Ganesh..Anwar Sadat..Anwar 2.. Narinder Bhatia..Sandeep Bajwa..Mo
1. Masoom : Outstanding movie. Performances of naseer and shabana
are superb, and the direction excellent.
2. chotti se baat : Well made comedy. Vidya sinha is good while Amol and Ashok are excellent.
3. Chit Chor : Another lovely movie ....Good plot, good songs, and good performances from Amol, vijeyendra, Zarina wahab and A.K.Hangal.
4. Sholay : Great movie...right from photography to songs and music. Excellent acting performances from everyone...
5. chupke chupke : Lovely comedy.
6. Ardh Satya : Need one say more ..?
Although I'm a big fan of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, etc., I haven't seen their films enough times to really develop an emotional bond to them, as I have with more contemporary films. For example, I practically grew up watching Amitabh films and I have seen most of them at least a dozen times. As a result, it's only natural that I will have a greater emotional attachment with those films. In theory, even if those films were not so great (even though I still think they are), they are bound to have a greater influence on me since I saw them at such a young and impressionable age.
Anyways, although I don't have a *definite* all-time top ten list, here are some films which have touched me, provoked me to think, or simply provided me with good, wholesome fun! Mind you, there are MANY more films which I have also loved and enjoyed, but here is a list of those which have been MOST CLOSE to my heart:
SHOLAY- 1975, directed by Ramesh Sippy (Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhaduri, Hema Malini, Amjad Khan):
This is simply the greatest Indian action film ever-made, hands down. But besides the great action, there is some great, intense drama! The character development is excellent. The friendship between Amitabh and Dharmendra, the hatred between Sanjeev and Amjad, the quiet love between Amitabh and Jaya... these are such memorable relationships. The performances are great, the songs are great, the comedy is great, the picturization is great. In short, it's probably the perfect film. Even if not everyone agrees with that statement, I'm sure that everyone on RAMLI will agree that it is an immortal masterpiece of Hindi cinema. This is perhaps the one film which can get unanimous approval on RAMLI.
SHAKTI- 1982, directed by Ramesh Sippy (Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Smita Patel, Amrish Puri):
From the maker of Sholay! This film features the two greatest legends of Indian cinema, Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Furthermore, they're not on the same side! There is a TRUE competition going on between them! Dilip is on the side of the law, and Amitabh is on the side of crime. Both actors performed beautifully. I will never forget either one of them in this film, although Amitabh left a greater impression on me.
In particular, there are two scenes which are acted out beautifully by Amitabh. The first scene is the one in which Amitabh is drunk, and he's complaining to Smita about his relationship with his parents. No doubt, Amitabh did the *perfect* drunk scene. In the end of that scene, he calls himself a "zarila saamp", laughs hysterically, and passes out. The second scene is Amitabh's "apology speech" at the very end of the film, which he makes after being shot by Dilip. Amitabh basically makes amends with his father before dying. These two scenes were performed so gracefully by Amitabh. I honestly don't think that Amitabh could do those two scenes so perfectly if he were asked to do them again today.
SILSILA- 1981, directed by Yash Chopra (Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Jaya Bhaduri, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor):
Although not a big hit at the box office, this is definitely a classic in my mind (mind you, as Ashok will probably point out, it ran very well when it was re-released, probably several times). Amitabh and Rekha are the TRUE "mast-mast" couple of Bollywood! This film has some great drama, and it deals with a serious issue (extra-marital affairs). The songs are beautiful. "Rang Barse" is an Amitabh classic, and it is still sung during Holi celebrations today! "Neela Aasman" is probably the best song sung by Amitabh, in my opinion. His voice is so natural and soothing.... something which I think lacks in him now (eg. Aby Baby). "Dekha Ek Khawob" by Kishore and Lata and "Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum.." by Lata are immortal tunes which continue to haunt me today. There are also some great comedy scenes in the film in the beginning between Amitabh and his childhood friend, Shashi Kapoor.
As a kid, I never understood why Amitabh decided to stay with his wife. As any other kid, I never really cared for love stories, but even I wished that Amitabh would leave his wife and go for Rekha! Fortunately, as I grew older and wiser (?), I learned to see the wisdom in his choice to remain faithful to his wife.
