BOLLYWOOD MOVIE GUIDE
any two experts for their favourites and you'll get more points
of disagreement than agreement, so when Redhotcurry.com asked
six female Bollywood movie experts for their choice of the most
romantic Bollywood movies ever, we were quite surprised by the
results. Just as classics like 'Casablanca' and 'Gone With the
Wind' top any Hollywood Romantics Movies list, Bollywood classics
like Awara, Andaz, Pakeezah and Mugal-e-Azam appeared to be among
our experts' favourites. Featuring stars of yester year like Raj
Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Nargis, Nutan and Meena Kumari; it is hardly
surprising that the early days of Bollywood are seen as the Golden
Era of the great romantic movie.
were equally surprised that war-time love stories like '1942 -
A Love Story' with its eminently sing-a-long song ' 'Ek ladki
ko dekha to aisa laga' and tear-jerker 'Kabhi Khabie' (1976) did
not make our experts list. Screen beauty Waheeda Raman also failed
to make the grade in a major role, but most of our movies featured
a stunning movie heroine - equal to any that Hollywood has to
dominated the list with trend-setting films like Kashmir Ki Kali,
Mughal-e-Azam, Pakeezah and Zubeidaa all shot in glorious Technicolor.
Bollywood goddess Sharmila Tagore makes an appearance twice on
your list: first in the 1964 film Kashmir Ki Kali and then in
the 1969 film Aradhana opposite heartthrob Rajesh Khanna. The
mogul court is mentioned twice with films like Pakeezah and 'Mughal-e-Azam'
and the opulence of the era is echoed in films like 'Devdas'.
Unrequited love, the classic love triangle and lesbianism are
other themes to emerge in our most Romantic Bollywood Movies Top
BOLLYWOOD MOVIES - TOP 20
THE EXPERTS CHOICE
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)
Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)
Kuch Na Kaho (2003)
Tere Ghar ke Saamne (1963)
Munni Kabir, who is a documentary filmmaker and author of several,
books including 'Guru Dutt- a life in cinema', 'Talking Films
with Javed Akhtar' and 'Bollywood,
the Indian cinema Story' chose a selection of true classics.
Nasreen who works as Channel 4's consultant on Indian cinema is
responsible for selecting, translating dialogues and supervising
the subtitling of C4's annual twenty-part Indian film season.
first choice has to be Awara for the intense on screen chemistry
between Raj Kapoor and Nargis" she said. "As an audience
you feel completely riveted by the emotional connection these
two actors emanate on the screen. Kapoor's use of music is unrivalled
in romantic films, each song tells the different moods of love."
who is currently serving as governor on the board of the British
Film Institute, is in the process of making a 50-minute documentary
on Shah Rukh Khan for Channel 4 to be shown in April 2004. Surprisingly
though, her second choice is the original 1956 version of 'Devdas'
in preference to the 2002 version starring Shah Rukh Khan.
Devdas, the 1956 Bimal Roy version, the heart of the story is
about the complexity of love, and how different characters experience
it: the hero loves but cannot act upon it and inner, pining love
is what he chooses," Nasreen explained. "Paro loves
but finds that the object of her love is unable to match her love,
and finally Chandramukhi who trades in "so called" love
has to give up the material world in order to win love and this
can only ultimately be accepted as the spiritual kind."
an industry often pilloried for having repetitive storylines,
a lack or depth and few meaningful characters, Nasreen highlights
Andaz as her third choice.
has the best love triangle film ever made in Indian cinema. This
powerful melodrama by Mehboob Khan shows the complexity of love
and silent longing. Dilip Kumar is absolutely brilliant in this
film, which is basically about three people!" Nasreen
added, "It is rare today that a film can revolve around three
characters, and Andaz is a film captures the imagination totally.
This only happens if a film's characters have depth."
in movies, of course, can only come from the pairing of an actor
and actress who share on-screen chemistry. For her fourth choice
'Tere Ghar Ke Saamne', Nasreen reminisces about Dev Anand and
GHAR KE SAAMNE
delightful beautifully written film by Vijay Anand starring Dev
Anand and Nutan is romance set in every day life, the couple are
modern, the parents full of ego and false pride. The songs are
lovely and the dialogue witty. Very little is said about this
romantic screen pair but I think Dev Anand and Nutan make as beautiful
a romantic pair on screen as Nargis-Raj Kapoor. This film is a
gem and isn't talked about enough," stated Nasreen.
romantic figures like Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol do appear in Nasreen's
final choice 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge'.
