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Thursday, February 4, 2016

:: Hindi Movies : : An overview commentary ::

:: Introduction ::
The journey of Indian movies began with the first silent feature film “Raja HArishchandra”. The first in Hindi Movies was directed by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913. The talkies started in the year 1931, with “Alam Ara”, by Ardeshir Irani. The movie not only revolutionised the movie industry in the whole of India, but also had a huge impact in the music market.
“Kisan Kanya” was the first colour movie, and this was also from the house of Ardeshir Irani.
The industry of Hindi films that was earlier scattered in Calcutta (presently Kolkata), Pune and Bombay (presently Mumbai) seems to have now centralised mostly in Mumbai. The industry has completed its journey of 100 years and now is one of the largest in the world churning out more than 200 movies per year. The industry of Hindi movies caters not only to the Indian subcontinent, but also to the world wide viewership across all continents.
:: A Brief History::
During its formative years i.e; the 1930s and 1940s, the world and India was in troubled times. The Great Depression, the Freedom movement in India, partition was taking toll on the subcontinent and the world as a whole. At that point of time Indian cinema most Hindi Movies were escapist, with only a handful of directors had the courage to tackle social issues or the Freedom movement as the backdrop. Mostly films were lavish romantic musicals with a heavy mix of melodrama. Other than this there were films based on Indian mythology, or Indian History. The makers thought of using cinema as a media to educate the mass, and also keep the Indian values and virtues alive through films. Even these days most Indian films or the commercial Hindi movies tend to portray the main characters of the film in perfect Indian values and cultural virtues, and the antagonists the other way round. It is learnt that a film named “Raja Harishchandra”, a mythological character who stuck to his path of honesty and truth throughout his life, had a huge impact on Mahatma Gandhi during his formative years.
: :The Golden Age of Hindi Cinema : :
The post Independence period of 1940 to 1960s is termed as the golden period of Hindi Cinema. Some of the most critically acclaimed cinemas were produced and made during this period. The films dealt mainly with urban working class and their story. Films depicted the urban dream and dread with a perfect mix, and some films the unreality of urban life. But the films also gave a ray of hope to all. Awaara, Pyassa, Mother India, Mughal-e-Azam, are some of the most renowned films during that era. The screen was dazzled by some extremely talented actors like Guru Dutt, DIlip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Madhubala, Nutan and many more. The respected directors included Bimal Roy, Kamal Amrohi and so on.
: : Emergence of Parallel Cinema ::
During the 1950s another type of cinema started to gain popularity among the intellectual mass, which is also known as “Art Films”, or the “Parallel Cinema”. It was Indian New wave cinema or Indian Neorealism. Though the revolution or generation was led by Bengali films directed by Satyajit Ray, Writik Ghatak, Tapan SInha, the Hindi film industry had Govind Nihalini, Chetan Anand, shyam Benagal  and many more directors bearing and carrying the torch. Some of their films have been featured in “Time Magazine’s “ ‘All Time’ 100 best movie list.
:: Modern Times ::
 Late 1960s and 1970s saw a drastic change in the way Hindi movies were made, and also about the story line. That has changes in a much more diversified way during the 2000. From romantic movies, the dream romances hovering around economically different strata of the society, movies have slowly moved into areas of gangwars, underworld, and violence. Sholay and Deewar are the two remarkable cornerstone films of this era.Till the 1990s this was the main theme of movies, with a few exceptions. This period also produced some low budget homely movies and some exclusive satires like “Jane Bhi Do Yaaro”, which attained a cult status in the Movie Industry. Parallel cinema continued their good-work; the most remarkable one during this period was Salaam Bombay.
The end of 1990s saw the re-emergence of family drama as the mainstay of Hindi movies once again. A generous mix of romance, exclusive song and dance, melodrama, some fight sequences and at the end good wins over bad, and a happy family was the simple story line.
This period also saw the parallel cinema coming to life again, which was going through a lean plhase.
:: Post 2000::
Post 2000 the Hindi movie industry went through a complete makeover, thanks to its world wide exposure and audience. New and good stories started to be filmed, experiments carried on in every aspect of film making took Hindi movies to new heights in terms of quality, cinematography and what not. Bold actors and directors make this possible.
::Song & Dance on Hindi Movies::
Hindi movies particularly the masala or the mainstream movies have some song and dance sequences in them. Most actors in the movie industry are excellent dancers, and the professional choreographers make these dance sequences into a dream of fantasy sequences. Most are shot in beautiful places, and the people can have a glance of the world during this. These dance sequence has a huge role to play in tourism industry world-wide. Many people visit those places after seeing the beauty of them in the dance or film sequence. Many foreign governments encourage Indian films to be shot in their country as they give a huge boost to their tourism industry. Australia, UK, Switzerland are some of the leading countries in this kind of tourism promotion.
These dance numbers are choreographed with pre-recorded songs, mostly sung by professional singers. During its formative years the actors used to sing for themselves. The song in Hindi movies, is a multi-million dollar industry, and is an employment opportunity for talented musicians, singers, composers, poet and many more. As a matter of fact, Hollywood has been inspired by this and now-a-days they are also coming up with musicals and experimenting with music in movies.
The music of movies have actually kept alive the musical heritage and culture of India and Indian subcontinent as a whole. Also the dance heritage thrives on Hindi movies. Regional movies also play their part with aplomb.
Viewership of Hindi movies has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Moviegoers have also grown in their maturity over the years. As a reason mainstream and experimental movies both do excellent business. With funds flowing back, producers and directors are willing to take the risk and do something different. Hindi movies also have the ability to promote brands or products through its global audience. As mentioned earlier, it not only popularise shooting locations and promote tourism over there, they have been known to promote music, art and also generate social awareness on many issues. “Taare Zameen Par” have inspired and educated people about Autism, which was a kind of misunderstood topic in the Indian subcontinent.
Mainstream Hindi movie tends to entertain the mass, from all walks of life. They try to bring the taste and smell of India to the Indian people overseas, as well as to the people living in distant Indian villages. They educate and entertain simultaneously. The main objective is to give a complete entertainment, a dream time, a time free of all those harsh realities of life, when a common audience enters the theatre. Another feature of the movies is to remind the population of the age old traditions and values of Indian family and society, not to forget that crime never pays. All movies end with a win of good over bad, and thereby reminding that it is not worth taking that short cut route. Hindi movies are an ultimate mix of entertainment, education, drama, music and everything that can make a man happy.
With its massive audience and cash rewards Hollywood have also taken the clue, and now have started dubbing movies in Hindi to get a larger audience. Long live Hindi cinemas and let it keep entertaining and serving its purpose around the world.

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