Evolution of Indian Cinema

Evolution of Indian Cinema | History and its Ups and Downs

Howdy Readers! I hope you all are doing well. I’ll start with a question from you- What comes to your mind first if say the word “Entertainment”? Most probably, the would be the “Movies”. Today I’m gonna talk about Indian cinema and how does happen the evolution of Indian cinema.

Indian Cinema

Indian cinema is believed to be one of the largest and oldest industries in the cinematic world. Surprising, isn’t it? But that’s true. According to Wikipedia

Indian cinema is a global enterprise. Its films have the following throughout the world, reaching in over 90 countries. Every year more than 1800 films get produced in various languages in India. In 2012, India produced 1,602 feature films, and as of 2013, India ranked first in terms of annual film output, followed by Nollywood, Hollywood, and China.

These facts are so surprising but are really interesting. Now let’s understand what actually comes under cinema. Have patience, you read first and then decide if I’m talking sense :p

Most of us misunderstand the cinema as BOLLYWOOD but let me tell you that, there are so many languages in which movies are filmed and Bollywood is only the Hindi language film industry. Although it contributes to the largest part of the Indian film industry or Indian Cinema which is around 40% of all box office revenue.0

Cinema includes Movies(motion pictures) to the largest part, short films, documentaries, etc. Including all of this, comes the music industries, dancing, Awards an all, which are also a part of this industry.

Moreover, the industry is segmented over different factors such as languages(Hindi, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujrati, Odia, etc), genres and styles(drama, history, romance, thriller, mystery, crime, sport, family, etc).

According to insiteguides.com

India’s mainstream blockbusters are made by the three main regional films industries, Hindi cinema (Bollywood) made in Mumbai Tamil films (Kollywood) from Chennai, and Telugu movies (Tollywood) made in Hyderabad.

So these were some highlights about Indian cinema. Let’s dig some more in its history and the evolution of Indian Cinema, as promised.

History of Indian Cinema

As mentioned above, the Indian Cinema is considered one of the oldest film industries. Cinema in India started a long back when in 1897, an Indian photographer named Hiralal Sen, shot a stage show in Calcutta, and from there, the story of Indian cinema started.

The first Indian film which was created and released in India was Shree Pundalik which was made by Dadasaheb Phalke in Marathi in 1912 and he was called the father of Indian Cinema. Just after this, in 1913 Dadasaheb produced another film named Raja Harishchandra which is still very famous. Both of these were made in Marathi and were silent films.

The next milestone that came was the first talking movie Alam Ara, which came in 1931, and then a new era started in Indian cinema. The first Indian theater was Madan theater and was started by Jamshedji Madan. He also founded the Elphinston Bioscope Company in Calcutta and made a remake of Raja Harishchandra as Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra.

Talking about the south Indian film industry, the first Telugu and Tamil movie Kalidas was created in 1931 and was bilingual. Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu was called the father of Telugu Cinema.

So this was some brief from the history of Indian Cinema. Possibly it was somewhat boring as they were some facts but now comes the interesting part i.e how happened the evolution of Indian Cinema.

Evolution of Indian Cinema-

We will see the different phases that came in during the evolution of Indian Cinema in this section.

Beginning of Indian Cinema

As stated above the first feature-length Indian film was Shree Pundalik made in 1931 by Dada Saheb Phalke. The next milestone came was India’s first talking film Alam Ara made by Ardeshir Irani in 1931. The first film was made in Marathi and then came the Bengali and another language like Tamil, Telugu, etc.

The Genres of Indian Cinema

At first, the main source of inspiration for creating films was Mythology and then gradually it took different genres. As the movies were silent at that time, they used a textual way to represent the whole story which is still used as the subtitles today. You would be very surprised to know, at that time working in this field was considered taboo and hence the movies had only male artists even for the female characters.

Female Actresses in Indian Cinema

The first female actor who worked in Indian cinema was Durga Bai Kamat and was known for being India’s first actress. She worked in Mohini Bhasmasurby which was the second film of Dadasaheb Phalke, while the first foreign female artist who worked in Indian cinema was Mary Evans. She was an Australian girl and could do stunts.

The Golden Age of Indian Cinema

Previously no singers and dancers were there but the actors had to act, sing and dance all by themselves. Later in 1970, the music industry was introduced in films. The period of the 1940-60s was designated as the Golden age of Indian Cinema since that was the time when the Parallel Cinema movement started.

Era of Superstars in Indian Cinema

During this period came the trinity of Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and Raj Kapoor who were the first superstars in the Indian Cinema. After them, came the most famous person in the evolution of Indian Cinema, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, a great actor who is actively working to date.

1970 was the time when crime-action films were created, some of the legendary films are Zanjeer and Sholey. It was the time where commercial films were established and the name Bollywood was coined.

The Ups and Downs in Indian Cinema

The factor which makes the Indian cinema the most popular is the Masala films. This genre had all such as action, romance, comedy, melodrama, and almost everything. The first masala film was Yaadon Ki Baarat.

1980 was the period in Indian Cinema which was not appreciated as it was the time when the film industry saw a decline in many aspects. Again in 1989, it took a hike with the romantic movie Chandani starring Sridevi who was considered as the first female superstar of the Indian Cinema.

Era of Khans

After the trinity of Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and Raj Kapoor came the era of three Khans- Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Amir Khan which is still ruling the Indian cinema. They have given numerous blockbuster movies to the Indian Cinema.

The Regional Cinema

The regional cinema also grew in parallel with Bollywood however, they were restricted to the particular region mostly. The evolution of Indian Cinema took so many folds and its not possible to mention them all but what it has done and how it has changed the people mindset in India is really huge.

It was the first medium after the trades which showed Indians, the foreign culture, and many things about India and the world. Not only this, but the industry has also given a huge number of people the employment.

Wrapping Up

So far we know, Indian cinema is believed to be one of the largest and oldest industries in the cinematic world. The history of Indian Cinema starts with the first Indian movie Shree Pundalik made in 1931.

The evolution of Indian Cinema has seen many folds to date from the movies without sound, without female actors, without music to the masala movies including everything. Today it is one of the most popular industries giving lakhs of people their employment.

History and evolution are too long and many remarkable changes have taken place such as commercial cinema, the inclusion of different genres in the films, the eras of Superstars, and many things. The phases include-

  • Beginning of Indian Cinema
  • The Genres of Indian Cinema
  • Female Actresses in Indian Cinema
  • The Golden Age of Indian Cinema
  • Era of Superstars in Indian Cinema
  • The Ups and Downs in Indian Cinema
  • Era of Khans
  • The Regional Cinema

It is really tough to choose which one to include and which one not to but I have tried my best to put all the major milestones in short here.

I hope you would have liked reading it. You can read more such interesting articles based on different topics here at Bharat Global.

Thank you! See you soon. 🙂