Two Crowdsource Requests: Movies for BollywoodNewbie to Watch on Her Plane Trip, and Romances for Valentine’s Week

These are equally important questions and I don’t want you to be lazy and just do one or the other! So if you comment, you have to give at least one idea for BOTH! So it can be like 10 movies for BollywoodNewbie, and only 1 for Valentine’s, or vice versa, but at least try to cover both.

BollywoodNewbie is going to India! Which is a very very VERY long plane trip. For her very very VERY long trip, she asked for recommendations of Malayalam Movies and Classic Masala Hindi films. And also, Audiobooks.

My suggestions in a random brainvomit:

Malayalam: Ustad Hotel (life affirming, good food porn), Koode (life affirming but dark for bits, Prithviraj), City of God (really really have to focus when you watch it, awesome Prithviraj), Amen (very pretty, kind of Wes Anderson-y), 22 Female Kottayam (dark female revenge saga), Niram (super super light college best friends romance), Ranam (dark, hyperlink, awesome Prithviraj, Detroit), Kali (slow start but there is a crazy twist at the interval, cute Dulquer and Sai), Maheshinte Prathikaram (very Kumbalangi Nights like), Sudani from Nigeria (unusual story of cross-cultural connections), Godha (suuuuuch a sweet romance and feminist), Mayanadhi (really interesting take on romance and female characters)


60s-70s Masala: Zanjeer (crazy Jaya-Amitabh chemistry, movie that made him a star), An Evening in Paris (super light and fun European adventure with Shammi and Sharmila), Seeta Aur Geeta (Hema Malini in a double role, lots of wacky hijinks), Chupke Chupke (farce and misunderstandings and two romances), Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (adventure, evildoers, childhood song secret code, and I think also a helicopter), Yaadon Ki Baarat (separated brothers with a secret family song, Aamir’s first movie), Blackmail (Raakhee and Dharmendra in a sweet romance with a solar powered batter Macguffin), Sharmilee (Raakhee double role as twins, Shashi alert!), The Train (your mind will be BLOWN by the ending), The Burning Train (guess what it’s about?  This is India’s take on The Towering Inferno), Anamika (cute cute Jaya, strange strange plot, happy ending), Aradhana (the movie that made Rajesh Khanna a star, crazy plot)

Audiobooks: I got nothin’

Now, second category of suggestions needed! Valentine’s Week romances! You want me to review Once Again, The Piano Teacher, Marjaavan, The Lunchbox, any of those others that you love and want me to watch? Now is the time to suggest! And also vote for ones other people already suggested! The more interest there is in the film, the more likely I am to pick it.

Okay, one for me and one for BollywoodNewbie/Alisa. GO!

61 thoughts on “Two Crowdsource Requests: Movies for BollywoodNewbie to Watch on Her Plane Trip, and Romances for Valentine’s Week

    • Ek Tha Tiger would TOTALLY qualify for Romance Week!!! But not Tiger Zinda Hai. So I guess movies where the romantic love story is the main motivation and goal of the plot. Even if it is a bad romance, or a tragic romance.

      On Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 12:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Alisa can/should provide more details, but I can tell you she absolutely adored Deewar. So don’t run from the sincere classics.

        She also adores Shashi, but she is a living breathing person so obviously that is the case.

        On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 2:05 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Excellent. For me, the madder the better, so keep that in mind with these recs.

            Shashi recs: Haseena Maan Jayegi (double role), Aa Gala Laag Jaa (I cannot begin to tell you how nutso insane this one is, it’s at least as bad as Sharmilee), Paap Aur Punya (double role), Suhaag (with Amitabh), Chori Meri Kaam (very delightful), Namak Halaal (with Amitabh).

            General purpose insane masala recs: Nagin, Geeta Mera Naam (my favourite Hindi movie ever), Roop Tera Mastana, Seeta Aur Geeta, Parvarish, Maha Badmaash (some racism at the start of this but few things have ever made me laugh as hard as Vinod’s training montage), If you like Dharam, Saazish and Shalimar are both really wacky.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ahh there at least 4 movies that I have not seen yet, and I am so excited to watch them over the next few weeks! Thanks for the recommendations!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh! If you liked Amar Akbar Anthony, then Suhaag and Yaadon Ki Baarat go way up the list, because they are rip offs of AAA.

            On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 9:07 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • No, absolutely do not watch that for Govinda. It’s not the worst, but it is pretty bad and VERY VERY far from his best work, and that is a DEEP PIT. If you want fun masala Govinda movies, watch the ones he did with Shashi, especially Ilzaam and Sindoor, or Ekka Raja Rani or Swarg.

