It’s the Anniversary of Mili! Which of These Ill Innocents Classics Makes You Cry the Most?

It’s the anniversary of Mili! That sweet small Hrishikesh Mukherjee movie where Jaya and Amitabh displayed their amazing chemistry, and we all cried and cried. Oh, also, SPOILERS follow for all three movies, so don’t read on if you haven’t seen them.

Okay, here are our contenders!

Mili: Jaya Bachchan as a bright happy college student who starts a sweet romance with the new tenant in their building, the irritable scandal ridden rich boy who takes the penthouse. Just as they start to fall in love, the sickness that has always overshadowed her life gets worse until she isn’t strong enough to get out of bed. Amitabh keeps sending her flowers and little notes, she is terrified of him finding out the truth, but her father takes it open himself to warn her off. Amitabh decides to stay with her anyway, and proposes. He takes her off to Switzerland for a honeymoon where they will either find a cure, or have a few happy weeks together. The movie leaves it painfully open.

Mili (1975) - The Hindu

Anand: Rajesh Khanna is a cheerful young man introduced to his new doctor, Amitabh Bachchan, now that he has moved to a new city. He is aware he has a fatal illness and ready to follow along with Amitabh’s treatment. He is also ready to keep living life, cheerfully matchmaking Amitabh with the girl he likes, making friends with the nearby wrestling club, and so on. But he is hiding in his heart the reason he moved cities, to get away from his girlfriend and other loved ones who would be sad at his death, going into self-exile to save them.

Anand Rajesh Khanna Poster - 16969 | 2 out of 4 | SongSuno

Kal Ho Na Ho: Shahrukh is charming and sexy and happy, dances through life without a care, and then we learn he is dying. Not only is he dying, he is in love for the first time and trying to set up the woman he loves with another man so she will be happy. SO SAD!!!!

Kal Ho Naa Ho - Wikipedia

I’m gonna say Mili is the best! Jaya is so cute, and everyone around her is so sad, and Amitabh and her have this very sweet romance that survives all the obstacles in front of them.

What’s your vote?

11 thoughts on “It’s the Anniversary of Mili! Which of These Ill Innocents Classics Makes You Cry the Most?

  1. Mili is probably my personal favorite out of the three because it’s a childhood favorite of mine but I’m going to go with Anand. Actually cried a little when I watched it. Unfortunately I do not like Shahrukh at all in KHNH so his death is wasted on me sorry lmao

    Liked by 1 person

    • How could you watch Mili as a child?!?!?! I waited until I was well over 30 in order to have the emotional resources.

      On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 6:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, have we talked about this? I looked it up when I watched it, and the particular kind of anemia she had could be treated by B12 shots, which had just been tentatively discovered, in Switzerland, as the movie was being made. I choose to think Hrishikesh chose a disease that had just had a treatment discovered so that his heroine could survive.

          On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 2:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

    • Anand is a bit more open in a lot of ways, Mili is locked into the apartment building. Anand goes to the beach and the streets and is all bright and colorful, it’s prettier.

      On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 9:21 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Mili but I have yet to see Anand…And though I liked KHNH a lot I love the AB/JB chemestry and the open ending, that way I can believe they had many years together…



    • I don’t know why I didn’t put this together before, but Mili gives us the happy ending KHNH denied us. Amitabh was warned off (just as Preity was), but he ignored the warnings and went ahead and married Mili in hope of a happy ending.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t seen the other two movies so I have to go with Kal Ho Na Ho (I did heard before that Anand shares a lot of similarities to it though, so I am definitley intrigued to watch it still).

    So what makes me cry so much (even after my 300th rewatch of this movie) is mostly the journey these characters take us on too. Naina is not a perfect Heroine. She isn’t considered as very desirable by every man that she encounters or particularly fun or intresting to be around (which probably hurts even more than not being seen as traditionally attractive). Her family is a mess, and I am saying this with the utmost respect. It seems like the scriptwriters were having a blast by just littering Nainas life with all types of tragedies (father died by suicide, mother is struggling to keep their business going, grandmother abuses the little sister who is also adopted, and her little brother has a mobility handicap). She is a Heroine that viewers might pity but in the beginning probably also have a hard time rooting for because of her ”mopey-ness” (as critics like to say in their reviews) and most people see a Bollywood movie to have fun,right?.. Then we have Rohit who thinks that he IS a total Ladiesman but is actually rather a lovable dork and also a bit of an idiot. Just like Naina we have a hard time taking him seriously (a character like him would probably be the butt of a joke and would not have a lot of depth in any other movie). It also seems in the beginning of the film that Naina has to babysit him all the time and therefore probably wasn’t able to develop romantic feelings for him (she’s is also severly depressed of course). And then we have Aman, he is everything that Rohit is not and everything that Naina hates, but also secretly wants to be like. Hes fun, loud, charming, sexy and overbearing. A lot of people like to say that Aman must have been one of Shahrukhs most overacted and obnoxious roles, but I personally feel that he perfectly captured the essence of the character. Amans biggest flaw seems to be that he IS kind of a ”show-off”. He’s constantly acting and performing around the people in his life to keep them happy and entertained. He’s also a liar and has problems opening up about his insecurities, even towards the people he loves. Only when Aman is alone he finally allows himself to let go of that ”Clownish Playboy” facade and becomes vulnerable. For example the scene where he for the first time confesses his love to Naina at the trainstation; There is this small moment where is at a payphone and chews at his thumb, looking into the distance. He breaths very heavily and looks obviously upset and tormented by the situation, but then Rohit enters the pictures and he becomes ”sexy, happy, cheerful Aman” again, who’s heart can’t be broken and who has to swallow his feelings to do his very best to make the girl he loves fall in love with someone else, just so her life isn’t going to be tarnished by anger and frustration. He doesn’t want her to become another widow in the household, just like her mom or grandmother; So he makes the ultimate sacrafice. Some say it’s mysoginistic of Aman to take away Nainas agency like that but I feel that’s just another reason why this movie is so incredibly intresting to me: It is surely not the right thing but it is something. A hast descision made out of stupid feelings and fear. What could be more real than that? (also would have been less dramatic if Aman would have told her about his condition during the interval of the movie haha).. The film touches me so much because it allows it’s characters to be flawed, morally-grey and annoying. This might not be a scenario most viewers can particularly relate to but the sticky and messiness of unspoken feelings, blurred boundaries in friendships and the brutal hurt of rejection, is probably something most people have lived through.. So it is the long way these characters have come, the hardships they faced, the height of emotions they dealt with and the sacrafices they made that make me so emotional in the end. It’s the bonding, love and loyality they maintained keeping and sharing while experiencing an awful lot of crap.

    (Sorry for the long text, I get always very enthusiastic as soon as you mention this movie on your blog! haha)


    • First, I am considering making KHNH our Friday Watchalong pick this week! So if you are available at 3pm Chicago time on Friday, you can join the fun.

      And yes to all your points! Let me put it this way, all three main characters are the standard Hindi film character types, but not. Preity is a tragic suffering heroine, only instead of being beautiful and sad and so on like heroine’s in her position usually are, she is difficult and angry and prickly (like women in her situation really would be). Saif is the typical rich kid playboy hero, only those people don’t really exist, Saif is just pretending to be like the ladies’ man he thinks he should be, in reality he is a nice guy who struggles in romance. And Shahrukh is the wacky magical perfect hero, but in reality it is all a front because his heart is breaking (literally and figuratively).

      On Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 5:19 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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