The year 2016 brought some new additions to the long list of great movies from the Bollywood cinema. Hindi films like Dangal and Pink took the front row and legitimized the importance of women’s voice in the Indian society. The movies based on true stories seem to capture more audience this year; maybe a sign of changing times where realistic dramas and stories are gaining momentum over the ‘formula’ films. Here are some of the greatest films of 2016:
1. Dangal: Based on a true story, Dangal is a biographical sports drama. The captivating film is directed by Nitesh Tiwari and stars Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat who taught wrestling to his daughters Geeta and Babita and turned them into world-class female wrestlers. This inspiring movie showcases some brilliant acting, lively entertainment and equally good music. At the Filmfare Awards, Dangal won many awards, including Best Film of 2016.
2. Pink: Pink is a courtroom drama with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role as a lawyer, carrying the burden of defending three young working girls in new Delhi, and proving their innocence in the eyes of Indian legal system. With the realistic urban and court-room settings and fantastic acting, the seldom exposed issues of sexual harassment and molestation take the center-stage in this epic production. Don’t watch this film just for entertainment values, but also for social education about the evils of male dominated Indian mentality. Oh, and by the way, don’t miss the closing credits, to watch the actual incident the movie is about!
3. Udta Punjab: Punjab produced some of the top sportsmen and wrestlers for India for a long time; and now, the same Punjab harvests some of the worst drug use of modern days. This is not a film you would want to watch for fun. The lead cast includes Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh. The drug abuse by the youth population in Punjab and the surrounding conspiracies are painfully exposed throughout the movie. Agonizing songs like ‘Ikk Kudi’, written by Shiv Kumar Batalvi – the famous Punjabi poet, suitably fit into the heart wrenching scenes of drug addition and its lasting effect on today’s youth. The film is worth watching, even though many sad scenes are hard to watch.
4. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: This is a lively and romantic drama written and directed by Karan Johar. The main cast features Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.This is a beautifully told story revolving around personal relationship, their interactions and interpretation. Composed by Pritam and mostly sung by Arijit Singh, the music is one of the many strong suits of this well-rounded film.
5. Kapoor and Sons (Since 1921): If you are looking for an entertaining and comic family story with surprising twists and turns, this is the one to watch. Directed by Shakun Batra, the film has a star studded cast of Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak, Rajat Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt. The film is a story of two estranged brothers who return to their dysfunctional family after their grandfather suffers a heart attack.
6. Neerja: The flow of this interesting movie has the feel of a documentary at times, as if Neerja is narrating the story at her own pace. This is a historical drama based on the actual events centered around hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1986. The film features Sonam Kapoor as the title character along with Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tiku and Shekhar Ravjiani in supporting roles.
7. Sultan: Sultan is a romantic drama with sports based story line. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the film stars Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles. The movie focuses on Sultan Ali Khan, a wrestling champion from Haryana with a successful career, and the success impacting his personal life. Very popular at the theaters, this is one the highest grossing Indian film of all time.
8. Airlift: Loosely based on actual events, this is a historical drama directed by Raja Krishna Menon. The film stars Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur as the lead actors. Akshay Kumar’s performance as a Kuwaiti businessman is superb, leading the evacuation of Indians living in Kuwait during the Invasion by Iraq.
9. Parched: Parched is a thought provoking movie depicting the age-old evils of rural Indian beliefs and traditions, with women often on the receiving end of a male dominated society. This is a touching story of four women in a desert village of Rajasthan. The film portrays the innocent yet miserable lives plagued by age-old practices of patriarchy, child marriage, dowry, marital rapes, mental tortures and physical abuse. Written and directed by Leena Yadav and produced by Ajay Devgan, the movie stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Adil Hussain, Lehar Khan and Sayani Gupta. Continue reading “Best Bollywood Movies of 2016”
Bollywood Quiz: Bollywood Actors from the past, where have they gone!
Some of the Movie stars had a very short on-screen life; they made a big entrance and then disappeared. Some had personal issues; others were not so lucky on the big screen. Yet others decided to take a different path. Here is a quiz about some of the mega stars of the past. This is your chance to test how well you know your Bollywood!
Some from the old days, some no so distant.
Some happy endings, some not so.
Here we go! Good luck with the quiz:
Continue reading “A Quiz on Disappeared Bollywood Stars: Where are they now?”
