dangermousie: (Veer-Zaara)
[personal profile] dangermousie
I was going to say "Bollywood" but there are two Telugu movies in here, so there it is.

1. Asoka - period epic about Asoka, the legendary Indian emperor who renounced conquest and converted to Buddhism. Shahrukh Khan plays Asoka (in his best role ever, IMO) - the violent, passionate, intense, ambitious contradiction. Kareena Kapoor is a fugitive princess who owns his heart and soul. There are battles, amazing cinematography and one of my favorite love stories ever.


2. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge - the movie that hooked me on Bollywood back in 2002 and the longest-running, one of the most famous Bollywood movies ever. The legendary pairing of Shahrukh Khan and Kajol play young lovers who meet on a trip through Europe - she is traditional but very strong, taking her last gasp of freedom before being taken to India to marry a man she has never met. He is an immature mischief maker who grows up throughout the movie into this amazing man worthy of her. Their chemistry burns up the screen. It is the most rewatched movie in my collection.

Have my favorite Bollywood song/sequence ever:

3. Veer Zaara - I think this was the last great romantic epic to come out of Bollywood, but what a way to go! This story of an Indian air force pilot and a Pakistani aristocrat holds the record for the amount I bawled my eyes out. (To make me feel less bad, burly men were bawling with me). Sharukh Khan is Veer Pratap Singh, an officer who meets Preity Zinta's Zaara Khan when she crosses the border to deposit her nanny's ashes into the sacred river. Their love cannot be because they are of different countries, different faiths, different classes, not to mention she is engaged for her family's political advancement. And yet they end up willing to give up anything and everything for each other. And almost do. I won't spoil the ending but suffice it to say that it was surprisingly hopeful but I still had tears of rage and grief for most of the second half. Heck, I started crying watching the MV!


Another MV:

Scene from the movie:

4. Raavan - Mani Ratnam's masterpiece, a re-imagining of the story of Sita's kidnapping by Raavan. In this story set in a wild and remote province, Sita is Aishwarya Rai, the wife of the tough police officer Ram (Vikram). She is kidnapped by the local thug king Raavan (Abhishek Bachchan). The very dark, complicated, gorgeously shot story explores what drives these three characters and turns the familiar tropes on their face -it lets you figure out which one of the men is the true monster. Both Abhishek and Vikram are amazing, but the movie belongs to Aishwarya Rai, who plays gorgeous, tough, determined, amazing. She is the one who truly changes through the movie - it is really her story.

One of the sequences from the movie:

5. Magadheera - biggest Telugu hit ever, this story is an epic tale of a Princess and her Royal Bodyguard who, after their bloody deaths, get reincarnated centuries later as a biker and a college student and end up falling in love all over again. It has epic battles, gorgeous songs, cuteness, angst, and violence. Plus my obsessive crush Ram Charan Tej.

Have my favorite song from the movie:

6. Fanaa - a terrorist love story. Umm, yeah, it works. The story revolves around a blind Kashmiri girl (Kajol) and a Delhi tour guide (Aamir Khan) who is more than what he seems. It's romantic, tragic, larger-than-life and I was obsessed with it for a solid year. I even wrote fic!

Unspoilery MV (those are hard to find!)

7. Omkara - a retelling of Othello set in a dusty impoverished rural corner of India. Omkara (Ajay Devgan) is this version's Othello and Kareena Kapoor is Desdemona, but the movie is stolen by Saif Ali Khan's portrayal of Iago.

One of the lighter sequences in the movie:

8. Rang De Basanti - a movie about a group of young people trying to achieve change in an indifferent world, this may sound boring but it isn't. It's epic. Aamir Khan's last conversation made me sob so much, I had to hide in the bathroom.


9. Yuva - another Mani Ratnam movie, this time about three very different men - an underworld thug (Abhishek Bachchan), a college activist (Ajay Devgan), and an upper-class slacker (Vivek Oberoi) whose lives intersect. Also with Rani Mukherji, Kareena Kapoor and Esha Deol.


10. Sholay - arguably the most famous Bollywood movie ever made, this 1970s 'curry Western' is about two small-time criminals (Bollywood legends Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan) hired to rid a remote village of a horrible bandit Gabbar Singh.

One of my favorite scenes - Hema Malini dancing for her OTP Dharmendra's life - as long as she dances, he remains alive.

11. Madrasapattinam - period epic about the doomed love between and Indian man and an English girl on the eve of Independence. Think your favorite romantic epic. Then multiply it by ten.

My favorite song:

12. Dil Se - another Mani Ratnam movie, starring Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala, this one is incredibly dark and deals with terrorism, obsession, damage and hopelessness. Amar's destructive fixation on the damaged, mysterious Megha, it has been suggested, is symbolic of India's obsessession with its separatist provinces.

All the songs in this movie are pretty close to legendary but this one is the most famous of them all:

13. Devdas - apotheosis of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. SLB is a love him or hate him type of director, but luckily I belong to the former camp. Based on a classic novel about a self-destructive young man and two very different women - one he loves and loses and one who loves him but cannot save him from himself. This is probably the most gorgeous movie I have ever seen. And if you do not cry at the final scene, you have no soul. There, I said it. With Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit.


14. Parineeta - a stylish, romantic, complicated tale set in 1960s Calcutta. Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan steam up the screen as a pair of conflicted, angsty lovers who have been friends since childhood but are being torn apart by class differences, pride, jealosy, and parental greed.

Have a MV:

15. Bunty Aur Babli - a delicious, silly, awesome tale of a pair of romantic partner con artists played by Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherji. If I ever feel down, this is the one I watch to perk me up.

One of my favorite songs of all time:

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November 2012

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