The 10 best Bollywood movies

The 10 best Bollywood movies

Lets find here The 10 best Bollywood movies

The 10 best Bollywood movies

1. Sholay (1975)

Director: Ramesh Sippy

Cast: Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan

Genre: action, thriller, western

This cult classic masala western follows escaped convicts Veeru (Dharmendra) and Jai (Bachchan) as they protect a village under threat from bandits led by the maniacal Gabbar Singh (Khan). ‘Sholay’ offers a mix of epic fight scenes, bromance, humor, iconic songs, unexpected plot twists, exciting dance sequences, and outstanding performances. The captivating soundtrack and Bollywood’s most formidable villain add to the excitement of this action-packed film.

The significant moment unfolds as three bandits come back from a raid without any loot, only to confront Gabbar’s anger. Surprisingly, they endure a trial involving a half-loaded gun (with six chambers and three bullets), leading Gabbar to burst into hysterical laughter. Despite the collective sigh of relief from his men, Gabbar proceeds to shoot them nonetheless. The fear of a visit from Gabbar Singh has been utilized by parents for years to ensure their children go to bed on time.

2. Mughal-e-Azam (1960)

Director: K Asif

Cast: Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala

Genre: historical romance

Translated as ‘Emperor of the Mughals’ and taking place in late sixteenth-century India during the Mughal period, this narrative follows Prince Saleem (played by Kumar), the son of Emperor Akbar (portrayed by Kapoor). He becomes enamored with Anarkali (portrayed by Madhubala), a dancing slave girl. This film showcases grand epic storytelling, featuring impressive sets, large-scale battle sequences with real elephants, intricate costumes, a timeless musical score, and authentic acting. It stands as a beautiful representation of a past era and is noteworthy for being one of the few instances where a film from the ‘Muslim social’ genre – focusing on Muslim people and culture – achieved blockbuster success in predominantly Hindu-centric India.

The pivotal moment in this predominantly black-and-white movie transforms into a burst of color as the iconic ‘I have loved, so what is there to fear?’ dance sequence unfolds.

3. Mother India (1957)

Director: Mehboob Khan

Cast: Nargis, Rajendra Kumar, Sunil Dutt

Genre: drama

The initial Hindi movie to receive a nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film at the Oscars, this film portrays a poignant tale of the challenges of rural agriculture in post-independence India and the oppression of farmers by their feudal masters. It depicts the struggles endured by Radha (played by Nargis), a mother of three sons in a village who is deserted by her husband and compelled to work hard in the rice fields for survival. The movie solidified the concept of the virtuous, selfless mother as representative of an idealized Indian (Hindu) identity.

When Radha’s defiant son Birju (Dutt) shoots the immoral landlord and abducts his daughter, she is compelled to intervene and restore order.

4. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Director: Aditya Chopra

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri

Genre: romance, comedy, family

Classic themes of personal choice versus family responsibility and forbidden love are reimagined for the 1990s in this epic, era-defining romance. Set in London, Raj (played by Khan) is a carefree young man, while Simran (portrayed by Kajol) is poised for an arranged marriage orchestrated by her controlling father. During a trip through Europe on the InterRail, Simran encounters Raj and they fall deeply in love amidst the picturesque Swiss mountains. The enduring popularity of the film (titled ‘The brave-hearted will take away the bride’) is evident as it continues to be screened daily at Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir cinema for over 19 years. This iconic love story also set incredibly high standards for romantic pursuits.

The iconic moment in the hit song ‘Tujhe Dekha To…’ features Simran and Raj reuniting in the picturesque fields of Punjab, showcasing classic Bollywood charm with its heartfelt gazes and warm embraces. Raj’s famous line – ‘Senorita bade bade desho me aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti’ (‘Senorita, don’t get stressed by the little things’) – has become a part of everyday conversation. Even former President Barack Obama referenced it during his official visit to India in 2015.

5. Pyaasa (1957)

Director: Guru Dutt

Cast: Guru Dutt, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman

Genre: drama, romance, musical

Filmmaker Guru Dutt, renowned for portraying tragic narratives on screen, portrays Vijay in the film. Vijay is a struggling writer whose closest companions are a streetwalker and a masseuse. Despite his efforts, Vijay fails to have his book of poems published and is later presumed dead in a train accident. Exploiting the situation, a shrewd publisher prints the book and reaps huge profits. The legendary composer SD Burman contributes an outstanding soundtrack, highlighted by Sahir Ludhianvi’s poignant poetry. Through ‘Pyaasa’, Dutt solidified his reputation as a filmmaker adept at capturing the harsh realities of the world he inhabits.