Best Bollywood Movies of 2014
When in comes to Hindi movies and Indian Cinema, the tastes differ, the personal choices vary. Some like action while others prefer drama, and yet others long for serious films. Here are some of the best 2014 Bollywood movies:
Queen – Rani (the name translates to the ‘queen’) is an average girl with below-average self confidence. After her fiancé calls off their wedding, she embarks alone on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam. This comedy-drama film is beautifully directed by Vikas Bahl. The film stars Kangana Ranaut in the lead role with Lisa Haydon and Rajkummar Rao playing supporting roles. This is a lively and a well-done movie, highly praised by the audience and the experts alike.
Happy New Year – This film is one of the most expensive films ever made in Bollywood. The action packed heist story can also be branded as a comedy film. The movie has a lovely direction by Farah Khan and is produced by Gauri Khan. The star studded cast includes Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah and Jackie Shroff. It is a very entertaining film, and has rightfully clinched the most number of trophies at the 2014 Stardust Awards ceremony.
PK (Peekay) – This is a comedy film but a brave one – a full fledged satire on God and the religions. Some of the scenes include money extraction at temples, coconuts being offered in at a church… There is nothing comic about a Muslim girl’s dialogue, “Itna chota nahin ho sakta hamara khudaa, ki use hamare school jaane pe aitraaz ho.” (Our God cannot be that ‘small’ that he would object to girls attending schools). The plot begins with an alien landing on Earth but is stranded in Rajasthan when his spaceship’s remote control is stolen. The film stars Aamir Khan in the title role, with Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, and Sanjay Dutt in supporting roles. The truth delivers under the guise of comedy is always a brilliant idea, nothing so alien about that. Continue reading “Top Bollywood films of 2014”
The best Bollywood Hindi films of 2013
The tastes vary, the choices differ. When it comes to the Bollywood films, some like them spicy and action packed thrillers while others prefer sweet and romantic dramas. Some like suspense while others prefer plain old romance. The films below are some of the best standout Bollywood features from 2013.
1. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: This is a sports drama film produced and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra; the script is written by Prasoon Joshi, based on the life of Milkha Singh – an Indian national champion runner and an Olympian. The movie stars Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Pavan Malhotra, Yograj Singh, Meesha Shafi and Prakash Raj. 2014 Filmfare Awards recognized this movie with multiple awards including the Best Movie, Best Director, along with Farhan Akhtar receiving the best actor award.
2. Chennai Express: This is a romantic action comedy film directed by Rohit Shetty and produced by Gauri Khan under the film production company Red Chillies Entertainment. The film features Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles, along with Sathyaraj, Nikitin Dheer and Kamini Kaushal. The movie is about a man’s journey from Mumbai to Rameshwaram and what happens along the way after he falls in love with the daughter of a local don. The melodious music is composed by the duo Vishal-Shekhar; the lyrics come from Amitabh Bhattacharya and Yo Yo Honey Singh.
3. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani: This is a coming-of-age romantic comedy, directed by Ayan Mukerji and produced by Karan Johar. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in lead roles – the duo know for their on-screen chemistry. The cast includes Aditya Roy Kapur, Kalki Koechlin and Kunaal Roy Kapur. Madhuri Dixit appears in an item number titled “Ghagra”. The soundtrack score is composed by Pritam, with lyrics from Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kumaar. The popular songs include ‘Dilli Wali Girlfriend’ and ‘Badtameez Dil’.
4. The Lunchbox: This artistic film is a romantic drama written and directed by Ritesh Batra. It stars Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead roles. This unexpectedly refreshing and slow-developing love-story has a touch of loneliness, highlighting complicated human relations. The story is simple and supported by brilliant acting. The film was screened at International Critics’ Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and later won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award also known as Grand Rail d’Or. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival as well. Continue reading “Best Bollywood Movies of 2013”
The top Bollywood films of the 1960s (1960 to 1969):
The decade of 1960s was unique for Bollywood in many ways. The legends like Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Rajender kumar, Sunil Dutt, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dharmendra were the leading heroes. The beauty and acting of Saira banu, Sadhna, Vyajanti Mala, Mala Sinha, Sharmila Tagore, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh and Mumtaz was at its prime, adoring the big screens. The color movies had started to replace black-and-white cinematography. Mohammad Rafi,Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Manna Dey were at the peak of their vocal magic….
