Netflix List for September!!! A Lost Film Surfaces, MANORANJAN!!!!!!

Accessbollywood.net does the real work of keeping this list updated, you should definitely absolutely subscribe to them for your day to day updates.  Accessbollywood also includes more things than my list, I limit it to mainstream releases, no TV films or super art films.  Plus, my update is only when I feel like it and have time.  Extra time, since I’m not just listing, I’m also describing and giving suggestions on what to watch.

Big new release this month is not just big for “now it is on Netflix”, but big for “now it exists in the world”.  Manoranjan is a brilliant film that really never should have passed the censor board, barely played in theaters, and then snuck out on DVD in such a limited release that it is/was super hard to find.  I watched it once from a university library, and then had to wait 10 years before I found another copy I could buy.  It is a BIG BIG deal to be able to watch this easily!!!!

Oh, and also, more and more non-Hindi films are being added.  Very exciting!

I’ve done my best to give a little information about each film (which is necessary since Netflix tends to do things like describe The Dirty Picture as a “rom-com”).  The more interesting films are marked as either COULD WATCH, SHOULD WATCH, or MUST WATCH.  And look for the films flagged as RECENTLY ADDED if you just want to see the updates to the list.

All Bollywood Movies Currently Streaming on Netflix

  • 1000 Rupee note (2014) Marathi RECENTLY ADDED

Well, it’s a Marathi slice of life film about the common people.  You know in your heart whether or not this is something you will enjoy.

  • 30 Days in September (2017)

I was just talking about this in my Hindi Film 101!  This is a movie about 1984, heavily censored and barely managed to be released, with no big talents willing to touch it.  Mostly interesting for it’s very existence, but not worth watching.

  • 99 (2009)

Watch if you want to see real life couple Soha Ali Khan and hot Kunal Khemu onscreen together.  Otherwise, it was a forgettable movie about betting scandals.

Modest budget horror film.  If you’ve ever been curious about Indian horror, this is a painless way of checking it out.

  • Aakhri Adaalat (1988) RECENTLY ADDED

My goodness, you have to admire the work ethic of the 80s industry!  4 months after Shahenshah came out, and the first ripoff appears!  Only the heroine is Dimple Kapadia instead of whoever it was in Shahenshah, so that’s an advantage.  Plus Jackie and Vinod.  COULD WATCH

  • Aankhen (2002)

Heist movie, mostly interesting for the incredibly early 2000s cast.  Sushmita Sen, Akshay, Amitabh, Arjun Rampal.  Like a little time machine of back when Akshay was down and Sush and Arjun were on their way up.

Movie about the “reservation” system (India’s version of affirmative action), with a reliably good performance from Amitabh, but a pretty superficial take on the issue.

Very very early Saif Ali Khan, co-starring with his mother Sharmila!  And also, Mamta Kulkarni, future drug smuggler.  It’s your standard young-lovers-caught-up-in-past-secrets kind of plot.  Worth it for the curiosity factor of seeing an early Saif opposite Sharmila.

If you are curious what happened to that cute short woman from Chak De, India, you can watch this.  Plus, Nana Patakar is always good.  But otherwise, don’t bother

  • Abby Sen (2015) Bengali RECENTLY ADDED

Huh.  Time travel in order to make a social statement.  That somehow seems very Bengali.  And also a little Tamil.  Anyway, Raima Sen!  She’s nice.

Legitimately great movie.  If you want to see a well-made film about life in a war zone, this is it.  COULD WATCH

MUST WATCH.  A brilliant female fantasy film, with an amazing lead performance, and an incredibly fun vibe.  Be warned, there is a comedy track that is off-putting and very odd.  I recommend fastforwarding through it as much as possible.  But the other 75% of the film is golden.  Also, for Malayalis, Prithviraj’s Hindi debut!

  • Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009)

This is a fascinating movie!  Made by the same director as Andaz Apna Apna, and not as great as that.  But with that amazing heritage.  Plus the film where Ranbir and Kat (maybe) fell in love.  And Ranbir’s only successful straight comedy.  This is a SHOULD WATCH not just for you, but for me too.  Because I still haven’t seen it and I really should before Jagga Jasoos comes out.

  • Akira, aka “Naam Hai Akira” (2016)

I liked it!  Good directing, good central performance, interesting script.  And Amit Sadh, my new crush! COULD WATCH

Canadian film set in Delhi, does not really belong on this list.

  • Amrapali (1966)

This looks fascinating!  Based on a supposedly true story of a beautiful courtesan who converted to Buddhism.  Costumes, Vyjantimala dancing up a storm, young hot Sunil Dutt, there is nothing wrong here! COULD WATCH

Konkona Sen Sharma!  Woot-woot!  Otherwise, doesn’t really belong here, it’s an American made English language film that happens to be set in India.

  • Anarkaali of Aarah (2017)

Yet another strong female lead film with an anti-violence/harrassment message.  And starring Swara Bhaskar!  Who is WONDERFUL!  But, be prepared for something a lot darker than the brightly colored poster promises. COULD WATCH

Indian film’s greatest comedy (review here), tied with Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.  MUST WATCH.  Must watch multiple times to fully appreciate!!!  Do not expect to enjoy it on watch one like you do on watch 4.

  • Ankhon Dekhi (2014)

Arty film, directed by Rajat Kapoor who was the Bad Husband in Kapoor & Sons.  High concept, an old man decides from now on he will believe only what he sees, life lessons and whimsy ensue.

Eh.  Another film that’s half Indian style and half artsy.  Really interesting cast though, and gives you a chance to see these actresses in bigger roles than they would usually be offered.

Low budget horror film (as you could probably tell from the title).  Biggest star is Anupum Kher.