The memorable moment occurs when Vijay ‘comes back to life’ during his own memorial. Dutt’s silhouette, illuminated by a flash of light in the dark auditorium, is etched in one’s memory.

6. Guide (1965)

Director: Vijay Anand

Cast: Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Leela Chitnis

Genre: romance, drama, musical

Director Vijay Anand transforms RK Narayan’s English-language novel into a sprawling drama with ‘Guide’. The story follows Raju, who evolves from a tour guide in his youth to a revered holy man in later years. This film is recognized for its progressive portrayal of protagonists Raju (Anand) and Rosie (Rehman) engaging in an extra-marital affair, as well as depicting the lead character as morally questionable. These elements were groundbreaking for a Hindi film during that era.

Raju experiences a profound realization on his deathbed – a spiritual awakening where he understands that while the body may perish, the soul endures eternally.

7. Deewaar (1975)

Director: Yash Chopra

Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Neetu Singh

Genre: Action, thriller, crime

Channeling the essence of ‘Mother India’, ‘Deewaar’ tells the tale of a virtuous son pitted against a wayward one, with their mother caught in the middle. The film puts an anti-hero at its core, with Amitabh Bachchan delivering a standout performance as the brooding Vijay, who delves into criminal activities to support his mother, while his brother Ravi (played by Kapoor) chooses to become a police officer. Their destinies are bound to collide inevitably. ‘Deewaar’ marked Bachchan’s initial stride towards immense stardom and symbolizes his portrayal as the fierce, rebellious young man challenging everything around him.

Inspector Ravi confronts gangster Vijay in his elder brother’s lavish, unlawfully acquired residence. He asserts that as long as Vijay remains a criminal, a metaphorical ‘deewaar’ (wall) separates them. He then insists that their mother must make a choice between the two.

8. Lagaan (2001)

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

Cast: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh

Genre: adventure, drama, sport, historical

‘Lagaan’, a film set in the 19th century, narrates the tale of a drought-stricken village that unites to learn cricket and confront their tyrannical colonial rulers. Despite initial doubts stemming from its unusual fusion of cricket and colonialism, the movie gained traction when Aamir Khan assumed the leading role. The film’s ensuing critical praise and box office triumph signaled a pivotal shift in Bollywood cinema by bringing forth non-traditional themes and varied storylines. Significantly, ‘Lagaan’ is distinguished as the most recent mainstream Hindi movie to earn a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

The grand finale took place during the thrilling cricket match where spectators enthusiastically supported the villagers. This sports film marked its debut in Bollywood, paving the way for other successful movies like ‘Chak De! India’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, and ‘Mary Kom’ which were inspired by the groundbreaking success of ‘Lagaan’.

9. Pakeezah (1972)

Director: Kamal Amrohi

Cast: Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar

Genre: historical romance

Lucknow, 1900. Sahibjaan (Kumari) is a ‘dancing girl’ who chooses to marry the upstanding Salim (R Kumar), despite facing disapproval from his father. Feeling unworthy of her husband, Sahibjaan eventually flees. Will the lovers find their way back to each other and gain acceptance from ‘respectable society’? This film took fifteen years to complete, with challenges arising from personal conflicts between the director and his leading lady, who also happens to be his wife. The movie features an evocative soundtrack seamlessly integrated into the narrative, offering a captivating and poetic depiction of idealized erotic romance on the Indian screen. The title translates to ‘Pure’.

When Salim catches sight of Sahibjaan’s bare feet while she is asleep under a cover, he is instantly captivated.

10. Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)

Director: Manmohan Desai

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor

Genre: drama, comedy, musical

Director Manmohan Desai, known for his films ‘Dharam Veer’ and ‘Roti’, achieved a high point in his career with the late 1970s movie, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’. The film tells the story of three brothers, each named after the title characters, who were separated at birth. Despite being filled with clichés and improbable situations, this film set a commercial standard that many modern Bollywood filmmakers continue to follow. Amitabh Bachchan, the leading actor of the film who was 35 years old at that time, diverged from his usual “Angry Young Man” persona – developed through a series of intense action films – to take on a largely comedic role.

The significant moment unfolds as the three characters discreetly infiltrate the villain’s lair to save their loved ones, all while melodiously performing the title track of the movie. Each character’s name symbolizes the religious background they were brought up in – Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.

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