The decade of 1960s delivered some of the ever-green Hindi films, supported by soulful music and memorable acting. Here are some of the top Bollywood movies from 1960s.
Mughal-e-Azam (1960): This is one of the all time greats and one of the most expensive Hindi movies ever made. The star cast is great: Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Durga Khote. The acting is very ‘real’. The dance sets are unparalleled for its time. Some of the famous dance sequences of Madhubala are filmed in the Shish Mahal -The Palace of Mirrors- in Lahore Shahi Qila.
Barsaat Ki Raat (1960): This is beautifully told love-story; another classic B/W of the 60s. The film starring Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala, Shyama, Mumtaz Begum and K.N. Singh in the lead roles. With lyrics from Sahir, the film is also popular for its qawwali songs, the likes of ‘Yeh ishaq ishaq’.
Chaudvin ka Chand(1960): Another great movie with equally great music. The film centers on a love triangle between Guru Dutt, Rehman and Waheeda Rehman. The ever-green songs are composed by Ravi and the lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. Rafi delivered a very versatile vocal performance for the title song ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho’ and other songs like ‘Mili Khak Main Mohabbat’.
Junglee (1961): The film stars Shammi Kapoor, Lalita Pawar, Shashikala, Asit Sen in the lead roles, along with Saira Banu in her debut role. The movie is lighthearted musical; it established Shammi Kapoor’s as the youth icon of the times. The song ‘Yahoo’, sung by Rafi, became a symbol of Shammi’s wild (Junglee) and lover-boy image.
Dharmputra (1961): Directed by Yash Chopra, the film features Shashi Kapoor and Mala Sinha as the lead cast. The movie is based on the the partition of India and the Hindu fundamentalism at the time. The film deals with the issues of religious bigotry and fanaticism during the dark days of 1947. This was Shashi Kapoor’s first film as an adult actor. Film’s music is by N. Dutta with lyrics by the famous poet of the era – Sahir Ludhianvi.
Bees Saal Baad (1962): This is a brilliant suspense thriller; the spirit of a dead girl, who committed suicide after being raped, seems to avenge her rapist. The film stars Biswajeet, Waheeda Rehman and Madan Puri among the main actors. With lyrics from Shakeel Badayuni, and vocals from Lata and Hemant kumar’s, the movie has some of the most memorable hits songs, like ‘Bekarar Karke Hume…’. Continue reading “Best Bollywood movies of 1960s”
Dilip Kumar, Rajesh Khanaa, Madhubala, Sri Devi…. all these well-carved actors and actresses were not born with these popular and stellar on-screen names. Nargis’s real name was Fatima Rashid.
Want to test your knowledge of the given names of the Bollywood celebrities? Try this quiz:
Please go to Bollywood – Do you know their real names? to view the quiz
- The Best Bollywood Movies of All Times
- The Best Bollywood Movies of 2012
- 10 Best Movies with NRIs and India Abroad Theme
- 20 Best Bollywood movies of 2000 decade
- Top 20 Bollywood movies of 70s decade
Top Bollywood films of 2012
As every year, Bollywood industry churned out hundred of feature films in 2012 – some very good, some very bad and a lot of mediocre ones. Here are some of the standouts of the year:
Barfi!: This is a romantic comedy written and directed by Anurag Basu. The movie narrates the story of “Barfi” – a mute and deaf boy in Darjeeling, West Bengal. The plot beautifully outlines his relation with two girls, one of whom is autistic. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz in lead roles.
Gattu: A low-budget flick for all ages, Gattu appeals to kids and adults alike. Directed by Rajan Khosa, the story revolves around a kid living in a small town where everyone is obsessed with kite-flying. No glitter or high-budget stunts here; just pure human drama at its best.
Vicky Donor: This romantic comedy with modern twist is directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by John Abraham.The movie explore the subject of sperm donation and infertility, something new for Indian cinema. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam and Annu Kapoor as the main cast.
Ek Tha Tiger: This is an action film, directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Films. The movie stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles supported by Ranvir Shorey, Girish Karnad, Roshan Seth and Gavie Chahal. A combination of love story and spy drama, the movie is full of dazzling action, beautifully filmed international scenery and pleasant music. Continue reading “The Best Bollywood Movies of 2012”
I recently subscribed to Netflix Service. Not sure if it is offered outside USA and how widely, but I was looking for an on-demand network for English movies and TV shows. For $7/month and with first month free, it was rather a no-brainer.
