The Origin of 6 Primary Elements of Modern Hindi Film: Rain Song, Shirtless Men, Waterfall Song, Fantasy Song, Film Montage Song, Pots Song

I’m gonna get a bunch of people yelling at me for this because it isn’t totally perfectly comprehensive and accurate. I’m sorry! I’m trying! This is close enough!

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Ritu Nanda, Daughter of Raj Kapoor, Sister of Rishi Kapoor, and Mother-in-Law of Shweta Bachchan, Has Passed Away

Ritu was related to a lot of famous public people, but was not a public person herself. I don’t want to reveal too much of her life which (by choice) she kept private. But I want to point to how she affected those around her who have chosen to lead a public life.

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Sunday ReRun: Sangam! The Classic Raj Kapoor Film I Want Shahrukh to Remake

I put up a post this morning of classic films that could be rewritten and remade for Shahrukh, and after thinking about it, I think Sangam is my top choice. Shahrukh can play the guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and loves loves loves and ultimately turns out to be a better happier husband than the dignified guy who hides his feelings.

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Hindi Film 101: Sanjay Dutt, Part 1: The Spoiled Son Turned Teenage Alcoholic

I’m finally doing it!  The Sanjay Dutt Hindi Film 101 series!  And if his movie gets delayed again, well that’s just too bad, they will have to live with my having already posted his series way way too early (not really, I’ll probably repost all these posts the day it comes out for convenience).

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Starter Kit: Hindi Film Romance Through the Decades

I forgot about this post until reflects on life reminded me of it!  And now I think I will make it an annual tradition, to update and repost it on Valentine’s day.

Valentine’s Day!  Day of love!  And for that reason, a good day for a one of post just about love stories.  The two kinds of them, the socially relevant ones in which the romance is just a jumping off point for a broader social issue, and the fun fun fun ones that just make you smile.

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100 Years of Indian Film History in 10 Producers

Yes, it’s time for another 100 year post!  You can see all the others here, I’ve already done male stars, films, and songs.  Time for something different!  Producers!

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Happy Birthday Raj Kapoor! 63 Reasons I Love You

You’re dead, but that’s no reason to stop celebrating.  Your legacy lives on in many ways.  So I am going to count down 63 reasons I love you, one for every year you lived (until you died). (obviously this is a reposted post from last year, I don’t have time to come up with 63 new reasons every year, not even for Raj)

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Dilip Kumar’s Autobiography Part 2: The Drona to a Whole Generation of Eklavya’s

Yaaaay, Dilip made it all the way to 95!  And I made it all the way through his massive autobiography!  And now you don’t have to, because I am summarizing the whole thing!  Isn’t that nice of me? (part 1 here)

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Happy Birthday Dilip Sahib!!!!! I Read Your Autobiography for Your Birthday Part 1

I finally read it!  Don’t tell my friend who brought it for me all the way from India 2 years ago, only for it to sit on my shelf unnoticed unloved and unread.  Until now!  It took a while, but I finally finished it.  And it was fascinating in lots of little “history of the industry” ways.

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100 Years of Hindi Film History in 10 Stars

This is fun, doing these little over view posts!  The lists help me from getting all tangled up in my own thoughts, and let you join the discussion, because everyone has an opinion on what wasn’t included and should have been, and what was included and shouldn’t have been.

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Hindi Film 101: Top-Grossing Indian Films Year By Year

I got lots of cool suggestions yesterday as to what I should cover next, but while I let those percolate (and please, keep suggesting!  Here is the post where I ask for ideas), I am going to do something simple and look at the top grossing film year by year since 1940.  Should be an interesting way to see the industry evolving, both financially and creatively.  You’ll see what I mean when I am complaining about the out of control box office inflation lately.  Plus, gives us all space to talk about something totally different from Jab Harry Met Sejal.

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Hindi Film 101: Nargis Dutt Part 2, The Greatest Love Triangle of All Time (M+M+W Version)

I was going to just leave it at Greatest Love Triangle of all time, but then I remembered Rekha and Jaya and Amitabh, so I am modifying it to be Greatest Love Triangle of All Time Between Two Men and One Women.  (Nargis part 1 here)

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Hindi Film 101: The Kapoors Part II, Raj and Nargis

I am trying a new thing, sort of cliff notes version of Hindi film history.  Not the actual history (“Bombay Talkies studio was founded by Harivanshri Rai and Devika Rani…”), but the gossip history that everyone kind of knows if they’ve grown up with the films or if they’ve been following them for years.  But I know that isn’t true for some of my readers and so, just for you, I am giving you the kind of informal oral history.  Starting with the Kapoor Family (part 1 here).

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Hindi Film 101: A New Series! Starting with the Kapoors, Prithviraj and Shammi and Shashi

I have had so much fun in the past few weeks talking with Ryan C in the comments.  He is new(ish) to Indian film and is asking me all sorts of wonderful questions, and giving me delightfully enthusiastic responses, and it made me think about how maybe I should do more posts sort of aimed at that level.  Ideally, you can get that from My Book (really, read it!  It’s super short and fast and once you are done, you will know everything you need to understand the movies), but now I am thinking maybe I should try something like that on the blog as well?

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Happy Navy Day! Time for Boat Songs!!!

Huh.  There really aren’t that many navy-based movies in India.  At least compared to America.  Although Navy-movies is kind of an odd genre, maybe it’s America that’s the weird one for having so many.  On the other hand, plenty of songs with boats!  Because, similar to songs with cars, it’s a nice way to get the hero and heroine alone.

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Sangam: Why Do I Always Forget that Raj Kapoor Was a Genius?

Do you think Raj Kapoor ever met Orson Welles?  I hope so, for Orson’s sake.  Raj could hang out in India and talk to Guru Dutt and Vijay Anand and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and have people who could actually understand his level of genius.  But Orson was all alone off there in Hollywood.
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New Dilwale Trailer! Shree 420! All is good!

Yaaaaay!  New Dilwale trailer, with a song I actually like!


We have all the classic Shahrukh faces, “I am stunned by your beauty”, “I am delighted by falling in love”, “I am feeling cocky because I know you like me”, and of course “you forgot I was sexy” (my favorite).

Plus, visually (even beyond the wet white shirt), there is all sorts of cool stuff!  Did you catch the Shree 420 reference?  Not only are they together under an umbrella in the rain, they actually turn into black and white as their eyes meet, which is just so cool and beautiful!

Like, as they fall in love again, they enter the magical other world of classic Indian film love stories.  Plus, I love that this is the second time SRKajol has done “Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua”, which is a fairly strong acknowledgement that they are the new Raj Kapoor-Nargis.

The first time was in the homage to the history of Indian film song from Rab Ne Bana di Jodi, “Phir Milenge”.  I saw Rab Ne in theaters, and in that whole cameo filled song, Kajol was the only who got cheers.


Anyway, homages to classic films are very tricky to pull off, you either do them as complete jokes and no one cares, or seriously, and then you get a lot of push back because people find it insulting to the original.  Especially the children and grandchildren of the people who made the original, who may not be thrilled to see their legacy dragged through the mud (Ram Gopal Verma and your Sholay remake, I am looking at you!).  If you recall, the other big Shree 420 homage in recent years was in the “Zoobi Doobi” song from 3 Idiots

But everyone was fine with that, because they actually cast Kareena Kapoor, Raj Kapoor’s granddaughter, in the Nargis part.

But SRKajol have now done Shree 420 twice, and gotten no blowback for it!  So I think it is safe to say that they are the acknowledged spiritual heirs to the Raj and Nargis onscreen pairing.  Even more than Raj and Nargis’ actual heirs.  But hopefully with less offscreen drama.