My last post about Kaliyug in general and Shashi Kapoor in particular got so many people talking that I realized there is little more to us than Bollywood and cricket. So who am I to question our national character? And why shouldn’t I delve a tad deeper into what keeps us entertained both on and off screen.
So here’s my take on movies, magic and mush….yup I am talking love stories here. The kinds that make you smile to yourself and reach for the popcorn. Or wipe a hurried tear and reach for more popcorn. The funny thing is no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t come up with too many recent blockbusters that relied solely on the power of mush. Heck, new age Bollywood was even making films called I Hate Luv Stories. The mush masala that kept the dream machine humming through the 70s, 80s and 90s are now moving to a different beat. Is it me or is it me? Is my generation that last one to believe in syrupy sweet scripts? Is Gen Y just too kewl to be in love anymore? After all love stories, at least the real ones, can get messy and tear-stained. And very often they do. Is the 20-something generation shying away from love in their search for laughter….hmmmm point to ponder.
Meanwhile I have put together a list of my favourite love stories on screen. This is an entirely subjective list so please feel free to agree or disagree…..
Bollywood Top 10 Love Stories
1.Silsila: Rekha, Amitabh and Jaya make up the ultimate triangle. Cracking chemistry
2.Umrao Jaan: Rekha as the heartbroken courtesan is unforgettable. Great music, great lyrics, great ambience.
3. Kabhie Kabhie: Love and longing across two generations. Amitabh, Shashi and Rakhee sizzle in this classic though the Rishi-Neetu-Naseem triangle is a bit tiresome
4.Wake Up Sid: Now this is new age romance…cool and non-conformist like Ranbir Kapoor’s mismatched socks
5.Doosra Admi: Great love triangle with Rakhee playing the older seductress with élan. A mature take on puppy love
6.Lamhe: Another film that was ahead of its time…it’s perfect Mills & Boon material. And great music too.
7.Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge:This one is so well-beloved that I just had to include it. Who can forget SRK and Kajol in the mustard fields
8.Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: DDLJ meets Sleepless in Seattle, it’s a tear-jerker right through
9.Jab We Met: Great chemistry between Kareena and Shahid…funny and heart warming
10.Mughal-e-Azam: What can I say…has Bollywood ever produced anything to surpass Dilip Kumar caressing Madhubala with a feather…
Hollywood Top 10 Love Stories
1.Casablanca: Humphrey Bogart says ‘Here’s looking at you kid’ and we all reach for our hankies
2.The English Patient: Great book, great film…perfect casting and of course Ralph Fiennes
3.Sleepless in Seattle: Soppy, predictable but never a let down..this Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan classic always tugs at the heart-strings
5.You’ve Got Mail/The Shop Around the Corner: I love both versions…the hate at first sight and love later angle never gets stale
6.Breakfast At Tiffany’s: Holly Golightly and her impossibly naïve take on love and life….purrrfect.
7.Atonement: I don’t much like Keira Knightley but she shines in this one. Though I must say, at the risk of sounding predictable, that the book is better
8.Roman Holiday: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn and a Vespa…this is classic romance.
9.Pretty Woman: Cinderella meets Prince Charming on Sunset Boulevard and it just gets as soppy and sweet as you can imagine
10.Notting Hill: Hugh Grant tells Julia Roberts, ‘We’ll get you cleaned up and back on the streets in a non-prostitute way’…funny, quirky and very watchable
And finally something from Tollygunj….don’t snigger…it’s home to Satyajit Ray…
1.Charulata: Madhabi and opera glasses….brilliant stuff
2.Chokher Bali: Aishwariya, angst and a great story
3.Japanese Wife: A beautiful haiku, certainly Aparna Sen’s best
4.Paroma: A feminist theme with a romantic sub-theme
5.Dadar Kirti: Period piece with good acting, good music and a literary storyline