This day marked a glorious beginning a hundred years ago! Bollywood was technically born with Raja Harishchandra.
It was the vision of Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, who made the first ever full-length film, ‘Raja Harishchandra’. A silent movie based on the story of King Harishchandra, recounted in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, it was released on May 3, 1913. India’s romance with the big screen began, and thus began the journey which was to give us such a rich heritage.
To celebrate this historic occasion, we decided to excavate some trivia on what went into the making of the first Indian feature film. Here’s what we found:
1. The film had an all-male cast because no woman was available to play any of the female leads.
2. The reel was 3,700 feet long and had a runtime of 40 minutes
3. Dadasaheb was greatly influenced by the style of painter Raja Ravi Verma in the making of this film.
4. It was first shown on May 3, 1913 at Mumbai’s Coronation Cinema, Narayan Choyal, Girgaon.
5. Because of the film’s massive success, Phalke had to make more prints for rural areas as well. He was established as a producer and later came to be known as ‘The father of Indian cinema.’
6. Dadasaheb’s wife, Saraswati Phalke, was also actively involved behind the scenes. She single-handedly managed food for the cast and crew, which comprised over 500 people. She worked as a helping hand on the sets. She washed clothes and costumes, helped make posters and had a hand in production.
From 1913 till today we have not only witnessed a progressive Bollywood but also an industry which has literally been adored, celebrated and loved worldwide.Be it bringing alive the real-life characters like Gandhi, Bose, Bhagat Singh or creating some typical mad cap characters like Kishoreda in Half Ticket, Mahmood in Padosan, Shakti Kapoor in almost all Govinda movies Bollywood has done it all! Few also accused Bollywood of being candyfloss and being too stereotype but again its reply was subtle yet befitting.If Manmohan Desai’s movies were too “filmy” the Guru Dutt churned out movies which were realistic to core, if Subhash Ghai scripted revenge dramas then Yash Chopra was the king of romantic movies.
100 years! Yes! Its been 100 years we have had Bollywood entertaining people all around the world.In our nation we also have people who have fanatically accepted it as their religion with temples of their screen idols.For all the impeccable moments on screen, for all the joyous moments, for all those heartfelt tears and finally for all the entertainment we really really love you!
First part of the article is from India Today reading which I decided to wish and thank Bollywood on its Birthday