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1980s - The decade of charming debuts and love stories in Hindi Cinema popularly known as Bollywood. (Article on Cinema by Bobby Sing)

15 Feb, 2021 | Articles on Cinema

Cinema as an art of storytelling is ruled by love stories and every new generation has its own cult love story finding an instant connection with the youth. Hindi cinema has witnessed numerous adorable films about young lovers in its hundred years of history, but the decade of ‘80s deserves a special mention among them all for a reason.
Widely considered a forgettable decade of Hindi cinema for various debatable elements, 1980s was actually the decade releasing trendsetting love stories exploring the cinema of the next generation. It was the period when most of the star-kids were introduced, along with the unknown faces, offering exceptionally hit soundtracks in their films winning hearts all over. A few of these actors rediscovered themselves after playing small roles and some couldn’t hit the right note even after getting the big opportunity. However, many did experience phenomenal success, literally ruling the box-office in the decades that followed. 

Beginning with 1981, we had Ek Duuje Ke Liye introducing Kamal Hassan, Rati Agnihotri, Madhavi and Sunil Thapa, along with Sanjay Dutt’s Rocky. The year also had another mega hit as Love Story introducing Kumar Gaurav and Vijeyta Pandit, besides Kunal Kapoor coming up with his mainstream release Ahista Ahista. The following year, an unusual debut by Salma Agha as a singer-actress won over the masses in a socially relevant love story Nikaah, raising a valid question.

In 1983, Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh announced their arrival through Betaab followed by Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri setting the box office on fire with their Hero. Sunny also did a period love-saga Sohni-Mahiwal in the next year. On the other hand, where Anil Kapoor successfully made a breakthrough in mainstream cinema with Woh Saat Din, Rajiv Kapoor-Divya Rana, Rajeev Goswami-Meenakshi and Kunal Goswami-Komal couldn’t leave the desired impact with their Ek Jaan Hain Hum, Painter Babu and Ghungroo, respectively.
The lukewarm response to new love stories and debuts continued in 1984. These included Mohnish Behl and Ayesha Dutt’s Teri Baahon Mein, Karan Shah and Neelam’s Jawaani, Tapas Paul and Madhuri Dixit’s Abodh and Suneil Anand and Natasha Sinha’s Anand Aur Anand. In 1985, Rohan Kapoor and Farha also failed to impress in their Faasle, but a surprise hit turned the tables for both Kimi Katkar and Hemant Birje with Adventures of Tarzan.

Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili was all over the press and theaters in 1986 featuring Mandakini in a bold avatar, but Raj Tandon and Rubina couldn’t make it big with Ek Main Aur Ek Tu. The same was the result of an attempt to cash in on the young spirit with Love 86 featuring all fresh entrants as Govinda, Rohan Kapoor, Farha and Neelam. Here a deserving mention has to be made of K. Asif’s Love and God – an incomplete film that finally got released with the efforts of K. C. Bokadia, sadly witnessing a discouraging response from the audience.

In 1988, Aasif Sheikh (of Hum Log fame) and Kimi Katkar tried their best in Rama-O-Rama, but the year truly belonged to Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak featuring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. Both the excellence in music and execution on screen continued in 1989 with another classic Maine Pyar Kiya re-introducing Salman Khan with Bhagyashree playing the new-age couple. The same year also witnessed an unexpected musical success in the video circuit achieved by a small film Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka with Sahil Chaddha and Veverly in the lead. Thankfully, a hat-trick of musical love stories got completed with Aashiqui releasing in 1990 that eventually took the Hindi Cinema into its next phase.

In comparative terms, though all the hit films mentioned above have their own importance in the history of Hindi films and music, the one name that still stands tall is Ek Duuje Ke Liye. The reason being that the film not only introduced Hindi film viewers to an exceptionally gifted artist like Kamal Hassan, but also made way for an extremely blessed and versatile singer-performer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, who later became one of the key reasons of success for many blockbuster love stories as Maine Pyar Kiya, Saajan, Roja, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and more. 

Interestingly, Ek Duuje Ke Liye wasn’t actually the first Hindi film of both Kamal Hassan and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam as widely quoted. The talented singer sang for many Hindi films earlier, but they were mostly dubbed Hindi films having a limited release. But then he also sang for R. D. Burman in Mangalsutra (1981) that got censored months before Ek Duuje Ke Liye. Revealing the lesser-known cameo of Kamal Hassan, he was there in a few seconds scene in K. Balachander’s Aaina (1977) as a young assistant talking to his director while shooting a song featuring Dharmendra and Neetu Singh. 

No doubt the ‘80s, full of debuts and love stories, wasn’t really a decade that can easily be forgotten.

Bobby Sing
NOTE : The article was first published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 14th February 2021.
Note : The write-up is a chapter shared from my upcoming book releasing soon. So any additions, rectifications suggested by friends are welcome to make it better.
Did You Know By Bobby SingFor more such interesting articles on lesser known facts on Hindi Cinema, do try DID YOU KNOW Series by Bobby Sing available in both Book and E-book form.

Also available 
at Notionpress and Flipkart stores (in India)
The book is now also available in Hindi titled 
ITNA TO YAAD HAI MUJHE published by Prabhat Prakashan

Tags : 1980s The decade of debuts and love stories in Bollywood by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Article on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Debuts of all Star Sons in Bollywood, Nepotism in Bollywood
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