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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!



~*~ Jal Pari ~*~ said...

I loved the whole "Gutter" speech from JBDY.

Hopeless Romantic said...

@ Jal Pari

oh ya it is awesome, a must watch!


The Survivor said...

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron is one of the best satirical movies. Simply loved the Mahabharata and all other drama mixed in.

NEHA said...

my favourite will be

karz- it was killer! awesome

QSQT- fun coz of aamir ;)

MR. india- totally diffrent! never saw it as a kids film ever \m/


Mahesh Sindbandge said...

Thanks for this post....u know i was waiting for it :)

QSQT , MR.India and Love story are my fav...think i watched them over and over many times..

Maine pyar kiya is none less...salman was stunning in that :P

oRange* said...

i just read that post u asked me to read ..and seriously, thank you so much really did make me feel much better!
amazingly written simple and made so much sense!

p.s: i didnt know if u would see the comment there as its quite an old post i just thought of commenting here! thanks again. very sweet of u :)

Hopeless Romantic said...


glad it made you feel write, Don't worry you can comment on any of my posts, i always get an e-mail. I have made settings like that. Ironically, people comment on my previous posts as much as my new posts, so i am kinda used to it now!

Next time you feel low, let me know!

Keep smiling,

Hopeless Romantic said...


that's true, it is one of the most humorous scene ever in Bollywood movie history!


Hopeless Romantic said...


thanks for liking all :)


Hopeless Romantic said...


Hope it was worth the wait. Glad you liked most of them. Keep watching more !


Samadrita said...

Qayamat se Qayamat tak and Mr. India are one of my favorite movies ever.What a brilliant debut for Aamir!
I remember watching Saaransh when I was 11 or 12.Such a sad but a heart-warming story and brilliant acting by Kher saab.
And Masoom was so cute.I totally agree with you....the songs are amazing!

I, Me and Myself said...

QSQT...the debut of amir khan...i fell in love with him since den...

Mr. India i nevevr get tired f the film ever..

Masoon was so cute...and the songs like u said were amazing..

Agneepath. i must have 9 or 10 when i first saw it...but i never got the content..later on when i agn saw it...i loved it.. a history in itself...

rest i am nt really aware of :)

Butterfly Thoughts said...

When i saw Arth I could never make out what it was all about coz I must be in class 9th or 10th. But today i do remember it as a class movie.QSQT- I remember being depressed ater seeing the movie coz both of them died at the end. 2 songs are my all time favourite from this movie.and maine pyar kiya was fun. all melo dramatic and yes Salman became my favourite actor after this and he still is:-)
Nicelist. dont know if you have seen the movie Aakhir kyon staring smita patil and rajesh khanna. Even that was a good movie based on woman empowerment.

mêlée said...

great post as usual, made me relive some old times...but i just had a feeling that I have read the descriptions elsewhere before....are they really ur original ones?

Hopeless Romantic said...


Thanks, this is an amalgamation of my thoughts along with whatever i come across reading websites. I have already included a list of sources which i have used while writing this post, just like i always quote even the songs while writing stories. If you go through the earlier posts in this series, you will find the same pattern there as well. Its just a tip off for me to start discussing my favourite movies with other bloggers. Great to have you here, keep dropping by!


Hopeless Romantic said...


Yup, i agree with all ! Though i still feel QSQT story line was nothing to boast home about, but its just the freshness it provided among all crap action movie that it made it so special, after all Juhi and Aamir's performances top the charts any time!


Hopeless Romantic said...


True, you should probably see the other remaining one now, specially JBDY, its there on youtube. I am sure you are going to love it!


Hopeless Romantic said...


I have never been a great fan of salman, i genuinely feel that he has made lot of career mistakes, its his persona which has carried him forward. QSQT songs are my personal favourite too...I have not seen that movie, but i have heard good things about it.If time permits, i would surely like to watch it some day!


Suresh Kumar said...

