Shammi Kapoor initiated this transformation during the 50s and Amitabh signalled through his on-screen activities that Indians have been changing in their thought and behaviour. The new Indian could also be seen in ‘Dil Chahta Hai ’. Suddenly it was cool to be cool. For decades, Bollywood reflected the angst and agony of struggling India . What started as a catharsis of the castrated has now ended in the metamorphosis of the mutilated . Along with the heroes, villains have also changed faces on the screen. From the cruel zamindars to antagonist rich fathers of the heroines, from deadly smugglers to anti Indian Dr. Dangs and Mogambos , from corrupt politicians to new age monsters like terrorists, Bollywood has portrayed all those characters which Indian society has endorsed as villainous and anti-social. The new age heroine is also revengeful and strong like Anjam's Madhuri while heroines of early days were epitome of beauty and elegancy like Vijayanti Mala in Sangam. From colourful ‘Mela’ dances and ‘Nautankis’ to sizzling item numbers, from Holi Celebrations to Valentine's Day Proposals all these represent slow westernization of our society.
After Independence, it was early 60s when India had to look for solutions to its numerous problems, Manoj Kumar's celluloid adaptation of Lal Bahadur's slogan of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' through his film ‘Upkaar’.The 50s represented romanticism and hope and the 60s were marked by disillusionment and escapism, the 70s were clearly signed by rage and despair. In the 80s, India faced real life Mogambos, while new frontiers of discontent opened up from Kashmir to the North-East, Bollywood was busy experimenting with ingredients ranging from science fiction to Hollywood remakes.
The 90s witnessed a churn in politics, economics and society that would often transport India to the very age of despair. Movies like ‘HAHK’, ‘DDLJ’ and ‘KKHH’ showed an affluent actor-actress pair.
In the new Millennium, the world came to terms with a cocky India bulging with a bare chest confidence. Sex was no longer a taboo and we had movies like ‘Murder’ , ‘Khwahish’ and ‘Love, Sex Aur Dhokha’. On the other hand, masterpieces like ‘Company’ and ‘Satya’, etc.