Hindi cinema has seen a paradigm shift in both content and presentation over the past three decades.
From arguably the worst era (the mid-1980s), when just a handful of films worthy of note were made, the Indian film industry has matured to impress audiences across the world with its creative and technical talent.
Films such as Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) took the world by storm, bringing film buffs back to the cinema halls.
These films ushered in an era of renaissance, tapping into the Indian Diaspora market with its rich potential.
They also launched a campaign against video piracy on the one hand and provided an avenue for new talent on the other. The success of these films led to a number of clones and saw the Rajs and Rahuls occupying excessive screen time.
Filmmakers had to go a shade more real with their films, as the audiences wanted a make-believe world.
Another major change came in 2001 with Farhaan Akhtar’s Dil Chahata Hain.
It was the first Hindi movie to reflect the changing face of India, with the characters dressed and speaking like the young men and women of today’s India.
The movie gave pointers to future Hindi films on structuring dialogues and screenplay.
The past three years heralded the revival of the formats for making films on the lines of the super successful ‘Masala’ entertainers of the 1970s. Filmmakers have taken the frames of old classics and painted them with today’s colours.
Prominent among the new breed of films are Ghajni, Dabanag and Singham.
Today’s audiences have a plethora of avenues to seek entertainment, including Television, DVD and the Internet, while social websites such as Facebook and Twitter provide the perfect vehicles for marketing.
Hindi cinema appears to have a bright future, with new talent getting more opportunities and the old guard re-positioning itself to cater to today’s cine-goer.
Today’s film watchers like fresh ideas and even formula stories re-packaged to modern sensibilities.
Apurv Shukla is a young writer based in Auckland