New Wave Cinema In India- Changing Story of Bollywood

Indian Cinema is known for its melodrama and over the top treatment of song-dance sequences. This is the identity of every Indian film whether it is a Hindi, Tamil or Telugu language film. Almost all Indian movies have song and dance sequences with high melodramatic themes and people of this subcontinent love it. This has given a unique identity to the Indian movies worldwide. But is this situation changing? Song and dance will no longer be featured in the movies or it is just an assumption? Why I am saying this?

Indian Cinema lovers are aware of the fact that during 1970's and 1980's there was a wave of parallel cinema with strong depiction of realism, naturalism and serious content based on socio-political situations. Parallel cinema was an alternative to the mainstream cinema, which was not so real but full of entertainment, fun and audience love every bit of over the top song and dance movements. But parallel cinema died its own death soon because, it has almost nil commercial success and nobody can deny this though it is highly creative medium but it is a serious business too. Slowly film makers like Shyam Benegal, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Govind Nihlani, Mahesh Bhatt, Gulzar, Gautam Ghose either stopped, slowed the pace of making realistic cinema or moved to the popular and commercial genre and actors of parallel movies like Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Amol Palekar, Pankaj Kapoor etc. also switched to mainstream cinema for greener pastures.

Now with the rising numbers of multiplexes in the major cities a new wave of cinema has arrived. With the liberalization and privatization Indian economy also changed and thus created a lot of innovative opportunities. New filmmakers do not hesitate to experiment with the medium and with the subject. They made low budget movies like Matrubhoomi, Dev D, Gulal, Peepli Live, Iqbal, khosla ka Ghosla, A Wednesday, Bheja Fry, Shor In The City, Dhobi Ghat, I Am Kalam etc. Since Hydrabad Blues (Directed by Nagesh Kuknoor) release in 1998 each year new wave cinema makers are making films and finding audience in the multiplexes as well as on DTH networks. New and some established production houses also daring each year by releasing films with bold, realistic and almost no song and dance sequences. But still a large number of films feature songs and dances in the movies. Well known filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali said that the new wave of realistic cinema shouldn’t undermine the ‘Bollywood stamp of melodramas’. And this argument seems carry a valid point. Undoubtedly new wave of India cinema has given a fresh dimension in the industry but melodramatic treatment, song and dance sequences will remain an integral part of the movies. These things are basically derived from the culture which is so colourful and full of song and dance rituals. Not a single occasion in the country is complete without its mandatory songs and dances. Even some new wave cinema makers understood this very fact early and they are incorporating it into their kind of movies. After all, this is essentially Bolloywood style of filmmaking.



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