Art in any form, is beautiful and precious. Be it the countless doodles on the last page of your notebook or the intricate brush strokes on a canvas. This article is not about art of course, which is a subject written, researched, and discussed innumerable times. This article is in fact about Movie Posters, and to be more precise, it is about Bollywood movie posters.
Be it the movie trailers or posters, they are solely designed with the commercial intent of getting movie-goers to buy a ticket. Before slick digital technology and huge glossy posters took over the city hoardings, there were times when movie posters were hand-drawn by artists. The posters were brilliantly drawn with sharp brush strokes and bright colors encapsulating the passer-bys.
Movie posters such as of Mother India (1957) starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, and Raj Kumar portrayed one of the most-iconic image of women ever – a woman carrying a plough on her shoulder and her face twisted with agony. The poster says it all. The movie was one huge crowd-pleasing blockbuster during that era.
In the poster of Raj Kapoor’s classic, Awara (1951), a mild sensuality and romance was depicted with the beautiful Nargis showing her bare shoulders and RK kissing them gently. The faded blue background of the poster can be related to dark surreal imagery that was constantly used in the movie.
The ’70s was the era of flower-power and it was clearly seen in the Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia starrer, Bobby’s (1973) poster. It was colorful and funky and was targeted towards the young carefree crowds.
If the poster of Bobby was colorful, Amitabh Bachchan’s Deewar’s (1975) poster was more on the intense side. Bachchan’s face is not only iconic, but also portrays a deep cinematic expression. The artist highlighted the emotive quality of the face in such a way that the character’s angst and serenity can be seen together at the same time.
With changing times, the Bollywood posters also modified. Photographs and graphic designs took over the traditional hand-painted posters. However, recently, posters of recent movies like Rockstar (2011) and Rowdy Rathore (2012) brought back the eye-popping style of hand-painted posters. Thanks to the power of Photoshop!
Here we have listed five innovative movie posters of the recent times:
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela – The poster is as gorgeous as the movie. Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s sultry embrace ligts up the sizzling chemistry between the two.
Barfi! – The poster of Barfi shows a goofy Ranbir Kapoor admist all the confusion, promising a lot of funny chaos.
Kahaani – Here an illusion is created where Vidya Balan is projected as a Devi herself with the idol of a Goddess right behind her.
Raanjhana – It is a beautifully done poster with a lot of colors in it. It perfectly reflected the vibrant Varanasi where the movie is based.
Dev.D – You get the trippy feeling from Dev.D’s poster. The abstract juxtaposition of the characters in the poster makes it look edgy and funky.
If Kahaani’s poster portrayed Goddess Durga, the Indian audience will soon see a very different avatar of Madhuri Dixit as seen in the poster of the upcoming movie, Gulaab Gang.The beautifully done poster of Gulaab Gang shows Madhuri Dixit as a fierce and powerful woman holding a sickle in one hand and an axe in the other. Here, she can be compared to the Hindu Goddess of empowerment and shakti, Goddess Kali.
The powerful color combination of yellow, red and orange makes the poster unusually attractive. Gulaab Gang is based on true-life events of a group of Indian women vigilantes and activists from Bundelkhand region of Central India fighting against social injustice, clad in pink sarees. The film stars Madhuri Dixit and also Juhi Chawla. Directed by Soumik Sen, the film is scheduled to release on March 7 2014.
Technology might be killing the traditional movie art, but it has also ushered in the hi-tech graphic art revolution giving Bollywood a global identity.

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