Indian cinema: 1980-89
Indian cinema: 1980-89
Title and authorship of the original article(s)
Brief history of Indian cinema By UrooJ, aligarians.com, mid-2000
Bollywood Cinema By h2g2, mid-2000
Contemporary Hindi Cinema in 80s By indianetzone, mid-2000
This is an article selected for the excellence of its content.
1980 by Urooj
The Hindi avante garde or new wave seems to have reached its bloom period towards the end of the seventies with the coming of film makers like Govind Nihalani (Aakrosh), Saeed Mirza (Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai, Aravind Desai ki Ajeeb Daastan), Rabindra Dharmaraj (Chakra), Sai Paranjpe (Sparsh), Muzafar Ali (Gaman) and Biplab Roy Chowdhari (Shodh). The movement spread to the other regional cinemas such as Marathi, Gujarathi, Assamese, Oriya and Telugu. Directors like Jabbar Patel (Samna, Simhasan), Ramdas Phuttane (Sarvasakshi), Ketan Mehta (Bhavni Bhavai). Babendranath Saikia(Sandhya Rag), Jahanu Barua (Aparoopa, Papori), Manmohan Mohapatra (Klanta Aparanha, Majhi Pahacha), Nirad Mohapatra (Maya Miriga) and Gautam Ghose (Ma Bhoomi) came to the scene with their films.
1980 : FFC and Indian Motion Picture Export Corporation merge to form the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). The Lotus Cinema hired by the FFC becomes Bombay’s only venue for art-house films beginning with Bimal Dutt’s Kasturi (1978). K.S. Karanth’s Report of the Working Group on National Film Policy is published and ignored by the Government. Independent Filmmakers start the Forum for Better Cinema and ask the Government to ask Satyajit Ray to head the organization. Ray turns down the offer. While on Ray, a retrospective of his films is held at the Indian International Film Festival. Mrinal Sen retrospective is held at the National film Theatre, London. The journal Cinema Vision India starts in Bombay with an issue on Silent Cinema in India. Deaths of Mohd. Rafi, Uttam Kumar, Sahir Ludhianvi.
1981 : Indian Film Industry celebrates the golden jubilee of the Indian Talkie. Formation of the short-lived Indian Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science (IAMPAS). A three part package of Indian Cinema - pre-Ray, a Ray retrospective and New Indian Cinema tours the United States. Special issue on Indian Cinema by the Journal for Asian literature. Death of Nargis.
1982 : Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Elipattahyam wins prestigious British Film Institute Award. Shekar Kapur’s debut Masoom. Asian games held in Delhi provide the occasion to start telecasting of colour programmes on TV. N.T. Rama Rao starts the Telegu Desam Party. The Tamil Film weekly Gemini Cinema starts. First films in Brijbhasha (Brij Bhoomi) and Malvi (Bhadwa Mata).
1983 : Mrinal Sen’s Kharij wins special Special Jury Prize at Cannes. Bhanu Athaiya becomes the first Indian to win an Oscar for costumes designed for Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982). Panorama of Indian Cinema at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. First film in Garhwali (Jagwal) and Khasi (Ka Lawei Ha Ki Ktijong Ngi). The Karnataka state subsidy to films is increased to Rs one lakh for B&W and Rs 1.5 lakh for colour.
1985 : Indian Cinema Season at Pesaro Film Festival, Italy.
1986 : Death of Smita Patil.
1987 : The NFDC starts the quarterly journal Cinema in India. Death of Kishore Kumar.
1988 : The journals Cinemaya (A quarterly on Asian film) and Deep Focus start. Death of Raj Kapoor.
1989 : Death of Prem Nazir.
Contemporary Hindi Cinema in 80s by Indianetzone
The Eighties were the period of electronics - the threat posed by television and video was tremendous in terms of losses to the film industry. Nonetheless, films were made -- 763 in 1982, 833 in 1984 and 912 in 1985! There was no longer a set formula that would guarantee success. Stories of social interest, love, family life, and fantasies - all tumbled out of the film-making machine. Social evils like rape - the trauma and the humiliation, the callousness - were the subject of many a film, notably
Adi Shankaracharya (1983)
The film industry gave the country its first Sanskrit film, the life of Adi Shankaracharya. The Advaita philosopher was credited with more than 300 texts and the revival of Hinduism as it was envisaged by the ancients, rather than the Brahmanical cult it had become over time. Directed by G.V. Iyer, the film starred Sarvadaman D. Banerjee, M.V. Narayana Rao, Manjunath Bhatt, Leelamma Narayana Rao, and L.V. Sharada Rao. Death and wisdom are personified as the companions of Shankaracharya from his childhood years to death. The boy loses his father at an early age and ponders on life and death. In his adulthood, he gains new insights into the Vedas and writes commentaries, ultimately transcending the mundane and worldy to arrive at the inner truth. He leaves for the Himalayas at 32 years of age, leaving his sickbed to allow his soul to merge with Brahma.
