[dropcap]1[/dropcap]Raj Kapoor, the Charlie Chaplin of Indian Cinema was a spark of optimism in Russia
[pull_quote_left]I am crazy about Indian movies and Raj Kapoor is my favorite, though I also like Disco Dancer Mithun. -Svetlana Andarzyanova[/pull_quote_left]
You have read all the three names in the above quote perfectly right. And the fact might just have left you in the lurch, of mistaken identities. But, such is the vastness of Bollywood, that it has managed to spread across countries for the sheer joy and optimism it presents itself with. Yes! You never might have heard about this, but Raj Kapoor, the legendary showman of Bollywood, is a character of mighty optimism is Russia in its soviet days.
Battered with the hardships of the Second World War with Germany, the country was at its nadir at that point. With starvation, devastation and hardships, the Russians found delight in India’s greatest showman, Raj Kapoor. His movies Awara and Shree 420 resonated with hope and optimism amongst the greater adversities in India. And this is the sole reason, why a country ravaged by war found realism in the reels of the Indian cinema.
[dropcap]2[/dropcap]‘Yaadein’ – This 113 min long Bollywood classic featured only ONE actor all along.
Odds are that you might never have heard about this film ‘Yaadein’ shot in the year 1964. Starring Sunil Dutt, this 113 minute long movie was a one man show – literally. Sunil Dutt, the writer/director was the only actor, in the film all along. And not surprisingly, it has found a place, in the Guinness Book of World Records, under the category “Fewest actors in a narrative film”. It’s indeed sad, that such a daring experimental effort has largely gone unnoticed in the world of Indian cinema – given the latest fad of the 100 year celebration.
The plot revolves around a loving husband, who suddenly finds himself deserted by his family after coming back home from work. And his reminiscence of their time together and trying to figure out what might be the reason that they left. Tough, inspiring and definitely worth a watch! It’s a rare movie, but if you can grab a better print/copy of the same, do watch it. Incidentally, this was also Sunil Dutt’s directorial debut.
[dropcap]3[/dropcap]Swades – A movie that awakened a nation was inspired from an NRI couple who left their plum jobs in US and returned to their roots.
Coming to more popular cinema, you must have watched Swades quite a number of times and I am sure, you have loved it all the way down till the end, doesn’t matter, whether you are an SRK fan or not. But, at the end of the day, such things are stuff that only happens in movies. Oh yeah!? Swades is inspired from the work of Aravinda Pillalamarri and Ravi Kuchimanchi, who returned to India, and developed a pedal power generator which helped to light up remote, off-the-grid village schools. Director Ashutosh Gowarikar, spent a considerable amount of time with the couple to understand and recreate their life’s work on celluloid.
[dropcap]4[/dropcap]A timeless Bollywood track, adapted as a school anthem in Pakistan and a gritty prison saga on winning the Golden Globe.
Lata Mangeshkar’s soulful song ‘Ae Malik Mere Bande Hum’ from ‘Do Aankhen Barah Haath’ in 1957 inspired a whole generation during that time. Such was the widespread impact that it was adapted by a Pakistani school as the school anthem.
This film is not only restricted to this soul stirring masterpiece, this was also a benchmark period drama, inspired by the story of an idealistic jailor who runs an ‘open prison’ for the criminals sentenced by the court. in Swatantrapur in the princely state of Aundh. This film has managed to change the nation’s perspective towards, how we perceive and your general behavior towards, prisoners and especially those who are on death rows.
This is the first Indian film to win the Golden Globe Award and also the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
[dropcap]5[/dropcap]“Zindagi Na Milegi Do Bara” enlisted as part of syllabus in marketing in colleges in Spain.
“Zindagi Na Milegi Do Bara” has been enlisted as a case study in marketing management courses in Spain colleges. Such was the impact of the movie, where 3 friends, going all out in their bachelor road trip to the thrills and spills of the mystic country. After the movie caught the imagination of the Indian audience, Spain saw a staggering 62% (some estimates say the surge between 35-50%) increase of the country’s tourism. Multiple tours companies started tailor made adventure trails and flights were scheduled between India and Spain.
[dropcap]6[/dropcap]A Bollywood film took 10 years and a whooping 1.5 crores to complete that too in 1960
Bollywood epic saga Mughal-e-Azam took 10 years to complete the black and white version and it had remained as the most expensive Bollywood film made for decades. No stone was left unturned for creating this magic on celluloid. The jewelry was made in Hyderabad, the crowns in Kohlapur, the weapons in Rajasthan and the shoes in Agra. More than 2000 camels, 4000 horses and 8000 extras – the producers have gone that extra mile, to bring in actual soldiers on loan from the Indian army. The cost was approximately 1.5 crores the equivalent of which is around 40 crores in today’s valuations. Audacious!
As the film opened its doors to the Indian audience, such was the demand and the enthusiasm of people that it almost led to riots in Mumbai’s famous Maratha Mandir. If reports are to be believed, the fans actually waited in queue for days, with family members ferrying them food from home. If you have landed up with a ticket containing photographs and trivia about the film, then you have just gathered a rare piece of collector’s item.
[dropcap]7[/dropcap]Manthan the film by Shyam Benegal was produced by 500000 farmers in Gujarat, stirred the White Revolution in India.
Shyam Benegal’s 1976 Hindi film, ‘Manthan’ or ‘The Churning’ is noted for being the first ever film in the world to be produced by not a single production house, but by 500000 farmers of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Federation. Every farmer in there donated Rs. 2 each which contributed to the production of the film.
Written jointly by, Verghese Kurien the Father of White Revolution in India, and director, Shyam Benegal, it is set amidst the backdrop of the White Revolution of India (Operation Flood) which started in 1970, ushering in an era of abundance, from a trickling amount of milk production. Aside from the great measurable success that this project was, it also demonstrated the power of “collective might” in India.
[pull_quote_center]Remember the popular song ‘Mero gaam Katha parey…’ the title song of ‘Manthan’, which told the story of Amul model of co-operatives.
35 years later, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation which markets Amul, has relived the magic of the national award winning film Manthan with a new music video which shows Bharat catching up with India. [/pull_quote_center]
We bet, you would be humming this tune all through out, for the rest of the day! Enjoy the music and the savor the melody and the grandeur of Indian cinema over the past few decades.