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Raja Harishchandra: The First Indian Feature Film
Raja Harishchandra is a 1913 silent film directed and produced by Dadasaheb Phalke, who is regarded as the father of Indian cinema. It is based on the legend of Harishchandra, a king who sacrifices his kingdom, family and even his own life for the sake of truth and justice. The film features Dattatraya Damodar Dabke as Harishchandra, Anna Salunke as his wife Taramati, Bhalchandra Phalke as their son Rohitashva, and Gajanan Vasudev Sane as the sage Vishwamitra.
The film was a milestone in Indian cinema history, as it was the first full-length feature film made in India. It was also a commercial success, earning more than ten times its production cost. The film was screened at various places across India and abroad, and received acclaim from critics and audiences alike. The film also inspired many other filmmakers to make films based on Indian mythology and history.
Raja Harishchandra is now available in Hindi with 720p resolution on YouTube[^1^]. You can watch this classic film and witness the birth of Indian cinema. You can also learn more about the film and its making on Wikipedia[^2^]. Raja Harishchandra is a film that every Indian should watch and be proud of.
The Cast and Crew of Raja Harishchandra
The cast and crew of Raja Harishchandra faced many challenges and difficulties while making the film. The film was shot in Phalke's studio in Dadar, Mumbai, and also at some outdoor locations. The film had a total of four reels and ran for about 40 minutes. The film had no sound or dialogue, and relied on title cards and gestures to convey the story.
The film had a mostly male cast, as women were reluctant to act in films at that time. Phalke had to find male actors who could play female roles convincingly. He found Anna Salunke, a young man who worked as a cook, to play the role of Taramati. Salunke later played the role of Sita in Phalke's next film, Lanka Dahan (1917). Dabke, who played Harishchandra, was a Marathi stage actor who had also worked as a wrestler. Sane, who played Vishwamitra, was a friend of Phalke who had some experience in theatre. Bhalchandra Phalke, the son of Dadasaheb Phalke, played the role of Rohitashva.
The film also had some extras who played minor roles such as courtiers, soldiers, hunters and citizens. Some of them were Phalke's relatives, friends and neighbours. Some were hired from the streets or from local theatre groups. Phalke also used some animals such as horses, elephants and snakes in the film.
Phalke was not only the director and producer of the film, but also the writer, editor, cinematographer and art director. He also designed the costumes, props and sets for the film. He used various techniques such as trick photography, stop motion and double exposure to create special effects in the film. He also used natural lighting and shadows to create a realistic atmosphere.
The Impact and Legacy of Raja Harishchandra
Raja Harishchandra was not only the first Indian feature film, but also a film that had a lasting impact on Indian cinema and society. The film was a pioneer in many aspects, such as using special effects, creating realistic sets and costumes, and adapting a popular mythological story for the screen. The film also established Dadasaheb Phalke as the father of Indian cinema, who went on to make more than 90 films in his career.
Raja Harishchandra also inspired many other filmmakers to make films based on Indian mythology and history, which became a popular genre in Indian cinema. Some of these films include Lanka Dahan (1917), Ram Rajya (1943), Jhansi Ki Rani (1953), Mughal-e-Azam (1960), and Bahubali (2015). These films not only entertained the audiences, but also instilled a sense of pride and patriotism in them.
Raja Harishchandra also had a social impact, as it encouraged more women to act in films. Anna Salunke, who played Taramati, was the first female actor in Indian cinema. She paved the way for other women to enter the film industry, such as Zubeida , Sulochana , Devika Rani , and Nargis . These women became icons of Indian cinema and challenged the stereotypes and norms of their times.
Raja Harishchandra is a film that every Indian should watch and be proud of. It is a film that celebrates the values of truth, justice, sacrifice, and devotion. It is a film that showcases the rich culture and heritage of India. It is a film that marks the beginning of a glorious journey of Indian cinema. a474f39169