While it has been a century that the Indian Cinema has travelled through, it is vital to appreciate the transformation it has gone through over this period of time. Today while we are celebrating the 100 Years of Indian Cinema, it is very important to realise and appreciate the stages of reformation.
When Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian Cinema, released his epochal feature film Raja Harishchandra on 3rd May 1913, it is unlikely that either the exhibitors or the pioneer film maker realized they were unleashing a mass entertainment medium that would hold millions in sway for the next hundred years.
The French might have introduced the concept of moving images, but little did anyone know that India would one day become the largest film industry in the world. It’s a miracle that Indian cinema has withstood the test of time despite the vast cultural differences in the past 100 years.
With passage of time, every aspect of Indian cinema has gone through the changes, and the most appreciable aspect is as the cinema and its various aspects changed, the audience also readily accepted over a period of time. Gone are those days, when Indian Cinema had storylines comprising of same monotonous romantic drama or family drama or else portraying women as a slave and men to be the king of the kingdom.
Today things are different and varied. Indian movies with the gargantuan three-hour run time, musicals and melodrama are slowly losing their local appeal as audience preferences are evolving. Most directors have now realized that audience preferences are changing.
Although a large percentage of the Indian audience does go to the theatre for sheer entertainment, there is another part of the educated Indian audience for whom the regular song-and-dance along with melodrama is not sufficient to make them feel satisfied. This sizeable section of Indian society is patronizing about the vividness of Indian cinema, but is definitely willing to see a good movie, no matter what the cost.
Time has come where, cinema have become more than entertainment. They have become one of the sources of information along with entertainment; hence they are referred as “Infotainment”. With the sophistication and advancement in the technology and exposure to mass media, the creative level of the cinema artists have changed and created a healthy competition among them.
Today where the commercial movies like Chennai Express, Robot, Dabaang, Singham etc, are flourishing well in the box office, we do have off-beat movies like Udaan, Rang De Basanti, Bhaag Mika Bhaag, Satyagraha, Chak De India, Lagaan, Swades, Lakshya, A Wednesday, Barfi, Bombay, Roja, Vazhaku En 18/9, Aaranya Kandam , Angadi Theru, etc, which not only entertain the audience, also bring them closer to realities of life. They act as a catalyst to bring about the necessary social revolution in the society. With the duration set at three hours, they not only impart knowledge with their interesting script lines of real time stories, they inspire people to dream big and chase their dreams with full determination.
Indian Cinema and its audience have travelled a long journey holding each other’s hands and have molded and influenced each other with time. This 100 Years of Indian Cinema has transformed from making cinema of reflection of drama and emotions of every family in our society, to a socially responsible cinema.