Since March 14, 1931, when the silent Indian cinema began to talk, sing and dance, with the release of Alam Ara, the first 'talkie', the Indian cinema has progressed to become the biggest film industry in the world. Over 30,00 feature films produced so far, include movies of the highest standard that have raised India's flag high in the world of cinema.
Of the numerous extremely talented individuals associated with cinema, some are eternally identifiable. Their image and hallmark style render them unforgettable. The above quote from Big B Blog confirms that the creator of “Udta Punjab” joins those gems of talent of the past and the present.
“Udta Punjab” reminds of another remarkable movie made on the theme of Punjab, made by the superbly talented Gulzar Sahib:
Maachis (Gulzar, 1996): A story to set your conscience afire, Machis is the tale of a wronged Punjabi youth who takes to arms and joins the league of terrorists to avenge the injustices heaped on to him by the corrupt political set up. The movie seeks to portray how the embittered youth of the strife torn state are dormant, yet volatile and could start a raging fire if provoked beyond their endurance. Maachis is an attempt to flout some myths and look beyond the stereotype image of terrorists. They are shown as a mixture of opposites - compassionate and caring at one time, insensitive and brutal at the other. The film is set against the backdrop of the Operation Bluestar and the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, but interwoven with the plot of the spine chilling drama is a tender love story that hopes to reach its culmination one day. The film bears the Gulzar hallmark of simplicity as well as sensitive handling. All the actors excel performing their difficult portrayals, including the new comer Chandrachud Singh. Tabu won the National Award - Silver Lotus - for Best Actress.
At least two movies made not too long ago, with Big B and Abhishek Bachchan playing lead roles respectively, rank amongst the most appropriate examples of the rare creations of Hindi cinema described by Big B above:
Black (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2005): It takes a brave man to make a Bollywood movie without color and songs, but that's exactly what Sanjay Leela Bhansali has done with Black. In his boldest movie to date, Bhansali directs living Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan as Debraj Sahai, an alcoholic teacher, who transforms the life of an Anglo-Indian deaf-blind girl played by Rani Mukerji. After rescuing her from an asylum, Debraj spends years developing the wild child Michelle into an intelligent and gregarious young woman. Determined to see his student graduate from university, he acts as her eyes and ears, guiding her through the tough world around her. But when Alzheimer's sets in, both Debraj and his student's life are plunged into darkness once again. Now taking on the role of teacher, Michelle fights to remind her mentor of the meaning of everything he once taught her. Boasting of carefully crafted script, beautiful cinematography, a haunting score and moving performances by Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and Esha Kapoor as the young Michelle, Black takes you on an uplifting journey of the human spirit.
Guru (Mani Ratnam, 2007): “As a story, GURU is tremendously inspiring and makes you feel all the more confident to encounter challenges and hurdles that may crop up in a journey called life. With GURU, Mani proves that he's indeed the guru when it comes to narrating stories. GURU ranks amongst Mani Ratnam's finest attempts. Every sequence in GURU bears the stamp of a genius and the outcome is tremendous.
“Mani's choice of the protagonist -- Abhishek Bachchan -- is equally worthy. You ought to be enormously talented to understand the nuances of the character and Abhishek deserves the highest praise for reliving a complex role. You smile when he smiles, you cry when he cries… you relive every single emotion that the character experiences. Only goes to show that the actor involves you at every step with a stupendous performance. Reserve all the awards for Abhishek Bachchan. No two opinions on that! His performance in GURU is world class and without doubt, a shade above his career-best work in YUVA. From a sharp teenager in Turkey to the biggest entrepreneur of the country, Abhishek handles the various shades this character demands with adroitness. He takes a giant leap with this film!
“Aishwarya Rai too stuns you with a powerful performance. Known for her angelic looks all the while, the actor will make people sit up and notice the reservoirs of talent in GURU. Also, the chemistry between Abhishek and Aishwarya is electrifying. Mithun Chakraborty is in form after a long, long time. And it's a pleasure to see the veteran deliver a natural performance from start to end.” - Taran Adarsh, reputed film critic.
The above are only a few examples from amongst scores of great classics created by the superbly talented moviemakers which not only gave glory to Hindi cinema but also brought honor to the country by winning nominations and awards at the famous film festivals all over the world. Our salute to them!