Shahrukh’s failed historic epic.  MUST WATCH FOR SRK FANS.  For others, it’s a COULD WATCH.  It isn’t quite as epic looking as it could be, and the plot is a big confused.  But the performances are good and it teaches you about Indian history painlessly.

Another one of those films set in India which is really more of an American indie film in style.  But it looks like an interesting thriller mockumentary type thing, if you are in the mood for that.

Terrible terrible movie.  Terrible terrible.  Nargis Fakhri is a blackhole of charismalessness, and they put so much make-up on Emraan he stopped being hot.  Also, it’s just bad. My review here.

High concept scary thriller.

The only missing language is Telugu.  Presumably because Arka retained those rights, and hopefully so that they can release an elaborate Blu-ray with deleted scenes. And, obviously, MUST WATCH.

Once again, no Telugu.  And once again, MUST WATCH

Glossy Salman Khan-Rani Mukherjee-John Abraham-Amitabh Bachchan-Hema Malini movie.  Good songs, great costumes, decent plot and performances.  COULD WATCH.

Has a slow start, but turns into a real tear jerker.  And the rare film that lets older actresses be the romantic leads.  SHOULD WATCH.

An odd film.  I saw it in theaters out of curiosity from the cast, and it did not live up to expectations.  Amitabh and Hema Malini play a romantic couple, with Raveena Tandon as the other woman and Prakash Raj as the villain.  Unfortunately, too much screentime is spent on the comparatively boring young people, Sonu Sood and Sonal Chauhan.  In general, it just doesn’t quite gel.  Puri Jaganaddh’s only Hindi film, and his live action comic book Telugu style doesn’t quite work in Hindi.  But you can always try it for the curiosity factor.

Similar to Bombay Velvet (below), this is also a Ranbir Kapoor movie that makes me want to gauge my eyes out and slit my wrists rather than continuing to watch.  It is the only film to feature Ranbir with his mother and father, but even that is not enough to save it from being the epitome of suck.

  • Beja Fry 2 (2011)

So-so low budget comedy.  Not a sex comedy for once, but also not necessarily a good comedy.

  • Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)

Much much lesser remake of Manichitrathazhu.  But with a really great title song.  Just go to 2 minutes, 30 seconds from the end, and watch that.  Also, WARNING! This is a Shiney Ahuja movie, which if you are like me, means you will get nauseated every time he touches a woman.

A good movie to watch with kids, might be a little slow and repetitive for adults.  But very cute Amitabh performance, cute Juhi performance, and sort of cute SRK performance.  COULD WATCH

  • Big Brother (2007)

Remake of Bhaasha.  Watch Baashha instead.  Although Sunny Deol=Rajnikanth is pretty close!

Low budget comedy, could be cute, could be dull

Serious Drama.  Anurag Kashyap’s big break, if you are interested in that.  Otherwise, very depressing movie about terrorism.

Just, no.  Kunal Khemu is cute, but not enough to save this.

The movie that helped turn Salman back into the biggest of the Khans.  Silly plot, great songs and action scenes. COULD WATCH

Really great collection of 4 short films in honor of the 100 year anniversary of Indian film.  Plus two bonus song sequences, a tribute to Amitabh and a massive every-star-ever-joint-song.  But what makes it a MUST WATCH for me is the Karan Johar section, which reveals both his realistic filmmaking abilities and his burning anger at Indian society.  His is the first section, really, MUST WATCH.

Worst movie ever, like pray-for-death-rather-than-keep-watching bad.  But Karan Johar’s performance is amusing, and there are a couple of really great songs.  Might be worth watching for the curiosity factor, so long as you keep your finger on the fastforward button.

Silly Akshay Kumar comedy.  If you like Akshay, it might be worth watching, high production values and so on.  But not his greatest.  COULD WATCH

Not really an Indian-Indian movie, but if you feel like seeing a sex comedy that is also kind of realistic for being a nerdy horny Indian boy.

Artsy movie, not your standard songs-love story-crazy stunts thing.  If you are in the mood for that.

Silly young SRK romance, good cast, good directing, workmanlike.  Also, has the Queen Mother from Bahubaali in a completely different kind of role. COULD WATCH

  • Chamatkar (1992)

Very fun film, based on the Disney movie Bluebeard’s Ghost.  Naseeruddin Shah as a the ghost of a gangster, Shahrukh as a young innocent he helps, plus an aging Shammi Kapoor chewing scenario, and a young Urmila Matondkar being delightful.  COULD WATCH.

Groundbreaking art film from the early 2000s, great performance by Tabu.  COULD WATCH.

A travesty, took one of the great human comedies of Indian film and turned it into a sex farce.  You shouldn’t watch it ever in protest of its very existence.

Art movie about cast.  Another one of those that is only Indian in setting and artists, not in style.

  • Chadi Jawani Budhe Nu (1976) Punjabi RECENTLY ADDED

Huh. A Punjabi sex farce from the 1970s.  Why?  Why would Netflix want this?  I sure don’t!

  • Chauthi Koot (2015) Punjabi RECENTLY ADDED

Okay, this one makes sense.  Artsy, was at Cannes, and also about 1984.  Perfect for Netflix, well made and slightly controversial.

Historical drama about a forgotten rebellion of the Quit India movement.  Well made, good performances, COULD WATCH.

  • Chocolate (2016) Bengali RECENTLY ADDED

Comedy about a conman and a missing jewel and that kind of thing.  Sadly, not Dark Chocolate, another Bengali film, but about the Indrani Mukherjee murder case, which is a plot made for a movie.

  • Colkatay Columbus (2016) Bengali RECENTLY ADDED

Well this is an odd movie!  A bunch of young people in Calcutta start getting visions of Christopher Columbus and asking advice from him.  Huh.

