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5 things you couldn’t miss in the 1980’s Bollywood movies

Updated on May 25, 2013
A still of Sridevi and Jeetendra from the movie Himmatwala (1983)
A still of Sridevi and Jeetendra from the movie Himmatwala (1983)

1980s: Worst Decade in the history of Bollywood

1980s is considered as the worst decade, for Bollywood, when you talk about the quality of movies being made in that period. Where 1970s saw the rise of many Bollywood Superstars, 1980s saw them hamming away in the worst movies of their career.

Bollywood movies in this decade (especially the latter half of 1980s and the first few years of 1990s) offered nothing new script wise, and initiated the trend of remaking mindless South Indian Movies, thanks to Jeetendra (f you don't believe me, watch movies like - Ellan-E-Jung, Himmatwala, Aulad, Tarazu, Aag aur Shola, Locket etc), and making easy money with movies appealing only to masses - filled with sex, unneeded songs, extended comedy gigs (not related to the movie), double meaning dialogues. Something, that would not appeal to an intelligent movie goers at all.

Kadar Khan recently said in his interview that he consider himself responsible for starting the trend of double meaning dialogues in the movies. Moreover, the duo of Salim Javed (the best script writers of Bollywood) stopped writing for movies - resulting in many mindless masala flicks, carrying a strong hangover of South Indian Movies.

5 things you couldn't miss in a 1980s Bollywood Movie

Bollywood movies in 1980s were meant to do only one thing - entertain the masses. No empathizes was given to the script, performances, production values etc. Rather double meaning jokes, skimpy outfits, over the top machoism and cheesy soundtracks took the center stage. And, most of these movies mint a lot of money, no doubt. But, it took Bollywood a way back (from its competitors, who went far ahead with innovative ideas and scripts).

Anyhow, here the 5 common things that you will sure-shot find in a 1980s Bollywood movie:

1. Over the top machoism: A hero can do anything in a Bollywood movie (said a self proclaimed Bollywood's best director of 1980s). He can beat 15 people with just his left hand, can become a millionaire in just a year, saves every girl from bad guys and is honest to the t. Plus, looks good and dances well. (Who said Indian Scriptwriters lack imagination and innovation?)

2. Heroines in Skimpy outfits: Till 1980s, Bollywood actresses used to wear decent clothes. But, in 1980s, the directors and producers thought about a great way to bring the audience in the theaters (which the Bhatts are still following) - skin show. And didn't it work? You bet ya.

3. South Indian 'scriptless' Remakes: Nearly every second movie of Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna (in this period) was a south Indian remake. These south indian movies were meant only to entertain masses, so these movies, instead of an inspiring script, followed a beated formula of the mix of over the top action, unwanted cheesy songs, comedy gags, and a rape or two (here and there).

4. Cheesy Songs: Bollywood in 1950s, 60's and 70's was known for its melodious songs, but 1980s paved the way for cheesy songs in Bollywood - with music directors such as Bappi Lehri and Anu Malik taking the center stage. And this trend continued till late 1990s

5. Ham Acting: Where the leading bollywood superstars of 1970s didn't shy to ham in the 80's (amitabh bachchan, jeetendra, dharmendra, rajesh khanna), the leading actresses surpassed each other in over the top melodrama (sridevi, jayaprada, reena roy).

The most fascinating thing is that even after all such things, most of the movies (like Himmatwala in 1983) did extremely well at the mass centers helping them earn the title of 'Blockbusters' (as there were no multiplex at that time).

In this hub, I am not counting great movies made at the start of 1980s such as Chashme buddoor, Jaane Bhi Do yaaron, Coolie, Sharabi, Saaransh, Naam etc.


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