I consider Silsila the "mother of all love stories" in Bollywood. It's a bit of a controversial film also, since we don't know how accurate (if at all) it was in portraying the real-life relationship between Amitabh and Rekha. All in all, it was a beautiful film, and something which I think contains a very good message in it.
KABHI HAAN KABHI NAA- 1993, directed by Ketan Mehta (Shah Rukh Khan, Nasirudeen Shah, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, Deepak Tijori, Satish Shah)
This is easily one of the funniest Indian comedies I've ever seen. It's one of those films that I can watch over and over again and still enjoy. Oddly enough, I wasn't too crazy about it the first time I watched it, but it grew on me each time I re-watched it. Shah Rukh Khan's performance is, in my opinion, perfect. He is hilarious from the first scene to the last. Nasirudeen Shah also has a very good role in which he plays a Christian priest. There are some very nice scenes between Shah Rukh Khan and Nasirudeen.
The songs are also quite nice and, in short, it is a very clean, enjoyable, and fun-filled family movie. It is also realistic in the sense that it has a compromising ending. Shah Rukh loses the girl, yet the film is far from being a sad tragedy. On the contrary, I think that, even though Shah Rukh loses his love, it has a happy ending. It ends on an optimistic note, and the message of the film is basically that one cannot get everything that he/she wishes in life, but life still has to go on. My interpretation of it is, "Keep faith in God, and He will provide for you somehow."
On a very personal note, I saw this film at a time in my life when I was also having "girl trouble." This film served as a great inspiration, teaching me to basically keep faith in God, myself, and life overall. Everything that happens basically happens for the best, although we may fail to see it at the time.
LEKIN- 1991, directed by Lata Mangeshkar (Vinod Khanna, Dimple Kapadia, Amjad Khan)
This is more of an "artsy" type of film, and not everyone will appreciate it. But I think it's an incredible, thought-provoking film that deserves to be watched atleast once by everyone. The film has a historical-fiction/mystery type of plot. It doesn't qualify as a "horror" film, but I still think that it's one of the freakiest Indian films I've ever seen. It has a very, very slow plot, so you'll have to be patient while watching it (I'm assuming that a lot of moviegoers have missed this incredible film). There's a lot of classic songs by Lata. The background music is incredibly eerie and haunting. The performances are all very good, especially those of Dimple and Vinod. There is also a guest appearance by Hema Malini.
Lekin... has a very unconventional plot. The last time I saw it was about a year ago, and so I don't remember exactly how the plot gets resolved. The ending was a bit confusing (probably purposely) and I don't think I understood it perfectly. There is probably more than one interpretation of exactly what happens at the end. Actually, I'd really like to hear fellow ramliers' opinion on this film, as well as their explanation for the ending. Perhaps someone can explain it to me, although the confusion never stopped me from loving the film! :)
___________________________________________________________________________ General Review
In response to what Niraj and others may have to say about present-day Indian cinema, I think today's movies have improved greatly, especially when compared to the 1983-1990 period. While there were some nice art films made during that time, Hindi cinema was going DOWN on the whole. Comparatively, I think we've seen some very good stuff in the 1990's.
Perhaps the 1990's movies can't compare to the 1940's-1950's movies, but that was a different time and movies were made for a different type of audience. Those movies are considered great not just because there was some intrinsic "great" quality about them, but because they successfully captured the general mood of the time. So if present-day films like AHAT, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Baazigar, Khamoshi, Bombay, etc., etc. successfuly capture the mood of *our* time, then I consider these films to be just as "great."
There are still many, many garbage films made today, but as I pointed out before, they are still much better than what the 80's had to offer. Songs have generally become more "Indianized" again, the cinematography has improved GREATLY, and there's been an influx of new talent. The 80's didn't have too much NEW to offer as far as talent goes... It only offered the remains of the 70's (Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, etc.). The 90's has plenty of new talent such as Shah Rukh Khan, Nana Patekar, Aamir Khan (I'll include him even though he started in the late 80's), Akshay Kumar, etc. Yes, yes, I mentioned Akshay Kumar. Even though I am not a fan of his, nor do I think that he has anything to offer by way of acting talent, he has still brought in a unique style into films. His dances and fight scenes really are good. And his presence testifies to the fact that there is a lot of diversity in the Hindi film scene today. If people want to see pure trashy action, their needs are still being met. If we have pure actors on one side (Nana, Aamir), then we also have pure action stars on the other (Akshay, Sunil). Whether you appreciate these "action stars" or not is another story, but the point is that they *are* there to cater to the audience's diverse needs/interests.
