If retro styles are in, then it is certainly because we believe that, 'Old is Gold.' The sweet and simple melody of songs, meaningful interviews and the charisma of natural expressions in the olden times is a regaling experience. The look of sixties and seventies has a charm of its own. There were all kind of films then rarely action, suspense thrillers or the Indian family drama. The essence of old Bollywood movies relates to a hero who is the super hero and essentially a Jack of all trades.
Parallel cinema of art form was associated to social concepts, the prevalence of evils in the society or simple facts of normal living. In the earlier days, women oriented subjects were limited or the films revolved on a single theme. The complexity that is present in today's Bollywood films like multi-star cast, dual stories, assortment of screen play and specialization in functions was not adhered in the olden times. Film making was a devotion and a process which internalized in the directors mind. Most of the vamps or villains were foreseeable in their behavior and certain mannerisms were associated with them. There were stories about the kings and queens, patriotic movies and also others which had the pathos of romance. The actors were veterans and had a clear mind to play the role. Improvisation was their key objective. It is also true that story writing and lyrics writing was a true passion. The words were initially formed and the tune was set accordingly which is reverse to today's trend.
Quality was well maintained about continuity in the films. Flashback scenes were not of a very high detail yet the link was very well maintained. The masking concept was very much in use for mingling two different shots at the editing table. Sounds were mostly verbal and the action scenes had less drama than the modern concept. Compositions and musical arrangement were simple and genuine. No treatment was given to alter the vocalists sound. There was a special charm in the look of the sixties. The fashion was original with familiar trends that came with the western influence.
The adaptation of hairstyles was very evident in the black-white era. Make up ideas were minimal and the heroines had their own style concepts. Eastman color films also led to another change breaking the cliched presentation in the black and white films. The actors then were also playback singers and this worked as an advantage to the films popularity. Press conferences and film launches were comparatively a straightforward affair and award ceremonies were laudable for their simplicity. Elegance reigned supreme and this added to the glamor of the filmdom.
By Rajni Seth
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