A very very well-made movie.  With moments of brilliance.  But not brilliant straight through.  But also no bad moments.  I don’t know, I am torn.  I think I will land on COULD WATCH

Great script, great cast, Shahrukh at his hottest (review here).  MUST WATCH.

Another Western-style art film.  But with Shabana Azmi!

  • Dedh Ishqiya (2014) RECENTLY ADDED

The semi-sequel to Ishqiya.  Less groundbreaking, because it’s a sequel, but still good.  And with Madhuri playing an elegant older woman who might be a lesbian.  Oh right, LESBIAN ALERT.  Worth watching if you are into all of that.  COULD WATCH

Not the good one!  The other one.  Amitabh is a POW in Pakistan, Akshaye Khanna (Akshaye!) is his son who wants to rescue him.  Sanjay Dutt is the guy who sets his hand on fire.  Worth watching for the hand-fire scene, and a cute song with Akshaye and Amrita Rao, but otherwise not really.

The winner of my Best Film of 2016 award.  MUST WATCH

Comedy with no stars and a high concept.  Got mixed reviews.  Might be worth trying, but if you don’t like it after ten minutes, turn it off.

Not a great movie.  But very enjoyable if you leave the room or fastforward through the slow bits.  COULD WATCH

  • The Dirty Picture (2011)

Another one I feel guilty about!  Still haven’t seen it.  It’s a combination of fun songs and frivolousness with a kind of real message about the price women pay for owning their sexuality. SHOULD WATCH

Great script, lifted from Malayalam film of the same name (my review here).  I have some problems with the presentation of women in it, but if you are looking for a twisty clever plot, this is the one.  COULD WATCH

Super fun action film from early 2005.  All time great Vishal-Shekhar soundtrack, fun Shilpa Shetty and Sanjay Dutt performances, super good Abhishek Bachchan performance, great Zayed Khan-Dia Mirza chemistry.  COULD WATCH

  • Ek Jaan Hain Hum (1983) RECENTLY ADDED

Oo oo!  Rajiv Kapoor!  The mysterious youngest Kapoor brother!  This is his very first film, and the family pulled out the stops, Shammi, Pran, and Tanuja all showed up for support.  Not that it made a difference, the film didn’t run well and neither did Rajiv’s career.

Not a very notable old film, but one of only two 1970s option currently on streaming.  COULD WATCH

Not a good early SRK film, plot lifted from a Rishi Kapoor movie (Zamane Ko Dikhane Hai).  Some good songs, a ridiculously over the top ending sequence, Shahrukh has a mustache for a bit, but generally more confusing and dull than fun.  COULD WATCH

Interesting and aware comedy about film and South Asia.  Not as good as Tere Bin Laden, but that’s not available any more, so you might as well watch this.  COULD WATCH.

Eh.  Feels like an Italian farce that somehow lost its way and ended up set in Goa.

Really good, really searing film.  Watch if you want to get really upset.

Not a good movie.  Decent action scenes and John Abraham performance, otherwise not worth it.  COULD WATCH

I may be biased towards this film just because it was the first movie I drove out to see after I got my car.  But it really is a kind of fun Akshay action film.  Not great art, no deep thoughts, but moves along at a nice pace with a lot of fun action scenes.  Be warned, the heroine is truly terrible. But luckily she isn’t in many scenes.  COULD WATCH

One of those movies that I am dubious about because of the people who like it.  It seems beloved by male critics and male directors, the same ones who love The Godfather and The Dark Knight.  And it’s Anurag Kashyap, who I have a bit of a hate-grudgingly respect relationship with.  COULD WATCH

Not a good movie.  Picking up on nostalgia for a superior much earlier film, but with nothing new to say.

Solid group of mid-level famous actors, starting with Dimple Kapadia.  And yet I have never heard of this film and it got minimal promotion, which makes me thing it is terrible and they were sneaking it in and out of theaters before anyone noticed.

This is the best example of a particular kind of film.  If you don’t like this kind of film, Rohit Shetty action comedies starring Ajay Devgn, this is a terrible terrible film.  If you do like this kind of film, it’s very entertaining, COULD WATCH.  And if you aren’t sure, you might want to at least watch the first 5 minutes and decide.  It’s certainly an important genre to at least be aware of, and fairly unique to India.  Amazing action set pieces (which Ajay does all himself, as the son of a stuntman), lots of farcical situations, and lots of wordplay.

Artsy love story, played great at the Transylvania film festival!  But not really “Indian”

  • Halla Bol (2008)

If you have to watch one Jessica Lal murder case inspired film starring Vidya Balan, make it No One Killed Jessica.  But if you want to watch a second Jessica Lal movie, which digs into the culpability of the film community in social ills and has a good dramatic performance from Ajay Devgn, make it this one.  COULD WATCH

Is this better or worse than Dilwale?  I think maybe tied.  The SRK romance is less good, but the plot and comedy is better.  And the songs are great, it is a Farah Khan film after all.  COULD WATCH

Thriller type thing with Nawazuddin Siddiqui.  Worth watching if you like thrillers, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Yet another low budget horror film!

See above.

See above.

Tiger Shroff’s big break film.  And Kriti Sanam’s first Hindi film.  Big silly action, good dancing (because Tiger), so-so acting (because Tiger).  COULD WATCH.

  • Ho Mann Jahaan (2015) Urdu/Pakistani RECENTLY ADDED

This is an interesting one, a young-people-in-the-city comedy/romance, but from and set in Pakistan.

Akshay Kumar southern remake.  Surprisingly great soundtrack and cute romance with a couple of twists in the plot.  COULD WATCH.

Well, the title says it all.