The first film by editor-turned-director N.Chandra made a strong comment on the urban mafia and its effect on middle class society. Though the film was made on a small budget, it sowed the seeds for films based on the mafia, a trend that continues to this day.
Ardh Satya (1983)
The Govind Nihalani movie, backed by searing performances by Om Puri, Sadashiv Amrapurkar and Amrish Puri figures among the best Hindi films ever.
ArthDirected by Mahesh Bhatt, the film starred Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Raj Kiran. The film is about a film maker (Kharbanda), his wife (Azmi) who has to cope with being single again and his mistress (Patil) who ultimately breaks down. The film was regarded as autobiographical because Mahesh Bhatt too was estranged from his wife and in love with a film star believed to be suffering from schizophrenia. Four films made stars of their actors.
Chashme Buddoor (1981)
Chashme BuddoorDirected by Sai Paranjpye, the film starred Farouque Shaikh, Deepti Naval, Saeed Jafferey, Rakesh Bedi, Ravi Baswani, and Leela Mishra. Three young men sharing a flat and their hopes - the film tells of the kindly paan wallah Jafferey - who extends almost-unlimited credit; the attempt at love but it is the reticent one (Shaikh) of the trio who finds love (Naval). The other two fabricate their romance with Naval just to save face. - A successful, delightful film.
Chhota Chetan (1984)
Chhota Chetan India`s first 3-D film dubbed from a Malayalam film struck an instant chord with the children. The film was re-released in 1998 with an additional song featuring Urmila Matondkar.
This film proved fatal for Amitabh Bachchan when he was seriously injured while shooting for the film in Bangalore. The entire nation prayed for his life and fortunately he survived after a long battle with life. When the film was relased,the particular shot was prominently shown with frozen shots for the benefit of cinegoers. The film received excellent response.
Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981)
Directed by K. Balachander, the film starred Rati Agnihotri and Kamalahasan as the ill-fated lovers. Their different cultural backgrounds lead to family objections, and finally, Agnihotri is done to death and Kamalahasan follows. The film marked Agnihotri`s entry into Hindi films - she was already a star in the south. Fine performances and box-office success made this film a trend-setter.
HeroDirected by Subhash Ghai, the film starred Jackie Shroff, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Shammi Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar and Amrish Puri. An orphan (Shroff) is brought up by a criminal (Puri) and asked to subdue the witness, (Kapoor) against him. Kidnapping the witness` daughter (Sheshadri) turns out predictably enough - they fall in love and he reforms. There are family objections and villains to counter before the happy end. The film was a resounding success and made a major star of Shroff.
Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980)
Insaaf Ka TarazuDirected by B.R. Chopra, and starring Zeenat Aman, Padmini Kolhapure, and Raj Babbar as the main leads. This film depicts a story of a model raped by a millionaire, her shift to another city with her younger sister, only to have history repeat itself with her younger sister. Zeenat Aman, as the elder sibling, shoots Babbar, and the entire matter is finally resolved in court due to a highly-charged outpouring by Kolhapure. In India, activists were vocal in the aftermath of certain incidents, the Rape Law had been amended, and the Forum Against Rape had been set up to offer legal aid to victims. Many felt that the film, although successful, had trivialized the issue.
KarzDirected by Subhash Ghai, the film starred Rishi Kapoor, Tina Munim, Simi Garewal, and Raj Kiran in the main roles. Rebirth and vengeance were the themes here - Murdered by his wife (Garewal) the second day of his marriage, the husband (Kiran) is reincarnated as a singer (Kapoor) who reconnects with his previous birth and avenges his (i.e. Kiran`s) murder. The film was a big hit, as was the music.
Directed by Sai Paranjpye, the film starred Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval, Farouque Shaikh, and Mallika Sarabhai. Based on Paranjpye`s play Sakkhe Shejari, and using the theme of the hare and the tortoise, the film is about the smooth-talking Shaikh and his slower but far more decent friend Shah. Shah`s love for a neighbour (Naval) and his hopes are almost defeated by Shaikh who works his magic on Naval, his boss` wife (Sarabhai) and daughter. Finally, everything is resolved as Shaikh is exposed as an opportunist. The `censored` signs for the apparently explicit jokes and the constant imagery of the hare and tortoise added to the charm.
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Maine Pyar KiyaDirected by Sooraj Barjatya, the film starred Salman Khan, Bhagyashree, Alok Nath, Rima Lagoo and Rajiv Verma. A rich-poor, city-village divide that is sought to be bridged by the lovers (Khan and Bhagyashree) but the hero`s father (Verma) objects. The friendship between Verma and Nath (the heroine`s father) sours, leading to the heroine returning home, and the hero following. The mandatory happy ending neatly ties up all loose ends. The film`s music broke all records and the movie was a top grosser. Khan became a star with this film.
Another film directed by Shekhar Kapur, it starred Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Saeed Jafferey in the main roles. Based on Eric Segal`s novel Man, Woman and Child, the film dealt with the delicate subject of an illegitimate child. However, it bowed to convention - the child is male and the wife accepts her husband`s infidelity and his child by another woman. Superb performances by the children marked this film that was successful.
