These days, most movies that are successful seem to disillusion me so much that I invariably keep comparing them with movies of yester-years. Today, I thought I will list down some of the good films out of the recent clutter, instead of moping over the bygone era! 🙂
Monsoon Wedding is a 2001 film directed by Mira Nair and written by Sabrina Dhawan. A colorful, bold and surprising film, it depicts romantic interludes all taking place during a traditional Punjabi Hindu wedding in Delhi. The film won the Golden Lion award and received a Golden Globe Award nomination.
Great story: Apprently Sabrina Dhawan wrote the first draft of the screenplay while she was at Columbia University’s MFA film program, in just a week .
Brilliant soundtrack: A stellar qawwali by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a ghazal by Farida Khanum, a Punjabi song by Sukhwinder Singh, an old Indian song by Rafi, a marvelous Urdu ghazal (Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo) by Pakistani artist Farida Khanum.
Amazing acting: Specially by Naseeruddin Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shah and Vijay Raaz
Firaaq is a 2008 film directed by Nandita Das. The movie is set post the 2002 violence in Gujarat, India and looks at its aftermath through the lives of common people. Firaaq won three awards at the Asian Festival of First Films in Singapore in December 2008, the Special Prize at the International Thessaloniki Film Festival, and an award at the Kara Film Festival in Pakistan. It won two National Film Awards at 56th National Film Awards.
Great acting: Especially by Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval, Raghubir Yadav, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shahana Goswami,
Art direction: The movie is aesthetically very rich. In fact, its art director, Gautam Sen, won the National Film Award for the film’s perfect use of props and choice of colors to enhance the ambiance post-riots.
Great first time direction. Nandita Das does a sensitive and restrained job as a director in this thought provoking and powerful film.
Maachis is a 1996 film directed by the brilliant Gulzar. The film portrays the situation surrounding the rise of the Sikh insurgency in Punjab in the 1980s and everything that happened as a result of it. It follows the journey of a youth from a boy-next-door to a dreaded terrorist seeking revenge.
Gulzar’s direction: This man is a pure genius. He is a deep thinker and it shows in all his films.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s music: A beautiful soundtrack with memorable songs like “Chappa Chappa Charkha Chale” and “Chhod Aaye Hum Vo Galiyaan”.
The story: This is a story that touches all of us in some way or the other, not just because of the Punjab issues that it addresses but all the human emotions that it evokes.
Arth is a 1982 film directed by Mahesh Bhatt. The semi-autobiographical film was written by Mahesh Bhatt about his extramarital relationship with actress Parveen Babi. The film was remade by Balu Mahendra in Tamil as Marupadiyum in 1993.
Direction: After seeing this film, you wonder why Mahesh Bhatt is not directing films anymore. He has done a great job with this movie and the fact that it is based on his own life makes the film even more special.
Unforgettable soundtrack: Some memorable songs by Ghazal duo, Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh like the brilliant “Jhuki jhuki si nazar”.
Great acting: All the actors, mainly Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Smita Patil, Raj Kiran and Rohini Hattangadi, justify their roles wonderfully.
Dhobi Ghat is a 2011 film directed by Kiran Rao. Dhobi Ghat had its world premiere in September 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released on 21 January 2011 in cinemas.
Direction: In her directorial debut, Kiran Rao impresses with her intelligent sensibilities. She shot the film using “guerilla” techniques which means she secretly captured many true Mumbai moments through disguised cameras.
Art direction: The movie portrays the highs and lows of the city in unforgettable images, colors and sounds.
Soundtrack: The soundtrack of the film was composed by Academy Award-winning Gustavo Santaolalla and includes a song by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Miss Lovely, an off-beat film directed by Ashim Ahluwalia is set in the lower depths of Bombay’s “C” grade film industry. It follows the devastating story of two brothers who produce sex horror films in the mid – 1980s. A sordid tale of betrayal and doomed love, the film dives into the lower depths of the Bollywood underground, an audacious cinema with baroque cinemascope compositions, lurid art direction, wild background soundtracks, and gut-wrenching melodrama. Miss Lovely is scheduled for commercial release on 17 January 2014.
You can check out this trailer of the film that will make you book your tickets instantly 🙂