MUST WATCH!!!!  One of the 5 most important films in Hindi cinema.  Very slow start, but give it a chance to grow on you and you will learn to love it.  Most of all, it is important for showing where the “Family Romance” genre came from in Indian film, and what created the NRI audience.

Follow up to Hum Aapke Hain Koun.  A little more over the top and less boring, but a lot less touching.  COULD WATCH.

  • Hunterrr (2015)

Mostly notable for the explicit sexy scenes (if you are looking for stuff like that).  And for a numerology based title that rivals “Hey Babbyy” in it’s stupidity.

You can watch it if you really really really like John Abraham.  COULD WATCH

Another indie festival type thing.

  • Incomplete (2017) Bengali RECENTLY ADDED

Interesting film festival style film that I am barely allowing on my list as a regular Indian film because it looks full length and has a romance, so it might be kind of mainstream.

If you want to see Arjun Rampal be sexy, I guess you could watch it?  But otherwise not much point.  It was supposed to be a deep look at sexual harassment, but it managed to be neither deep nor fun.  If you really need to see an Indian take on sexual harassment, I recommend Aitraaz, which is terrible, but also super fun.

  • Interrogation/Visaaranai (2015) Tamil RECENTLY ADDED

A film that should have been more of an art hit, and turned into a mainstream hit.  Plus took a harsh look at the powers of the state and so on.  Also, very gritty and violent in some ways, so be warned.

  • Ishq Vishk (2003)

Now this is a really interesting one!  Shahid Kapoor’s big break, first of all.  A college love triangle of the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai variety, but in a post-American Pie world, so a lot more explicit.  Kind of an odd mix of influences. COULD WATCH

  • Ishqiya (2012)

Boy, this and Dirty Picture!  Someone at Netflix HQ really likes Vidya and Naseerji together.  Anyway, a sincerely good and interesting film.  One of the earlier Vidya performances that made people sit up and notice her.  COULD WATCH

  • Jab We Met (2007) RECENTLY ADDED

MUST WATCH.  Classic rom-com of the past decade, one of the greatest performances in Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor’s career, classic soundtrack, and launched Imtiaz Ali as an important director.  Also, it’s just really really good.  Like, you won’t be able to stop smiling for a week good.

Kind of an interesting mixture of a more art-film sensibility with traditional Indian film narrative techniques.  COULD WATCH.

  • Kaabil (2016)

Terrible terrible movie.  Don’t watch it.  Unless you are a massive Hrithik fan, but even then, probably not.

  • Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa (1994)

Still considered one of Shahrukh’s greatest performances, by himself and everyone else in the industry.  A deceptively simple light-hearted plot of teen romance and a band trying to get a big break, but really a sort of interesting discussion of the anti-hero.  Also, brilliantly directed by Kundan Shah, his follow up to the all time classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.  MUST WATCH.

Absolutely brilliant movie.  Prepare to pay close attention and be on the edge of your seat.  It’s also gorgeous, makes you feel like you are right on the streets of Calcutta.  And it has amazing performances.  MUST WATCH

The film that made Hrithik Roshan a star!  Big silly over the top romance, with amazing songs.  But most, THE FILM THAT MADE HRITHIK ROSHAN A STAR!!!  I cannot possibly convey what a big deal this was when it released.  MUST WATCH.

Another depressing art film, this time about female feoticide.

  • Kanyaka Talkies (2013) Malayalam

This might be the best bet of all the Malayalam films.  Won a ton of awards and, more importantly, I actually know one of the cast members!  Lena, good slightly older actress. Still probably better off going to google play and watching something really good there, but if for some reason your google play account is suspended or something, COULD WATCH

Kind of interesting police story (as you can tell from the title).  Amitabh plays a wise old cop on the way out, Akshay plays a cocky young cop, Aishwarya plays a beautiful woman.  The songs are decent.  But it’s really nothing special.

  • Khoon Khoon (1973) RECENTLY ADDED

A remake of Dirty Harry, but more importantly, a chance to see Rekha-before-Amitabh.  Back when she was plump and sexy and didn’t take her career seriously.  Oh, and also Danny Denzongpa.

MUST WATCH.  Sridevi and Amitabh, and Nagarjuna!!!!  Amazing dialogue, amazingly delivered, great songs, terrible wigs, just all around magnificent.  Unless you don’t like that kind of thing, in which case give it 10 minutes and then decide.  The opening will give you a good idea of the rest of the film.

Eh.  For those few Imraan Khan trufans, you can give it a watch.  Otherwise, don’t bother, it is kind of a boring mess.

  • Killa (2014) Marathi RECENTLY ADDED

A boy comes from village to city.  And yet another grounded harsh Marathi movie about the state of society!  Fun!

Possibly Hrithik Roshan’s greatest performance, a surprisingly touching Alien superhero movie.  Also decent songs, and a really great latter day Rekha performance.  SHOULD WATCH.

Not a good movie.  Terribly filmed (like, the light saturation is off in half the scenes), and crazy plot but not in an entertaining way.  Also, a waste of Hrithik’s dancing abilities.  But if it’s a rainy day and there’s nothing else available, you might as well.  COULD WATCH

Such a bad movie!  So bad!!!  But amusingly bad, COULD WATCH.

Yet another sex comedy.  Who at Netflix is picking all of these?  And I really hope he isn’t sharing a cubicle with the guy who buys all the indie Indian art films.  Or if they are sharing a cubicle, I really hope Netflix makes a sitcom about that.

  • Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum (2012)

I suppose it must be slightly better than the sequel, because these things usually get worse as time goes on.  But I still wouldn’t recommend watching it.

