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Lights! Camera! Action! – These words were first heard by the Indian audience’s long back in 1912. Since then Indian cinema has travelled a long way from Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harischandra. Cinema which is the lifeline of many Indians turned 100 years on 21st April, 2012. Indian cinema has indeed come a long way from what it used to be a century ago. It is now not merely about running around the trees and emotional outburst. Films nowadays have more character and a strong storyline to depend upon to become a box office hit.
The Mumbai based film industry nicknamed as Bollywood is the largest producer of films over all world. It is soon catching on to its English counterpart in terms of business, technology and content. It’s primarily because of the fact that now the new generation does not eat everything which is served on their plate like it used to do ages ago.
Now the audience demands content and that too good one. Of course there are exceptions like ‘Dabangg’ and ‘Rowdy Rathore’ in the recent times which became runaway hits but that was probably because of the huge fan following of Salman khan and Akshay Kumar rather than the content.
Cinema has matured in terms of everything ranging from acting to music to content but one thing over the decades has remained constant the concept of hero worship. Indian cinema has seen some magnificent actors ranging from the great Raj Kapoor to evergreen Dev Anand or the ever charming Dilip Kumar. People back then would throb to the theaters just to watch their favourite hero or heroine doing their signature step or gig. But with the changing times the script has become the new hero. Earlier films had more emotional content in them which used to hit the audience straight in the heart and they used the feel the pain which the protagonist used to go through.
Cinema during its impeccable journey of hundred years has witnessed a vast range and mix of movies from romantic to action to emotional. Whether it was Ramesh sippy’s out and out action film Sholay or K. Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam they all had a certain charm about themselves and thus were able to engrave their names in the heart of cinema lovers for lifetime. The music which is considered as the soul of a film was much more calm and melodious at that time as compared to today’s music which is more towards the rock and pop genre. Songs back then were abruptly placed rather forced in a movie completely out of the sync of the story but now with the advent of new media and technologies songs in a movie are much more appropriately placed and somehow help to take the story forward. Cinema whether old or new has survived the test of time.
Over the years, it has also been a source of great entertainment for the general masses, a form of relaxation which anybody would love to enjoy on any given day. Things would come and go but for Indians the love of cinema would never die and as for all the cinema Minacs out there we can only hope that our cinema hits many and many more centuries and we never get to hear those dreadful words “Pack up”!
(First Published in Youth 24×7)