Monday, February 5, 2007

The List - I

    Most of my close friends have been a little baffled at my fairly insignificant skill of recounting lines and scenes from my favorite movies with ease. Some of them think it comes effortlessly to me. I don’t quite intend to shatter that perception but the truth is that if I like a particular scene or a dialogue in a movie, I end up watching it again and again until I know I can recollect it on my own. It’s like a scaling a summit. The journey is immensely exciting and the accomplishment endearing.

    However I realized that over the years, while I kept scaling those summits, because I didn’t keep a record of those scenes and dialogues, sadly most of those impressions have eroded from my mind. And hence, here is an effort to list some of the best scenes from Hindi movies that I grew up to and continue to be charmed with.

    Now like in any field, the task of selection is inevitably an onerous task. Not because you don’t know which ones to select but because you have trouble eliminating options. Nevertheless, after 3 hours of thinking, this is what I could come up with.

    1. Ashok Kumar wanting to light his cigarette in Jewel Thief in the flight: A charming thief brought to book finally after three hours of gripping screenplay. The Jewel Thief was defeated but alarmingly undeterred. I remember watching and still thinking if there was any way there could be another twist in the tale even now.

    2. Amol Palekar’s moustache coming off in Golmaal: Ramprasad is eating a wholesome lunch at Utpal Dutt’s place when his moustache starts giving way. The rest is history. How Shubha Khote managed to pound Utpal Dutt with a club in his own backyard while both of them were looking for Ramprasad cracks me up even now!

    3.Satish Shah in a coffin with a drunk Om Puri on the road in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron: I would be betraying the trust of the numerous worshippers of this movie if I even attempted to describe it further…

    4. Anupam Kher with a friend coaxing him to drink in Daddy: A loser to the world and a daddy to his girl is about to give a final performance on stage. He’s tempted by a jerk to get back to drinking; something his daughter has painstakingly managed to take him away from. One of Anupam Kher’s best performances after Saaransh.

    5.Vijay Deenanath Chauhan: How else could I do justice to this? A TV programme once suggested that when the first prints came out, the distributors thought that there was something wrong with the sound of those prints because of Amitabh Bachchan’s gruff dialogue delivery style.

    6.Sanjay Dutt in Naam being told by Paresh Rawal overlooking a busy street in Dubai that underworld is a one-way street: Similar scenes with exact lines have been enacted in numerous movies but none have been as subdued yet menacing.

    7. Jackie Shroff in his desperate last scene in Gardish: I saw this movie on cable first and I thought this would be another of those cable-fit movies that you want to devote time to only because you have nothing else to do. All throughout the movie, the father son equation was a stirring tale of emotion. This was a remake of a Malayalam movie called 'Kireedam'. ( Thanks to Tushar, else all of you would have been led to believe, by me, that it was 'Spadikam' ). While the latter happens to be one of my favorite movies, I must say the Hindi version didn’t disappoint one bit.

    8. Kamal Hasan in the song Dauda dauda bhaaga in Chachi 420: To add to the glee, the ensemble of Om Puri , Paresh Rawal and Amrish Puri was nothing short of a casting coup. Add to that the return of Johnny Walker and you had to have an eminently enjoyable joyride.

    9.The song Tu Bin Bataaye in Rang De Basanti: Beautifully shot, beautifully scripted and beautifully sung. The shot where Aamir and his gang throw leaves over Madhavan and Soha Ali Khan is simply the most endearingly mischievous scene ever!

    10.Snow falling over Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee in Black: Right after the teacher tells his protégé, that she’s failed her papers, there’s a moment of silence. The stage is set for one of them to cry and instead the falling snow makes sure that they dance like two kids who just got news they could go home earlier than usual. Absolutely unadulterated!

    11.Amitabh Bachchan waving his hand after being released from jail in Sarkar. Sarkar had just got bail and comes back to his mansion after a failed attempt on his life in jail. The foreground in the scene is a wave of his left hand protruding out of an SUV. The background, a huge group of his supporters cheering him on. Together, they signal a comeback. Everyone in the hall knew Sarkar would be released from jail but how was the question.

    12. Abhishek Bachchan screaming and instructing his accountant in Guru: “Contractor ka naam gaali ban jaana chahiye. Gaali…” For sheer intensity. A typical scene that Al Pacino would have delivered with consummate ease. We don’t have an equal for the latter yet in Bollywood but at least we’re close to getting another angry young man after ages.


    13. Johnny Walker breaking down in Anand: The one scene that has to be my most favorite scene of all time in Hindi cinema. An actor who lived his life making others laugh in all his movies made the audience cry in possibly the only movie he shed tears on screen for.

    Like with any list, there must’ve been more scenes that I couldn’t recall while penning ( keyboarding?) this article. Readers of this post, few and far and as disappointed or delighted they maybe are welcome to suggest more scenes. If I think any of the scenes, is worthy of an inclusion, I’ll add it to the post!
    As Calvin once said, “Big incentive!”: -P

    P.S.: Tried keeping it down to 10. Couldn't succeed. Diffcult to eliminate! :-)

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The List - I


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