I liked Agneepath, specially the first half. Master Manjunath, younger Vijay went on to act in Malgudi Days. Mukul Anand and Amitabh paired again in Hum and Khuda Gawah.

How about Tridev from Rajiv Rai. A pucca masala movie but a blockbuster.

Harini said...

You know what! After reading this post, i realize i have hardly seen movies from 80's. Expect for a few like Mr. India and Qayamat se qayamat tak but i havent seen others in the list :P. Btw, u have stopped visitng ma blog :(.

Hopeless Romantic said...


True, actually due to untimely death of Mukul Anand, he could not complete Dus, which was later shelved and remade in 2006 by Anubhav Sinha.

Tridev was a nice movie. I remember going with my uncle to watch the FDFS at regal cinema in Delhi. Though it was entertaining and a blockbuster, i would not place in MY top7 movies of the 1980. I just realised that Agneepath was actually in 1990 and not 1989!

Thanks for sharing!

Hopeless Romantic said...


well, you should catch some of them, quite a few are available on youtube.

I am keeping extremely busy with MBA studies, hardly getting time to visit blogs. Even if i visit and read them, i don't comment till i feel strongly about it. But in your case, i have not even seen updates from your blog. Let me check if there is an issue. Cheer up!


mêlée said...

@ Amit, I thought as much!

just that i m a researcher with stricter sense of citation and originality, wont apply the same to your blog, which has been a great read for me.

and ur sincerity in responding to comments is amazing :)

Hopeless Romantic said...


I am doing MBA, and citation is in my blood now. Some find it funny, but i think its absolute disgraceful to copy even a song with your name. So i always include references and sources.

I have read your blog and found all the movie articles extremely engaging. Sorry for not commenting, because i was running short of time last evening with an assignment. But surely, i would revisit to comment on it.

Replying to comments is essential, since it helps you accepting other people point of view, even if you don't agree with it. It makes you more accommodating and you learn to be critical with a reason in life.


How do we know said...

i agree.. totally cool selection.. even the ones u put at the end.. tho i believe that masoom and saransh deserve a place up there with the classics.. esp Jugal Hansraj in that film is unforgettable.

There is one other film, if i may add to the list - Sparsh.

That was just the period of fantastic acting..

Jaunty anima said...

Man...every single entry here is a watch dem again n again n still not get bored..awesome in all senses:)

Hopeless Romantic said...


Well,i agree both were good, but based on the box office performance and the way they have influenced Indian cinema, i base my list. I have seen sparsh, its quite poignant and touching! But then, i have missed Silsila, Salaam Bombay, chandni and Aakrosh which surely deserve a mention here.

I feel 1980 was when art cinema or parallel cinema was at peak, thought the mainstream cinema was making all bullshit illogical action movies along with those padamalya movies with jeetu dancing with 100 dancers on the beech in white clothes :)


Hopeless Romantic said...

@Jaunty Anima

Thanks, glad you liked it, good to see you here!

Keep coming,

JD said...

great set of movies.. I like the madhur bhandarkar genre of movies too..

JD said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hopeless Romantic said...

@ JD

Thanks, Madhur Bhandakar is all in 2000's, so need to wait to discuss him.

Good to have u here, do come back again!


Lucia Phillips said...

Stopped by read your blog, great read. Please check mine out as well

Hopeless Romantic said...

@ Lucia

Thanks :)


Destiny's child... said...

This really makes the 1980's seem like an iconic era..I haven't watched all of them, just QSQT, Mr. India,& Maine Pyaar Kia...
I want to watch the ones I have missed out on, after reading your post. Thanks for enlightening me about movies worth a watch. :)

Hopeless Romantic said...

@Destiny's Child

well, i won't say iconic, i think there were better qualities of movies in 1970's and 1990's but ya these were some of the best of those era, hence i shared it. Happy movie watching!

thanks for dropping by!

Satans Darling™ said...

I LOVE Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron! I still watch it so many times :D

Nice post!

Hopeless Romantic said...


As i said in the post, JBDY is addictive!