Saturday, February 15, 2014

TOP TEN BOLLYWOOD FILMS you must watch before you croak!

(as on 15 Feb 2014)

The sheer number of films made in Bollywood each year alone makes it an extremely difficult task to list down even the best hundred, least to mention the top ten. But you gotta do what you gotta do! So here it is!

10. GOL MAAL . 1979

Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Cast: Amol Palekar, Utpal Dutt, Bindiya Goswami

Considered by many as the best Bollywood comedy of all time, Gol Maal is a classic work that ridicules blind worship of conservative discipline and unstable character of deception, its worth lying in the restrain it holds from trying out hard to make you laugh.

9. BANDIT QUEEN . 1994
Director: Shekhar Kapoor
Cast: Seema Biswas, Nirmal Pandey, Manoj Bajpai

This unflinchingly deep, dark biopic of the dreaded outlaw Phoolan Devi more often than not makes you retch and your skin crawl non-stop at the bold details of the brutality that turned an impoverished low-cast illiterate village girl into a notorious teenage dacoit that a nation feared.


Director: Mansoor Khan
Cast: Aamir Khan, Ayesha Jhulka, Pooja Bedi, Mamik SIngh

One of the smartest from the clique of the so-called ‘Masala’ films that is a trademark of Bollywood land, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar is a sports drama about the series of events surrounding the sporting rivalry between local schools in the hill station of Dehradun.

7. KALYUG . 1982

Director: Shyam Benegal
Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Rekha, Raj Babbar, Anant Nag, Supriya Pathak

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal’s reworking of the Indian Epic- The Mahabharata- into a present day feud between two business families portrays the complexities and conflicts of the characters and key events in the classical text with commendable finesse and modern relevance.

6. SHOLAY . 1975

Director: Ramesh Sippy
Cast: Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Amjad Khan

Apart from being one of the highest grosser of all time, Sholay, the action adventure curry western, defines the traditional sensibilities of the genre called Bollywood in a grand scale deliberating on the idea of ‘everything-in-it’- drama, action, comedy, music, dance, cabaret- you say it and it’s there.


Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Richa Chadda, Tigmanshu Dhulia

This 5-hour-19-minute long film from uncompromising director Anurag Kashyap is a bloodthirsty revenge battle spanning over two generations of three crime families from rural Bihar played with the same spellbinding unpredictability as the film’s experimental music.

4. PYAASA . 1957

Director: Guru Dutt
Cast: Guru Dutt, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman

This musical parable on the clash between man’s lust for materialistic success and spiritual fulfillment is a masterpiece by one of Indian cinema’s wizards, Guru Dutt. Along with great story telling, this classic presents us with a few  amazing film characters ever made.

3. LAGAAN . 2001

Director: Ashutosh Gowarikar
Cast: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley, Paul Blackthorne

An elating tale of conflict with colonialism told through the gripping kick of sports, Lagaan is set in a barren village, squashed under the weight of heavy taxes imposed by the British Raj, attempting to learn an unfamiliar game (cricket) to win a wager at cancelling the taxes by beating the British team.


Director: BImal Roy
Cast: Balraj Sahni, Nirupa Roy, Meena Kumari

Bimal Roy’s enduring black and white drama Do Bigha Zameen about a peasant family’s struggle to save the only piece of land they own from the merciless landlord is one of the landmark films in the history of Indian cinema that stands way ahead of its time.

1. MAQBOOL . 2003

Director: Vishal Bahrdwaj
Cast: Irfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapoor

Bollywood’s ode to the bard, Maqbool is one of the finest adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth from the celluloid world. Set against the Mumbai underworld, the film boasts of some powerful original moments tweaked into the actual plotline at the liberty of this visionary director.

…and for those of who wish to go down on the next ten…

11. MUGHAL-E-AZAM .1960
12. MOTHER INDIA .1957
13. SATYA .1998
15. CHAK DE! INDIA .2007
16. DIL CHAHTA HAI .2001
17. KAHAANI .2012
18. A WEDNESDAY . 2008
20. SADMA .1983


  1. Agree with all the selections, except the Gangs of W....haven't seen this one and would probably never do. Couldn't stand the first 5 minutes of it...individual tastes I guess :)

  2. Ditto as Beloo, above. I have not watched GOW, either of the two parts, Kalyug & Bandit Queen. Rest of the movies are great. The next 10 in the list are cool too.
    Lists reflect our own choices and will have some points in common with friends :)


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