            This is the one I meant:

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  1. Alisa and I have very different tastes in movies, so I won’t recommend my odd personal favourites and only limit myself to universally known good films: Guppy and Charlie (both movies are so malayalam – sad but also , hopeful); Action Hero Biju + Godha, you already mentioned and Ustad Hotel (I didn’t like it, but that means there are more chances Alisa will like it and there is so much food. Perfect for somebody who is going to India and can eat all this stuff)
    In my opinion Kali is not a good choice because it’s so boring in the first half and too griping in the second. Not something to watch on the plane.

    + It’s not malayalam but Kandukondain Kandukondain is perfect for a flight because: it’s interesting, long, has beautiful music and it’s Jane Austen

    For romances: Mr & Mrs Ramachari – I love this movie, and I think you will like it too because it’s romantic and over the top and masala. Or Sammohanam – two beautiful people (Aditi Rao Hydari and Sudheer Babu) in a rom com about a nice guy with a very loving family who falls in love with an actress.

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    • You have different taste in movies from everybody! you are unique.

      Maybe Kandukondain Kandukondain also for my Romance week? I already wrote the review so I can just repost it.

      Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari means I have to risk trying yet another language industry, very stressful and difficult. But Sammoham, maybe. For some reason I saw the trailer in theaters a lot and I was kind of curious about it.

      On Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 2:33 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think you would enjoy Sammohanam! It’s a really good romance and one of my favorite movies of 2018. I’m pretty sure it’s on prime and youtube with subs.

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  2. Classic Masala Hindi film and also Romance suggestion: Nagina (1868) – a gothic fantasy romance with Sridevi and Rishi with Amish Puri as the glorious villain. Short (2h 15m) and just something that could have only been done in the 80s, a classic.

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  3. I’ve gone on numerous rants in these comments about how much I love HSKD, so I’m contributing that, if that counts. I’ll come back if I think of anything else.

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    • I believe I have a massive two part HSKD post, and I am always ready for an excuse to use it

      On Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 4:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Sometimes when I’m bored, I go back and read those two reviews you have of HSKD. That’s how good those posts are. But I’ll never say no to something new that’s HSKD related 🙂

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  4. 70s Masala: Inquilaab. If you can get past the initial illogic of the plot–and of course you can, or you wouldn’t want 70s Masala recommendations–it’s just nuts and has everything you could want: Villain’s lair! Psychedelic dream sequence! Amitabh! Sridevi! Sridevi dancing around a swimming pool! Amitabh getting angry! Or my second favorite is Do Anjaane but the ending made me pretty steamed.

    Romances: Going to go ahead and suggest Once Again, although it may be a bit slow for you. But I’d be really interested in what you have to say about it.

    With the suggestion of Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari above, it occurred to me that you could do a series of only movies with Mr and Mrs in the title: Mr and Mrs. 55, Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari, and maybe Mr. Singh and Mrs. Mehta.

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    • Back in college when I first heard about it, I made a solemn vow NOT to watch Mr. and Mrs. Iyer. You can’t make me!!!! It’s too sad and scary and I will never sleep again!

      Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. 55 is Da Bomb and I will totally review it. There’s also a Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi that I watched ages ago and vaguely remember not being as good as it should be.

      Oh! Theme post idea! Marriage romances! No wait, not theme post, recommendation post! I want to know what awesome “two strangers marry because of Circumstances and slowly fall in love” movies I am missing.

      On Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 10:12 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah, there’s a very sad scene in Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, which otherwise is sort of Motwane-level sad-but-uplifting.

        Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi was the other one I was trying to think of! I haven’t watched it.

        For falling in love after marriage, the only one I can think of us Pinjaar, which of course you’ve seen. It seems like it would be pretty common but I can’t think of anything else at the moment.

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        • I’m having the same problem with remembering post-marriage romances. Definitely need to do a “recommendations please!” post.

          On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 7:31 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • There’s a Fardeen Khan-Esha Deol movie called ‘Just Married’, they are an arranged marriage couple on their honeymoon. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it but can’t remember anything about the plot.

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  5. Exciting, Alisa! I have adventure envy. The only Malayalam movies I’ve seen that you possibly might not have yet are Bangalore Days and Premam. I’d recommend both, Bangalore Days more. And not Malayalam but same kind of realistic feel with multiple character arcs, maybe Cake if you haven’t watched it already?

    Margaret, I have almost no romances that I’ve seen and you haven’t. I’ll stick with Ho Mann Jahaan, still think you’d enjoy it even if it is kind of about a band, it’s an easy Valentine’s Day kind of watch and not too fluffy.

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    • I don’t understand the concept of “too fluffy” 🙂 Fluffiness is a bonus, obviously.

      I will consider Ho Mann Jahan.

