Film as dream, film as music. No form of art goes beyond the ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul,” said celebrated filmmaker Ingmar Bergman once.
Cinema is indeed a form of art that has the power to make a person forget his everyday mundane existence and transport him into a parallel world, once he enters the cold, dark theatre. It is this parallel world, where he becomes that angry young man Vijay of ‘Zanjeer’ in a uniform, he becomes the upright Radha of ‘Mother India’, who doesn’t flinch before killing her erring son and he becomes that inimitable person who knows how to deliver a dialogue with a punch and also throw in a punch or two, every time he’s faced with a demanding situation. Spending on the ticket money to be able to touch the rainbows of his fantasy is a fantastic deal, after all. And that’s perhaps why the business of Indian cinema has prospered at a breathtaking pace over the last hundred years.
The glorious hundred years — of melodrama and emotions, of unbridled passion, of colourful dreams, of magical story-telling, of haunting music, of romantic interludes and everything in between.
The gutsy Dadasaheb Phalke whose mute ‘Raja Harischandra’ was the first Indian film to release in 1913, earned the respect of being called the father of Indian cinema. But credit also goes to some of the most talented people in the country, who brought up Phalke’s child lovingly and shaped his character to make sure that he continues living for long.
And the least we can do is give this grand old man, now all of 100 years, a standing ovation.