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1990s – Current

In the nineties, Indian cinema faced tough competition from television and the cable network. Nevertheless, films like Aditya Chopra's maiden effort Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Suraj Barjatya's Hum Aapke Hain Kaun have broken all records, because they recall the innocence of the fifties, a novelty in the age of sex and violence. It was towards the end of 1989 that the accent on sex and violence, to the virtual exclusion of all other thematic values, began to undergo a subtle change. The end of 1989 witnessed Sooraj Barjatya's mega-hit Rajshri's Maine Pyar Kiya and Yash Chopra's Chandni. Indra Kumar's Dil, Hum Hain Raahi Pyar Ke, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Saajan were the other mega-hits of the decade. Mukul Anand tried to resurrect Amitabh Bachchan's sagging popularity with his Agneepath (1990), Hum (1991) and Khuda Gawah (1992) but without great success. Interestingly, Sunny Deol emerged as a new protagonist of the angry young man image with his films like Rajkumar Santoshi's Ghayal, Narasimha (1991), Ziddi and Arjun. Shah Rukh Khan successfully played the anti-hero roles in Baazigar and Darr. The period also saw the emergence of Nana Patekar in his inimitable different style in films like Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parinda; Yashwant; Krantiveer and Agni Sakshi. There was a revival of sorts for thespians Dilip Kumar and Raj Kumar when Subhash Ghai's Saudagar arrived with fanfare in 1991 and cornered all the media attention. The Anil Kapoor-Jackie Sheroff pair gave super hits like Tezaab and Ram Lakhan. The decade also witnessed the David Dhawan’s style of comedy in films like Raja Babu, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan and Haseena Maan Jaayegi. The first three dimensional film was My dear Kuttichatan in Malayalam, which was dubbed into Hindi as Chota Chetan. Dolby system was introduced in 1994 in Vinod Chopra's film '1942 - A Love Story'. The Tamil films Kadalan and Indian depicted for the first time mind-boggling special effects on digital computer.

The later half of the decade was dominated by the three Khans - Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman – among the male leads and Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, Karishma Kapoor, Kajol and Manisha Koraila among the female leads. Mani Ratnam's Bombay (1995), Ramgopal Varma's Rangeela, Rakesh Roshan's Karan Arjun, Indra Kumar's Raja; Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994), Raja Hindustani (1996), Yash Chopra's Dil To Pagal Ha (1997) and Karan Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) were the major block-busters of the decade. Some other the box-office hits of the period include Ghulam, Sarfarosh, Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain and Biwi No. 1. The year 1999, the last year of the past millennium was a disastrous year for Hindi filmdom during which the success ratio of films had nose-dived from 22% to 11%. Films like Aa Ab Laut Chalen, Hello Brother, Mann and Sooryavansham did not fare well at the box office. Dillagi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Vaastav, Daag, Haseena Maan Jaayegi, Sirf Tum and Khoobsurat were the other releases during the year. The Amitabh films Lal Badshah, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Suryavansham and Kohram could not make an adequate impact on the audience.  

An interesting feature of the end of the nineties was the tremendous success of Indian commercial movies in the West. Subhash Ghai’s Taal became the first Indian film to break into the U.S. top 20 and Dil Se became the first Bollywood movie to be tracked in the British box-office charts and then the first to reach the top ten. Hollywood's big players are now casting their eyes on Indian cinema exports. Columbia Tristar and Polygram have both been involved in moderately successful Bollywood ventures, Disney is looking for an Indian animation base, and Sony and Fox are looking to produce and distribute Bollywood films both in India and Overseas. Murdoch's Star TV in India has plans to produce 25 Bollywood features and to launch a 24-hour Hindi film channel. It was reported that a Saudi billionaire, Sheikh bin Talal Bouza, plans to set up a film company and produce Kalpana Lajmi's two films Daman and Singhasan in six languages -- Hindi, Arabic, French, German and Tagalog (Philippines).

The new millennium saw a major hit in the form of Rajesh Roshan's Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, in which he launched his son Hrithik Roshan. J.P.Dutta's Refugee, which launched Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor was another major release during the first half of 2000. Fiza, Mission Kashmir and Kya Kehna were the other hits of 2000. The year 2001 witnessed hits in the form of Mohabattein, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Lagaan, Gadar and Kabhie Khusi Kabhie Gham (K3G).   This was followed by Devdas and Raaz (2002); Koi Mil Gaya,  Kal Ho Na Ho, Baghban and Munnabhai MBBS (2003); Veer Zaara, Main Hoon Na, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Dhoom (2004); No Entry and Bunty Aur Babli (2005); Dhoom 2, Krrish, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Fanaa, Don-The Chase Begins Again and Rang De Basanti (2006); Om Shanti Om, Chak De India and Taare Zameen Par (2007); Ghajini, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Singh Is Kinng and Jodhaa Akbar (2008); 3 Idiots, Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Wanted, Delhi 6 and Paa (2009), Dabangg, Raajneeti and My Name is Khan (2010) and Zindagi Na Mile Dobaara, Aakarshan and Body Guard (2011).

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