Personally Hindi

Ten Hindi movies which are personally preferred.
*Qualification: From 2013 end, thirty years to go back; maximum.

I. Andaz Apna Apna (1994)
Genre: Action Comedy
Director: Rajkumar Santoshi
Cast: Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Raveena Tandon
Here, the process begins by starting with a movie which didn’t do well at the box-office, but shall rule the theatres if it was released later. It was that kind of advanced fun that the audience of the time were not prepared for, and now they are even prepared for the worst kind of pathetic comedy movies. It is the story of Amar (Aamir Khan) and Prem (Salman Khan), two good-for-nothing young people who tries to gain fortune by marrying a heiress. As they almost succeed in the cause after a flurry of funny and awkward moments, the two run into the evil twin of their future father-in-law. The one who needs to consent to the marriage is kidnapped by the twin brother with the help of his minions in the house, and they have to save the uncle before the twin takes over everything disguised as the real heir to the property. There are some cult dialogues like “Main Teja hoon kyonki mera naam bhi Teja hain”, “Galti se mistake ho gaya”, “Goli nahin thi toh bataya kyun”, “Aap purush hi nahi, mahapurush hai”, “Teja main hoon mark idhar hai” and “Crime master Gogo naam hai mera, aankhen nikaal kar gotiyaan khelta hoon main”.

II. Gupt (1997)
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Director: Rajiv Rai
Cast: Bobby Deol, Manisha Koirala and Kajol Devgn
Concentrating around Sahil (Bobby Deol) and his two lovers, one his childhood friend (Kajol Devgn) and the other his admirer from college (Manisha Koirala), this movie tells the story of murder, conviction, escape and revenge on a background of two coins of love with only one to be accepted. As Sahil goes on a torture spree after his escape, his attempt to get the truth out of his victims is not only thrilling, but a little funny at the same time, making this close enough to an action comedy movie too. As the mystery slowly reveals itself, the final revelation might be something the least expected, justifying the subtitle of the movie “The Hidden Truth”. With its themes of jealousy, deceit and vengeance, the movie was something which changed the thriller genre in Bollywood industry. I did watch it quite late though, as those times were not favourable for Hindi movies, with not even the latest Malayalam movies released in our theatres which failed to be release centres until a few years ago. But Gupt is a movie worth waiting for, and with the interest which I had gained with the awesome songs, I could watch this one many times despite knowing and breaking the suspense.

III. Khiladi (1992)
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Director: Abbas Mustan
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Ayesha Jhulka and Deepak Tijori
This movie which was Akshay Kumar’s breakthrough role might also be his best, and happens to be that thriller which made me closer to Bollywood movies at a time when I was more into Malayalam movies and my Hindi wasn’t that good enough. It was such a great thriller that it would be followed by Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994), Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995), Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996), Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi (1997), International Khiladi (1999), Khiladi 420 (2000) and Khiladi 786 (2012) all featuring Akshay Kumar in the main role. The movie’s way of using of suspense was not something common during that age, and Khiladi had everyone on the edge of their seats. It even managed to create that environment of terror without adding anything to boost the same. Even with its simple ideas of thrill and suspense, the movie strikes as a moment of a bet made just for fun goes wrong affects the life of three youngsters horribly, but they slowly gets to the root of the problem and on a day of terror, they overcome them all. This welcomed Akshay Kumar as my favourite actor and kept him in that list for years until he was replaced by Bobby Deol during his very short stay there.

IV. Soldier (1998)
Genre: Action Thriller
Director: Abbas Mustan
Cast: Bobby Deol, Preity Zinta and Raakhee
The second of the two great twin-action thrillers which had Bobby Deol in the leading role and making an impression. It also lead to its remake Villu starring Vijay and Nayantara. The movie is a complete revenge story which is covered in the mist of love and gangster action. Starting from “Soldier Soldier” through “Mehfil Mein Baar Baar” to “Hum To Dil Chahe”, the songs of the movie were a real boost and I would say that it was the best music of the year too, much better than Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Dil Se, and I was even forced to buy the audio cassette of the same, something which I rarely used to do. One has to agree that the movie itself was ahead of every other movie of the year, and the way in which the movie progresses is worth mentioning, as it keeps us close to the protagonist even as there are big surprises and twists which surrounds him; still we feel that the man is not too far away from our comprehension of a young hero seeking something, wandering around with a perfect plan. Along with the stylish Bobby Deol, Preity Zinta has come up with a beautiful, lovable performance in the first movie she acted, if not released.

V. Tango Charlie (2005)
Genre: War Drama
Director: Mani Shankar
Cast: Bobby Deol, Tanisha Mukherjee and Nandana Sen
There might be the common belief that Tango Charlie is just another war movie, but in real, it is anti-war, still it is patriotic as it follows the path of one rookie, a reluctant hero who joins the military force, Tarun Chauhan (Bobby Deol) whose life is shown in a brilliant style and the performance of the actor has been of top level, matched only by the presence of Ajay Devgn as his senior officer. This is also the best performances I have seen from both Tanisha Mukherjee and Nandana Sen, the latter with whom I am not that familiar. The movie is brutal and its heroes are highly vulnerable, a situation which we rarely see in Hindi movies, with action heroes having the leading role. Its a strong message against war and its brutalities, not hailing victory as a great achievement considering the losses, and the whole concept of border war stories is changed to all including internal conflicts, including the riots in Gujarat, the North East rebellions, Naxals in Central India and also a final battle in the border with the side story of a Naxalite attack in Bengal which is narrated by the senior officer. The movie takes the human and psychological side of the troops who fight for their nation and it is indeed an exceptional effort.

