How film-maker Nasir Husain started the trend for Bollywood masala films | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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How film-maker Nasir Husain started the trend for Bollywood masala films

A talk in the city will shed light on how film-maker Nasir Husain created the prototype for Bollywood masala films

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Mar 30, 2017 15:57 IST
Poorva Joshi
A still from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander
A still from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (Photo courtesy: NH Films/Nuzhat Khan)

Author Akshay Maniwala (37) associates his childhood with films such as Yaadon ki Baraat (1973) and Hum Kisi se Kam Nahi (1977). He grew up in the late ’80s, when cable TV had broken the monopoly of Doordarshan, and mainstream films were available for mass consumption.

The films shaped Manwani’s understanding of pop culture and Indian cinema. So much so that he wrote a book on Husain’s work — Music, Masti, Modernity: The Cinema of Nasir Husain. The book analyses Husain’s five-decade long career in Bollywood, and how he created some of the most popular films of all times — from Anarkali (1953), Paying Guest (1957), Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957), to Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992). Husain was at the helm of big budget films, with stylish actors, and high-end production value. The stories ranged from family dramas, and love stories, to historical dramas, or in other words — the perfect combination for stereotypical masala films in Indian cinema.

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“His films featured timeless, relatable themes. Take Yaadon ki Baraat, for instance — a film about separated siblings, who are re-united as adults through an unlikely coincidence. It’s a story that can be adapted to urban times,” says Manwani. He also points out that music played an important role in Husain’s films. The film-maker used songs to further the film, unlike stalling the flow of the story to feature a song.

Manwani says that the song Lekar Hum Deewana Dil (from Yaadon…), was featured as a romantic song between actors Neetu Singh and Tariq Khan but it also serves as an introduction to between the characters played by Tariq and Vijay Arora — two brothers who were separated.

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To elaborate on his understanding of Husain’s cinema, Manwani is set to give a talk in the city. And in addition to discussing Husain, Manwani will also focus on the film-maker’s legacy, and how his film influenced new-age film-makers such as Karan Johar and Imtiaz Ali. “The cinema of the ’70s is long behind us, but these two film-makers follow in Husain’s footsteps when it comes to the use of music in films, and big budget productions,” he says.

BE THERE: Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai - Celebrating The Cinema Of Nasir Husain will take place on March 31, at 5pm. AT Godrej ONE, Vikhroli (E)
To register, email indiaculturelab@godrejinds.com