The `colourful` re-entry of Mughal-E-Azam

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 06, 2004 12:51 hrs

For the first time in the world, an old mixed sound track will been re-recorded and digitally re-mastered for a Dolby 6.1 Mix. The entire restoration and colourisation of the motion picture has been accomplished indigenously. This is the first film in the world to be colourised for a 35 mm release. It would the first time that Bollywood has taken huge technological strides ahead of Hollywood.

Madhubala will make her first ever appearance in colour on the silver screen. Mughal-E-Azam, the grandest and the most expensive film evermade in Bollywood, is every director's dream. K Asif, the director,commenced work on Mughal-E-Azam in 1944 and the movie hit the screens in 1960 after almost nine years in the making.

Premiered simultaneously in 150 theatres all over the country, the film became the biggest money grosser in those times. While the original black-and-white film only had one song Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya in color, the refurbished version will be in colour print throughout. The new format will be digitally re-mastered for Dolby Surround system, which will enhance the cinematic experience.

Music maestro Naushad, who had composed the music of the original film, is reworking on his original compositions, recording it in the present generation sound technology though retaining the voices of the singers.

The software that is being used for colouring accepts only those colours that match the grey shades of the original input. This ensures that the final colours are as close as possible to the original. This is the first film in the world to be colourized for a big screen release. The movie is not only about colorization; it is a complete revival, resurrection of the entire film.

The film is now in a wide screen format and though it has been edited for the theatre release (2hr 57min), the DVDs will have the original version for 3 hrs and 20 minutes. The technology has been specially developed in India for this film. It's taken almost one-and-a-half years to develop the technology and it's been 10 months since the process of colourization has been underway.

Intense restoration was undertaken as the frames are in a bad condition and huge amounts of manpower, effort, and money are being incurred. Restoration is an essential process of colorization. This would be the first colour film of Madhubala, the most beautiful face of Indian Cinema. Colourized version of Mughal-E-Azam: Mughal-E-Azam is the first film in the world to be colourized for a big screen (35 mm) release. This fact is one of the biggest highlights of the film. This technology has been specially developed in India for this film. Thus, it can be stated that, Mughal-E-Azam is such a big film that a new technology has been created for this film.

For the first time in the world an old mixed track has been converted into a true Dolby digital. The original track was a mixed track. Normally, it is a 5.1 mix but this film is a 6.1 mix. This movie will now have surround sound (right, left and back).

Naushad has been involved in the process of digitally remastering the music. The music has been completely re-recorded. Though the voices of the artists are the same, the instruments have changed and real Dolby effect has been created. The classical instrumentalists were specially flown in from Chennai for this. This has ensured that the originality and aesthetics of the film has been maintained.

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