Since long time the Indian Cinema has emerged out as the medium to spread information, histories and some comedy for the audience. Cinema is not only a powerful means of communication but also a mirror of society, the cultural agent of change and subject-matter and a source of history.
It is true that during colonial rule many filmmakers were not able to express explicitly their political ideoligies or concern and aspirations because of the strict and politically inspired censorship policy of the British.
But it should be kept in mind that the language of cinema is not restricted to dialogues alone; it is also about action, gestures, sentiments and symbolism. Most often these symbols are part of a certain social and historical context and they generated emotions and has excited a large number of crowd. The Cinema play an important role in creating appropriate emotional response among the audience in the climate of freedom struggle.
Indian cinema just like other industries was not given any kind of encouragement during the British rule. Moreover, the arbitary and politically inspired censorship machinery of British throttled any portrayals of democratic ideas and revolutionary spirit in the films. Many a times, Indian filmmakers resorted to the use of allegory and metaphor to convey the desired meanings in the films.
The first motion picture of the world was exhibited on December 28, 1895 in Paris. And India’s connection with cinema began on 7 July 1896 at Watson Hotel in Bombay where an agent of Lumiere Brothers, the founders of movie camera held the first screening of the motion pictures.
India's first motion picture was shot with a Lumiere camera in 1896 which was a wrestling match by Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatwadekar (known as Sawe Dada). Such films were known as ‘topical’ and Hiralal Sen of Calcutta was also a pioneer in this field.
There was an emergence of studio system in 1920s. The studios employed individuals on a monthly salary, on more or less permanent basis, and they covered all facets of filmmaking from acting, technical know-how to exhibition. By 1921, there were twenty one such studio existed in India.
In the 1920s, all genres of films were attempted : historical, social, comedy and stunt. An important aspect of 1920s and early 1930s cinema is that the female lead roles were mostly played by males or Anglo-Indian women as this profession was seen as degrading for women of respectable families.
Indian popular theatre had a profound influence on its cinema. It is from these theater performers’ Indian cinema appropriated the heritage of song and dance and has become an intrinsic characteristic of Indian films.
The journey of Indian talkie began on March 14, 1931 when full length talkie Alam Ara was released. The talkies in India consisted of songs, dances and music. In the initial days of talkies, number of songs in some films was more than fifty, which was sometimes boring. But now there is great change and advancement has been seen. Hopefully it will be at top soon.