A movie is the brainchild of a producer, director or a studio executive and Bollywood or the Hindi film industry has some of the most brilliant movies to offer. These are some of the paths breaking and widely appreciated films of India. Most of the best and most talked about Bollywood movies are attached to the golden era of cinema – the 1950s. Some of these films have been nominated for the best ever awards at the Oscars.
So, if you are a fan of Indian Cinema, here is a quick guide on how to go about it.
First, here is a list of the most celebrated and path breaking movies of Bollywood. They are based on a theme that speaks about growing contemporary society and modern living. In most of these movies, directors have managed to create characters that are sensitive, courageous and contemporary.
The best thing about the director’s list is that the film industry keeps making these films so that they remain noteworthy amongst audiences and critics. If you are someone who loves watching Bollywood films, then you need to make sure that you keep track of the directors list so that you can always expect to see a new film in the near future.
Let’s have a look at the 10 path breaking movies of bollywood that revolutionised Indian Cinema.
1. Pyaasa (1957)
Pyaasa has been regarded as one the greatest films ever made. It is often listed on the top films of world cinema. Indian filmmakers still cite Pyaasa for their inspiration. It is a film that has been revered and respected in India. It is praised for its storytelling, technical brilliance, theme, and romantic idealism. Its soundtrack was the first major in its genre to carry the story forward, using songs that are a major part of Hindi Cinema’s mainstream films as well as transposing poetry onto screen.
It is considered to have been a pioneering film. The film’s unconventional theme was not widely appreciated by critics at the time and was therefore not well received by audiences. The film didn’t win any awards at the Filmfare ceremony after its release. The film was unusual in its theme, had no major actors or actresses at the time of production, and faced strong competition from Mother India (1957), which was released around the same period. Despite this, Pyaasa still managed to be the third highest-grossing film of the year.
It was released in 1957, directed and produced by Guru Dutt. He co-starred with himself Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman, Rehman and Johnny Walker. It focuses on Vijay (Dutt), a disillusioned poet whose works are underrated by publishers and panned because he writes on social issues, rather than on romantic topics. The film is about his interactions with the generous prostitute Gulabo (Waheeda Rezman) and Meena (Sinha); how the former helps him get his poetry published; his success with his works and his relationship with Gulabo.
2. Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
Mughal-e-Azam had the widest release of any Indian film up to that time, and patrons often queued all day for tickets. Released on 5 August 1960, it broke box office records in India and became the highest-grossing Indian film of all time, a distinction it held for 15 years. The accolades awarded to the film include one National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards at the 8th Filmfare Awards. Mughal-e-Azam was the first black-and-white Hindi film to be digitally coloured, and the first in any language to be given a theatrical re-release. The colour version, released on 12 November 2004, was also a commercial success.
The film is widely considered to be a milestone of its genre, earning praise from critics for its grandeur and attention to detail. Film scholars have welcomed its portrayal of enduring themes, but question its historical accuracy.
Mughal-e-Azam, which was released in 150 cinemas in India on August 5, 1960, set a new record for highest-grossing Bollywood film. The film eventually earned a net income of 55 million (US$115,530,000) and generated a profit of 30 million for the producers. Mughal e-Azam enjoyed a lengthy theatrical run. It was shown in full at the Maratha Mandir for three consecutive years.
According to reports of a famous Indian newspaper, Mughal-E-Azam, is the highest grossing film of all time with a footfall of more than 100 million. This count is even greater than Hum Aapke Hain koun (1994) and Baahubali- The Conclusion (2017).
3. Sholay (1975)
Sholay received numerous “Best Film” honors. It was named the “Film of the Millennium by BBC India” in 1999. Also, it was included in Time Magazine’s Best of Bollywood list in 2010 as well as CNN-IBN’s list of the 100 greatest Indian films of all-time in 2013.
Sholay was the inspiration for many movies and pastiches. It also spawned a new genre, the “Curry Western”, which is a play on the term Spaghetti Western. Sholay inspired many films and pastiches and was the inspiration for the “Curry Western”, which is a play on the term Spaghetti Western. The BBC also called it the “Star Wars of Bollywood”, because of its roots in Indian dacoit films like Mother India (1957), and Gunga Jumna (1961).
