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Bollywood

Hindi language film industry

Top 10 Bollywood related articles

Hindi cinema
(Bollywood)
Main distributorsAA Films

Fox Star Studios
Eros International
Reliance Big Pictures
UTV Motion Pictures
Yash Raj Films
Dharma Productions
Red Chillies Entertainment
Tips Music Films
Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Excel Entertainment
Zee Studios

[1][2]
Produced feature films (2017)[3]
Total364

Hindi cinema, often known as Bollywood and formerly as Bombay cinema,[4] is the Indian Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The term is a portmanteau of "Bombay" and "Hollywood". The industry is related to Cinema of South India and other Indian film industries, making up Indian cinema—the world's largest by number of feature films produced.[3][5][6]

In 2017, Indian cinema produced 1,986 feature films, with Bollywood as its largest filmmaker, producing 364 Hindi films the same year.[3] Bollywood represents 43 percent of Indian net box-office revenue; Tamil and Telugu cinema represent 36 percent, and the remaining regional cinema constituted 21 percent in 2014.[7] Bollywood is one of the largest centres of film production in the world.[8][9][10] In 2001 ticket sales, Indian cinema (including Bollywood) reportedly sold an estimated 3.6 billion tickets worldwide, compared to Hollywood's 2.6 billion tickets sold.[11][12][13] Bollywood films tend to use vernacular Hindustani, mutually intelligible by people who self-identify as speaking either Hindi or Urdu,[14][15][16] and modern Bollywood movies[17] increasingly incorporate elements of Hinglish.[14]

The most popular commercial genre in Bollywood since the 1970s has been the masala film, which freely mixes different genres including action, comedy, romance, drama and melodrama along with musical numbers.[18][19][20][21] Masala films generally fall under the musical film genre, of which Indian cinema has been the largest producer since the 1960s when it exceeded the American film industry's total musical output after musical films declined in the West; the first Indian musical talkie was Alam Ara (1931), several years after the first Hollywood musical talkie The Jazz Singer (1927). Alongside commercial masala films, a distinctive genre of art films known as parallel cinema has also existed, presenting realistic content and avoidance of musical numbers. In more recent years, the distinction between commercial masala and parallel cinema has been gradually blurring, with an increasing number of mainstream films adopting the conventions which were once strictly associated with parallel cinema.

Bollywood Intro articles: 57

Etymology

"Bollywood" is a portmanteau derived from Bombay (the former name of Mumbai) and "Hollywood", a shorthand reference for the American film industry which is based in Hollywood, California.[22]

The term "Tollywood", for the Tollygunge-based cinema of West Bengal, predated "Bollywood".[23] It was used in a 1932 American Cinematographer article by Wilford E. Deming, an American engineer who helped produce the first Indian sound picture.[23]

"Bollywood" was probably invented in Bombay-based film trade journals in the 1960s or 1970s, though the exact inventor varies by account.[24][25] Film journalist Bevinda Collaco claims she coined the term for the title of her column in Screen magazine.[26] Her column entitled "On the Bollywood Beat" covered studio news and celebrity gossip.[26] Other sources state that lyricist, filmmaker and scholar Amit Khanna was its creator.[27] It's unknown if it was derived from "Hollywood" through "Tollywood", or was inspired directly by "Hollywood".

The term has been criticised by some film journalists and critics, who believe it implies that the industry is a poor cousin of Hollywood.[22][28]

"Bollywood" has since inspired a long list of Hollywood-inspired nicknames.

Bollywood Etymology articles: 9

History

Early history (1890s–1940s)

In 1897, a film presentation by Professor Stevenson featured a stage show at Calcutta's Star Theatre. With Stevenson's encouragement and camera, Hiralal Sen, an Indian photographer, made a film of scenes from that show, The Flower of Persia (1898).[29] The Wrestlers (1899) by H. S. Bhatavdekar showed a wrestling match at the Hanging Gardens in Bombay.[30]

Dadasaheb Phalke is considered the father of Indian cinema, including Bollywood.[31][32][33]

Dadasaheb Phalke's silent Raja Harishchandra (1913) is the first feature film made in India. By the 1930s, the industry was producing over 200 films per year.[34] The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara (1931), was commercially successful.[35] With a great demand for talkies and musicals, Bollywood and the other regional film industries quickly switched to sound films.