VI. Baazi (1995)
Genre: Action Thriller
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Cast: Aamir Khan, Mamta Kulkarni and Paresh Rawal
Baazi is a partial answer to Die Hard, with its climax set in a tall building with kidnappers and victims. But the major plot of the movie goes far beyond being in imitation, as it is the story of the same inspector who saves the day, being framed for a murder and imprisoned, coming back to bring out the truth, and at the same time, settle some very old scores. This was Aamir Khan’s best police role which might have been a good platform for his another police role in the 1999 movie Sarfarosh. But nothing could have matched his energy in Baazi, not even Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. With Mamta Kulkarni there as the leading actress and Parwesh Rawal as the villain, the movie was sure to have a lot of potential even as it might not have done that well at the box office. It surely deserved more, just for the performance of the cast itself, even as the plot of the movie is also very effective, ahead of the other movies of the time. Being an Aamir Khan fan is a must after watching this movie, and well used to Mamta Kulkarni and admire Parwesh Rawal, don’t we?

VII. Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996)
Genre: Action Thriller
Director: Umesh Mehra
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Rekha and Raveena Tandon
With the suppport of the World Wrestling Federation wrestlers Crush and Brian Lee version of The Undertaker, the movie itself was that much of a mystery as its major hit song “Tu Kaun Hai Tera Naam Kya”. With Rekha in her first villain role an super action sequences expected with the new action of the Khiladi power at his best, there was fireworks expected and there were a lot for sure. Set in a ruthless world of crime and treachery, Akshay plays his namesake who tries to save his brother from the hands of an underworld don. He wins the confidence of the lady don from whom he has to save his brother, and casts his web, but would that be enough in a world which is normally that much smart in an evil way? Well, there is The Undertaker to stand in the way, even as he is the imposter one. The movie takes the action sequences to another level, but not to the overdose supported by slow motion which haunts the movies of these days. This would be the fourth well made movie of the Khiladi series and the last one which would be worth watching, with none of the next four movies making an impact.

VIII. Angrakshak (1995)
Genre: Action Thriller
Director: Ravi Raja
Cast: Sunny Deol, Pooja Bhatt and Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Literally translated as the Bodyguard is what came before the Malayalam movie Bodyguard and its four remakes with the preparation for one more. This is the story of a realistic bodyguard, as there is nothing funny about this depiction, as the world turns more and more evil and darker in theme as Ajay (Sunny Deol) tries his best to save the daughter of a politician who feels threatened by his own opponents on the face of his rising popularity. The movie has action, terror and politics with and without the masks, taken out of the comfort zone. With Sunny Deol staying strong and Pooja Bhatt doing her part with what seems to be so much of an ease, this movie deserves more attention than it has deserved through the ages. At a time when the worst movies get good critical acclaim and great box office results, it would be difficult to take a forgotten movie out of the box, but if you are ever going to do so, take this one. This is a choice which you won’t regret, and if you want to regret, watch Bodyguard and then everything shall be fine.

IX. Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995)
Genre: Action Thriller
Director: Umesh Mehra
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Mamta Kulkarni and Mohnish Behl
Literally translated as The Biggest Player, the movie takes Akshay Kumar further into the league of the biggest players. This movie is more of an emotional attachment for me, as I can remember watching at my ancestral home as we didn’t have cable television or VCR at home, and also listening to the song “Bholi Bhali Ladki” on multiple occasions during the only music programme which was available on the one Doordarshan channel. That called for a self-welcome into Mamta Kulkarni fans club, something which just one song started and the movie completed. It has to be noted that it is the only song from the first half of the 90s which I can recollect as having made such an impact. This one made me a clear fan of the Khiladi series, and its story of twists and turns was too strong for the age. One has nothing other than praise for Akshay Kumar after watching this one. The way in which the suspense is maintained is praiseworthy. So, by the end of the movie, we know who is the greatest player of them all.

X. Andar Baahar (1984)
Genre: Action Comedy
Director: Raj N. Sippy
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and Moon Moon Sen
Being the only movie of the 1980s, and the oldest movie of the list, this one is the last entrant which I had my own doubts on placing here, as it had to replace all those movie names which I have written just under this. Literally translated as Inside Outside, and not to be confused with 2013 Kannada movie of the same name, Andar Baahar is that action comedy movie you wished for in India after watching many of the same type in Hollywood. Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff successfully plays the thief-cop team, who attempt to capture the big fish, a shark in the criminal world. This should be an even better buddy movie that those of Men in Black and Rush Hour series. The contradiction between the two characters are powerfully depicted, and the relation between the two, which turns from horrible to adjustable and then to good friends, make two dynamic characters out of both. Moon Moon Sen has her charm working out there, and Danny Denzongpa is an incredibly strong and powerful villain. It would seem complicated from the outside, but inside, the things are kept simple and still brilliant enough, thus Andar Baahar.

Special Mention: Madras Cafe (2013) [Click for Review], Sarfarosh (1999), Dushman (1998), Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992), Waqt Hamara Hai (1993), Mohra (1994), Table No. 21 (2013) [Click for Review]

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6 thoughts on “Personally Hindi

    • Yes, I hope you watch Andaz Apna Apna, and there are also a few Malayalam comedy movies which have the ability to stand up to that evergreen comedy 🙂

      Like

    • Yes, I remember Ghayal in parts; it was a strong one – I will need to watch it again as it has been a long time. Yes, I am looking forward to watching Ghayal Once Again too 🙂

      Like

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