October 9, 2009
Bollywood in 1980's : A Period Of Classics!
Hello all ! This is the fourth part in the Bollywood series covering my favourite movies from 1980's, having already written about the same in the first part (1950's), the second part (1960's), and the third part (1970's). Here is the latest one from the 1980's .....
1) Arth (1982)
One of the best films coming from the filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, ‘Arth’ was known to be based on his relationship with the late actress Parveen Babi. The film had two of the best actresses of Hindi cinema, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil pitted against each other resulting in some super-volatile performances. The soulful songs rendered by Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh were truly beautiful. The film is about the complexities of an extra-marital relationship from the points of view of the husband (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), the wife (Shabana Azmi) and the mistress (Smita Patil). Shabana excelled in the role of a wronged wife and gave the character a certain dignity hitherto absent in such roles despite the scene when in a drunken state she calls her husband’s mistress a whore publicly. But Smita walked away with the accolades as a guilt ridden, insecure ‘other woman’ and her final scene with Shabana when in a hallucination she picks up the imaginary mangalsutra beads of Shabana shakes you up completely. Give it a try, and you will surely not be disappointed with this love-hate saga.
2) Jaane Bhi do Yaaron (1983)
You just can’t watch this film and then once you have watched it, you can’t stop talking about it. One of the most brilliant satires coming out of Hindi cinema, ‘Jane Bhi Do Yaaron’ has some of the brightest actors of Hindi cinema. The film is about two simple and honest photographer friends, Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Vaswani. By chance they witness a murder and are dragged into the corrupt real estate deals with politicians and bureaucrats. Actors like Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Satish Shah and Satish Kaushik shared some incredibly funny scenes in the film. People remember the outrageously funny dialogues of the film like Naseeruddin Shah’s "Thoda khao, thoda phenko”, Om Puri’s "Oye DMello, Tu to gaya". They are definitely some of the most memorable lines from this laugh riot. Some of the funniest scenes include a drunk Om Puri trying to help Satish Shah’s dead body to start his ‘car’ (coffin) and the million times copied now, famous modern Ramlila scene are absolutely side-splitting. I watched this movie last month again, and it made me feel like watching it again and again till my browser started screaming, not any more :D
3) Mr.India (1987)
Shekhar Kapoor’s ‘Mr. India’ had all the ingredients required for the superhit status that it acquired. A superhero like protagonist, great plot, Sridevi at her sexiest best, catchy songs and Hindi cinema’s most adorable villain, ‘Mogambo’. Anil Kapoor as the guy who had the power to go invisible was just awesome in the film. Amrish Puri’s menacing act as Mogambo was not just a turning point in his career but also the most memorable comic-book-villain-acts in Hindi cinema. The audiences were thrilled every time Amrish Puri glared down at them with his fiercely bulbous eyes sporting an atrocious blond wig and garish knee high silver heeled boots. They came back again and again to hear him mouth possibly the most repeated line of Hindi cinema (post 80s), ‘Mogambo khush hua’. Children loved the film for its special effects and the kiddie brigade taking on the villain. The grown ups couldn’t get enough of Sridevi in one of the most erotic 'wet saree’ (blue clingy chiffon) songs ever in Hindi films, ‘Kaate Nahin kat te’. Anil kapoor in the scene where he discovered the gadget to go invisible is so kiddish that you instantly fall in love with him. To go along with all these, was a brilliant child brigade who touched your heart at every moment in the film.
4) Qayamat se Qayamat tak (1988)
Aamir Khan’s debut film, ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ made him an instant heartthrob. ‘QSQT’ is one of the landmark films of Hindi cinema. It was a welcome break from the violent 70s and 80s with all and sundry doing their ‘angry young man’ act. Even the original ‘angry young man’ was no longer angry. ‘QSQT’ was a simple youthful love story with a fresh look at doomed romance. It is about a star-crossed young couple from traditional feuding families a la ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The young lovers elope and are chased by their parents. When they find no hope for their love they decide to die and make their love immortal. The film was a blockbuster making Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla household names. Written by veteran producer/director Nasir Hussain and directed by his son Mansoor Khan, this one film changed everyone's careers. Not many people know that Juhi Chawla who won the Miss India title was actually offered the role of Draupadi in the mega television series 'Mahabharata', which she turned down to do QSQT. And as they say, rest is history!
5) Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
"Dosti ki hain, nibhani to padegi hi", is probably the most repeated quote in a friendship, valid even now and often repeated. This flick, directed by the first timer Sooraj Barjatiya and coming from the 'clean image' family entertainer production house of Rajshri movies was instrumental in many ways. It brought back the family dramas and romantic comedies once again into business, after almost a decade of nonsensical Bollywood action flicks. It made a star out of Salman khan, who has earlier debuted in a small role as the hero's side kick in 'Biwi ho to aisi'. It brought the merchandise of film items back into business. Remember, those "FRIENDS" caps, mufflers, and bags. Though Bhagyashree, heroine of the movie failed to take advantage of this big break, as she decided to marry and work only with his husband. Even though couple of producers were so desperate to cash on her popularity that they even decided to work with both of them, only to realise the potential fatalities related to it later on. The songs of the movie, be it 'Dil deewana','Mere rang mein rangne wali', 'Aaja shaam hone aayi', or my favourite 'Aate jaate', everyone was a gem in its own. Not to forget, the parody of songs during the 'Antakshari scene' which become such a rage, that every time after the release of the movie, in weddings it became part of the auspicious celebrations. A must watch for any movie buff!
6) Parinda (1989)
Directed and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, it is considered to be one of the turning point in reality Hindi cinema, as it dealt with the real life of Indian underworld gangsters and their complex relationships with the residents in the city of Mumbai. Starring Jackie shroff, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in the lead roles, it was India's official entry for the 1990 Academy award for Best Foreign language. Although it lacked the visceral punch of RGV's Satya in 1998, still its acclaim and influence can no longer be discredited. Nana patekar was edgy and memorably offbeat as the fire-phobic mob boss. Although the movie's pace gets slow down due to unnecessary songs punched in, this is still a worth of a watch due to sheer dynamic performances by the principal cast.
7) Agneepath (1990)
The title of this movie was taken from a poem penned by Harivansh rai Bacchann, father of the main protogonist of the film, Amitabh Bacchaaan, who immortalised the character of 'Vijay Dena nath chauhan'. Ironically, this is the only movie till date for which AB has won a national award for best actor even though he has acted in numerous hits of 70's and the 80's. Produced by Yash Johar and directed by the extremely short lived talent house, Mukul.S.Anand, it brought loads of praise for him the way he handled the sensitivity of the characters. Mithun Chakarboarthy and Rohini Hattangadi won the national award for best supporting actor and actress respectively for this movie. Quite a few of the scenes were actually inspired from the 1983 movie Alpachino's enacted 'Scarface', along with a few background scores. The believable characters in real situations make this movie a worth watch.
PS: Feel free to add other of your favourite movies from this era. Some of the notable omissions of this period are as follows:
a) Karz - probably the best reincarnation drama in Bollywood.
b) Love story - When Kumar Gaurv took the world by storm, only to see the downside later on.
c) Saaransh - Anupam Kher's Best performance till date.
d) Mashaal - One of the most realistic movies ever made by Yash Chopra.
e) Masoom - One of the Best Parent-child movie ever made in Hindi Cinema, Songs to die for!
Next up will be the movies from 1990's. Cheers, stay well, and happy movie watching!