Challenges and Market Expansion (1930s-1940s)

The 1930s and 1940s were tumultuous times; India was buffeted by the Great Depression, World War II, the Indian independence movement, and the violence of the Partition. Although most Bollywood films were unabashedly escapist, a number of filmmakers tackled tough social issues or used the struggle for Indian independence as a backdrop for their films.[34] Irani made the first Hindi colour film, Kisan Kanya, in 1937. The following year, he made a colour version of Mother India. However, colour did not become a popular feature until the late 1950s. At this time, lavish romantic musicals and melodramas were cinematic staples.

Number of Hindi movies released since 1930. A rapid expansion was seen from the mid 1940s.

The decade of the 1940s saw an expansion of the Bollywood's commercial market and its presence in the national consciousness. The year 1943 saw the arrival of Indian cinema's first 'blockbuster' offering, the movie Kismet, which grossed in excess of the important barrier of one crore (10 million) rupees, made on a budget of only two lakh (0.2 million) rupees.[36] Kismet tackled contemporary issues, especially those arising from the Indian Independence movement, and went on to become "the longest running hit of Indian cinema", a title it held till the 1970s.[37] Film personalities like Bimal Roy, Sahir Ludhianvi and Prithviraj Kapoor participated in the creation of a national movement against colonial rule in India, while simultaneously leveraging the popular political movement to increase their own visibility and popularity.[38][39] Themes from the Independence Movement deeply influenced Bollywood directors, screen-play writers, and lyricists, who saw their films in the context of social reform and the problems of the common people.[40]

Although the 1947 partition of India, divided the country into the Republic of India and Pakistan, it precipitated the migration of film-making talent from film making centers like Lahore and Calcutta, which bore the brunt of the partition violence.[41][42][43] These events further consolidated the Mumbai film industry's position as the preeminent center for film production in India.

Golden Age (late 1940s–1960s)

The period from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, after India's independence, is regarded by film historians as the Golden Age of Hindi cinema.[44][45][46] Some of the most critically acclaimed Hindi films of all time were produced during this time. Examples include Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), directed by Guru Dutt and written by Abrar Alvi; Awaara (1951) and Shree 420 (1955), directed by Raj Kapoor and written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, and Aan (1952), directed by Mehboob Khan and starring Dilip Kumar. The films explored social themes, primarily dealing with working-class life in India (particularly urban life) in the first two examples. Awaara presented the city as both nightmare and dream, and Pyaasa critiqued the unreality of urban life.[47]

Mehboob Khan's Mother India (1957), a remake of his earlier Aurat (1940), was the first Indian film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; it lost by a single vote.[48] Mother India defined conventional Hindi cinema for decades.[49][50][51] It spawned a genre of dacoit films, in turn defined by Gunga Jumna (1961).[52] Written and produced by Dilip Kumar, Gunga Jumna was a dacoit crime drama about two brothers on opposite sides of the law (a theme which became common in Indian films during the 1970s).[53] Some of the best-known epic films of Hindi cinema were also produced at this time, such as K. Asif's Mughal-e-Azam (1960).[54] Other acclaimed mainstream Hindi filmmakers during this period included Kamal Amrohi and Vijay Bhatt.

Nargis, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar in Andaz (1949). Kapoor and Kumar are among the greatest and most influential movie stars in the history of Indian cinema,[55][56] and Nargis is one of its greatest actresses.[57]

The three most popular male Indian actors of the 1950s and 1960s were Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, and Dev Anand, each with a unique acting style. Kapoor adopted Charlie Chaplin's tramp; Anand modeled himself on suave Hollywood stars like Gregory Peck and Cary Grant, and Kumar pioneered a form of method acting which predated Hollywood method actors such as Marlon Brando. Kumar, who was described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray, inspired future generations of Indian actors. Much like Brando's influence on Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, Kumar had a similar influence on Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.[55][56] Veteran actresses such as Suraiya, Nargis, Sumitra Devi, Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rehman, Nutan, Sadhana, Mala Sinha and Vyjayanthimala have had their share of influence on Hindi cinema.[58]

While commercial Hindi cinema was thriving, the 1950s also saw the emergence of a parallel cinema movement.[47] Although the movement (emphasising social realism) was led by Bengali cinema, it also began gaining prominence in Hindi cinema. Early examples of parallel cinema include Dharti Ke Lal (1946), directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and based on the Bengal famine of 1943,;[59] Neecha Nagar (1946) directed by Chetan Anand and written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas,[60] and Bimal Roy's Do Bigha Zamin (1953). Their critical acclaim and the latter's commercial success paved the way for Indian neorealism[61] and the Indian New Wave (synonymous with parallel cinema).[62] Internationally acclaimed Hindi filmmakers involved in the movement included Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal, and Vijaya Mehta.[47]

Rajesh Khanna in 2010. The first Indian actor to be called a "superstar", he starred in 15 consecutive hit films from 1969 to 1971.

