While the world has halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are turning to films and shows for comfort. Today we bring you old Bollywood films, that have been considered classics by critics and audiences alike.
Pyaasa is a classic 1957 film directed and produced by Guru Dutt, as well as starring him in the lead role. The legendary actor and filmmaker played the role of Vijay, a poet struggling for recognition. The film also stars Waheeda Rehman as Gulabo, as well as Mala Sinha as Meena. Gulabo is a sex-worker who falls for Vijay and helps him get his poems published. On the other hand, Meena is Vijay's college girlfriend who marries a big publisher.
Critically acclaimed, Pyaasa has accomplished recognition both in the country and internationally. In 2005, In 2005, Pyaasa was rated as one of the 100 best films of all time by Time magazine. In 2011, Time magazine declared it one of the top 10 romantic movies of all time.
Another well-loved film that should be watched by all, Anand is the story of a terminally ill man, whose zest for life makes his pessimist oncologist have a metamorphosis. More profound and heartwarming than its description sounds, Anand was one of Rajesh Khanna's 17 back to back super hits between 1969 to 1971. It also launched a relatively unknown actor Amitabh Bachchan into superstardom. '
From dialogues like "Babumoshai zindagi badi honi chahiye lambi nahi," (Babumoshai, life should be large not long) to "Hum sab toh rangmanch ki kathputhliyan hain jinki dor uparwale ki ungliyon main bandhi hain," (We are all puppets on stage, whose strings are held by god) the film leaves a lasting impression on the viewers mind.
This 1987 film by Gulzar is one of the most profound films made on the subject of a complex love triangle. Starring Naseeruddin Sinha, Rekha and Anuradha Patel, it is a story about a separated couple who run into each other by accident and open up about the various misunderstandings that have surrounded their relationship.
What is amazing about this film is each of the lead character has much more complexity than their relationships. Anuradha Patel's role as Maya is not the quintessential vamp who is a homewrecker who comes in between a loving couple, she is a outspoken opinionated feminist who suffers from mental health issues. Like most Bollywood movies, the crucial part of this film is its soundtrack, and Ijazat also has an amazing set of songs, including Mera Kuch Samaan, sung by the legendary singer Asha Bhosle.
Another gem of a film directed by Gulzar in 1982 starring Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma in lead roles. The film is loosely based on Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors and from the Bengali novel Bhrantibilas by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Two pairs of identical twins get separated at birth and all hell breaks loose when they are brought together by destiny. The classic Shakespeare novel has had many cinematic interpretations from time to time, however, Gulzar's 1982 classic takes the cake. From hilarious situations to mind-blowing performances by the lead actors, along with Moushumi Chatterjee and Deepti Naval, Angoor is one of the funniest films ever made in the history of Bollywood.
Directed, produced by and starring Raj Kapoor, Awaara is a film that deals with social and reformist themes in the backdrop of crime. Raj is a poor thief who has chosen the life of crime to feed his mother. When he falls in Rita (Nargis), a wealthy girl, he wants to reform his life for her. Raj Kapoor's real-life father and legendary actor Prithviraj Kapoor played Judge Raghunath, who is unaware that the thief is his own son. The lead character was heavily inspired by Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp," a concept kapoor further explored in Shree 420.
The film became a sensation, not only in India, but also overseas. The film was also nominated for the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953. It was also included in the 2012 list of All-Time 100 greatest films by TIME magazine.
Chhoti Si Baat
Late director Basu Chatterjee's love story to Bombay, Chhoti Si Baat is the story of an accountant who falls in love with an attractive working woman in a nearby film. Known for its accurate depiction of the middle class life in the city, the film stars Amol Palekar and the evergreen Vidya Sinha, who we unfortunately also lost recently.
The movie is loosely based on the 1960 British movie School for Scoundrels. It launched Amol Palekar as an actor with impeccable comic sense. His character Arun Pradeep became a benchmark for the awkward middle-class hero who follows the heroine but cannot muster up the courage to talk to her. Our hero also has tough competition from his friend, the charismatic Naresh (Asrani) who often gives Prabha (Sinha) a ride in his scooter. It is a beautiful tribute to pre-congestion Mumbai, and the cinematography is a treat. Chhoti Si Baat is a must watch for those who want to understand Basu Chatterjee's league.
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