  • Lal Patthar (1971)

Another interesting classic film!  A wealthy man is torn between his new young wife and his mistress.  Hema Malini gets to play the villain.  Hot hot Raaj Kumar is the hero. COULD WATCH

MUST WATCH.  The first 5 minutes are amazing.  The rest of it is extremely uneven.  But this is an important part of Indian history to know, and this is the most painless way to learn it.  Just try to overlook some of the costume and acting choices, especially from the “British”.

Another arty film, this time about voyeurism.  Just rewatch Rear Window and skip it.

  • Liar’s Dice (2013)

An India Oscar Entry, so socially relevant and starring Naseeruddin Shah, as most of those are.  But that’s not important, what is important is the director!  Geetu Mohandas, Malayali, married to Rajeev Ravi who directed Kammattipadam, and working now on a really gritty interesting looking film Moothon with Nivin Pauly.

B level comedy, Govinda and Fardeen Khan and Tusshar Kapoor.  Poor Genelia D’Souza and Prachi Desai are trapped in it too.

Artsy movie technically set and made in India, but really fits more with the American indie art scene.  But if you want an indie male-male romance with an Indian setting, check it out!

Very very good.  Ignore the title, it is very very good.  And touching and teaches you about immigrants and being caught between two identities and all kinds of things.  MUST WATCH.

OMG I DID NOT REALIZE THIS WAS HERE!!!!!!  MUST WATCH!!!!!  Because it looks TERRIBLE!!!!

Did you know that Imran Khan’s father works for Netflix?  That’s not a joke, he really does.  Imran’s Dad is an American tech guy, Imran was born in Ann Arbor Michigan.  Then his parent’s marriage broke up, he and his Mom moved back to India, and Aamir stepped up and became a bit of a father figure for him.  Anyway, I am thinking that this might be the explanation for the random assortment of not very good Imran Khan movies that are suddenly appearing.  This one at least has Sanjay Dutt in it too.

Oh boy, another arty indie movie!  But with Barry John (guy who taught Shahrukh Khan, Varun Dhawan, and dozens of other young actors), so might be worth a watch for that.  COULD WATCH

Surprisingly good biopic, very straight forward in presentation, but high quality performances and mise-en-scene and all of that.  COULD WATCH.

Another thriller!  With Jimmy Shergill and Irrfan Khan.  But otherwise not very notable.

An ambitious movie, that fails in execution.  John Abraham produced and starred, and he isn’t the usual infallible hero type.  It’s a spy movie that’s more about information and talking than about grand chase scenes and adventures.  And it deals with one of the big no-nos of Indian history, the intelligence failure that lead to the assassination by bomb of Rajiv Gandhi.  Might be worth watching if you love John Abraham, or if you are curious about how the topic is presented, but otherwise not.

  • Main Aur Mr. Right (2014)

Low budget rom-com with a bunch of nobodies.  Watch at your own risk!

MUST WATCH!!!!!!  A legitimately fun film, plus made Salman Khan a star, plus introduced Sooraj Barjatya as a director and showed the early seeds of what would turn into Hum Aapke Hain Koun.

  • Makkhi (2012) Telugu RECENTLY ADDED

MUST WATCH.  It is SO GOOD.  “Reincarnation fly movie” is not a good way to sell it, it is just so much more than that!  So fun, so clever, so happy, so strangely romantic!

SHOULD WATCH.  I haven’t seen it myself, but this is India-does-Chinatown, and it is supposed to be almost as good as the original.  Also has Abhay, for you Deol-o-files.

  • Manoranjan (1974) RECENTLY ADDED

MUST WATCH.  Directed by Shammi Kapoor, a remake of Irma La Douce, and starring Zeenat Aman and Sanjeev Kumar.  An incredibly cheerful romance between a cop and a prostitute.  A completely unashamed and happy prostitute.  Who is never punished for her “sins” by the narrative, gets a completely happy ending.  Really, MUST WATCH.

Arty film, got good reviews and a slightly wider release than usual.  About queer issues and disability rights issues.  COULD WATCH

Another thriller!  And this time I don’t recognize anyone on the cast list.

Inspirational sports biopic starring Priyanka.  Not too good, not too bad, just okay.  If you are a huge Priyanka fan, or really want to see a sports biopic, you can check it out.  COULD WATCH.

Art film which got great reviews and has a good cast.  Don’t watch it if you are in the mood for something light, but worth watching if you want to see something really good.  COULD WATCH

  • Masti (2004)

The original of our modern era of sex comedies!  Where it all began.  Looks almost quaint now.  Oh, and it has my all time favorite Stupid Song Lyrics, “On the roof, in the rain; on the roof, in the rain.”

Because I care, I took the effort to skip through to the two sex scenes.  Netflix does NOT care (or, more likely, it was part of the Red Chillies deal), and so the sex scenes were cut.  BOOOO, Netflix!  BOOOO!.  You can see at 1:31 the start of the first scene.  And then at 1:40 there is a sudden cut, you see them lying in bed together with love bites and feathers everywhere, but we didn’t get the scene of Shahrukh stripping for her and passionately ripping the pillows (which is on my 8 year old DVD).  BOOOOO, Netflix!

A kind of funny Priyadarshan film, with a great cast.  Akshaye Khanna (always brilliant), Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, and Genelia D’Souza. AND SHOBHANA!!!!  COULD WATCH

Naseeruddin Shah.  That’s it.  If you are up for a mid-level arty movie, because it has Naseerji in it, than watch it.  If you are less of a Naseerji trufan, don’t bother.

Terrible terrible movie.  Worth watching for the train wreck of it all, but otherwise not.  COULD WATCH

Not very imaginative plot, not very good acting, incredibly good music and visuals.  COULD WATCH

Arty movie that also gives you a bit of a backstage look at Indian filmmaking.  Got really good reviews.  COULD WATCH.