Believe me, I remember telling my friends back in 1990 that the Indian film scene will basically collapse once Amitabh leaves it. I was extremely skeptical of the new talent and the new style of films. In short, I was stuck in the past. I never rented new films... I only rented old Amitabh films from the 70's and early 80's. But to my surprise, the new 90's cinema actually had a lot of interesting things to offer. If nothing else, you can expect even the worse film today to have a couple of good superhit songs. Compare this to the late 80's. I honestly can't even remember one hit song from 1986 or 1987 right now, although I'm sure there are some, of course. But today, a film can be worth watching just for a couple of good songs... atleast worth watching on video anyways. For example, even flop films like Trimurti, Raj Kumar, Daraar, English Babu Desi Mem, etc., have better songs than most hit films from the late 80's! Of course, songs are only one component to a film, but an important component nonetheless.
From 1988 onwards, we've seen atleast one great memorable film every year. As I pointed out in a previous post, that may not be much, but the few great films that we get are well-worth the wait. In 1988 it was Qayammat Se Qayammat Tak, in 1989 it was Maine Pyar Kiya. From 1990 onwards, we've seen a minumum of maybe three films a year which I think can be considered great, or least very memorable. Off of the top of my head, in 1990 there was Ghayal, Dil, and Aaj Ka Arjun. In 1991 there was Hum, Lekin, and Sadak. In 1992 there was Khuda Gawah and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. In 1993 (a great year, in my opinion), there was Khal Nayak, Baazigar, Darr, and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. In 1994, Hum Aapke Hain Koun created box office history. 1942-A Love Story was another great film. In 1995 (another great year) there was Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (one of India's all-time greatest hits), Rangeela, Karan Arjun, Bombay, and Akele Hum Akele Tum. In 1996, there hasn't been all that much, except Khamoshi, which is now one of my all-time favourite films also. Other good movies were Prem Granth and Agnisakshi.
To conclude, I think the 90's have had a lot of good stuff to offer. I only mentioned those films which I personally thought were the best. There have been many more good hit films like Beta which I didn't mention or can't remember now. Also, I didn't mention many of the less mainstream, artsy type of films like Lekin..., Bandit Queen, Sazaa-e-Kalapaani, and the many more films that many of us may not be aware of or may have overlooked. As a concluding *generalization*, I think the mid-late 80's produced a lot of trash which was meant for the adult audiences. I think the early 90's produced better quality films which were intended more for the younger audiences. And I think that the mid-90's have attempted to produce better quality films which appeal to both the young and old alike (1942, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Bombay, Khamoshi).
Whether you agree with all my points or not, I want you to realize that you should not write off present-day Indian cinema. The few superhits that we get in a year are atleast very good quality and memorable films. Also, *generally speaking*, India has managed to produce good quality superhit films in the 90's without sacrificing family values (The above- mentioned films are all clean, family-oriented films). I hope that this trend in the improvement of films will continue, especially with a whole new generation of young directors with fresh ideas emerging.
Well, that's a long enough post for now. I covered five of my all-time favourite films. Remember, I did not rate them or put them in any particular order. Just off of the top of my head, these are some of the films which have been closest to my heart. I'm sure everyone is very familiar with the first three, but I think that many moviegoers may have either missed or overlooked the last two.
Although KHKN and Lekin... were both hits and got critical acclaim (KHKN was well-appreciated and SRK won the Filmfare Critic's Choice award for his performance/ LEKIN... won *FIVE* National Awards, including Best Singer, Best Music, and Best Lyrics), I think that these two films have not reached their full potential, because I think many film fans have missed them. Let me put it this way, the first time I saw Lekin... was on video with my mom, and we BOTH fell asleep half-way through! At the end, we were both asking each other what happened at the end of the film! The second time I saw it, I fell asleep again! For some reason, I decided to try it a third time (probably because I saw the potential in the film), and this time I managed to stay awake all the way through, and I loved it!
