Indian publishing is infested by a large no. of venal movie critics. Each one revelling in his/her own idiosyncracies and often bribed or goaded to shower encomiums. While the likes of Amitabh Maitra are rare and too academic to appreciate any thing less than Kurosawa, I believe there are other 5 movies which are decimate the boundaries of Art/Entertainment/ Quality work. They are a good kaleidoscope to get delighted with Quality work in Film making.
5. Agnipath /Parinda: The vengeance, attitude, the look and dialogs are awesome . Amitabh ,by far looked most amazing as a Don in one and Nana Patekar is awe inspiring in another. The action scenes and camera work are amazing in both.The Villainy of Danny is chillling in one while characterizationof Jackie in other is peerless. I will put this movie in league of Mississipi burning , Godfather. Bandit Queen too makes the mark in this categoryThe stories are original
4. Sholay : This classic is everfresh. The comedy of Dharam, Hema, Leela mishra, Jagdeep, Ashrani has never been matched in any other movie. The fear which Gabbar evoked in minds of audience is unparalleled. The subtle romance of Amitabh, Cabaret by Helen, Gun battles in various scenes, the dialogs, the hand crushing scene by Sanjeev Kumar , songs, camaraderie create benchmarks. I wonder, it this kind of magic will ever be recreated. Sholay if seen with unprejudiced eyes can leave Good, the Bad and ugly miles behind.The story is original
3. Roja : The music transforms you to a different platform. The vulnerability of Madhu, natural expressions of Arvind Swamy, the photography, the poetry , ” Bharat humko Jaan se pyaara hai ” . The way movie moves from a village in Tamilnadu to Kashmir crafts a beautiful story .It captures the myriad hues of India. Pankaj Kapur looks menancing as Kashmiri militant. The ending scene is mind blowing. Shawshank Redemption( Rated to have best movie ending ever) will stir you to the hilt but Roja shakes you a little more The story and drama is fresh and original.
2. Munnabhai MBBS : Raj kumar herani scaled this peak and there after, the journey has been downhill. Sanju baba has been immortalized after doing this role. The sense of comedy, innocent questions, wit and humor are unprecedented. Bomman Irani displayed aura hitherto seen only in Amjad. His best role till date. There after he has probably never come this close to perfection. Great direction, screen play and probably the best ever performance by Arshad. Supposedly a rip off from Gangsta MD, the movie gets you on the floor laughing. John Travolta in Look who’s talking pales in comparison to this. I would put Rangeela as a close contender.The story appears original ( I am yet to see Gangsta MD)
1. Slumdog Millionaire & Gandhi : Both these movies made by Britishers to portray India/ Indians have been global success. The casting in both are as good as they can ever be. Ben Kingsley brought Gandhi alive on screen, no body else will ever be able to recreate this resemblance. Om puri as a rioteer, Roshan Seth as Nehru , Rohini as Kasturba shook the world . Slum dog exploited the terrific story from novel Q&As to extremes. The hope and survival thrown in with humor and wit are par excellence. This is what creates a masterpiece . Probably these 2 are landmarks in world cinema everone can be proud of. The stories are absolutely fantastic
The work, then left for producers and financers is to challenge all directors to ask if their proposed work match or exceed the standards set by movies mentioned above. The critics may do better to bench mark new movies aganist these. The audiences need to summarily reject mindless love triangles or remakes vomited by Johars, Chopras, Red Chilies etc . In a good movie and a commercial success, the biggest factor is story.
Lest we do this, these buggers will keep remaking stupid Dev Dasses, Dons , Kamineys, Anand ( Kal ho na ho) and keep insulting our intelligences while laughing their way to banks. They consider story as something which can be recycled, borrowed, stolen or fixed during movie making ( Chandni Chowk to China, Kaminey etc) . A clear rejection of their dirty motives will get Indian cinema the respect and money it deserves.
PS: Am gladly surprised to see that the following disgustingly sissy people are not even remotely related to these great works : Shahrukh, Govinda, Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra, Karan Johar.
Contrarily, consider the kind of respect you have when you hear AR Rahman, ManiRatnam, Salim Javed, Amitabh ( Yesteryears- Not Stupid Sexy Sam or Jhoom Barabar), Nana Patekar ( Ankush, Prahaar not meterdown)or Aamir Khan