The Golden Days. The age of cinema that defines my childhood. The age of cinema when Bollywood existed in its true essence. The age of cinema in which films were made to entertain not for personal vendettas, rivalry against peers, awards or attention. The age of cinema that I dearly miss. The 90s.
However, there are many who didn’t have the same childhood as me, which was filled with the hits of the 90s. This feature is dedicated to such Bolly fans who are catching up on the ‘Golden Days’ of cinema. Here’s presenting some titles which shaped up my childhood and till date I consider to be the ‘Best of the 90s’. Films not to be missed!
Buddy-cop flicks or two hero starrers were the real reason the 90s were so fun! The masala on screen was increased times two when two of your favourite stars come on screen together. Of course all this was only possible if the duo had immaculate chemistry. That immaculate chemistry was always seen between Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar. The two made you laugh, made you cry and made you cheer them on as they did the craziest of things. Main Khiladi Tu Anariwas one of those films. Akshay plays a dedicated serious cop, Ajay Joglekar or as Johnny Lever’s character would said, Ajay Jo-Bole-Woh-Kar (Do as Ajay says). Ajay is out to seek revenge for his brother’s death from the villainous Shakti Kapoor. In the process famous Bollywood actor Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) wants to shed his lover-boy image onscreen and adopt a macho persona, which he plans to do by observing a kick-ass cop like Ajay. Soon enough Deepak falls in love with Ajay’s sister, played by Rajeshwari, and Ajay falls for the bubbly Basanti (Shilpa Shetty). Along the way there’s comedy, romance, fabulous songs and ofcourse lots of action. Inspired by the Hollywood flick, The Hard Way, this double packed masala flick is not to be missed!
Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Raveen Tandon and Sonali Bendre coming together in one film can only mean one thing? Fultoo fun! Keemat was exactly that and so much more. When Ajay (Saif) and Dev (Akshay) mistakenly kill an innocent gao-ka-chora (Ravi Kishen) they decide to go to his village and clear their consciences. There they are drawn into the family dramas of his family. Finally they end up in a huge web of lies created by no one but themselves. At the same time they feel the pressing need to help the family out with their various problems. In the process they meet Mansi (Sonali Bendre) for whom Ajay falls for immediately and the not-so-Sharmili(Shy) Sharmili (Raveena) follows them from the city as she’s head over heals in love with Dev. I’ll let your imagination do the rest or simply let you go watch this out-of-this-world entertainer. Very slightly inspired by the style of cinema and the storyline of Sholay, Keemat is one of the many films that tried to remake the classic in its own way. None the less it remains entertaining as ever, has some of the greatest songs of the 90s and as always boasts of flawless chemistry between all characters, in particular, Akshay and Saif.
What would the 90s be without David Dhawan’s comedy, Govinda’s dancing and Karishma Kapoor’s all round awesomeness! The trio created havoc separately and together. Hero No 1 marked one of those historic moments that gave everyone the entertainer they’d been craving. Somewhat inspired from the Legendry Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s iconic Bawarchi, Hero No 1 could be seen to be a Bawarchi with the Dhawan touch – i.e. take Bawarchi, plug in Govinda and Karishma, 100 ounches of comedy and some crazy dance numbers courtesy of Anand Milind! Honestly speaking if you haven’t seen Hero No 1, you haven’t seen anything!
The world of Indian cinema was never the same after Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna. However, surprisingly enough upon release this now cult film was not received well at all nor was its given its due respect at various award functions. Although the power of great cinema prevailed and today Andaz Apna Apna has a position much higher than the award winners and box office hits of that time. Prem (Salman Khan) and Amar (Aamir Khan) are two useless youngsters looking for a shortcut to realise all their dreams. When they hear that very rich and famous Raveena (Raveena Tandon) has come to India to find her groom they both run to her presence to win her love and ultimately her money. Raveena is accompanied by her crazy assistant Karishma (Karishma Kapoor) who adds to the masala of the film. And so begins a crazy journey for Amar & Prem of love and lots of laughter. Raj Kumar Santoshi’s best work, Salman and Aamir’s most phenomenal performance and a film that is simply timeless! Watch it, watch it, watch it!!
‘Tan Tanaa Tan Tan Taara…Chalti Hai Kya Nau Se Baara’…Who doesn’t know this song?! Every village, every town, had every kid dancing to this track and singing it at the top of their lungs. I was one of those kids. Judwaa was the ‘it’ movie. Two Salmans!!! Need I say more! It was cheesy, it was loud, it was stupid, it was illogical, it was pure masala and pure unadulterated fun! As usual Dhawan didn’t hold back nor did the cast consisting of Salman, Karishma and Rambha. It’s the story of the separated at birth twins and how they unite after being apart from many years. One goes onto to become an international popstar while the other leads a life of petty crimes. There’s the intertwined story of revenge and comebacks involved too, now who doesn’t love a film on revenge! Remake of Telugu film Hello Brother, this Salman starrer is an all time favourite that I simply could not live without!
While my list of recommendations is much longer I have to call it day here. Although keep your eye out because I have a feeling from my editor that a follow up list may be coming, so stay tuned to Bollyspice! In the mean time hit your local DVD store, online store or even Youtube and catch these 5 glorious 90s flicks that are indeed not to be missed!