February 24, 2009

THE CLASSICS:

The Best Bollywood Films: Now that Slumdog Millionaire has won Best Picture, Hindi cinema stands poised to finally make the international crossover. Anu Chopra reveals the five essential classics any burgeoning Bollywood fan should see. (Anu Chopra, February 24, 2009, Daily Beast)

Sholay (Flames, 1975): “There has never been a more defining film on the Indian screen,” director Shekhar Kapur said of Sholay, “Indian film history can be divided into Sholay BC and Sholay AD.” Labeled a "Curry Western," Sholay is the story of two small-time thieves who are hired by a landowner to capture the dreaded dacoit Gabbar Singh, who has massacred the landowner’s family. With its rugged landscapes, rousing action sequences and rough-hewn textures, the film echoes Sergio Leone and Akira Kurosawa. But these borrowed elements are skillfully blended with the required Hindi movie tropes: high emotion, supersize characters, and songs. Sholay ran consecutively for five years in one Mumbai theater. Even today, it is Bollywood’s gold standard.


Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2009 9:03 AM
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