Meri Aawaz Suno (1981)
The political action thriller by SV Rajendra Singh starring Jeetendra was banned by the censors owing to its political overtones. The film was later released after a protracted court battle.
Mirch Masala (1987)
The Ketan Mehta-directed film, featuring Naseeruddin Shah and Smita Patil in the lead, received a great deal of well-deserved critical acclaim.
Mr. India (1987)
Mr. IndiaDirected by Shekhar Kapoor, the film starred Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, and Amrish Puri. It also had a host of adorable chidren. The film was about homeless orphans sheltered by an out-of-work musician. Their sea-side house is wanted by the villains. Sridevi as the gutsy journalist was impressive, as was Kapoor playing the musician who can render himself invisible after wearing a bracelet and enforce justice. Puri as the evil Mogambo was another powerful character. The music and the performances under Shekhar Kapur`s direction made this a tremendous hit.
Directed by Manmohan Desai, the film starred Amitabh Bachhan, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha, ReenaRoy, Rishi Kapoor, Kim, and Pran in the main roles. A group of friends win a lottery ticket, and then the narrative structure breaks up. The film was action-packed, but somehow failed to appeal. It deserves mention because of the tremendous pre-release media hype surrounding the film - expectations ran high and the film failed to deliver on any count.
The off-beat silent movie featuring Kamal Hassan and Amala directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao was lapped up well by the audience for its gutsy experimentation with the media.
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
Qayamat Se Qayamat TakDirected by Mansoor Khan, the film starred Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. The children of two feuding families fall in love, amidst family hostilities. They elope, creating an idealistic world of their own, only to be found out on their visit to town for purchases. Their deaths at the end were poignant and well-performed. The film was a box-office hit, with the hit single Papa kehte hain. Khan became a star with this movie.
Raam Teri Ganga Maili (1985)
Raj Kapoor based this film on the sorry state of the sacred Ganges through its main character in his own inimitable style. The film received a fair response partly due to its music and presented a new actress, Mandakini, to Hindi cinema.
The Mahesh Bhatt movie is yet another landmark movie of the decade and had great performances by Anupam Kher and Rohini Hattangadi as its highlights.
Directed by Yash Chopra, the film starred Rekha, Amitabh Bachhan, Jaya Bachhan (nee Bhaduri), Shashi Kapoor, and Sanjeev Kumar. The real-life triangle of the Bachhans and Rekha was used as basis for this film that did not find favour with audiences. Bhaduri is in love with an airforce pilot (Kapoor) who is killed on duty. Finding herself pregnant, she compels his brother (Bachhan) to marry her. He breaks off with his love (Rekha) who later marries a doctor (Kumar). Their paths cross after some time, and the flame is rekindled.
Directed by N. Chandra, the film starred Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Chunky Pandey and Anupam Kher. Dixit is a dancer loved by Kapoor but her father (Kher) objects and has Kapoor imprisoned. Further machinations of the evil father prevent the lovers from meeting, but they are reunited at the end. The title (Tezaab, i.e. acid) refers to Kher`s act of throwing acid on his wife`s face, leading to her suicide. The song Ek, do, teen was a favourite with the masses and Dixit was launched into stardom.
TridevDirected by Rajiv Rai, the film starred Naseeruddin Shah, Sonam, Sunny Deol, Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff, Sangeeta Bijlani, Amrish Puri, and Anupam Kher. A major success, the story is about three men - rebel-policeman (Deol), son (Shroff) of a police commissioner, and a villager (Shah) - and their fight against a villain. The songs, particularly Oye, Oye remain popular and Shah and Sonam`s performances were very well received.
Umrao Jaan (1981)
Rekha in Umrao JaanDirected by Muzaffar Ali, the film starred Rekha, Naseeruddin Shah, Raj Babbar, and Farouque Shaikh. The story of the legendary courtesan Umrao Jaan played to perfection by Rekha. The film follows her through abduction, love for a spineless aristocrat (Shaikh), companionship (with Shah), and her attempt at escape with a bandit (Babbar). The Umrao Jaan of history was a nineteenth century courtesan, highly talented as poetess and dancer. The film`s ghazals have remained very popular.
Utsav Directed by Girish Karnad, the film starred Rekha, Shashi Kapoor, Amjad Khan, Shekhar Suman, and Anuradha Patel. Based on the 4th century playwright Sudraka`s play Mrichchakatikam, Utsav celebrates both the erotic and the comic in this tale of the courtesan Vasantsena. escaping the king`s brother-in-law (Kapoor), the courtesan (Rekha) hides out in the music-loving Brahmin`s (Suman) house. Later they fall in love, but there are various complications in the form of Kapoor`s machinations to seduce Vasantsena. Finally, Vasantsena accepts Kapoor who is escaping a lynch mob. A beautiful film with good music - unfortunately, it did not fare well at the box-office.
Indian cinema: historical outline Covers the era before the first Indian feature film
Indian cinema: 1980-89Indian cinema: 2010-19