May 20, 2024


Entertain Reaching Stars

The Intriguing History of Bollywood

2 min read

Dadasaheb’s Raja Harishchandra, a silent movie produced in 1913, marks the beginning of the history of Bollywood, as Mumbai’s huge movie industry is usually referred to. It was a massive hit and worked as an inspiration for several skilled and creative people to make their own films. The advent of talkies in Bollywood cinema was with Alam Ara in 1931, which was followed by the first colour film in Hindi, titled Kisan Kanya.

The period of the Second World War (1939-1945) coincided with the tumult of the Indian independence movement, and so Bollywood films during this time were often escapist fares to bring some joy to the audience in those difficult times. But, films on social issues were also produced, like Achhut Kanya, a revolutionary movie that dealt with the sensitive issue of casteism, besides the making and release of patriotic movies like Shaheed.

Poverty of the rural masses and undying family values were depicted with unflinching realism in Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957). It was during the same period that Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor made some of their best films, and showed their wonderful directorial and acting talent in movies such as Pyaasa, Awara and Shree 420. Mughal-E-Azam (1960) was a period piece that brought Mughal history on the silver screen with great realism.

Cine stars like Ashok Kumar, Dev Anand, Madhubala and Nargis became very popular, and the whole nation was enthralled by the music of SD Burman and OP Nayyar. Singers like Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar won the hearts of millions of listeners during the 50s and 60s with their melodious songs.

Shammi Kapoor, Bollywood’s answer to Elvis Presley, danced his way to stardom in the rocking 60s. The 70s saw the rise of Amitabh Bachchan with his characters involved in a fight against social and political injustice. The action genre continued into the 1980s, until the nationwide release of Qayamat se Qayamat Tak in 1988, and since then, romantic movies have been popular in Bollywood and can even be seen in the latest bollywood movies. However, today Bollywood movies are much more sophisticated and they have created a global audience.

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