New Delhi: Dadasaheb Phalke's 'Raja Harishchandra' released on May 3, 1913 and marked the beginning of a tradition that influenced India and its culture in coming years like nothing else. We are celebrating the 100 years of Indian cinema this year and on this occasion conducted a poll to find out the pulse of the nation.
IBNLive conducted an elaborated poll to understand the nature of the current crop of the movie going junta, and tested their knowledge about the actors and artists of yesteryear. The possible contestants of the poll were divided into five categories Greatest Actor, Greatest Actress, Greatest Film, Greatest Director and Greatest Music Composer of all time.
The results of the poll have arrived and many myths are broken while some results are on the expected line.
Who is India's greatest actor of all time?
From Soumitro Chattopadhyay to Dilip Kumar to Naseeruddin Shah, Indians have witnessed actors that were not only the epitome of method acting but were also the champions of invoking the mass hysteria. There is a famous anecdote that how Dilip Kumar had to seek assistance from shrinks when his inner soul refused to come out of the tragedy king mode. These stories led to some of the fantastic performances but not every actor seems to be remembered in the same breath.
The actors who were in competition for the award of Greatest Actor consisted of Balraaj Sahni, Dilip Kumar, Guru Dutt, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, MG Ramachandran, Shivaji Ganeshan, Uttam Kumar, Dr Rajkumar, Kamal Haasan, Mohanlal, Soumitro Chattopadhyay, Sanjeev Kumar, Gemini Ganesan, Pankaj Kapoor, Mamootty, NT Rama Rao, Mithun Chakraborty, Utpal Dutt and Chhabi Biswas.
Films and politics go hand in hand in South, and the vote percentage received by Telugu actor and former CM of Andhra Pradesh NT Rama Rao is an example of this. He catured 53% of the total votes as the greatest actor while Kamal Haasan received 44%. Malayalam stalwart Mohanlal and Kannada legend Dr Rajkumar got 1% each, rest people on the list failed to gather even 1% of the total votes.
Who is India's greatest actress of all time?
Unlike the actor category, this group had a very stiff competition. The given list included the likes of Waheeda Rehman, Madhubala, Nargis, Sabitri Chatterjee, Meena Kumari, Nutan, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Deepti Naval, Madhuri Dixit, Madhabi Mukherjee, Sharada, B Saroja Devi, Rakhee Gulzar, Kommareddy Savitri, Suraiya, Suchitra Sen, Sridevi, Devika Rani and Aishwarya Rai.
It was an interesting list covering different eras and heroines with different USPs, and this confused the voters. Sridevi's return to films with 'English Vinglish' appears to have helped her immensely. Her popularity across different age groups is not questionable; she got 39% of the total votes. Madhuri Dixit and Kommareddy Savitri came second and third respectively with 16% and 12% vote shares. Telugu language dominated the scenario even in this section. Sridevi and Savitri are cemented their place in the hearts of millions via some Telugu films. Aishwarya and B Saroja Devi wrestled against each other to get 8% and 6% votes. Madhubala found support from 4% voters while Smita Patil enjoyed the company of 3% voters. Waheeda Rehman, Shabana Azmi, Nargis and Sharada received 2% votes each. This is a unique feat to achieve for Malayam actress Sharada and it should be seen as an acknowledgement of her scintillating performances. Meena Kumari, Nutan and Suchitra Sen are adjudged at par with each other with 1% vote sharing. Deepti Naval, Suraiya, Savitri Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Rakhee and Devika Rani surprisingly failed to control even 1% of the total vote.
Which is the greatest Indian film of all time?
For the first time, popular Bollywood looked to pose a threat to the regional language films. 'Sholay' came far second with 29% while 'Nayakan' was honoured the first position with 42% vote share. 'Swayamvaram' controlled the third spot with 6%, 'Mughal-e-Azam' and 'Pather Panchali' received 5% each. India's Oscar entry in 2011 'Adaminte Makan Abu' (3%) surpassed 'Pyaasa' (2%) and 'Guide' (2%). Cult films such as 'Do Bigha Zamin', 'Awaara', 'Damini', 'Kabuliwala', 'Charulata' and 'Marupakkam' struggled to get 1% support while 'Bhuvan Shome', 'Mirza Ghalib', 'Maqbool', 'Shyamchi Aai' and 'Deool' failed to get the same.
This establishes Sholay's pan-India popularity, and also demonstrates the power of regional cinema. However, 'Nayakan' was remade in several languages with the same effect.
Who is India's greatest director of all time?
A lot of people feel that it was Satyajit Ray who brought Indian cinema to the international front but the poll results give a different picture. Ray gets 14% votes but Mani Ratnam and K Balachander find 29% and 18% people behind them; Tamil director Shankar receives 9% votes.
On a closer look, it gets revealed that K Balachander and Kamal Haasan are benefitted from each other's fan following. Balachander's socially oriented films brought forth many problems that were plaguing the society at that time.
Sudden demise of Yash Chopra put an end to the tradition of intense romantic dramas in Bollywood but he is not yet forgotten by the audience, he gets 8%.
Who is India's best music composer of all time?
AR Rahman (29%) might have received accolades at every possible stage including the Oscars but it is Ilayaraja (49%) who rules hearts down South. His association with Mani Ratnam and other noted filmmakers of Tamil and other languages paid him back in the poll when he escaled high among stalwarts such as SP Balasubramanyam (7%) and RD Burman (4%).