DULHANIA LE JAYENGE
marvellous film depends on the fabulous energy and intensity between
Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol who like the earlier films understand
how to make the love seem real on the screen. They are delightful
and the film has great lyrics by Anand Bakshi. Aditya Chopra creates
a flowing mood managing to tackle the objecting parent in a fresh
and novel way. Wonderfully romantic of course."
documentary film make and expert on Indian Cinema - Behroze Gandhy
- who curated the 'Other Indias Film Festival' at The WhiteChapel
Gallery last year, also chose early classics.
has the most sexy moment in Indian cinema history as Dilip Kumar
makes love to Madhubala by stroking her face with a white feather!"
The film has been digitally remastered and was re-released by
the Bfi as part of the 2002 ImagineAsia festival. First seen in
1960, Bollywood classic Mughal-E-Azam is the tale of an explosive
confrontation between forbidden love and the iron laws of the
state. An all-star cast including Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj
Kapoor, give powerful performances in sumptuous settings; fabulous
Mughal palaces, breathtaking battle scenes and romantic bedchambers.
Ki Kali was Sharmila Tagore's first Bollywood movie and she looks
ravishing as a flower seller approaching Shammi Kapoor,"
explained Behroze. Although the film had a run-of-the-mill plot,
the film has a touching air of innocence, and most importantly,
songs that are now considered the great classics of Hindi film
is a real 1970's kitschy choice. 18-year old Raj Nath (Rishi Kapoor),
son of a wealthy businessman, has a romance with 16-year old Bobby
(Dimple Kapadia), daughter of a humble fisherman while their respective
fathers wage a class war. "The song which imagines Dimple
Kapadia (Bobby) and Rishi Kapoor locked in a room together with
the key thrown away is truly romantic." This song 'Hum tum
ek kamre mein band ho' sung by Shailendra Singh and Lata Mangeskar
became the hit song of its day and the movie also included other
hits like 'Mujhe kuch kehna hai' and 'Main shayer to nahin'.
Kumari's best-known 1971 classic 'Pakeezah' rated a number of
mentions. The plot is a classic courtesan tale set in Lucknow
at the turn of the last century. Dancer and courtesan Nargis (Meena
Kumari) dreams of escaping her dishonourable life but is rejected
by the family of her husband and dies giving birth to a daughter.
The daughter, Sahibjaan (also played by Kumari), repeats her mother's
life cycle. "Ashok Kumar gazing at Meena Kumari's feet in
the train is such a tender thought," said Behroze "it
is romance in the true sense of the word". The cinematography
is colourful and lavish and Pakeezah features Sahibjaan dancing
at her lover's wedding on shards of glass before it all dramatically
comes to a close.
Rathnam's 1995 film Bombay is one my favourites because Aravind
Swamy the hero pursues his beloved to a small village in south
India after spotting her at a wedding. He even has to cover himself
in a burkha in order to woo her!" laughed Behroze. Set in
the 1993 Bombay riots following the destruction of the Babri Masjid,
the tale is of a Hindu Shekhar (Swamy) falling in love for a Muslim
woman Shehla Bano (Manisha Koirala). A love story spanning two
Lankan, Lucky Dissanayake, who has 17 years experience in media
including magazines, newspapers and television and holds an MBA
from Ashridge Management College, founded Dakini books in 2000.
Dakini published the hardback 'Bollywood
- Popular Indian Cinema' that has since become the most beloved
title on the subject.
of my favourites is Zubeidaa:
Although ending in tragedy, the true love story represented in
this film is unforgettable. Karisma Kapoor is remarkably cast."
Lucky stated. Married young and divorced, Zubeidaa falls in love
with a Hindu prince from Rajasthan but finds she is a misfit in
his code-bound royal life. The forsaken son Riyaz traces his mother's
story through her diaries and interviews with the royal family
members in Jaipur. Zubeidaa echoes the theme of a woman searching
for identity. Whizz-kid AR Rahman's music and big production values
made Zubeidaa reach out to a much larger audience.
Behroze Gandhy, Lucky chose Mughal-e-Azam
as another. "The singing and dancing in this story are my
favourite out of all the Bollywood films. They perfectly highlight
this legendary romance." Lucky added.
also chose 'Bobby' as an iconic story of young love and Pakeezah.
"There are a few scenes in Pakeezah, especially the one with
the song 'Chalo Dildar Chalo', that capture romanticism at its
best." If you can instantly remember the lilting music to
this terrific song than you're likely to agree with Lucky's choice.
final choice was 'Aradhana' which she states is a film that gave
Bollywood its first ever superstar in Rajesh Khanna - "he's
always been one of my favourite heroes!" With music by S
D Burman and lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Aradhana was a musical romance.