After the social-realist film Neecha Nagar received the Palme d'Or at the inaugural 1946 Cannes Film Festival,[60] Hindi films were frequently in competition for Cannes' top prize during the 1950s and early 1960s and some won major prizes at the festival.[63] Guru Dutt, overlooked during his lifetime, received belated international recognition during the 1980s.[63][64] Film critics polled by the British magazine Sight & Sound included several of Dutt's films in a 2002 list of greatest films,[65] and Time's All-Time 100 Movies lists Pyaasa as one of the greatest films of all time.[66]

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the industry was dominated by musical romance films with romantic-hero leads.[67]

Classic Bollywood (1970s–1980s)

The Salim–Javed screenwriting duo, consisting of Salim Khan (left) and Javed Akhtar, revolutionized Indian cinema in the 1970s[68] and are considered Bollywood's greatest screenwriters.[21]

By 1970, Hindi cinema was thematically stagnant[69] and dominated by musical romance films.[67] The arrival of screenwriting duo Salim–Javed (Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar) was a paradigm shift, revitalising the industry.[69] They began the genre of gritty, violent, Bombay underworld crime films early in the decade with films such as Zanjeer (1973) and Deewaar (1975).[70][71] Salim-Javed reinterpreted the rural themes of Mehboob Khan's Mother India (1957) and Dilip Kumar's Gunga Jumna (1961) in a contemporary urban context, reflecting the socio-economic and socio-political climate of 1970s India[69][72] and channeling mass discontent, disillusionment[69] and the unprecedented growth of slums[73] with anti-establishment themes and those involving urban poverty, corruption and crime.[74][75] Their "angry young man", personified by Amitabh Bachchan,[75] reinterpreted Dilip Kumar's performance in Gunga Jumna in a contemporary urban context[69][72] and anguished urban poor.[73]

By the mid-1970s, romantic confections had given way to gritty, violent crime films and action films about gangsters (the Bombay underworld) and bandits (dacoits). Salim-Javed's writing and Amitabh Bachchan's acting popularised the trend with films such as Zanjeer and (particularly) Deewaar, a crime film inspired by Gunga Jumna[53] which pitted "a policeman against his brother, a gang leader based on real-life smuggler Haji Mastan" (Bachchan); according to Danny Boyle, Deewaar was "absolutely key to Indian cinema".[76] In addition to Bachchan, several other actors followed by riding the crest of the trend (which lasted into the early 1990s).[77] Actresses from the era include Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Raakhee, Shabana Azmi, Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, Rekha, Dimple Kapadia, Smita Patil, Jaya Prada and Padmini Kolhapure.[58]

Dharmendra in 2012.

The name "Bollywood" was coined during the 1970s,[25][26] when the conventions of commercial Bollywood films were defined.[78] Key to this was the masala film, which combines a number of genres (action, comedy, romance, drama, melodrama, and musical). The masala film was pioneered early in the decade by filmmaker Nasir Hussain,[20] and the Salim-Javed screenwriting duo,[78] pioneering the Bollywood-blockbuster format.[78] Yaadon Ki Baarat (1973), directed by Hussain and written by Salim-Javed, has been identified as the first masala film and the first quintessentially Bollywood film.[78][79] Salim-Javed wrote more successful masala films during the 1970s and 1980s.[78] Masala films made Amitabh Bachchan the biggest Bollywood star of the period. A landmark of the genre was Amar Akbar Anthony (1977),[79][80] directed by Manmohan Desai and written by Kader Khan, and Desai continued successfully exploiting the genre.