      On Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 10:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Few more 60-70 Hindi Masala movies I like and recommend – Amitab’s Don and Deewar, Qurbani (Vinod Khanna and Feroz Khan), Golmaal (Amol Palekar’s), Rajesh Khanna’s Bawarchi

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  7. Seconding An Evening in Paris, Chupke Chupke, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, Yaadon Ki Baarat, Sharmilee, The Burning Train. Some of my other faves from 70s:
    Shaan, Suhaag, Namak Haraam – peak Amitabh-Shashi bromances, feisty fun heroines, cool villains with cooler lairs, awesome music!
    Satte pe Satta (last I heard, Hrithik was supposed to be doing the remake), Trishul (Amitabh-Shashi again though not exactly masala but still good)
    Aa Gale Lag Jaa (assuming Alisa hasn’t already seen this) – Shashi and Sharmila at their peak hotness, interesting heroine role, the songs! But you may have to get past one problematic incident involving transfer of body heat!
    Going back a little, some of my favorite Shammi movies – Teesri Manzil (murder mystery with rock n’ roll) and Prince (Shammi, a spoilt prince, pretends to be a commoner, falls for Vyjayanthimala’s haughty princess and after fighting off villains they retire to a simple village life!)
    For romances, I second Mr and Mrs Iyer and Tum Bin. I don’t know if you’ve seen Inkaar starring Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh. It is supposed to be about workplace sexual harassment but it trivializes the issue in my opinion. It works better as a flawed romance between flawed (and sexy) people. I was a big fan of Chitrangada for a while which is why I saw this and they make a pretty hot pair!

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    • I have heard that Inkraar is peak sexy Arjun, which intrigues me. And I still refuse to ever EVER watch Mr. and Mrs. Iyer! I like sleep! And to spend time during my day NOT crying!

      On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 4:58 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I am a little scared to recommend anything to Alisa since my last two recommendations have been a bust. But I love every movie Kainaat has recommended!

        Aside from that, I would highly recommend the following:

        Hera Pheri (Amitabh-Vinod Khanna bromance/romance. Seriously, the heroines barely have a role). Even if she doesn’t like it, it would be interesting to have Alisa’s take on it.

        The Great Gambler (Amitabh double role with Zeenat and Neetu Singh)
        Khubsoorat (The original one with Rekha and Rakesh Roshan and the amazing Dina Pathak – Ratna Pathak’s mom. The movie is just so frickin cute).

        Andaaz (Shammi Kapoor, Hema Malini as single parents who fall in love. Plus, the kids are adorable.)

        Aakhen (Dharmendra and Mala Sinha. Considered India’s first large scale spy film)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks filmikudhi!
          I have Hera Pheri confused with Parvarish, the other Amitabh-Vinod film, as I’ve watched parts from both, I need to check them. I was also thinking about The Great Gambler and I love Khubsoorat. I also want to watch Andaz!
          Just curious, are you Indian? I didn’t think non-Indians would have watched all of these movies.

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          • I was born in India and grew up in the U.S. Your recommendations definitely made me happy and nostalgic. Although, Netflix seems to have just started streaming all these old movies, so it has so much fun to rewatch some of them! On a separate note, I too enjoy Parvarish, mainly because Shabana and Neetu are so cute in it!

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          • Haven’t seen Parverish, reading plot now, Amitabh’s character’s name is “Amit”? No one found this strange?

            On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 4:47 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I would normally think it is weird but he was Amit is so many movies: Kabhi Kabhi, Do Anjaane, Suhaaj, Silsila etc.

            I just read the plot of Parvarish on wiki and I don’t think it does it justice. As a teaser, in the movie, Neetu and Shabana are pickpocketing sisters who pursue Amitabh and Vinod Khanna and then essentially propose to them by going directly to the parents and asking their permission to marry their sons. They are awesome! Watch Parvarish for Neetu and Shabana and watch Hera Pheri for Amitabh and Vinod (b)romance!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Filmikudhi, those are the parts I remember from Parvarish and they’re the best! Reminds me of Suhaag where Parveen Babi drunkenly flirts with Shashi, turns up at his house unwittingly, and is very willing to marry him after his mother prods a little! And who can blame her when it’s Shashi in question? I love these 70’s heroines!

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      • Yeah it is sad but it’s a beautiful movie. Konkona and Rahul work so well with each other; at one point I was convinced they were gonna get married in real life! You should watch Inkaar then.

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    • Oh yes, I can never remember the title, I always have to google “Mohanlal Solomon movie”.

      That film is so so beautiful, and Malayalam, in the best possible way. Honest about sexuality, and the darkness of the world, but still hopeful. And with a hero who is without any dumb masculinity hang ups. Wow, now I want to rewatch it myself. I love Ohm Shaanti Oshaana more, but Namuku Parkan Munthiri Thoppukal is objectively probably the best Malayalam romance I have seen.

      Thank you for reminding me about it! This just perked my morning right up, I’m going to spend the rest of the day lost in beautiful 80s Malayalam rural countryside and sweet sweet young Mohanlal soft understanding.

