song as in “Pyaar Karne Wale”.
Music and songs in this period were intimately connected to the storyline. They were written and woven as per the requirements of the film and in the respective situations.While Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar and Hemant Kumar were the mainstay of the playback singing scene, big actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor gave them the apt face value. This perfect combination reciprocated well onscreen too. Bachchan’s songs were either playful or had intense action happening (not literal fighting but the thrill of the climax).
Towards the second half of 1980s and early 1990s, we had films like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Ram Lakhan, Saajan and Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin – all musical blockbusters. On the other side of the camera, it introduced us with the voices of Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu, on the front these songs majorly had a dreamy set-up, making anyone fall in love. There was romance, longing, betrayal and confessions and every aspect was shot with a proper screenplay of its own. Each song, be it “Pehla Nasha”, “Ae Mere Humsafar”, “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” or “Bahut Pyar Karte Hain”, made us believe in love.

1990 – The decade of Celebration.
The 80s and 90s brought back spotlight romantic musicals and family-centric films, and in 1995, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was released. Becoming the highest grossing Bollywood film of the year and one of the most successful Indian films its soundtrack became one of the most popular of the 1990s. Even today, the film has been showing at a Mumbai cinema, Maratha Mandir, since its original release in 1995. A portion of the 1990s also introduced us to the three khans, madhuri dixit and others.

2000 – The decade of quick moves
Bollywood finally managed to reach outside of India and land in the West. Many of their lavish productions received significant box office success all around the world, especially after the critical success of “Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India” in 2001.

Fourteen days into the new millennium, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai launched Hrithik Roshan overnight superstardom.
Dil Chahta Hai (2001) was differentThe songs by Shankar Ehsaan Loy. One of its lines, appropriately, announced – Hum Hai Naye Andaz Kyun Ho Purana. penned by Javed Akhtar give Dil Chahta Hai a socio-cultural perspective.
A lot was going on in the 2000s. Single screens started to make way for multiplexes. The Hindi film industry, leaving the days of dubious underworld fundings behind, was being corporatised.Stars reinvented themselves. Amitabh Bachchan started acting his age. Aamir Khan – enabler, collaborator, producer and not just actor – promised quality mainstream entertainment, and delivered on most counts Rang De Basanti,Taare Zameen Par,3 Idiots,Hera Pheri (2000) helped find Akshay Kumar, an action star in the 90s, his sublime comic side. Shah Rukh did some of his most loved films – Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), Swades (2004) and Chak De India (2007); Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om.
Lage Raho Munnabhai – which established Raju Hirani as a major director .
New faces like Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai added to the star value. Both being brilliant dancers with beautiful personalities shone onscreen. Aamir’s antics in tracks like “Aati Kya Khandala”, made each of their song a national favourite. And amid Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham to fix any loose ends. This phase saw the canvas of songs grow to exorbitant levels. Bollywood has inspired films overseas including Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire which won four Golden Globes and eight Academy Awards, and Moulin Rouge which director Baz Luhrmann says was influenced by Bollywood Musicals

2010 – The decade of New era
As 2000s entered its second decade, the “item songs” were back and with more action. 2010 alone gave us two of the biggest recent tracks – “Munni Badnaam” and “Sheila Ki Jawani”.

This was the Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone-Anushka Sharma-Ranveer singh phase giving movies – Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani, Bajirao Mastani,Ramleela, Sui Dhaaga Their songs emphasised their beauty as the camera moved in and out of their face to their chiselled appearance.

In years to come, Abhishek Chaubey’s revisionist dacoit film, Sonchiriya, and two fine festival titles from 2018:
historicals (Manikarnika, Panipat), war films (Uri: The Surgical Strike), action blockbusters (War),patriotic (Kesari)
Also blockbuster Khan’s gave ,Bajrangi Bhaijaan,sultan , My name is khan,Raees, Dangal and PK, and he made a killing overseas and Secret Superstar.
Shahid kapoor –Jab We Met,Kabir Singh ,Ayushmann khurrana – Dum laga ke haisha, Dream girl, bareilly ki barfi, Sushant Singh Rajput – Kai Po Che, Chhichhore, M. S.Dhoni, Rajkummar Rao – Stree and Pankaj Tripathi. This new Middle Cinema dovetailed with arthouse film Masaan.
This decade, several actors joined Manoj Bajpayee and Irrfan Khan- Hindi Medium in the fertile middle ground between superstardom and niche acclaim. Nawazuddin Siddiqui broke through in 2012 with Kahaani and Gangs Of Wasseypur.
A number of Indian films from different regions are often included among the greatest films of all times in various critics and directors polls.Indian Cinema will be eternal as decades move on….