Both genres (masala and violent-crime films) are represented by the blockbuster Sholay (1975), written by Salim-Javed and starring Amitabh Bachchan. It combined the dacoit film conventions of Mother India and Gunga Jumna with spaghetti Westerns, spawning the Dacoit Western (also known as the curry Western) which was popular during the 1970s.[52]

Some Hindi filmmakers, such as Shyam Benegal, Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani and Vijaya Mehta, continued to produce realistic parallel cinema throughout the 1970s.[47][81] Although the art film bent of the Film Finance Corporation was criticised during a 1976 Committee on Public Undertakings investigation which accused the corporation of not doing enough to encourage commercial cinema, the decade saw the rise of commercial cinema with films such as Sholay (1975) which consolidated Amitabh Bachchan's position as a star. The devotional classic Jai Santoshi Ma was also released that year.[82]

By 1983, the Bombay film industry was generating an estimated annual revenue of ₹700 crore ( 7 billion,[83] $693.14 million),[84] equivalent to $1.78 billion (₹12,042 crore, 111.33 billion) when adjusted for inflation. By 1986, India's annual film output had increased from 741 films produced annually to 833 films annually, making India the world's largest film producer.[85] The most internationally acclaimed Hindi film of the 1980s was Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay! (1988), which won the Camera d'Or at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

New Bollywood (1990s–present)

Shah Rukh Khan, one of the "Three Khans", in 2012.
Aamir Khan, one of the "Three Khans", in 2008.

Hindi cinema experienced another period of stagnation during the late 1980s with a box-office decline due to increasing violence, a decline in musical quality, and a rise in video piracy. One of the turning points came with such films as Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), presenting a blend of youthfulness, family entertainment, emotional intelligence and strong melodies, all of which lured audiences back to the big screen.[86][87] It brought back the template for Bollywood musical romance films which went on to define 1990s Hindi cinema.[87]

Known since the 1990s as "New Bollywood",[88] contemporary Bollywood is linked to economic liberalization in India during the early 1990s.[89] Early in the decade, the pendulum swung back toward family-centered romantic musicals. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) was followed by blockbusters such as Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Raja Hindustani (1996), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), introducing a new generation of popular actors, including the three Khans: Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Salman Khan,[90][91] who have starred in most of the top ten highest-grossing Bollywood films. The Khans and have had successful careers since the late 1980s and early 1990s,[90] and have dominated the Indian box office for three decades.[92][93] Shah Rukh Khan was the most successful Indian actor for most of the 1990s and 2000s, and Aamir Khan has been the most successful Indian actor since the mid 2000s.[58][94] Action and comedy films, starring such actors as Akshay Kumar and Govinda.[95][96]

The decade marked the entrance of new performers in art and independent films, some of which were commercially successful. The most influential example was Satya (1998), directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Anurag Kashyap. Its critical and commercial success led to the emergence of a genre known as Mumbai noir:[97] urban films reflecting the city's social problems.[98] This led to a resurgence of parallel cinema by the end of the decade.[97] The films featured actors whose performances were often praised by critics.

Salman Khan, one of the Three Khans, with Bollywood actresses (from left) Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Katrina Kaif, Karisma Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in Mumbai (2010)

The 2000s saw increased Bollywood recognition worldwide due to growing (and prospering) NRI and Desi communities overseas. The growth of the Indian economy and a demand for quality entertainment in this era led the country's film industry to new heights in production values, cinematography and screenwriting as well as technical advances in areas such as special effects and animation.[99] Some of the largest production houses, among them Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions were the producers of new modern films.[99] Some popular films of the decade were Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001), Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), Lagaan (2001), Koi... Mil Gaya (2003), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Veer-Zaara (2004), Rang De Basanti (2006), Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006), Dhoom 2 (2006), Krrish (2006), and Jab We Met (2007), among others, showing the rise of new movie stars.

During the 2010s, the industry saw established stars such as making big-budget masala films like Dabangg (2010), Singham (2011), Ek Tha Tiger (2012), Son of Sardaar (2012), Rowdy Rathore (2012), Chennai Express (2013), Kick (2014) and Happy New Year (2014) with much-younger actresses. Although the films were often not praised by critics, they were commercially successful. Some of the films starring Aamir Khan have been credited with redefining and modernising the masala film with a distinct brand of socially conscious cinema.[100][101]

Most stars from the 2000s continued successful careers into the next decade, and the 2010s saw a new generation of popular actors in different films. Among new conventions, female-centred films such as The Dirty Picture (2011), Kahaani (2012), and Queen (2014), Parched (2015), Pink (2016) started gaining wide financial success.

Akshay Kumar in 2013.

Bollywood History articles: 183