Cinema, otherwise known as a motion picture or film, brings joy and excitement to a lot of Indians. We, Indians, have made cinema an integral part of our lives. It’s not just the kids in the millennium era who find it fascinating but the tradition of cinephile was present since its inception. Films in itself have encountered evolution, from the cinema with no colour to the cinema now which is full of colours; from the multiple reels to the single showreel; from zero graphics to animation and from a single-take artist to “no comments”. Thus, Darwin’s theory of evolution holds good for cinema, as well. Although there is no such evidence in history that can entertain the starting point of cinema, it is considered that Lumière brothers were the ones who introduced the motion picture to the real world.
India witnessed the first motion picture in the late 1910s and was introduced by late Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, also popularly known as Dada Saheb Phalke, through the film “Raja Harishchandra”. He is also considered to be the “Father of Indian cinema”. Although it was a silent film, little did he know that he was giving birth to an art form whose sound will echo around the world in the decades to come. His initiative propelled the rise of many filmmakers in our country. Although it took nearly two decades after Raja Harishchandra for the first motion picture with sound to release i.e Alam Ara directed by Ardeshir Irani which was released on March 14, 1931, and the seed of colour cinema was also sowed through ‘Kisan Kanya’ directed by Moti B Gidwani in 1937.
Golden Era Of Indian Cinema
Indian filmmakers call the era after the end of British Raj as “The Golden Era” from the 1940s to the 1960s. This was the time when parallel cinema came into existence and Bengali filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and many more were the pioneers and major contributors. It was the impact of Indian theatre and Bengali literature which gave rise to the parallel cinema and its influence was encouraged in many parts of the country, as well. Especially, in the southern part of our country, filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli from Karnataka was one amongst them to carry the torch and introduce it to the Kannada audience.
New Age Cinema
On the other hand, films which had songs, dance, fight, and so-called heroism were equally dominating the Indian film industry. These films were and are still also called as full-fledged commercial films. They have always been prolific in imbibing the audience with its intriguing content, be it with the typical family drama, a stereotypic love story or Shahrukh Khan’s “Palat” theory. Time and again Indian cinema has left its mark on the global platform through actors like Amitabh Bachchan with his acting skills or Aamir Khan for the movies he chooses.
Talking of the process of film making, a lot has also transformed and Indian filmmakers have been successful with the adaptation to this evolving craft. While filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap articulated the Indian audience, he proved that a realistic film like ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ can be made with a commercial outline. On the other hand, South Indian director SS Rajamouli created a fictional world and took the Indian audience to places which were less peddled, with his ‘Bahubali’. However, the Indian diaspora has also been a major contributor to the Indian cinema to hoist its flag over the global platform.
Plainly speaking, Indian films have always been rich and will continue to be rich in terms of the content, market collection and printing its impressions on a global audience.