High class social statement comedy movie starring Ranvir Shorey, or as I think of him, “Mr. Konkona Sen Sharma”.  Did not get very good reviews.

Another great cast farce.  Arshad Warsi, Soha Ali Khan, Javed Jaffrey, Shakti Kapoor.  Only, not directed by Priyadarshan.  So not worth watching.

  • Mundrothuruth (2016) Malayalam

Doesn’t even have a wikipedia page, and I don’t recognize any of the cast.  Looks like a so-so psychological thriller.  Don’t bother with it, if you want to watch a Malayalam movie, just head over to google play, there’s a fair number of good ones there.

MUST WATCH!!!!!  Brilliant brilliant movie, all time classic.  Madhubala is breathtaking, the romance is intense, and the moral issues are fascinating.

Silly remake of Meet the Parents, but with a lot of heart.  Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar play joint leads, and both of them are at the top of their comic games.  Plus, great songs and an early Priyanka Chopra.  COULD WATCH.

Another arty film, supposed to have a cameo from Salman maybe?  If you watch it, tell me about that.

Another one of those sweet low budget rom-coms with no stars and no publicity.  Could be good, could be bad, watch the first ten minutes and decide.

  • Murjim (1989) RECENTLY ADDED

Mithunda!!!  And Madhuri and Nutan and Amrish Puri.  Great cast!!! So-so movie.  Mithun is a criminal ostracized from society and his mother, blah blah. Madhuri dances, Nutan acts, etc. etc.

SHOULD WATCH.  I would say “must watch”, except this is so seeringly emotional, I don’t know if I want to force anyone to go through that.  It’s just a fantastic film, integrating Indian sensibilities with songs and families with realism and naturalistic acting.  Just, an amazingly good film.

Another Ketan Mehta film after Maya Memsaab.  But no sex scenes, not even in the original version.  Great stagey Brechtian style performance from SRK though.  Strange plot, slightly mallet-handed social statement, but very interesting to watch.

MUST WATCH. Dulquer, AR Rahman, and Mani Ratnam.  There is nothing bad there.  Amazing soundtrack, loveable characters, brilliant directing.  Oh, and Prakash Raj to break your heart.

Brilliant brilliant comedy.  Based on a stage play, Akshay Kumar snapped up the film rights and brought in the main cast (including Pawesh Rawal) and cameoed himself in an important part.  Oh, and Sonakshi and Prabhudeva do an item dance.  Just a lot of great stuff.  SHOULD WATCH.

A lessor SRK film.  On the one hand, the plot makes no sense, on the other hand AR Rahman did the songs.  And on the third hand, SRK and Juhi have some of the sexiest scenes of all time together.  COULD WATCH.

Yet another sweet low budget rom-coms.  But it sort of has a star, Abhay Deol.  And it got a little publicity because of some complicated lawsuit by the composers related to how their credits were listed.  But mostly just another sweet low budget rom-com.

  • Ottakolam (2016) Malayalam RECENTLY ADDED

Doesn’t even have a wikipedia page.  Not a good sign!  Plus, it has one of those plot descriptions that would either be really dark and interesting, or just bad.  And I am leaning towards “bad” what with the whole “no wiki page” thing.

  • The Painted House (2015) Malayalam RECENTLY ADDED

This may be my least favorite of all the new Malayalam films?  An older writer is seduced by a beautiful young woman.  Gee, do you think this might be some form of wish-fulfillment for the filmmakers?  I just don’t know!

Artsy depressing movie about being a woman in India.

  • Patang, aka “The Kite” (2011)

Another arty movie!  But slightly less depressing.

Great performances from all 3 leads, Irrfan Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Amitabh.  More than that, heralded a new age of hit film, with a movie based around a female character and realistic settings, but still with a bit of romance and songs.  SHOULD WATCH.

Brilliant movie, great performances, important story.  Not the best songs.  And the story line is a bit harsh (attempted rape and the persecution by court trial of the victims).  So like Neerja I won’t say “must watch”, but I will say SHOULD WATCH.

If you want to see a seriocomedy about queer issues in the desi community, this is it.

  • Players (2012)

The Italien Job, redone.  Sonam back whens he was still trying to find herself, Abhishek back when he hadn’t accepted his destiny and switched to character roles, and Bips is there too.  A harmless action movie, not the best but not as bad as another sex comedy.  COULD WATCH

Fun fun fun!  And pretty pretty pretty!  Very much a fairy tale come to life.  Don’t expect anything too deep, or which will make you think.  But definitely a COULD WATCH.

Lesser, but still fun, Shammi Kapoor movie.  Also, Vyjantimala!  COULD WATCH

  • Professor (1962)

SHAMMI!!!!!  Okay, just had to get that out of the way, I feel better now.  Classic Shammi plot.  See, he needs money, so he takes a job as a teacher for two young girls.  Only, he has to pretend to be an elderly professor in order to get the job.  And then he romances one of the girls, and also their elderly guardian in his elderly disguise.  The 60s were a time of joy and insanity.  SHOULD WATCH

Lower budget ripoff of the Masti film series.  Which is already pretty low budget and raunchy, so you can imagine how bad the ripoff is!

Sequel to a low budget ripoff of an already terrible movie.  So, like, negatively bad.

  • Q (2014)

Very odd sounding low-budget movie, of the western-style.

What is this, the Mamta Kulkarni collection?  Is the drug bust getting her a sudden burst of fame or something?  This film looks really not good, a very late Dilip Saheb performance, a fairly late Rekha performance, and a just barely past her prime Mamta performance.  Not that all of them couldn’t still give good performances, just that if a film which really requires a younger cast can only get these people, it means it must not be a very good film.