      On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 8:57 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Bollywood Newbie isn’t really a Bollywood newbie anymore… she’s probably seen more Indian content than I have by now, definitely more Malayalam than I have, so it’s hard to know what to recommend.

    Malayalam – The only one I’ve seen straight through is Uyaare(sp?), it’s not perfect but it’s very watchable with a straightforward storyline and good acting and a very handsome potential love interest for our heroine. I saw it because the heroine is the same actress as in Qarib Qarib Single (but am I right abt that?).
    I’m guessing that Alisa has already seen some that i haven’t, like Bangalore days, Kumbalangi nights, ustad hotel, city of God, angamaly diaries, om shanti oshaana, sudani from Nigeria, works of Anjali menon and Jose pelisaary.

    Classic Masala – How far back counts as Classic? These are probably more Comedy than Masala, but even Comedy was Masala back then, right? : Bombay to Goa, Amar Akbar Anthony, Shaukeen, Chalti ka Naam Gaadi, Hera Pheri, jaane bhi do yaaro, Andaz Apna Apna.

    Romances – my top 3 choices followed by other suggestions, some of which you’ve already reviewed :
    Music Teacher ( it’s not Piano Teacher, he’s teaching her singing, not the piano) – though this could also qualify for the Anti Romance category.
    Once Again – this is 100% a middle aged romance, with no younger romance to balance it out (badhaai ho). In fact, our couple is almost the entire cast.
    Lunchbox – this could also qualify for Anti Romance
    Saathiya
    Yuva – an anthology of romances
    Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana
    Malaal
    Sanam Teri Kasam
    Laila Majnu
    Dum Laga ke Haisha
    Meri pyaari Bindu
    Love per square foot
    Lust stories
    Bombay Talkies – karan Johan segment
    Masaan
    Notebook
    Manmarziyaan
    Bobby
    Pyaasa
    Jab We Met
    Yeh Jawaani hai deewani
    Lootera
    Ram Leela
    Chaandni
    Lamhe
    Ishaqzaade
    Tamaasha – your anti-review with your rewrite to make the movie better
    Raincoat

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    • Not really masala but more masala-adjacent (i.e. these were hits with the masala audience)

      Hare Rama Hare Krishna
      Satyam Shivum Sudaram
      Guide
      Junoon

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      • Oh! And Johnny Mere Naam! I feel so bad for forgetting, one of the original “separated brothers” plots.

        On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 9:47 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. For Valentine’s week romances, I am going to go with movies you haven’t reviewed yet: Shimla Mirchi (duh!); Khubsoorat the old one because it is just very cute; Aa Gale Lag Ja because Shashi and Sharmila and roller skating, and an adorable kid!); oh maybe Humara Dil Aapke Paas Hai since you just saw it; and maybe Andaz (kind of a different romance about single parents and has some of my favorite songs – Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana, Hai Na Bolo Bolo, and Re Mama Re Mama Re).

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    • I realized Zindagi Hai Safar is one of those songs I think I know, but really I just know it from The Medley. Which either means I am very sophisticated, or very unsophisticated.

      On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 9:41 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. A good friend of mine is Mallu, raised in Kerala. Here are his suggestions off the top of his head :

    Manichitrathazhu
    (Mohanlal film from 1993 that won a lot of awards)

    Maheshinte prathikaram

    Njan prakashan

    SATHYAM PARANJA VISHWASIKUVO

    Virus

    Take off
    (the inspiration for TZH)

    Other than Virus & Take Off , I haven’t seen these myself.

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    • I have seen all of these movies except SATHYAM PARANJA VISHWASIKUVO which just came out this year. And does this make me proud of myself? Yes it really REALLY does!!!! I may need to update my resume as “person who has seen all the Malayalam movies that people recommend to people”.

      Anyway, for Alisa, I would vote for Maheshinte and maybe Manichtrazhu. Manichtrazhu you really really have to pay attention and know how people are related to each other and stuff. If you can do that (tricky when you don’t know the language), it’s a great movie. I couldn’t personally, I had to retreat to the wiki synopsis to fully follow it.

      On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 3:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Along with Sammohanam, I would recommend Tholi Prema (2018) if you want to try another Telugu romance. It’s one of my favorite Telugu romances to come out in recent times along with Sammohanam, Chi La Sow, and Fidaa. The only thing is that I don’t think Tholi Prema is available anywhere but einthusan, but it’s worth it imo.

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    • I trust your judgement! I think you have either a 100% recommendation record with me, or an all-but-one record. So far as I can remember, I’ve loved everything you told me to watch.

      On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 4:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think we’ve disagreed on movies we’ve both seen but I don’t think you’ve ever hated one of my recommendations.

        But yeah, watch Sammohanam and Tholi Prema! I’m sure you’ll like them. Chi La Sow is also really good but it’s impossible to find it online. I’ve been searching ever since I’ve seen in the theater.

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