So I recommend that people try out both these films, as well as the first three that I mentioned (if you SOMEHOW did not see one of them!). Hopefully, you'll enjoy them as much as I did! I also hope to post a second part to this post, covering five more of my favourite films.
The only comments I have is about "Shatranj Ki Khilari". Satayajit as
usual created a masterpiece depicting the Lucknow of yesteryears. How
he found a blue eyed blond Englishman to speak accentless urdu Lucknowi
style is beyond me. Perhaps others
may know if this picture made any money back home. I remember back in the
early 70's when this film first came out it highly praised by the film
Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam (unofficially Directed by Guru Dutt, officially directed by his assistant named Abrar Alvi)
This movie reflected the feudal India of early 1900's and its problems. Every shot, sound and dialogue was full of information of that period. Meena Kumari, Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman and Rehman excelled in their respective roles. This movie is all time classic for its narrative as well as music composed by S.D.Burman.
Mughl-e-Azam (Directed by K-Asif)
Mughl-e-Azam can clearly be called a fictitious epic inspired from some history of Mughals, Rajputs and India of 1600's. It like numerous other Hindi movies also showed the love angle of Prince Salim and concubine Anarkali (fictitious or otherwise). It can be an all time classic due to immortal acting by Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithvi Raj Kapoor. Music by Naushad Ali plays a major part in it.
Sholay (Directed by Ramesh Sippy)
Only western (genre) movie ever made in India. People still remember all the characters in it. More people have watched this movie in India than any other movie. This movie is classic due to its narrative and acting by Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh, Amjad Khan, Hema Malini, Dharmendra, Jaya Bhaduri, Asrani, Jagdeep, Sambha (??), Kalia, etc. All the characters were tailor made for this script.
Pyaasa (Directed by Guru Dutt)
Few things! acting by Guru Dutu, Songs by S.D. Burman, Lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi, camera, lighting, script, direction, production, everything a classic movie to learn "How movies are made".
Guide (Directed by Vijay Anand )
A different story. Tells a tale of a Guide who in search of his life guides thousands others. Good music.
Hum Dono (Directed by Dev Anand's youngest brother, (GREAT MUSIC BY JAIDEV)
This movie is all time classic because of Music by Jaidev and lyrics by Sahir. Every dialogue and every frame tells it is directed by Vijay Anand.
Sujata (Directed by Bimal Roy, I rate all the movies of Bimal roy as mother of all the classics, one's like Devdas, Bandini, Usne Kaha tha, Parakh are all class apart)
This movie tells the tale of a low caste girl brought up by Brahmins. Again great narrative! Very good acting by Nutan.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (Directed by Kundan Shah)
Simply! the spirit of directors who were born before 1947 came into this director. A great satire! no matter how many times you watch it it is always refresh.
Barsaat, Shri 420, (all the great movies by Raj kapoor)
Then it gets tough to decide. I like all the light movies made by Hrishikesh Mukkerji, Basu Chatterji and Sai Paranjpe (With Amol Palekar and Farooque Sheikh).
Sandeep S Bajwa
1. HAHK ....... with Madhuri and Salman Khan for its portrayal of the affection which lies at the heart of South Asian family culture.
2.Sampuran Ramayan.......for making live myths we all know about.
3.Heer Ranjha.......with Priya -a beautiful woman -did she ever star in anything else ? - and its superb Urdu poetry each line rhyming with the next. Has there ever been another Indian movie made in poem?
4.Mohra......with Raveena and Akshay and the mast mast song.
5.Khalnayak.....with Madhuri and Sanjay . Truly outstanding choregraphy.
6.Chess Players ...by Ray . The British play a bigger chess game and walk away with the Kingdom while the Nawabs are busy. The scene where one of the them accidently eats the vegetable chess pieces was hilarious.
Honourable mentions also to Taqdeerwala with Raveena , English Babu Desi Mem .....with Sonali Bendre and SRK ,and the Pakistani Heer Ranjha . The best movie of all time was of course Life of Brian ..