Batch of bolly ’94

Read more below

By t2 zooms in on 10 hindi films that turn 20 this year. pick your best/worst and tell
  • Published 19.01.14

1942: a love story

Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s poignant love story set against the backdrop of the Quit India Movement will best be remembered for Manisha Koirala’s ethereal beauty and RD Burman’s last score.

Then: Though the film was an average earner, its soulful tunes — Ek ladki ko dekha to Kuch na kaho — had longer staying power. 1942 was the first Bolly film to use Dolby stereo.

Now: RD’s tunes are today cult, with radio stations and reality shows continuing to play them. Anil Kapoor has reinvented himself for TV-Holly-Bolly. Manisha Koirala is an inspiration for cancer survivors.

hum aapke hain koun...!

Five years after Maine Pyar Kiya, Sooraj Barjatya brought together Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit in a feel-good watch comprising 14 songs, two weddings and a funeral to give us a defining family film.

Then: Lauded and loved, HAHK! broke the 19-year-old record set by Sholay to become the biggest hit of the time. The film’s motifs — Madhuri’s purple sari to Tuffy the dog — became a rage. Salman held on to his heart-throb tag, Madhuri made many fall for her again.

Now: Still a fave watch on TV, helped by Raam-Laxman’s tunes. Salman is still going strong at the box office. For Madhuri, this is her comeback year.

andaz apna apna

Rajkumar Santoshi managed a coup at that time — signing on Aamir and Salman Khan — as two wastrels looking to make a quick buck.

Then: A non-starter at the box office.

Now: A cult comedy with almost every dialogue and every character — Teja to Crime Master Gogo — part of Bolly lore. Today, Andaz Apna Apna is one of the most popular watches on TV, with talk of a sequel generating super excitement. Aamir revealed on Koffee with Karan recently how he found Salman a real brat during the making of AAA, but now counts him among his best buddies.

raja babu

The Govinda-David Dhawan combo churned out yet another rip-roaring ride with this film about a village bumpkin who falls in love with a city girl and then pulls out all the stops to woo her.

Then: Criticised for its double-meaning dialogues and songs (remember Sarkailo khatiya?), Govinda’s crazy antics and Karisma Kapoor’s killer moves were enough to make Raja Babu one of the top five hits of 1994.

Now: Govinda in that blue kurta and Shakti Kapoor’s drawstring pyjamas still make many go Aa a eee oo oo oo! Today, Govinda is a hit on the small screen peddling magic massage oils while Karisma is known as Kareena’s sister.

yeh dillagi

Yash Raj Films Bollywoodised Sabrina to cast Kajol as Audrey Hepburn to Akshay Kumar’s Humphrey Bogart and Saif Ali Khan’s William Holden in this classic-conflicted love story.

Then: One of the big hits of the year, Yeh Dillagi stood out for Kajol’s freshness and Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen’s foot-tapping tunes. Plus, it showed us that Akki could do loverboy as good as action man.

Now: A top watch on the small screen, if only to see Saif go Ole ole. Akshay remains a BO biggie, Saif (Bebo’s hubby) not so much, and Kajol is seen too little.


Shah Rukh Khan followed up the negative acts in Darr and Baazigar with his turn as a psychotic lover who doesn’t even stop at murder to get the woman he’s obsessed with.

Then: Though a box-office failure, Anjaam earned praise for Shah Rukh and Madhuri Dixit who shared screen space for the first time. As a wife and mother out to seek revenge, Madhuri, in particular, made a mark.

Now: Chaney ki khet mein to Badi mushkil are still hummed. Shah Rukh is the Badshah and we hope to see him in the same frame as Mads some day soon.


Rajeev Tridev Rai’s masala caper had a starry cast — Akshay Kumar to Naseeruddin Shah, Suniel Shetty to Raveena Tandon — and Viju Shah’s chartbusting tunes. The second biggest hit of 1994, right after Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!

Then: Raveena became the Mast mast girl. Akshay the star to watch. Akshay-Raveena (Tip tip barsa...) the hot jodi on and off screen. And Naseer a chilling badman.

Now: Mohra still gets its fair share of viewers on TV. Raveena is a yummy mummy with appearances few and far between. Rajeev Rai has stopped making films. Viju Shah has disappeared.

bandit queen

The gripping and gutsy life story of dacoit Phoolan Devi found expression on celluloid through Shekhar Kapur’s controversial film that marked the debut of Seema Biswas.

Then: Bandit Queen courted controversy for its violence and frontal nudity, resulting in a limited release in India. It was unanimously praised internationally.

Now: A fave Torrentz download, the film finds takers for its gritty theme and treatment. We are still waiting for Shekhar Kapoor’s next Hindi film.


Shyam Benegal’s poignant yet powerful tale of displacement post-Partition was marked by winning performances from Farida Jalal and Surekha Sikri.

Then: A festival favourite, Mammo won plaudits, and the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for Surekha Sikri.

Now: Hardly shown on TV, Mammo is counted as one of Benegal’s best.

main khiladi tu anari

Akshay and Saif came together once more for a fun film on the unlikely friendship between a no-nonsense cop and a filmstar who tags along with him to prep for a role. Castle with bromance, 20 years ago.

Then: The Sameer Malkan film made Akshay the biggest BO star of the year. Anu Malik’s tunes — Churake dil mera to the title track — were a huge plus.

Now: Still a fun watch, if you can look past Shilpa Shetty’s horrendous wardrobe. Shilpa is now known as Rajasthan Royals malkin.


Akshay Kumar and Rishi Kapoor had the maximum releases — 10 apiece — followed by Suniel Shetty (5) and Mithun Chakraborty (4).

The Govinda-Karisma Kapoor pair churned out as many as five films. Only Raja Babu was a hit.

Raveena Tandon was the go-to actress with hits like Mohra, Dilwale and Laadla.

The Khan count? Shah Rukh failed with Anjaam. Aamir flopped with Andaz Apna Apna. Salman had a string of non-starters — Andaz Apna Apna to Chand ka Tukda to Sangdil Sanam — but had Hum Aapke Hain Koun...! to flaunt.