It took me about 5 minutes to sign up for Netflix using my laptop and I was all set to watch a wide variety of TV shows and Hollywood movies on the laptop/computer and TVs. As you can imagine, the TV has to be able to access the internet for Netflix programs to play on it.
I was able to set-up Netflix on our TVs in 3 different way (on 3 different TVs):
– My main floor HD TV has internet access, so no problem there.
– Second plasma TV (no direct internet access) in the basement is connected to XBox360 (and Xbox comes with wireless access); so we can watch internet on that TV as well. However, we have to use Xbox remote-controller to scroll around the Netflix menu.
– Upstairs TV (in the bedroom) has no direct internet access but the blu-ray player is internet-ready and hence Netflix ready.
So in no time, I was able to watch a variety of English shows and movies on my TVs. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety of Hindi movies under ‘Foreign’ category. I even found a few Punjabi movies, along with quite a few documentaries about India.
Currently on Netflix, there are about 200 Hindi movies to select from, and watch at your own convenience. I am sure Netflix periodically adds new titles (just like English movies and shows), and perhaps removes less popular ones. When I sorted the Hindi movies by release date, I found many recent Bollywood movies, some of them released this year (2012) like Ishaqzaade, Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, Joker, Rowdy Rathore… Continue reading “On Demand Bollywood movies in USA”
The best Bollywood Hindi movies of 2011
The tastes vary, choices differ. When it comes to the Hindi films, some like spicy and action packed thrillers while others prefer sweet and romantic dramas. The films below may not be what you crave, it may not include your ‘all time favorite’, but these are the standout Bollywood features from 2011.
1. Ra.one: This is a very ambitious, very expensive and a very technically complex film from Bollywood. It pushes the envelope on the visual effects. This science-fiction/superhero film is well written and beautifully directed by Anubhav Sinha. The star-studded cast includes Shahrukh Khan in dual roles, Kareena Kapoor, Armaan Verma and Arjun Rampal in the lead. Amazing graphics, along with Shah Rukh Khan as the superhero make this sci-fi thriller a great success. Hollywood delivers so many sci-fi themed movies every; this is a good one from Bollywood.
2. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: This flick is a beautiful reminder that you only live once. The film features an ensemble cast of Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Ariadna Cabrol and Naseeruddin Shah. A story of three bachelors dealing with their friendship and romance, the well-scripted film has real-life acting all around. The scenic back-drops are very lively; the refreshing music is composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy with lyrics from Javed Akhtar.
3. Delhi Belly: In the words of ‘The Hollywood Reporter’, the movie is a “Sexy, filthy and thoroughly entertaining comedy”. The film is shot in English mostly, with very little Hindi dialogues. Directed by Abhinay Deo and produced by Aamir Khan, the movie stars Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vir Das, Poorna Jagannathan and Shenaz Treasurywala. Rated ‘A’ for adult contents, the film highlights today’s street-smart youth in an evolving society, influenced by the global culture. Continue reading “Best Bollywood movies of 2011”
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Bollywood Quiz 7: Evergreen playback singers of Bollywood! The quiz is on the all-time popular playback singers of Bollywood!
Bollywood Quiz I:Know your Bollywood?:A Bollywood quiz about old movies of yesteryears!
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Continue reading “Bollywood Trivia Quiz”
Common Bollywood equations and comparisons
First thing first – this is intended just for fun. For example Lata, one of the greatest singers of all times, need no O.P. Nayer to mark her legacy. So, take this write-up with a grain of salt, this is purely a light humor, and some of it has been around Bollywood anecdotes for a while. You can add your own in the comments, if you can think of one!
