April 8, 2023
The Indian Cinema has one of the most vibrant of histories that are revolutionary and enchanting. Starting right from the Silent Era to the modern dayâ€™s movie that we see today, the Indian Cinema has it all. And it becomes essential for us film school students, to have our fair share of knowledge about this rich history. Therefore, today, we are presenting a list of 5 silent films of the Indian Cinema that you must watch. Not only is it vital that you know where it all started, but these films carry a certain charm of their own, that you will understand after you have witnessed them first-hand.
The movie that laid the foundation of the Indian Cinema, Raja Harishchandra was the brainchild of Dadasaheb Phalke (you must have heard of him!). This movie was released in 1913 and was not the first silent film ever made. But it was the first full-length feature film made by an Indian. Depicting the life of Raja Harishchandra, this 40-minute feature is a must-watch for all the movie lovers out there. After all, old is always gold!
Another work by Dadasahed Phalke, Lanka Dahan, was based on one of the most famous epics of the Indian culture, the Ramayana. It was released in 1917 and was very well received by the mass. And thus, it became the first box office hit in India. But the reason why we are suggesting this movie is not because of its popularity. The film used trick photography and special effects, which were never used before in the Indian Cinema scenario. Also, fun fact, the characters of Ram and Sita were both played by one person- A. Salunke.
Movies are, in the end, a means of mass communication. That is why our Government has rules and regulations when it comes to what can be shown in a movie and what cannot. And Bhakta Vidur was the first Indian film to get the honors of being banned. Donâ€™t worry, it did not show anything controversial. However, the main character was lightly inspired by Gandhi. Considering the public figure that he was and the similarities the movie had to the then-scenario of the country, the Government didnâ€™t take any chance. But it is a must-watch, nonetheless.
It would be an absolute mistake to leave the film out that brought the South-Indian film industry to the forefront. Keechaka Vadham was again, based on the Indian epic, the Mahabarata and set the pace of the South-Indian films that we see today.
Not a film of the Silent Era, but this film deserves a place on this list. They say silence can say more than words, and the directors of Pushpak couldnâ€™t agree more when they decided to make this film silent on choice! And the public agreed too as it got a 35-week extensive screening in Bengaluru, and landing with a National Award!
We hope this list helps you get enlightened more on the Indian Silent Era front. Sure we can learn a lot from books, but when it comes to film studies, you need to see the films first-hand to understand why some famous films are regarded as such. Therefore, go on and indulge yourself in the magic of the Silent Era and keep loving movies!