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Kaagaz Ke Phool

He gave up on life after this labour of love bit the dust. Guru Dutt’s Kaagaz Ke Phool was both his dream and his death knell. Today we call it a cinematic masterpiece and everyone from Sanjay Leela Bhansali to Preity Zinta goes ga ga over Guru Dutt! Yes, there are many unnecessary scenes in the film, most of them featuring Johnny Walker’s slapstick, but there are enough magic moments for us to revisit Kaagaz Ke Phool over and over again. Whether it’s the opening sequence of the old film-maker climbing the stairs of the studio one last time or the first time Guru Dutt meets Waheeda, in the rain under the tree. And, of course, the song picturisations which continue to inspire today’s film-makers.

Andaz Apna Apna

Aila! Ooi maa! One can safely say that had Andaz Apna Apna released today, it would have been the year’s biggest hit in Bollywood. Because it is easily the baap of all silly comedies, the likes of which — from No Entry to Welcome — are being lapped up today. After the umpteenth rerun on TV — the safest yardstick to measure a film’s repeat value — it’s difficult to find someone who’s not been witness to the antics of Amar, Prem, Raveena, Karisma, Crime Master Gogo, Tejaa, Robert and Bhalla. Just to jog your memory real quick... “Sir, yeh Vasco Da Gama ke zamane ki gun hai.” “Kiske mama ki?” Ha!

Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki

It got sandwiched between Disco Dancer and Dance Dance, but this was easily the most engrossing of the B. Subhash B-movies with Mithunda and Bappida. Oh, the pleasures of watching the baddies wait for Mithunda to arrive before starting to molest Salma Agha or Mithun doing a Michael Jackson moonlighting in graveyards to scare Karan Razdan. Yes, it was so bad, it was too good.


Since it came from the makers of Sholay and Shaan, great expectations killed Saagar at birth. But with time, people recognised that Ramesh Sippy’s first love story had its own inherent charm which revolved around the garma garam chemistry of the Bobby pair of Dimple and Rishi (12 years after they had first burst on to the screen) and the magical music of R.D. Burman. From Saagar jaisi aankhonwali to Maria, it was music to the ears. And most importantly, Dimple was an ogler’s delight — from the moment her sarong slipped on the beach (and, yes, she did flash a breast) to her writhing in red next to the swimming pool, wet and wild.


What an irony that the film which mirrored the life and loves of Bollywood’s biggest icon failed so badly at the box office! Yash Chopra’s Silsila was a washout when released theatrically. But generations have gone back to find clues of the (in)famous Amitabh-Rekha romance. And with Jaya playing herself, every scene of Silsila has been food for thought, year after year. Did they really plan to elope? Did they live like strangers under one roof? The sizzling AB-Rekha chemistry and the poignant AB-Jaya samjhauta, the tulip gardens and Shiv-Hari’s melodies continue to play on our minds.


Another AB film dismissed at the start and discovered later was Mukul Anand’s Agneepath. In fact, the initial response was so bad that AB redubbed and gave up the husky Corleone voice for his normal baritone. But it was only after its TV telecasts that Agneepath found favour. Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, poora naam! It was a brilliant throwback to the AB of the 70s — this time an angry, not-so-young man. “Aaj apun ka maut ke saath appointment hai... appointment... English bolta hai... Hainnnn!


They just couldn’t take it. When Lamhe released in 1991, the concept of a man falling in love with both the mother and the daughter was a tad too progressive. Even if the mother and daughter looked the same. But in terms of poignancy and purity, it’s difficult to beat this self-confessed favourite of Yash Chopra. And just to drive home the point of forbidden love there was Waheeda Rahman dancing to Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, all over again. A must watch, over and over again, for Anil Kapoor and Sridevi, the sense and sensibility.

The Burning Train

It had everyone — Dharmendra, Hema, Jeetendra, Parveen Babi, Danny, Vinod Mehra, Vinod Khanna, Simi Garewal, Naveen Nischol, Neetu Singh — and yet no one boarded The Burning Train. But as time went by the Ravi Chopra film found its own fan following. How many times have you sat riveted, remote in hand, unable to change the channel during the hour-long climax?


Ram Gopal Varma’s outlandish sense of humour got the better of him and Urmila’s in-your-face sexuality smothered the “fun on the run”. But there are enough moments in Daud to roll on the floor laughing. Whether it was Sanju’s Nandu or Paresh Rawal’s Pinky, it was the first instance of subtle humour drawing the taalis. Long before Hera Pheri. But nothing could beat Neeraj Vora’s Chako, jiski maa ek bahut badi shikari thi...

Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon

It’s perhaps a bit early to add this Chandan Arora film to the list but TV channels will tell you that this Antara Mali-Rajpal Yadav film comes up a winner almost every time it’s shown. Many films since have turned the spotlight on the film industry, but there is a certain melancholy about the madness of MMDBCH that makes it an arresting watch.

Which flop film would you watch again and again? Tell

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