When Dada Saheb Phalke gave India its first Hindi talkie with Raja Harishchandra, he had no idea what Hindi Cinema will turn out to be in the following decades. The ‘dream-weaving’ filmmakers of the era went on to create clichés in film making which is sacrosanct even today. Too afraid to experiment, the Indian directors went by the ‘formula’. It is evident that a formula which hits the target lives a long life in Bollywood. Each decade witnessed new breed of actors and filmmakers. It will be interesting to see Hindi Cinema’s journey through the decades.
The Golden Era 50s
This decade is considered as the ‘Golden Age’ of Hindi cinema. Focused on social themes, films in the 50s depicted the urban working class of new independent India. The films which are considered as classics today were all made in the 50s. Mother India, Mughal-E-Azam, Do Bigha Zameen, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Pyasa, Awaara and Shree 420 all these movies provided lessons in filmmaking to generations to come. 50s gave India the dreamy eyes of Nutan, peeking from her saree’s palloo, the mesmerising face of Madhubala and the candid Nargis enthralling one and all. Be it Dilip Kumar’s tear-jerking acts or Dev Anand’s inimitable style, they all revolutionised Hindi cinema. The unforgettable melodies gave us our first classics.
The Eastman Coloured 60s
The 1960s brought winds of colour. The themes continued to follow the rich and evil versus the poor and the rural good guy and the city bad guy formula. The decade brought in an air of transformation which diversified the traditional aspects of acting in Hindi film industry. Sangam, Guide, Dosti, Waqt and Teesri Manzil are some of the most remembered films of that time. The mood of the sixties was romantic. Shammi Kapoor’s jazz, Sunil Dutt’s mannerisms, Pran’s histrionics and Shashi Kapoor’s effortless acting gave audience a new flavour of cinema. Gorgeous...