Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hindi Movie Posters...





A coincidence it might be, but the topic seems to be swirling around my conversations with my  friends and cab mates off late. So, what better than making a post about it.

In our conversations, I realized that hindi movie posters seem to have come a long way. Going back to one of the first image-less posters of the film Raja Harishchandra to the recent glossy posters for the Rock Ons and the Gajni's of our times. I remember having seen some of the hand-painted posters of the movies from 60s through the 80s, all stained with paan. Be it then, the colourful and yet crowded posters, with every main character on it, for Mera Naam Joker or the sole strong face of Amitabh Bacchan dominating it for almost all of his films in the 70s. The hindi movie posters have indeed come a long way. 

When I was a kid, it was an awaited event for every thrusdays. When with my friends or cousins, I would take the most famous galees where the new movie posters would appear for the three cinema halls we had in our town back then. We would wait a minute or two staring at them, soaking in every detail, and only then would we continue our walk to see the same poster again in the next lane. Finally, we would come to decide on a day for watching. 

Now, when I am in hyderabad, a friend reminds me of those posters in a casual conversation, and in my 23 km drive from my house to my office, my eyes search longingly for a single movie poster in one of those forgotten  and wretched walls. To my surprise, the only posters I see are for the recent Telugu movies. Most of those are more like hoardings hung on huge billboards. I am forced to talk to my cab-mates about my fond memories of Amitabh, Mithun, or Govinda staring out of the old posters like Greek Gods, suited only for Indian fantasies. I remember, some of my girl friends staring longingly at them. Alas! I have to admit, the era for not just the hand-painted posters is gone, but so also the era for posters on every obscure wall is gone. Sadly enough, I only realized it far too late. I wonder, why such gradual disappearance, so sudden I surely can't call them?

Various answers flash through my head, may be too many TV advertisements for the upcoming new movies, internet bookings, various resources we now have to find out about the new releases. But could it be also because of the changing spaces we live in today. Who did these posters cater to? Who were their audience...? The general mass....

Has there then been a disconnect then in what constituted earlier the general mass?Perhaps yes, we can now divide the mass of any metropolis into - the Urban and the not so urban mass. The urban, looks at the multi-plexes and the internet for movie information and perhaps the not so urban mass is fast catching up. But how about the telugu movies, I grudge them for having the very boisterous posters, though not so appealing to me, staring out and making me all the more nostalgic about my lovely old hindi film posters. Why do they continue having them, and not just posters, but hoardings too. Who is the then the audience for these films? Do they still remain the naive youngster or rather the teenager that I was a decade back? Apart from innocence and such facades that I just used for my past, I think, there indeed is a serius disparity between the masses that watch the telugu and the hindi movies in Hyderabad. Because, just like the telugu posters, back home we still have these occasional hindi movie poster being stained every minute.
I think, merely for the fact that I choose to live in a metro-city, I will have to say goodbye to those celluloid moments, captured for eternity in a frame and live sulking with the glossy, rich multiplex posters.


28 comments:

shock said...

ummm....one question.....u have memories of movie posters of the 70s and 60s huh.....where did u see movie posters of the 60s? how old r u? :-)

wasted said...

you duh...those posters remain...in some wall or the other. Plus, raigarh has the habit of sometimes showing the hits like Sholay, Mera Naam Joker and others. So, we saw those much talked about posters so many times...

shock said...

60s ka poster in the 80s? well will take ur word for it....but agree with you abt the disappearance of the posters...they were quite enjoyable....esp the ones with pictures of big bosomed heroines and vamps :-)......
anyway a wall is not a wall if someone has not spit, peed, written a "Vote for.." slogan or pasted a movie poster on it...these are the essential qualities of wallness

wasted said...

true...I agree...should have not written,"one of my earliest memories..." but "I remember seeing the 60s posters..."

Will correct it :)

Anonymous said...

hi

wasted said...

Who has said hi Anonymously?

supreethi said...

i know what runa says abt seeing movie posters of the 60s in the 80s bishock..i see movie posters of even the mid-50s all the time in my hometown... especially during shiv-ratri when u can watch like 3 3hr movies for 1 ticket's cost!

wasted said...

yay! someone to corroborate what I said...thanks Suprithi

Siddharth said...

very good writing, I don't however know if you know about the actual trade of film posters back then. Dont remember the date but Hindu had a good article on painter & his works last year

wasted said...

I think...don't know much about the actual trade of it...have tried reading some articles online.

Amalendu said...

lovely write....you can always bring in a little more life to these by adding the stories of stained wall, or the wall standing close to a drain or chunnu 'n' munnu taking a pee war in front of the posters...

wanda1234 said...

thanks for sharing....


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