Brilliant movie all around.  Just, amazing.  Shows you why Kangana gets so much rope in the industry.  MUST WATCH

A film that is worse than it should be.  Brilliant central performances, solid script, great directing.  But the plot is oddly pulled back and forth in directions that don’t make sense.  Feels likely that it was affected in odd ways by censorship, self-censorship and social censorship.  But it is still worth a watch, if you pay attention to the buried message, the angry and active Muslim man, crucified by the establishment. SHOULD WATCH

MUST WATCH!!!!!!!!  Hugely hugely important film, helped change the 90s film landscape to rural romances, includes the first major onscreen kiss (and its a hot one!), made Karisma Kapoor into a major actress (deservedly!), amazing comic relief characters, Kunal Khemu as a little boy before he got hot, and a just amazingly amusing plot start to finish.  Oh, and great songs.

Not a good movie.  A remake of Angels With Dirty Faces, with Shahrukh playing Jimmy Cagney.  Confusing, strange performances, hilarious costumes, all of that.  But, one of the all time great laugh-out-loud in amazement fight scenes right at the beginning, after the “Pump Up the Bhangra” song.  And Shahrukh and Juhi are both doing their best with what they are given.  If you are a Shahrukh fan, COULD WATCH.  Otherwise, just skip to 17 minutes in, and watch the song followed by action sequence, that is a MUST WATCH.

Thriller with Nawazuddin Siddiqui.  Got good reviews for his performance, but everything else was more on the “okay” side of things.  If you like thrillers, this is probably the best of the bunch available.

TERRIBLE TERRIBLE MOVIE!  Shockingly depressingly off-puttingly bad.  Save yourselves and don’t watch it.

If you want to see what happens when “Daddy” is a film producer who buys you an action film and hires a top director and then forces everyone to try to make you look like you actually know what you are doing, Watch This!  Jackky Bhagnani is just the worst, is what I am saying, and his father needs to stop indulging him.

Remember my Osho post?  This is propaganda made by one of his followers about his early life.

  • Robot (2010) Tamil RECENTLY ADDED

I didn’t much like it, but it’s a very important film, the first non-Hindi release to be the top box office earner for the year, and about to be remade even bigger and better. MUST WATCH

Almost shot for shot remake of a Korean film.  But with John Abraham, who is very handsome.  COULD WATCH

Well, I LOVED it!!!  Rana and Anushka-Good!  Feminist message-Good!  CGI-hilariously bad and therefore Good!  Oh, and also Nithya Menon, if you have a hangover and are still in love with her after OK Kanmani.

Akshay Kumar in a white navy uniform.  That’s it, that’s the draw.  COULD WATCH

  • Saadey CM Saab (2015) Punjabi RECENTLY ADDED

Recent Punjabi political comedy.  I don’t recognize the names, which means it may not be that big of a hit.  Plus, Punjabi comedy tends to be somewhat broad.  So be aware.

Watch this instead of Mary Kom.  Very good sports drama, great central performances, will make you fall in love with Madhavan all over again.  SHOULD WATCH.

Super low budget comedy about average people living in the city.  Could be a brilliant hidden gem, could be kind of dull and uneven.  I suspect more the latter, since I haven’t heard of it before.

  • Saheb Bibi Golaam (2016) Bengali RECENTLY ADDED

A very odd high concept film.  Three unconnected people, one of them a ghost, and what happens to them in a day in Calcutta.

  • Sairat (2016) Marathi RECENTLY ADDED

Touching young cross-caste love story, remake rights already sold to Karan Johar, much much doubt about his ability to pull off the unique realness of the original. SHOULD WATCH

Okay, if between the two 1970s movies available you can only pick one, watch this one. COULD WATCH.

  • Sarkar (2005)

Brilliant brilliant movie.  Ram Gopal Verma is a super creepy man that I would never want to be alone in a room with, but MAN!  When he is good, he is GOOD.  And when Amitabh is good, he is Great.  And this movie brings them both together.  Plus some career best performances from Abhishek, Tanvi Azmi, Tanisha (Kajol’s little sister), and Katrina Kaif of all people.  MUST WATCH

  • Savam (2015) Malayalam

Wait, no, THIS is my least favorite of the recently added Malayalam films!  It’s a Malayalam art film.  Which, considering how arty Malayalam films already are, is like art-squared.  Filmed entirely in black and white, only an hour long, and all about death.  Oh boy!  What fun!

  • Shahid (2012)

It’s a biopic about a Muslim lawyer who was killed for defending accused terrorists.  I’ve been avoiding this movie because I know it will make me really really angry.  But sometimes that’s good, you know?  Plus, it can make us all go once again “Wow, Rajkummar is a really interesting actor”. SHOULD WATCH

Yet another thriller!  Kalki Koechlin is in it and gives a great performance.  COULD WATCH.

  • Shortkut: The Con is On (2009)

Another minor comedy, but not a sex one at least!  But still not great.  Although, Akshaye Khanna!  If you are one of those people who will watch anything for an Akshaye sighting, here you go.

Ridiculous action film remake of Pocketful of Miracles by way of Hong Kong (Jackie Chan’s Miracles).  Super fun performance by Akshay Kumar, amazing title song that will stick in your head for days, just over all good times.  COULD WATCH.

  • Singh Saab the Great (2013)

Another Sunny movie!  Which was heavily promoted as reuniting him with Amisha Patel, his Gadar co-star.  And then it kind of went no where.  If you absolutely need a Sunny action movie with big speeches and turbans, it’s here.  But really, just watch Gadar instead.

Possibly my favorite action film.  Certainly my favorite Ajay Devgan film, and my second favorite Rohit Shetty film (after Chennai Express).  SHOULD WATCH.

