90’s Bollywood Will Remain Evergreen!
It doesn’t matter if you look at the 90’s as awful or awesome because the impact (for better or for worse) of that decade is so deep-rooted within us especially the 30-somethings reading this that we remain very much a product of that decade even though many world cinema exposed filmmaker and urban sophiscates now seem to be in utter denial about the 90’s. Did it even exist? Yes, it did. Yes, before Netflix, there were the video parlours (early training ground for filmmakers as varied as Anurag Kashyap and Madhur Bhandarkar). We waited for weeks to catch movies of our favourite stars, in many cases pre-booking it by physically paying a visit to the theater. Yes, there once existed the present Munna/Pakya-type black marketer (refer to Aamir Khan in Rangeela) outside Maratha Mandir, Minerva, Geeta, Gaiety-Galaxy and Chandan among others. Yes, there were no cell phones and their was only landlines with their heart patient-killing ring tones and their is the perfect example of the life hits such as Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. The Khans emerged as the romantic stars of the 90’s but the decade equally belonged to action stars like Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol and Suniel Shetty. the heroines, Karisma Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Raveena Tandon, Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Manisha Koirala and Shilpa Shetty commanded large followings. Govinda was a special breed, with his own cottage industry of the silly and the slapstick. Meanwhile, economic reforms of 1991 had forced open the markets. Public’s spending power shot up and Bollywood became one of the biggest beneficiaries. The budgets went through the roof. So, did star salaries and ticket and popcorn prices. Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Subhash Ghai’s Pardes were instrumental in creating the lucrative overseas market, cashing in on the NRI nostalgia. Both films starred Shah Rukh Khan, who as many suggested, represented Bollywood to diaspora audiences. He still does!
In the fifth of our on-going ‘Hindi classics that defined the decade’ essay series, we examine ten Bollywood hits from the 90s.
Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! (1994)
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994)
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
1990 was the golden era and it will remain ever green in the bollywood history.