The Hindi film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, is much like the Indian curry which has the right proportion of spices, resulting in a perfect blend of tanginess, hotness and sweetness thereby satisfying each of your taste buds. So, in other words, here you get to see romance, action, drama and music in a single film.
The first Indian movie, a combination of six short films, was made in the year 1896. However, the first motion picture to be screened was ‘The Wrestlers’ in 1899. It was made by a portrait photographer Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatavdekar. It was a reality movie that showed a local wrestling match.
Bollywood, however, finally arrived in 1913 with Dadasaheb Phalke’s ‘Raja Harishchandra’
The Golden Era
The years between 1950s and 1960s comprise the Golden Era in Bollywood. This is the time when memorable films like ‘Shree 420’, ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ etc. were made and actors like Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt etc. arrived.
Though commercial cinema flourished during this time, art cinema too got recognition. Films by Satyajit Ray, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal etc. were very much acclaimed.
The Masala Film
This concept evolved in the 1970s and continues till date. The decade saw the arrival of some of the most popular Hindi film actors like Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman, Tanuja, Rekha, Jaya Bhaduri etc.
The 70s and the 80s served as the heyday years for Bollywood with the release of popular films like ‘Anand’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Umrao Jaan’, ‘Shaan’, ‘Knoobsurat’ etc.
The late 80’s saw the introduction of the two of the three Khans in Bollywood, Amir Khan with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak in 1988 and Salman Khan with ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ in 1989.
The iconic 90s
This decade presented a combination of romance, thriller, action as well as comedy films. It is this time when the third Khan Shahrukh Khan made his debut with ‘Deewana’ in 1992.
The 90’s is also memorable for giving Indian cinema a technological boost with Dolby Digital sound, special effects and advanced choreography, thereby giving it global recognition.
The period was ruled by the three Khans, Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit, Kajol, Karishma Kapoor, etc.
Music in Bollywood
Music has always been a very important part of Hindi films. Some popular music directors of the industry are Madan Mohan, RD Burman, OP Nair, Anu Malik, A R Rehman etc.
Bollywood does not really care if it is criticized for breaking into song-and-dance every often in some exotic foreign location. This is because the industry thrives on it and the audience absolutely adores this unique feature. Logical or illogical, ‘song and dance’ sequences in Indian cinema are one of its most distinct characteristics.