Bollywood, in all its glory, has had a journey so vast and royal, that keeping up with it seemed like a task in the olden days. But today, with access to so much technology, reviews and trailers come to us in a matter of seconds.
So without further ado, let me take you through the journey of Bollywood, and the kind of cinemas, movies and plays it had to come up with before becoming the multi-billion dollar industry that it is today.
Let’s go (wayyyy) back in time, during the 1800’s, when the Lumiere brothers came to India with the intention of introducing what constitutes today’s Bollywood world- cinematography and that is hoe the journey began!
Dadasaheb Phalke was the first person to make a silent feature film, named Harishchandrachi Factory, in 1913, where all characters – both men and women – were played by men themselves because back then, being an actor was not only looked down upon but also women were encouraged to not go out of the house other than for domestic purposes. 1919 saw a South-Indian film, named Keechaka Vadham, that featured Dadasaheb’s daughter, Mandakini as the first female child-actor.
He was a great inspiration to a lot of people, because of which about 200 films went on to play till the 1930’s.
Post which came the era of Alam Ara – the first sound film in 1931, and in 1932 came Ayodyecha Raja. A trend began to form, in the 30’s and 40’s, in the history of Indian cinema, despite all political struggles and the Freedom Movement. Cinema halls and screening halls were built for the audience’s needs, movies and cinema started gaining popularity and fame.
Although there was a brief decline in the Film Industry after the Second World War, the Modern Indian Film Industry showed rapid growth around the time that India got its Independence.
Then of course, in the 50’s and 60’s, cinema started booming. History and life took a step back to promote socio-political messages and old malpractices like dowry, sati, polygamy came into light for the need to be abolished.
The films of that time, like Babul and Aankhen in the 50’s and the legendary Mughal-E-Azam and Chaudhvin Ka Chand in the 60’s came into light.
In the 70’s, came actors like Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, and Hema Malini, and well, cinema was never the same after that. Mera Naam Joker, Khamoshi, and Purab Aur Paschim were just few of the hits of that/all time. And of course, with the great Amitabh Bachchan came Sholay – a movie that continues to hold high regard for people even today.
In the 80’s came Karz and Khoobsurat with the advent of Rekha and Tina Muneem.
The 90’s were a groundbreaking time with a whole batch and generation of new actors – starting with the Khan-daan — Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Aamir Khan and women like Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, Kajol, and many more. This time released extremely successful and house full movies like Raja Hindustani, Aashiqui, Dil and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
In the 21st century, we saw International cinema be a huge factor in making movies and bringing multiplexes into existence, overseas distribution for Bollywood, and so much more, making Bollywood into the money-minting and distribution factory that we all lovingly cherish today. And it also created movies like Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Devdas, Baghbaan, Swades, Parineeta, Don, Chak De India, Ghajini, Wake Up Sid and Dabangg from 2000 till 2010, bringing in new faces and new generations of actors to work on the big-screen. This included Slumdog Millionaire, a movie that went on to win the Oscars for Music and Production.
Post 2010, we’ve all seen how cinema has grown, with movies like Bodyguard, Barfi, Chennai Express, PK, Piku, Dangal and Raees, from 2011 till 2017 – most of which were widely acclaimed movies and went on to become international hits, with movies getting fans and popularity all over the globe.
And now, while we are almost looking at the last quarter of 2018, we’ve come far enough to see a movie like Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho with Ayushmann Khurrana and hope that will get a new wave of Commerce + Art in the industry.
So this long and arduous journey of Bollywood has been nothing short of a marvel. From Harishschandrachi Factory to Thugs of Hindostan, the recognition and change that Bollywood has seen has been phenomenal. We just hope that even through these changes in movies, we keep seeing an inspiring change – and get to see some even better movies in the near future.