We Indians are soo obsessed with movie dialogues and music. And while watching movies, the audience whistles in dialogues and action sequences. So, if I ask you, “Would you like to watch a movie without sound, dialogues, and music?”, Most of us will say “NO”. But you might be interested in knowing about the first Indian movie Raja Harishchandra.
Everyone likes to enjoy a talkie and musical movie. But if I say that these ‘Talkie & Musical’ movies came from a ‘Silent & Non-Musical’ movie, will you believe me?
Yes! our India’s first-ever movie is a silent and non-musical movie.
Many people don’t know about this, because of no knowledge of the history of Indian Cinema. So, let’s have some discussion and gain some knowledge about the first Indian movie ever made.
About the Movie – Raja Harishchandra
The name of the first-ever Indian movie is ‘Raja Harishchandra’. It is a silent film as I already mentioned above.
This film was released on 3rd May 1913 under the production company named ‘Phalke Films Company’.
This movie was directed, produced, screenplay, and edited altogether by, Dadasaheb Phalke.
The film starred Dattatraya Dabke (portrayed the character of King Harishchandra), Anna Salunke, Bhalchandra Phalke (Dadasaheb‘s elder son), and Gajanan Sane.
Although people already saw street shows, nevertheless people were insanely crazy to watch the moving pictures for the first time.
This film was also the first full-length Indian Feature Film. But despite being a silent film, it had English, Marathi, and Hindi Language intertitles.
Process Of making Raja Harishchandra movie
In 1911, when Phalke watch The Life of Christ at a theatre, he was too inspired and then decide to shoot a feature film. He wanted to go to London to learn filmmaking. So despite his all financial crisis, he arranged a loan and made a trip to London.
In London, he learned direction, production, screen playing, and many more from Mr. Cabourn who denied to teach him at first.
After two weeks of learning, Phalke came to India.
After coming back to India, he established ‘Phalke Films Company’. Which is his own production company. As Phalke didn’t have enough equipment and finance to make a film, he started collecting the required equipment from his house.
At first, he made a short film ‘Ankurachi Wadh’ to impress investors to invest in his filmmaking. This trial became a success for him and he got investments. After that, he imported the required equipment from several countries.
Casting and Advertising
Phalke struggled a lot to get actors and actresses. He advertised in several newspapers to select his film’s cast and crew. But unfortunately, he didn’t get any female for the actress role, so male actors did the female roles as well.
Due to the shortage of cast and crew, Phalke had to handle most of the sectors of the film like design, make-up editing, film processing, and many more.
Although the film was almost 40 minutes, the making of the film took six months and 27 days. The film had four reels in total but unfortunately, somehow two-reel lost. Now, only the first and the last reels are in existence and preserved at the National Film Archive of India.
Releasing of the Film
Before releasing it at cinema theaters on 3rd May 1913, the film was premiered at the Olympia Theatre in Bombay.
And the release of the film had made a big success commercially.
Many historians are against the belief that it is the first Indian Featured Film. Because, according to them, Dadasaheb Torne, ‘Shree Pundalik’ is the first Indian film which is also a silent film released on 18 May 1912.
But the government of India finally considers ‘Raja Harishchandra’ as the First Indian Featured Film.
In a nutshell, maybe this film has so many flaws, but it can’t be denied that First is always special. We shouldn’t forget our roots.
The films which make us impressed today, the idea of making behind all of them is came from this film.
So, we should appreciate the hustles of all the cast and crew, and honorable Dadasaheb Phalke, the Father of Indian Cinema Industry.
You have learn about the first Indian movie why not learn about Dadasaheb Phalke who is behind first movie of Indian Cinema .
What do you think about this film and if you didn’t know about this film, don’t forget to share your valuable views on this in the comment section below.