2013 Marks the Centennial of Indian Cinema. The centennial mark was observed because of the 1913 feature-length “Raja Harishchandra,” an adaptation of Sanskrit epics. A rich and appealing cinematic tradition emerged from here. This was the era when Indian films were being recognized for their commercial appeal. In the starting 21st century, there was a tendency for Bollywood to show inclination towards the western movie culture. Shortening running times, cutting musical numbers, censoring superfluous parts of the movie all emerged as a culture henceforth.
Indian Cinema was born on 3rd May, 1913. Since 1913, Indian Cinema has made a long journey from silent movies to sound ones and black and white to colored ones. From Madhubala to Leela Chitnis, each star left their remarks in bollywood. Late 60s and early 70s was the era of Big B, Dharmendar, Hema Malini, and Jaya Bhaduri. There was something dangerously hormonal about the Kapoor family. Sashi Kapoor was the most celebrated personality of the era. One can imagine his photograph having a red lipstick heart secretly kept in chemistry book, a happily married man whom the female-fans could see but never touch. Wherever he went, was followed by a liquid sigh. He was the kind of man who when came on stage made everything disappear. Like Amitabh Bachchan, Sashi Kapoor’s life is one thing which justifies the existence of Wikipedia. He was a man born with spring on his soles.
1960’s was the era of superstar Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla. From ‘Dil toh pagal hai’ to ‘Dil wale dulhaniyan le jaenge’, a series of hits sprawled up. The 21st century now became the most popular era with all kind of movie segments. Indian cinema faced technological and digital developments in this century. Movies of the 20th century had romance and family life as their genre whereas movies of the 21st century showed inclination towards rom-com, sci-fi and action. 20th century had hand-made posters and 21st century movies tried their hands in digitalized posters. The 20th century “Himmatwala” was a great success whereas the 21st century “Himmatwala” was an epic fail of Cinema. Biopic started as a new trend. Paan Singh Tomar grossed 65.0 million (US$980,000) net in week one and was declared semi-hit in bollywood. Mary Kom is a 2014 Indian biographical sports drama film with Priyanka Chopra in the lead role as the eponymous boxer. The film collected 75 million (US$1.1 million) on its opening day. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag released on 12 July 2013 in 1200 screens worldwide including 140 screens in USA. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics.
2012 was the bad phase of Indian Cinema where many eminent faces left us. Rajesh Khanna died on 18th July 2012 of Cancer. Yash Chopra died of Dengue Fever on 21 October 2012. Legendary actor Pran passed away and the industry lost the godfather of Indian villains. Jiah Khan’s demise shocked the entire industry. The girl, who entered Bollywood and made her debut opposite Amitabh Bachchan, created waves with her hot and sultry personality Veteran actor Deven Varma, passed away in 2014 succumbing to heart attack. Suchitra Sen has been a part of several memorable Bollywood films like Devdas and Aandhthe legendary actress had suffered a massive heart attack due to which her condition became very critical. Suchitra Sen passed away at the age of 82 at a hospital in Kolkata. Zohra Sehgal was the grand old lady of Bollywood. The actress lived till 102 years before she succumbed to a cardiac arrest. Her last onscreen performance was playing a grandmother in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya in 2007 .
India Cinema is the proper amalgamation of ‘masala’ movies. Not all Indian films are masala films, but masala films are uniquely Indian. Everything is heightened: the hero’s heroism, the heroine’s beauty, the villain’s evil. Another, simpler way to look at masala is as you would approach Shakespeare, or any classical dramatic literature- Sudden thunderstruck, low comedy, high drama and when necessary swords!