Some scenes and dialogues in the film have been deemed iconic in India. “Kitne aadmi the” (How many men were there?) are some of the most famous scenes and dialogues from the film.
Gabbar Singh, played by Amjad Khan, was revered as the Most iconic villain of all time by filmfare in 2013. The Four leads of the film were also commemorated in the list of “80 all time best performances.” by Filmfare.
Sholay was the first film to be released on 70mm screen. The first in the history of Indian Cinema. Till date, it is the favourite of all age groups.
4. Lagaan (2001)
This is a 2001 Indian Hindi-language epic Musical Sport film Written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker Produced by and starring Aamir Khan Along with the debutant Gracy Singh British actors Rachel Shelley AndPaul BlackthorneAs a supporting role. Assisting rolesUnprecedented budget Of 250 million (US$5.32 Million). The movie was the first project of the filmmakers. It was shot in villages near Bhuj.
The film was made in 1893 during the British colonial period. The story revolves around a small village in Central India, whose inhabitants, burdened by high taxes, and several years of drought, find themselves in an extraordinary situation as an arrogant British army officer challenges them to a game of cricket, as a wager to avoid paying the taxes they owe. This is the story of the village as they try to learn a new game and play for the chance to change the destiny of their village.
Lagaan was released on June 15, 2001. It clashed with Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, starring Sunny Deol & Amesha Patel. Lagaan received widespread critical acclaim and awards at international film festivals, as well as many Indian film awards. It was the third Indian film to receive the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film After Mother India (1957) and Salaam Bombay! (1988).
5. Roja (1992)
The timeless classic directed and crafted by the maestro himself , Mani Ratnam is a delight for cinema lovers. One of the first films in the history of Indian Cinema that can be remembered for its mesmerizing and path breaking music. It indeed is a Musical saga. Released in 1992, starring Arvind swamy and Madhoo, this romantic saga is based on the National Insurgency.
Mani Ratnam, Roja’s chief insurgent from Kashmir, highlights their efforts to incite violence among the community and disturb the peace.
He is known today as the music genius who brought international glory to India. In 1992, however, AR Rahman was still a young man and Mani Ratnam offered him a job as a music producer in Roja. Time Magazine voted AR Rahman’s first soundtrack in the Top 10 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time. It is worth watching again because of the songs.
Although Roja is fictional, Mani Ratnam, the film’s director, said that he was inspired by a true story that unfolded in 1991. K. Doraiswamy was an executive at the Indian Oil Corporation and was taken by Kashmiri militants. He was held captive for two months while Doraiswamy was fighting for his release.
Roja, a Tamil film, won international acclaim. The National award was won for best lyricist, best music director and best overall film. It also won the award for best film about national integration. It was shown at the London Indian Film Festival, Moscow International Film Festival, and many other venues.
6. Parinda (1989)
Parinda was theatrically released on 3 November 1989. The film was promoted using the tagline “The most powerful film ever made”. Parinda is credited by several critics for introducing realism into mainstream Hindi cinema and redefining the portrayal of the underworld in films. It is also considered a landmark film and one of the best of Indian cinema.
The film was listed in CNN-News18’s 2013 list “100 greatest Indian movies of all time”, Mint’s list “70 iconic Indian films”, Filmfare’s 100 Filmfare Days series, Filmfare’s “70 films of Indian cinema” series, Filmfare’s “100 Filmfare Days”, the “70 most iconic Indian movies” list, and Rachel Dwyer’s book 100 Bollywood Films.
The movie owes its credit to introducing realism in cinema. The performances of the cast, especially Nana Patekar and Jackie Shroff have left their impacts on the audience and filmmakers until today.
Parinda is one of the rarest gems of bollywood, that digs deep into the reality of underworld and crime. The scenes are shot so realistically that it will stay with you for months.
I remember my father telling me, “ Parinda is one such movie that didn’t let me sleep for nights at a stretch.” It indeed is a path breaking phenomena.
7. Lamhe (1991)
Lamhe for me was one of a kind movie. With a subject so bold, in that era Yash Chopra took a really very courageous step. As described by the TIMES magazine, ‘ a tale of love transcending the boundaries of time and space.’ It was a movie truly ahead of its time.
