Mumbai, the City of Dreams, houses the prime centre of Hindi Film Industry, better known as Bollywood. Acclaimed as one of the biggest film industries of the world, Bollywood produces over 1000 films every year. Since 1913, Indian Cinema has made a long journey from simple silent movies to sound films, then colored films to technically advanced movies of the present day. Bollywood imbibed its name from the merger of the term Bombay (now Mumbai) and Hollywood, the American Film Industry.
Another point worth-mentioning is that Bollywood is just the part of Indian Film Industry, which also encompasses other language film industries. The movies churned out here are the major source of entertainment, with an audience of 3.6 billion people, which is more than half of the world's population. Bypassing the reality, Hindi films are usually 'masala' (spicy) movies that comprise all the ingredients like music, dance, violence and melodrama of a good entertainer. The languages of Hindi, Urdu and English are extremely common in Bollywood.
Potpourri of Various Elements of Life
Infact, numerous English films have also been produced by the directors of India. Not only English, sometimes, one can find amalgamation of a number of Indian languages in a single film, whether in its dialogues, subtitles or soundtracks. The films of Bollywood are typically musicals that have some or the other catchy music woven into the script. Good music, in the form of songs and dance numbers, is the main attribute of a successful film.
The plot of movies is, more often than not, melodramatic. It usually has features like unlucky lovers and angry parents, love triangles, family attachments, sacrifice, crooked politicians, kidnappers, devious villains, courtesans with golden-hearts, long-lost relatives, theatrical reversals of destiny, siblings estranged by fate and opportune coincidences. Though the pattern is changing, films with hilarious stunts, technically advanced films, and art films are being produced.
The first silent feature film of India was Raja Harishchandra (1913), which was made by Dadasaheb Phalke. It was by the 1930's that the industry started producing more than 200 films every year. Alam Ara (1931) was the first Indian sound film, produced by Ardeshir Irani. With the bang of the Great Depression, World War II, the Indian Independence Movement and the Partition Violence, Bollywood suffered and then emerged with plots of social issues and independence struggle.
By the late 1950s, the first color films of the Bollywood were released. During this period, the films were defined by sumptuous romantic musicals and melodramas. The period of late 1960s and early 1970s gave rise to romantic movies, action films and violent films. In the mid 1990's, the box-office was stroked by family-centric romantic musicals once again. The quality, cinematography, innovative story lines and technical quality advances of the filmmaking have taken Indian cinema to great heights.
21st century Bollywood
The 21st century brought immense popularity to the Bollywood, so much so that its films appeal the audience of all segments. Owing to aperture of the abroad market, more movies are released abroad and in cine-multiplexes that cause wider box office successes in India and overseas.
Interesting Facts about Bollywood