Let's hypothesize that there was a survey about the number of lives ever touched by THE HINDI CINEMA, how many people do you think will raise their hands? I think the number will be in billions. I could bet my life on it!
As per my family and friends, I was a Bollywood buff since I was a toddler. Right from my Nursery rhymes to my lullabies, everything was full on Hindi cinema inspired. Things are no different today, as from my workout music to the music player in my car, is all Bollywood. In fact, I’m such an addict that if there’s no Hindi music playing, my body and my brain refuse to work out or drive or walk or think or even exist.
As far as Hindi cinema is concerned, I am an encyclopedia or rather you can call me Bollywoodia. Trust me, I know a LOT about it. I might have slowed down a tad bit because of other commitments in life, like kids, but I am that tortoise who defeated the rabbit.
So, let’s get to the point now and talk about some epic contributions of the Hindi film industry to the world. “That’s easy”, you’d think. I started with the last decade and had an overwhelming long list. So, I started from the year 2012 and same thing happened. Finally, I created a few niche areas to write my appreciation about the movies that, according to me are masterpieces of their genre.
I am starting with the most typically beautiful niche here which, being a girl myself, are about GIRL POWER. I am also writing about the high standing of the movie in question along with the outstanding support from actors apart from the leading lady herself.
Enjoy the ride!
1. ENGLISH VINGLISH 2012
Sridevi passed away this year but she left behind unforgettable art to be cherished forever. Her character in this movie was very relatable to women, not only in India, but worldwide. A woman who gives her everything to her family, keeping not even a small piece of life to herself, is mocked because of her petty weakness.
Dialogues like “Marriage is a friendship between two people who are equal.” and “Main kya kachre ka dabba hoon?” made so much sense.
Amitabh Bachchan’s small part was the cherry on top. When he tries to make Shashi comfortable in the plane to help her overcome the inferiority complex because of not knowing English is fab. Sridevi gets intimidated on facing an immigration officer and Big B is next in queue. And his response to the US immigration officer on being asked about the purpose of his visit, “To help the United States of America. Spend some dollars. You don’t want it? I can go back” is epic innocent revenge on behalf of Sridevi.
2. QUEEN 2013
Queen is the kind of movie, that comes out once in a lifetime. The Kangna Ranaut’s claim to fame flick left everyone speechless in the theatres and even after 5 years, it still has that magical effect every time I watch it. Kangna is mesmerizing in the role of a Delhi girl who, after being dumped a day before her marriage, takes control of her life in the most possibly perfect way - going off to her HONEYMOON all by herself.
The beginning of the movie where Vijay dumps Rani because she’s still the same saying, “Main tumhare liye hi kar raha hoon. Tumhare liye mushkil hoga.”
And the ironical scene where Rani asks Vijay if she can start an accounting job and he refuses saying “Bekar ki baat hai. Subah 8 baje se raat tak bahar. Main tumhe bhookha marne wala hoon kya?”
Her trip to Paris and Amsterdam is not easy. But she faces all challenges with remarkable spirit and comes out of her comfort zone, only stronger than ever. She is the poster child of “I am my happiness” and is inspiring in the most effective way.
Plus, Lisa Hayden is a treat to watch. “Vijay nahi hai to kya hua, Vijaylakhsmi to hai.”
Rani begins her journey with and “Mera inta life kharab ho gaya.” and takes it to returning the engangement ring to Vijay and ending it with a “THANK YOU”. She proves her daadi's point who says before she left the house that she might end up realizing that her break-up with Vijay, was in fact for the good.
As they say WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU, MAKES YOU STRONGER. Incredible!
3. PIKU 2015
I remember that during an awards function, Shah Rukh Khan said about the movie Piku that Amitabh Bachchan is such a superstar, that people in fact went to see him constipated on screen as well. We all know that this movie was indeed, much above and beyond that.
So, Deepika Padukone, as Piku plays the character of a 30 something years old career-oriented woman, who has an extremely control freak maniac for a father. But his freakiness is totally opposite in nature than most Indian parents. He is seen convincing her to avoid getting married or even dating. He says, “Marriage is a low IQ decision.”
However, this enforcement leads to frustration and her becoming an annoyed, thankless and cranky personality. She is acting out in the worst possible way by taking it out on the entire world surrounding her.
As she tells Irrfan Khan “Haan main unse bhi bahut zyada irritating hoon.”
She is supporting her father and caring for him like an ideal daughter, but alas, she is fighting for herself all the time. She speaks her mind, argues and even tells people off when they go too far, regardless, if it includes her father or her boss or any random person.
Irrfan Khan comes a ray of sunshine in their lives one day and teaches them a thing or two about life. They both try to cultivate his advice and change for the better.
4. PINK 2016
Another Big B women-oriented movie! So, if you have watched PINK, you clearly know how important this movie is.
Tapsee Pannu as Meenal attends a concert with her 2 roommates and bumps into some an old friend. The three girls join a couple of boys for dinner and drinks, and the boys, take it as a license to harass them.
Tapsee acts out and in rage breaks a glass bottle on the guy’s head in self-defense. And he, along with a few friends and being a big shot, starts threatening her. He even kidnaps her and molests her in a van.
However, the 3 girls are not ready to run away. They take girl power to another level. Nothing is able to break these girls. They fight for justice and make it very clear that irrespective of what a guy thinks, “NO MEANS NO.” Such a powerful message.
I was in awe of Tapsee Pannu after the movie, as I’m sure was the case with whoever watched it. And Amitabh Bachchan was great as usual.
5. DEAR ZINDAGI 2016
This movie was made for Alia Bhatt. She fits the character of Kyra so well that the movie came out to look so much real.
The struggles Kyra has to face to look for a companion are so relatable. She, being a human, makes mistakes. The scene in the club when she breaks-up with Raghu or Imran Khan because he’s travelling with an ex shows her state of self-destructive mind.
But she finally takes control of her really messy life with the help of Shah Rukh Khan who plays Dr. Jahangir Khan, her psycho-therapist.
Kyra learns a lot from him and being a strong and smart girl, she applies it all in her life in amazingly beautiful ways. I still take the Mt. Everest story while making tough decisions in life in consideration which says that not every time you have to choose the tough path because sometimes, according to your situation, the easy path is the right one.
Dr. Jahangir also gives Kyra a “try every chair before buying” lesson to justify the number of relationships she has had in order to find the right guy.
6. MOM 2017
Sridevi’s bid adieu to the world and to Hindi cinema was a movie that left everyone stunned and teary. MOM was a movie that matched up with the standards of movies like MOTHER INDIA. It beautifully and truly shows the stressed relation between a 16 years old girl and her stepmother, who also happens to be her teacher.
The story takes a serious turn when the daughter is raped by her classmate who is simply taking revenge for being insulted in school by her mother. And Devki, being determined to teach the devils a lesson, takes each one of them out, one after the other.
She does it all so beautifully and naturally that every mother wants to be a MOM like Devki. The last scene, where Devki shoots Jagan, killing him on the spot, and Arya shreams “MOM” for the first time ever, is heartwarming.
So, people who think that Bollywood is all about dancing behind the trees, fake action sequences and villians like TEJA and Mogambo, who also, in fact are legends of Hindi cinema if you ask me, don’t really know how outstanding Hindi film industry is. Bollywood hamare khoon mein basta hai and I am thankful to have grown up with BEING FILMY.