  • Sohni Mahiwal (1984) RECENTLY ADDED

Oh oh!  Very interesting!  One of those rare USSR/India co-productions (the first one was all the way back in the 50s, and they pop up occasionally ever since then).  Sunny Deol back when he was hot, Poonam Dhillon, and yet another tragic ancient Punjabi love story.  Don’t they have any happy love legends?

There was this brief period back in the late 90s when Bobby Deol was a big big thing.  Enjoy this movie as a time capsule of that period!  And enjoy seeing Bobby and Priety having a round-cheeks-with-dimples contest for who can be cuter.

A heist movie, very different from the usual, shows you the whole process of it all.  An interesting experiment for a mainstream Indian film.  COULD WATCH.

A low-budget comedy.  I have a warm feeling for it because a friend of a friend was involved (I think as an actor?  Or else writer/director).  So, I guess, SHOULD WATCH so that my friend of a friend has a better career.

  • Superstar (2017) Gujurati RECENTLY ADDED

I am almost tempted to watch this!  An actor is wounded on set and complications and madness ensue.  I would be very interested, except I don’t think the Gujurati industry is that large, so I don’t know if I would necessarily trust their view of this kind of story.

  • Talvar, aka “Guilty” (2015)

Very well made movie based on a real life murder mystery that still fascinates India.  Irrfan Khan does his usual great performance.  If you want to learn more about the actual case, Saavn has a podcast you can download.  COULD WATCH.

A different kind of romance, with earthier characters and flavorful settings.  Like Queen, it is important for showing why Kangana is so beloved.  Like Saala Khadoos, it is important for showing why Madhavan is hot.  COULD WATCH.

Vidya Balan and Amitabh Bachchan play off each other, but otherwise it is nothing special.  If you are only going to watch one Avenging Amitabh film from 2016, watch Pink.  But if you want to watch two, this is a COULD WATCH.

  • Teesri Aankh (2006) RECENTLY ADDED

Who the heck edited this wikipedia entry?  Claims it to be an international hit, and yet I have no memory of ever hearing of this film before.  A Sunny film from the “bad toupet” era, but opposite Amisha Patel if you still have enough of a Gadar hang over for that alone to make you like it.  Oh, and it’s yet another film of the “camera images of good girls changing can make them be blackmailed into anything” genre.

  • Thithi (2015) Kannada RECENTLY ADDED

If you want to watch a Kannada film, and don’t want to pay for Lucia on googleplay, you can watch this!

Another low budget under promoted rom-com!  If you have a massive crush on Ali Zafar (I know you people are out there!  Some of you may be my friends!  And this same anonymous person might also own all his albums which is just super weird!), then this is a “must watch”.  Otherwise, no.

SHOULD WATCH.  Really good film, very real, very hard to watch.  With some moments of pure beauty.  I would say “must watch” except, again, it is hard enough to see that I don’t want to force anyone.

COULD WATCH.  Again, very hard to watch, very gritty.  But if you only have so much patience for a gritty film that starts with “U”, make it Udta Punjab.

Eh.  Another art film.  But with Pratiek Babbar, so interesting if you want to see what he is up to these days.

Art film, maybe interesting for some backstage stuff since it shows what a session violinist who works on soundtracks lives like.

  • Waar (2013) Urdu/Pakistani RECENTLY ADDED

I saw trailers for this!  Your typical macho army movie, feels like it should be starring Sunny Deol, but instead it’s from Pakistan.  A little surreal having the “good guys” wearing the uniform we usually see on the “bad guys”.  They aren’t fighting the Indian army though, just insurgents.

Madcap comedy, think A Fish Called Wanda.  But with Dimple Kapadia.

  • The Wishing Tree (2017) RECENTLY ADDED

Cute family and kids fantasy movie, Shabana Azmi is there too.

  • Wrong No. (2015) Urdu/Pakistani RECENTLY ADDED

Oh this looks super cute!  Two strangers pursuing their own lives who overlap, rom-com, bright colors, I am almost tempted! COULD WATCH

Artsy multi-director collaboration.  Featuring a short film by my favorite reviewer, Raja Sen.  But still, if you are going to watch a multi-director collaboration, make it Bombay Talkies.

  • Yaar Gaddar (1994) RECENTLY ADDED

Another Mehra productions film.  Which is apparently because Red Chillies just bought the rights to their old stuff.  Mystery solved!  Anyway, Mithunda, Somy Ali (mother of the heroine of Aurangzeb), and foofy hair Saif.

All the Deols in one film!  Dharmendra, Bobby, and Sunny.  Okay, not “all” the Deols, no Esha or Abhay.  But most of the Deols!  And it was surprisingly fun and funny as well.  COULD WATCH.

This also had all the Deols, but was surprisingly unfun and unfunny.

NO! Nonononononono!!!! I had to watch this for a talk I gave a few years back and it is TERRIBLE!!! Jackki Bhagnani is a scourge on the earth only rivaled by Nargis Farkhri.  Only watch if you are so blindingly attracted to Neha Sharma that you are willing to see anything if she is on screen.

Bonus extra credit work:

The addictive Pakistani soap operas Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Humsafar.  Both of them are definite SHOULD WATCH

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5 thoughts on “Netflix List for September!!! A Lost Film Surfaces, MANORANJAN!!!!!!

  1. Pingback: Tom Alter Dies, Hindi Cinema Has Lost One of Its Outstanding Actors | dontcallitbollywood

  2. Ho Mann Jahaan stars Mahira Khan, in another very good performance. Recommended. I watched everything they had of hers on Netflix after getting hooked on Sadqay Tumhare. After watching Jab We Met, now harboring a wish for her to be cast opposite Shahid Kapoor so they can gaze into each other’s eyes.

    Like

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