Bollywood For Discerning Minds – Part Deux
Here then is my second installment of entertainers, and even some gems, from Bollywood in the categories that I had created.
(As expected, I’ve merged my previous #2 and #3 into the second category below).
- Jab We Met (2007) – See it for Geet played by Kareena Kapoor. Romantic drama with comedic moments in a pucca Punjabi family. One of those entertainers that can be seen and enjoyed more than just once. As a bonus, there’s great music, dancing and a cute hero too.
- Ghajini (2008) – an Aamir Khan spectacle that just works; remade from a South Indian hit film. Has a little bit of everything – romance, action, drama….and of course, Aamir.
- Veer Zara (2004) – a glorious romance between a Hindu and Muslim crossing the Indo-Pakistan border with relish. Told with all the colorful, extravagant and musical trappings of a Yash Chopra movie.
- 3 Idiots (2010) – I thought it was overrated and over-hyped but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth a watch. It does have a unique story, good dialog, 45 year old Aamir actually looking like a college kid (collagen fillers work wonders!), good music, comedy and drama (a bit much).
- Dil Chahta Hai (2001) – The tale of three young men, their friendship, their relationships and their life. One of these really well-thought through scripts acted and directed brilliantly. Another gem with Aamir. I could watch it again today and be entertained.
Innovative (maybe even Groundbreaking) or Art House:
- Stanley Ka Dabba (2011) – breaking new ground for sure, this wonderful gem made by Amol Gupte is a charming and heart-wrenching story of Stanley and his missing lunch box. New this year and not to be missed. All the little actors – Stanley and his buddies – are naturals. Kudos to Mr. Gupte who is also one of the main characters as the baddie in the film.
- Shor in the City (2011) – a look at the small time criminals in Mumbai with parallel stories made even more interesting because of the direction, actors and tight plot. Watch it for Sendhil (wow!), the supporting cast and great music. One of the few good movies this year, and a surprise to boot.
- A Wednesday (2008) – Rage against terrorism! And about what we do to bring justice to terrorists. Naseeruddin Shah is simply awesome (is he ever anything else?) in this awesome movie. Did you say you have not watched it? Shame!
- Rang De Basanti (2006) – what a unique movie that juxtaposes the modern (corrupt) India with scenes from fight for Independence from the British Raj. Very innovatively shot. Great screenplay, acting, music and direction!
- Aamir (2008) – Scenes of the Mumbai underworld in terrifying realism, this fast-paced movie takes a newly arrived UK doc from Mumbai airport through the most terrible back alleys of Mumbai, all the way to a surprising finish.
- Omkara (2006) – Shakespear’s Othello re-done but set in, of all places, Uttar Pradesh. Fantastic film and performances, created by India’s most prolific director and all-rounder – also a writer, producer, musician and singer, Vishal Bhardwaj. It seems there’s nothing he can’t do!
2. Innovative (maybe even Groundbreaking) or Art House – a first or near-first for Bollywood or an art film -which is typically a serious, independently made movie for a niche rather than mass audience.