19 December 2013

Bollywood Stories

Bollywood holds a special place in my heart, for giving beautiful memories,
sweet crushes on the handsome, chocolaty or simply charming heroes,
dressing up in a backless or  the stylish dress like the actress in the latest hit,
lip syncing to peppy songs while copying fancy dance moves for wedding functions,
crying on the sentimental scenes of heart break, family reunions and separations,
rolling on the floor on the funny jokes of the comedians and comical films,
frantic nail biting in a suspense, horror or ghost film,
queuing outside the cinema to get first day first show or any ticket for that matter,
rushing to the hall always missing the credits and the National Anthem,
fooling friends by telling them to definitely watch a film which you know is really bad,
spoiling their suspense by telling them 'Who is the Killer' before they could watch it,
debating in support of your favorite actor or actress and trashing that of another's,
seriously critiquing a film on directors vision and the characterization,
emoting in front of the mirror the famous dialogues from a film
and even dreaming to be the heroine dancing around the trees with that handsome hero.
Yes, Bollywood,
holds a special place in my heart like a billion others,
and it's only fair to share some of the films
which became unforgettable over time
leaving fond memories and impression on me.
Mr India
Andaz Apna Apna
Mr India (Shekhar Kapoor) – Desi verison of Mr Invisible, but definitely this man is not a psycho ego maniac ready to kill. He is the boy next door, a patriot, savior of the poor, caretaker of the orphans, and fighting the greatest evil Mogambo to save our dear country India. Beyod Mogambo his only enemy is color Red and loves the ever charming Ms Hawa Hawai. That's when I knew Sri Devi was my most favorite actress of all times.
Andaz Apna Apna (Raj Kumar Santoshi) – This probably is the most comical film of all times. A simple film with simple plot and funny characters turns into a cult film with its characters and situations being quoted and dramatized over and over, Amar-Prem, Raveena – Karishma, Teja, Crime Master Gogo and Robert, Lion.. you name it and the ingredients are just perfect. This is an out and out comedy to die laughing say what "Aap purush hi nahin, (pause) Maha purush hain"
Karma (Subash Ghai)The patriot in me loves this film. 3 funky death row convict heroes with the headmaster Dilip Kumar go around hunting and killing the villains, singing and dancing behind the trees but still seeping of patriotism – aaahhh this has to be a Bollywood masala film which appeals to all – even Dr Dang the super villain saying "Yeh Thapad ki Goonj"
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (Kundan Shah) – The iconic 'Draupadi cheerharan' scene is probably the best scene of all times. Ram Leela has been happening for ever, but Mahabharata being played out and that too in such an unconventional comical manner – is just stupendous. Mahabharata since then has been made and remade several times, but nothing can beat this scene. It's a simple film of two common men who get embroiled in a politico-business scandal. But there is no light at the end of tunnel here, the laughter sets deep in your throat when the curtain shout on the song "Hum Honge Kamayab, Hum Honge Kamyab, Ek din". But the rage settles down with "Shanth Gadhadhari Bheem, Shanth"
Suraj Ka Satvan Ghodha (Shyam Benegal) Based on Dharamvir Bharati's namesake book, this film digs deep into a man's interpretation of the psyche of women. The protagonist and the narrator with his exception rendition of hindi and storytelling skills, creates a complicated maze of his brief and not so brief interactions with various women intertwined and overlapping with each other creating a sketch of a complex human society and its regard for women. Definitely a masterpiece, a food for thought for the thinking mind, and a must watch for the performances of all the characters especially Rajat Kapoor which according to me is one of the best we have.

Pakeezah (Kamal Amrohi) – This film was made to be a Classic – the streets of Lucknow Nautch girls, the husky voice of tragedy queen Meena Kumari, the powerful dialogues from Raj Kumar against the backdrop of family honor and name. Music by Ghulam Mohammed & Naushad Ali adds the echoing effect and affluence of the era of Kothas and Mujras. Lata Mangeshkar has never sung so beautiful with the rendition of one legend after another  - Inhi Logon Ne, Mausam Hai Aashiqana, Thare Rahiyo, Chalo Dildar Chalo, Chalte Chalte. I was a child when I saw it first but the story, characters, music and the songs have made such a strong impression on me and I knew this was the cinema of dreams and human emotions.

Lamhe (Yash Chopra) -  As a film it did not have many takers, seemingly forgotten. But there was something about this film. They said it was ahead of its time, but it was timeless - Lamhe. Bollywood will be incomplete without the feel good branded films from Yash Raj films. Karan Johar goes overboard but Yash ji maintained it just right. The characters were simply good people, there were no villains or murders, these films were meant for family, love and romance, after all money isn't everything - its family and love.

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (Mansoor Khan) - School competition, teenage crushes, brothers, circle of friends, chasing girls and bunking school. Any child who grew up in 90s would relate to every moment in this book. The rich kid, poor kid, school competitions and fights with your siblings, your first crush and the girl next door, its what teenage is made of/

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (Kundan Shah) - First love, childhood love, friendships, teenage, in a beautiful small town Goa. I am not a fan of Shahrkh but this is one film you would fall in love with. Its Indian version of coming of age, simple and sweet, aaahhh the youth. 
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Raat (Ram Gopal Varma) – Once upon a time, Ram Gopal Verma actually made good films like Satya, Company and of course Raat. Probably the best of Indian horror films, simple story, situational horror and a meaningful ending. Do you remember the hands coming out of the wall while she is sleeping, well it still gives me the chills sometimes alone in the night.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) -  Forget Khamoshi, Black, Guzaarish, Ram leela, or any other film. This one is the true magic of Bhansali. A simple love story in the background of a cultural potpourri of dancing, folk music, festival celebrations, revolving ghaghras, dandiya, extended families, singing lessons, serenading "Dholi taro" on the streets of Italy. That's truly India and Bollywood for you and that's why they love us – the land of colors, festivals, celebrations, music, dance, and the good old tradition of arrange marriage and the power of Mangalsutra.
Dev D
Now two notable films from the current times.. 
Dev D (Anurag Kashyap) – Devdas reborn as a loser drunk rich boy who goes self-destructive mode in love of Paro, only finding resolution when he accepts his love for Chandramukhi. A modern twist to Sarat Chandra's Devdas, simply brilliant. I loved the film like we all do, because a part of us identifies with it. There is a phase in our life when we all go crashing, tumbling in the waves only getting deeper and further from the shore. That's the part I identified in this film, the crashing and sinking, the PART I of all our lives, emerging is only secondary to life. And who can forget THE GREATEST SONG – EMOTIONAL ATYACHAR.
Barfi (Anurag Basu)- Well this is as recent as it gets, but it feature sin my Top list because it's simply beautiful. The main characters of the film are dumb and mute boy, retarded girl, the silence in the film could easily turn this into a brooding and sad film like a Khamoshi or Black. But the music and the vision of the director makes it a pretty picture bringing hope and warms the cockles of your heart, and you feel that love is one reason that keeps us alive and nothing else really matters in this world. 

That's the magic of Bollywood for you.


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