Sunday, March 28, 2010

Phalke chaar aana

Films and Cricket are the religions in India. Cricket originated in England and was adored by the Indians. Films were also introduced by English but it took a while to be adored by Indians. Both of them are the key to the door which leads to ‘Hindustan ka Dil’. It can sound out of league to talk about films when the Indian premier league is driving the crowd today.

Motion pictures have an amazing history in India. Dadasaheb Phalke holds the honor of adding this feather to the golden peacock, India. ‘Dadasaheb Phalke is not just the honorary memento but womb to the biggest Indian achievement in the world.

A Garrulous magician turning to a factitious filmmaker had a past of an unsuccessful printing press business. He travelled from riches to rags to riches back. His hobby of enchanting kids by his petty magic tricks brewed his passion to surprise the world, leading to the setting up of biggest ever film industry in India. The way he lived his dream to show Indians what he saw in the small tent theater for two aanas is a true experience to explore. ‘Passion of Christ’ might have scared away the crowds who just couldn’t imagine beyond a photooo, but Dadasaheb Phalke brought the same folks on the screen to surprise the English.

Trivial English vocabulary and ten thousand rupees lent against his life insurance landed Phalke in London. His straightforward approach and modest nerve gave him chance to learn the lessons in motion pictures. With the motion picture camera which he had bought from London and his studio in a bungalow in Dadar, which he referred as ‘karkhana’, he gave India her first film ‘Raja Harish Chandra’. The movie made a turnover of 57 tickets in 5 days and later a series of housefuls till the 23rd show. The ignorance of Indians about motion pictures was the key to success and establishment of film industry in India. As there was no provision for audio at that time, the movies were only motion in the literal sense.

To buy a new business from English, he sold almost all his belongings to learn about motion pictures. His aim was not to earn money but to establish the first ever motion pictures industry in India. Money was of course his priority but with a supportive wife and two children by his side, he never felt the pressure of being a bread winner of the family. He shaped his dream to be a pioneer in film industry in India at the cost of selling the vessels in his house.

Industry which started with hardly 10 actors and zero female population employs more than 1 million people and over 900 movies produced in a year. Motion Pictures became a synonym to Phalke that even the ‘char aana’ motion toys were called ‘Phalke’ at that time.

The Mayasabha group has produced a first ever film named ‘Harishchandrachi factory’ dedicated to the father of Indian Cinema Dadasaheb Phalke. The film is an official entry to Oscars and tells the story of Dada Saheb Phalke’s journey to establish his karkhana of manufacturing films.

It is an experience to watch the struggle in producing a film in the country like India where the Drama Company ruled and people were bound by superstitions and beliefs. Dadasaheb Phalke was a magician to make the emotions speak for the characters in the initial mime motion films.

‘Harishchandrachi Factory’ is a Marathi film (also available with English subtitles), a must experience for all who are a part of film fraternity and for all who love to explore the Indian History.


  1. I saw the movie twice and I loved it...

    Marathi cinema var post lihilya baddal tujha abhinandan

  2. @Yogi-Thanks!
    @Saurabh-reply kelya baddal dhanyavad!

  3. very well scripted blog!
    nice read! :)

    wud help me in my entrance exams for sure! :D

  4. Wonderful...very informative!!


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