- Dharmendra – Acting – Drinking = Sunny Deol
- King – Kingdom + Australia – Storyline = Singh Is King
- Amitabh Baccchan – Acting = Abhishek Bachchan
- Old song – lyrics + Blah Blah + Meaningless Dance = new song
- Bollywood Actor – Acting – Shirt = Salmaan Khan
- Lata Mangeshkar + O.P. Nayer = Asha Bhosle
- Bollywood hero + straight hair + unstraight walk = Sanjay dutt
- Dharamenda Family + Melodrama + Hype = Yamala Pagala Diwana
- Mohammed Rafi – Versatility – Vocal Charisma = Sonu Nigam
- One man + one woman = Isha Deol
- Sholay – Acting – Story – Direction – Chemistry = Copycat Hindi Western
Top Bollywood movies of 70s (1970 to 1979):
The Bollywood in 70’s was at the peak of of its game. Everything you can relate to in a Hindi movie – acting, directing, music and exploring new boundaries – was flourishing. Some of the best Bollywood movies of all times were produced during this decade.
Choosing top 20 movies out of a span of 10 years, when every year was producing score of hit flicks, is almost impossible. The selection below tries to accommodate every genre – action, classic, artistic, popular….
So here we go:
1. Sholay (1975): This all-time-great movie needs no introduction; it is one of the biggest hits ever. It is a classic thriller of modern days, a must watch Bollywood gem. The mega cast includes Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan. Sholay is the highest grossing film of all time in Indian cinema. When first released, the movie did not win any major awards from the film critics, but it has a cult like following. At the 50th Filmfare, it received the award as the Best Film of 50 Years.
2. Bobby (1973): The movie is a brilliant combination of romance, music and social conflicts. This blockbuster is known to be a trend-setter in its own rights. Raj Kapoor introduced the genre of teenage romance with a rich-vs.-poor clash as a backdrop. Some of the romance scenes were simply too bold for its time. This popular flick was a debut film for Dimple Kapadia and the first leading role for Rishi Kapoor.
3. Pakeezah (1972): This is a legendary movie; with a larger than life appeal. Beautifully directed by Kamal Amrohi, this movie is a combination of good artistic tastes, lovely costumes, a fluid storyline, excellent settings and melodious music. The film is a story of a Lucknow tawaif (courtesan) played by actress Meena Kumari. Raaj Kumar and Ashok Kumar lead the cast. The evergreen and superb music comes from Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad. Continue reading “Top 20 Bollywood movies of 70s”
Kishore Kumar – one for the all-time great voices of Hindi film music. The quiz 6 below is based on the trivial questions about this legendary Bollywood playback singer.
Many more similar quizzes are linked below, give it a try!
Good luck! 🙂
Please go to Bollywood Quiz – Kishore Kumar, the legend to view the quiz
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Evergreen playback singers of Bollywood!The quiz is on the all-time popular playback singers of Bollywood!
You think you know your Bollywood? 🙂
Bollywood Quiz 1:Know your Bollywood?:A Bollywood quiz about old movies of yesteryears!
Bollywood Quiz 8:Bollywood Trivia Quiz: A well rounded quiz about Bollywood and the Indian Cinema. Try it!
Bollywood Quiz 7: Evergreen playback singers of Bollywood! The quiz is on the all-time popular playback singers of Bollywood!
Bollywood Quiz 6: Bollywood Quiz – Kishore Kumar, the legend : A fan of Kishore Kumar? – Test your knowledge about this great singer. Continue reading “A Summary of Bollywood Quizzes”
Top 20 Bollywood Movies of 1980s (1980 to 1989):
Samita Patil was still alive, Dilip Kumar still in action, the Big B showed no signs of grey hair, Naseeruddin Shah was in his prime, Pran was still the bad guy to beat…..you got the idea, right?
Choosing top 20 movies from 80s is almost an impossible task. Should you go with the mega hits from mega stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar, or should you go with the artistic movies supported by Naseeruddin Shah, Samita Patil, Shabana Azmi? The list below is not perfect by any means, but a good mix of the both styles. Depending on your tastes, likes and dislikes, the choice may vary, but here are the top 20 movies from 80s, arranged in a chronological order, by the year of movie-release date:
1. Aakrosh (1980): This is an acclaimed art film. The star power comes from all around brilliant acting of Naseeruddin Shah, Samita Patil, Om Puri and Amrish Puri. The movie is a satire on the corruption in the Indian judicial system, and power abuse of the rich against the poor.
2. Qurbani (1980): A very entertaining family movie, also known for an ensemble of super-stars, excellent music and many ever-green songs. The film stars Feroz Khan, Vinod Khanna, Zeenat Aman, Amjad Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Aruna Irani, Amrish Puri and Kader Khan. Enough said. Continue reading “Top 20 Bollywood Movies of 80s”