Bollywood is 110 years young now. Within this cinematic voyage, one witnesses an array of milestones: the march of technology, shifts in genre preferences, alterations in India’s political landscapes, and most notably, the luminaries who transcended the norms of their eras, leaving an indelible imprint on the celluloid canvas—like Mrinal Sen, the cinematic virtuoso who is adoringly remembered in the latest issue of Frontline.
From the silent spectacles of the 1930s to the patriotically charged films that adorned the 1940s, progressing to the triumvirate dominance of Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, and Dilip Kumar in the 1950s and 60s, further journeying through the era of Amitabh Bachchan and the ‘Angry Young Man’ in the 1970s and 80s, and finally witnessing the emergence of iconic female luminaries such as the legendary Sridevi during the 1980s—Bollywood’s chronicles have been embellished by a profusion of talents parading through its hall of fame. Some navigated the treacherous waters of meteoric fame overnight, while others were graced with prolonged sovereignty over the mainstream dominion.
Yet, a few others found themselves gazing upon a retrospective recognition, bestowed only after their prime years had receded into history. For nearly four decades, Frontline has stood witness to the rise and fall of many of these great personalities who shaped Bollywood. Here is an anthology of tributes to some of the stalwarts of Hindi cinema, which not only encapsulates their journeys and careers but also chronicles their trials and tribulations, along with the seminal works that have come to define them.