Lamhe is one of the few films that picked up the Filmfare Award for Best Film despite its moderate business in India. Lamhe is also one of the biggest Bollywood hits in the overseas market and the video circuit. Sridevi received widespread critical acclaim for her double-role as mother and daughter, winning the Filmfare Award for Best Actress among others. It was also listed in Outlook magazine’s list of All-Time Great Indian films. It has been cited as Yash Chopra’s personal favorite among his films.
Sridevi played both mother and daughter in what iDiva described as “another double-role but it was unlike any played before.” Hailed by Rediff as “one of the most remarkable films of her career… often considered a film way ahead of its time”, Her performance brought her much acclaim with BizAsia stating that “Her rendition of both Pallavi and Pooja serves well in highlighting how versatile she is as an actress, playing contrasting characters in the same movie.”
Over the years, Lamhe has become a cult classic. Critic Rachel Dwyer wrote in her biography of the film-maker “Yash Chopra’s own favourite film.
8. Bahubali (2015 & 2017)
Bahubali- the Beginning (2015) and Bahubali- The Conclusion ( 2017) directed by SS Rajamouli featuring South superstars Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Tamannah, Rana Daggubati, Ramya Krishnan, Satyaraj in pivotal roles.
An epic action drama, Bahubali is a never seen before experience. Bahubali- The Conclusion is the highest grossing Indian movie till date. It is the first Pan India movie to be released across India and overseas, and was loved across all regions and age groups.
Made on an estimated budget of Rs 2.5 billion, the production was launched on 17 December 2015 at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad. K. K. Senthil Kumar was responsible for the cinematography and Kotagiri Vekateswara Rao edited it. Sabu Cyril designed the production, and Peter Hein choreographed the action sequences. R. C. Kamalakannan designed the visual effects, with assistance by Adel Adili. M. composed the soundtrack and background music. M. Keeravani. M. Keeravani. The Conclusion was released 28 April 2017. Later, it was dubbed into Hindi and Malayalam as well as Russian, Japanese, Russian, and Chinese. The Conclusion was released in conventional 2D and IMAX formats. It was also the first Telugu film that was released in 4K High Definition format.
The Conclusion, which earned 1,796.56 crore globally, briefly surpassed PK (2014) and became the highest-grossing Indian film, earning approximately 8 billion in six days. It became the first-ever Indian film to gross over 10 billion, doing so in just ten days. It set many film records in India. It was the highest-grossing Hindi film, and also in Telugu, Tamil, and original Telugu languages. It is the highest-grossing Indian movie, and the second-highest-grossing Indian film globally. It also ranks as the 39th most-grossing film. It sold 100 million tickets in all languages during its run. This is the highest footfall of any Indian film since Sholay (1975).
The Conclusion was released to favorable reviews by critics. The film was also highly praised by actors from the film industry. The American Saturn Award for Best International Film and the Australian Telstra People’s Choice Award have been awarded to the Conclusion. It was awarded three National Film Awards: Best Popular Film providing Wholesome Entertainment, Best Special Effects, and Best Stunt Choreographer. The British Film Institute premiered the Conclusion, which was also the first feature film at the 39th Moscow International Film Festival. It is showcased in the “Indian Panorama” section of the 48th International Film Festival of India.
9. Fire (1996)
Mehta’s Fire, starring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das is truly a path-breaking
film in all spheres. It is the first movie in the history of Indian Cinema to
It’s gutsy and bold theme made for a lot of controversies across India, but the film was praised for it’s brave attempt to portray lesbian relationship.
With powerful actors like Azmi and Das and a stellar supporting cast, Fire is one the pioneer movies in bollywood.
Though the film was surrounded with controversies and protests, it has managed to carve it’s niche across the film industry as one the boldest Indian films to be ever made.
10. Mother India (1957)
India’s first official entry to the Academy Awards, Mother India is a cult classic. As rightly said by veteran script writer and lyricist, Javed Akhtar, “All Hindi Films come from Mother India.”
Mother India is one of the most beloved films in India. A “cinematic epic”, A “flag-bearer for Hindi cinema and a legend in it’s own right.” Mother India was ranked No. 80 in Empire magazine’s 2010 “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema”.
The movie starred Nargis Dutt, Sunil Dutt and Rajender Kumar in the lead role. Nargis was praised for her strong performance both as a young naive bride and an old strong mother. It is one such movie that has put the Indian Film Industry on the World Cinema Map. A pioneer of all.