This one is about my all-time favourite Hindi fillums. I’m leaving the old classics out, as always.
Gaonwaalon, if you have not seen this yet, die.
I wouldn’t put it among old classics because it is one of the rare few movies that is still popular among people.
In fact, it is one of those rare films, never really to have gone out of theatres since it was first released in 1975. I could go on about this movie but the link above already has some stuff I’ve written. Dummies, click here.
Ask Shah Rukh about his best role till date and he’ll tell you. Sunil is surely the one. Five years in the making, this movie is the only thing that clicked for Kundan Shah after he made Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron.
It’s one of the few films where Shah Rukh Khan is not Shah Rukh Khan but is actually Sunil. You feel for him, you laugh with him, cry with him and you are reminded of what it is/was to be in love, what it is to get a Yes or No. Second only to Sholay.
I was very tempted to put Lagaan ahead of this because I’ve read The Spirit of Lagaan by Satyajit Bhatkal. I know the trials and tribulations of the entire unit that made that epic contemporary classic of a movie.
But yet, I would rate Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander a little higher than Lagaan because this is the first movie which used a sport for a climax successfully. The cycle chase at the end of the movie is sure to have inspired or given Ashutosh the courage to have a match for a climax.
Plus, Jo Jeeta is your wholesome coming-of-age film about discovering love, lust, friendship, family. Pehla Nasha and the birth of Farah Khan as a choreographer, Pooja Bedi’s rise as a sex symbol … this movie still gives me goose bumps. Manzoor Khan is yet to repeat the magic.
Even if I was the guy delivering tea to the unit at the sets, I would have been mighty proud of this spirited production whose making is certainly larger than the movie itself. Read The Spirit of Lagaan, people. Must-read for movie buffs.
The movie watching experience in itself was magic. From a tight intro where Ashutosh introduces over a dozen characters in less than eight minutes to gripping build-up which reaches a crescendo when Bhuvan accepts the bet, to the getting together of the team and the explosive finale — the longest climax in the history of Indian cinema, the movie was greeted with cheers. The crowd was on its feet when Bhuvan hits the last ball six and women hugged each other. It’s easier to cheer a real match. To see a fixed one is difficult, but who complained about this one. Now, that’s what you call a movie.
This is probably the best movie to have been made by a debutant director. Aditya Chopra, not Karan Johar, was the original creator of the formula of the nineties: International locations, designer clothes and the quintessential ‘hindustani Dil’ and of course, no villain.
The love story of Raj and Simran is one of the most celebrated in Indian cinema because it bridged that gap between modernity and tradition. Fall in love with the girl, but marry only after you’ve won the entire family. It was a formula bound to gain acceptance from the youth and their parents alike.
I’m afraid I haven’t mentioned any of Ram Gopal Varma‘s films in these but if I could take the liberty of adding a sixth, it would be Rangeela, Ramu’s only effort in coming up with wholesome entertainment. His rest are all niche movies and of different genres, and they would be in my list of Top Five — in the Mafia genre (Satya and Company, for sure).
Watch out for more on genre-wise ratings.