A seminal film for the 1970's, Aradhana is best remembered for
its songs like 'Mere sapnon ke rani' and 'Roop tera mastana' sung
by Kishore Kumar. If the mere mention of the last song has you
imaging the heroine in a rain-drenched sari succumbing to the
advances of her hero
you too will have agree that
Aradhana was a great movie.
buff Tejinder Jouhal, who worked on the 'Beyond Bollywood' tour
of contemporary South Asian cinema as part of the BFI's ImagineAsia
festival, offered a slightly different perspective to list. Tejinder
is currently working at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)
that recently held its 'Spice' season of contemporary Indian Cinema.
others, Tejinder also chose Pakeezah because "that famous
emotionally charged dance scene (with the shards of glass) did
more to further the narrative than most contemporary Bollywood
films ever could."
Mehta's 1996 film 'Fire'
for Tejinder was "a sensitive tale of modern love brilliantly
acted by both Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das." Written and
directed by Mehta, this English language film is an unusual Indian
film looking at lesbianism and forbidden desire within a New Delhi
household. It caused a storm on its release in India where the
main right-wing party in Bombay tried to get it banned. They were
unsuccessful and despite the fact that the film is about a lesbian
relationship, a subject which is considered taboo in India, it
was released uncensored.
quite the classic romantic tale, Ramesh Sippy's 1975 tale 'Sholay'
was India's answer to the Western. Starring Dharmendra, Amitabh
Bachchan, Hema Malini and Jaya Bhaduri, the tale is told in flashbacks
where the lead character Jaidev (Amitabh Bachchan) is killed.
allowed the film to adhere to the Hindi cinema norm that the widowed
Radha (Jaya Bhaduri) may not marry. Many will recall the classic
scene where she closes the window shutters as if closing the doors
to her heart forever!
film Naseeb featured the song 'Zindagi' "which crossed wires
between lovers and friends". Manmohan Desai's most extravagantly
plotted film featured a host of stars including Amitabh Bachchan,
Hema Malini, Lalita Pawar, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra,
Rajesh Khanna, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rahman, and Sharmila Tagore
and scores for sheer star quality alone!
"For romantic drama nothing can beat 1990 film Dil where
Aamir Khan defies his family as he smashes the glass table and
creates a wedding fire in the remains." The top Hindi hit
of the 1990's Dil is a love story leading to an estrangement between
the families of the two lovers played by Aamir Khan and Madhuri
CHOWDHRY & HARVINDER NATH
most contemporary selection of romantic Bollywood movies was by
Pushpinder Chowdhry and Harvinder Nath, organisers of the Tongues
on Fire Asian Women's Festival. Now in its 6th year, Tongues on
Fire celebrates the excellence, performances and achievements
of Asian women in cinema. Pushpinder & Harvinder chose as
their romantic Bollywood movies:
Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpai, the 2003 film Pinjar
is a human saga set during the Indo-Pak partition. "We liked
this film because the romance flourishes across the culture and
second choice 'Kuch
Na Kaho' (2003) starring Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan
is a light-hearted contemporary romance that breaks with 'cultural
stereotypes'. Raj (Abhishek Bachchan) lives in New York with his
mother. They are very close and share a great rapport. But there
is one issue they can't see eye to eye on: his mother wants him
to settle down but Raj won't hear of an arranged marriage.
Raj visits India for his cousin's wedding, his uncle emotionally
blackmails him into agreeing to arrange meetings with eligible
girls. To make matters worse, the person his uncle chooses as
the matchmaker is the one person Raj has already antagonized in
his 24 hours in Mumbai. That person is Namrata (Aishwarya Rai).
She is only too happy to put Raj through the torture of finding
his one true love!
universally panned by film critics, 2003 family saga 'Baghban'
starring Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini, gets the ladies vote
for proving that when it comes to romance "age is no bar".
HO NA HO
Ho Naa Ho is the story of Aman, Rohit and Naina's journey
together - how they discover themselves, find the courage to love
and come together to celebrate life. New York, April 2003, the
late winter continues...For Naina Kapur (Preity Zinta), life is
cold grey and dull - as it has been ever since a family tragedy
shook her world. Naina has no time for things like parties, fun...
twenty-three going on fifty. She is serious. She is boring. Enter
Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan) - like a whiff of fresh air, he moves
into their tiny Indian neighbourhood to take it over. Aman pushes
Naina into doing things she would never dream of doing. He conspires
with friend Rohit (Saif Ali), an eligible Manhattan bachelor -
to help her find happiness. Kal Ho Na Ho "proves to be a
classic love triangle with a twist!" according to Pushpinder
WITH OUR EXPERTS?
you agree with our experts choice or disgaree vehemently? Don't
forget to make your choice in our poll.
here to read more Bollywood