Discussion on Indian Cinema


Discussion on Indian Cinema

Indian Cinema

Cinema is the cheapest and best mode of mass entertainment in India. It is also the biggest medium of entertainment and right from top-notch businessman to the common man on the street, cinema touches all lives and for three hours people forget their cares, worries and tensions and stay glued to the silver screen as the film unfolds and gradually reaches the climax. Even satellite channels and Doordarshan show films to generate revenue through adv1rtising during commercial breaks. Films take viewers from the real world to the reel world of fantasy.

The Indian film industry - the world's largest - officially came into being on May 15,1912 with Pundalik, which was half-British. The film was made by N.G. Chitra and R.G. Tourney. However, the credit for the first Indian production goes to Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, better known as Dada Saheb Phalke, who made the silent film Raja Harish Chandra in 1913. Which is why Dada Saheb Phalke is known as the 'Father of Indian Cinema'. The film was released on May 3, 1913. Four years later Bengal saw the birth of its first feature film Satyabadi Raja Harishchandra and, in 1919, South Indian cinema took root in Madras with Keechak Vadham. The talkie era of Indian cinema began when Ardheshir Irani made Alam Ara, released on March 14, 1931. In the same year, talkie films were made in Bengal and South India. The early 1930s was a decade of social protest in Indian cinema. The 1940s saw some memorable films like Pukar of Sohrab Modi and Kalpana of Uday Shankar, the dance maestro. Along with these, there were mythological like Bharat Milap and Ram Rajya.

The recognition of Indian cinema came in the 1950s with the First International Film Festival of India held at Mumbai in 1952.

In 1953, India heralded one of the greatest filmmakers of the nation - Satyajit Ray, with his path-breaking film Pather Panchali, which won the Best Human Documentary Film at the Cannes Film. Festival, considered to be the world’s most prestigious film festival. Besides, the film also won other international and international awards. Indian cinema now came to be recogised at international fora.

In the late 1960s, parallel cinetl1ll'llas born through the efforts of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak. This era also saw all-time greats like Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt and K. Asif leave their distinct identity on Indian cinema. The first colour film Aan was also released in this decade. Mrinal Sen's Bhuvan Shome marked the beginning of a new wave cinema. It was during this time that a new group of filmmakers such as Basu Chatterjee, Mani Kaul and Kumar Sahni emerged in Mu. In other words, the 1960s can be considered the Revolutionary Decade of Indian Cinema.

The 1970s saw the era of violence ignited by Amitabh Bachchan, although family sagas continued to rule the roost. This decade also saw the beginning of commercial cinema in Mumbai, but in the South, filmmakers like Adoor Gopalkrishnan and Girish Karnad were the trendsetters in Kannada and Malayalam. The 1980s saw the revival of parallel cinema by Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen, Gautam Ghosh, Govind Nihalani et al. Films were now divided into 'art' or 'commercial' categories, Although filmmaking is a commercial venture, thanks to the money required, it is also an art itself.

This was the decade when Hallywood came to India in the form of Richard Attenborough's magnum opus Gandhi. And for the first time, an Indian, Bhanu Athaiya, won the world's most prestigious award - the Oscar - for Costume Designing. Later, Satyajit Ray was also honoured with an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. And during this decade, filmmaker Mira Nair won the Golden Camera Award at Cannes for her directorial debut, Salaam Bombay. Without doubt, this period can be considered the golden era of Indian cinema.


The 1990s brought a touch of sophistication to filmmaking and witnessed a new phenomenon, the "marketing" of movies. During this period, dubbed versions of Hollywood movies went down well with Indian audiences. Shekhar Kapoor became the first Indian to direct an English film, Elizabeth. And a turning point for Indian cinema came when the film world was accorded the status of "Industry" by the Government of India. Indian cinema has undergone a complete metamorphosis with all the gloss and sizzling bodies; unfortunately the 'soul' of Indian cinema is missing. 

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