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Main Tenu Fir Milaan Gi

Kithey? Kis Tarah? Pata Nai

Shayad Terey Takhayul Di Chinag Ban Ke

Terey Canvas Tey Utraan Gi

Ya Khowrey Terey Canvas Dey Utey

Ikk Rahasmayi Lakeer Ban Ke

Khamosh Tenu Tak Di Rawaan Gi!

Mai Tenu Fir Milaangi…”

Anurag Kashyap’s latest movie Manmarziyaan released in September and fans are going gaga over it. Abhishek Bachchan fans are happy to see him on the screen after 2 years, Vicky Kaushal fans are going crazy about him playing the hottie from tinder while Taapsee Panu, her performance has left everyone mesmerized.

Manmarziyaan is a twisted love story, a tale of raw urban love. The 3 main protagonists of the movie are Taapsee Pannu as Rumi Bagga- the free-spirited & young hockey player, Vicky Kaushal as Vicky Sandhu aka DJ Sandz- impulsive, passionate & an aspiring musician who is also a part-time DJ and Abhishek Bachchan as Robbie Bhatia- a mature, calm & twisted Banker.

Interesting Fact:

Abhishek Bachchan stated in one of his interviews with NDTV that all the 3 actors were conscious while doing the movie because it is tough to impress millennials. He even stated that this is no classic love story but a love story which today’s generation will understand.

Plot
The Plot
Image Source – Google

The tale revolves around how Rumi and Vicky are passionate about each other yet can not get married to each other. The movie starts with Rumi and Vicky being caught by the Rumi’s family in her room. Vicky is referred to as Neela Kukkad (Blue Hen) due to his unusual hair color by Rumi’s family. Since it is India, they declare that it is Rumi’s age to get married and that they should immediately start finding a guy for her. The feisty and carefree Rumi declares that if she’s going to marry anyone, it will be her tinder boyfriend Vicky. The family waits for proposal from Vicky’s family. Since Vicky is a Man-Child and is commitment phobic, he keeps on delaying the proposal and is shown ignoring Rumi’s call.

She even tries to run away with Vicky before convincing her family only to realize in the middle of the drive that Vicky has got no future plans.

Enters Abhishek Bachchan, Robbie- The Perfect Guy! When Rumi meets Robbie, she is angry at Vicky for not showing up. After failed attempts by Vicky to prove his commitment to Rumi, she decides to marry Robbie.

Throughout the movie, Rumi is confused between the perfect guy Robbie and her Fyaar (not Pyaar but Fyaar) Vicky! There are times where she clearly states that she wants to stay with her husband Robbie and there are times wherein she has an extramarital affair with Vicky.

Similarities Between Characters & Today’s Generation
Similarities Between Characters & Today’s Generation
Image Source – Google
  • The Fiery & Bold Rumi

To all the fearless girls out there! Rumi is just like one of us. She believes in herself and is never willing to compromise her happiness. She is portrayed as a bold millennial who is short tempered and does not take any shit from anyone.

  • A Dreamer & Confused Vicky

Vicky is like anyone among us. He has dreams of becoming successful and is willing to work for them but, he is confused about his career as stated by his parents. Vicky is also commitment phobic to responsibilities. He isn’t scared of staying with Rumi but fears responsibilities! Feel a lot closer to him?

  • Dedicated & Clever Robbie

Robbie is this one person who does everything to achieve the love of his life just to set her free. He stalks her on social media, he manipulates people but, he does this all in good faith. He is dedicated, intelligent & somewhat calm. We all know someone who has a personality like Robbie.

  • Rumi’s Confused Mind

As I mentioned Rumi is confused about her choices. Aren’t we all confused about something or the other constantly?

Good Things About the Movie & The Reasons to Watch

Now there so many reasons you should totally watch this movie. There are so many things in the movie people actually haven’t understood.

Reasons to Watch
Image Source – Google
1) First Love isn’t Everything

The first and major thing about the movie is that how Rumi understands in the end that first love is not necessarily the last. She understands that she can fall in love again and that with love, one needs stability to life. She deserves to be with someone who doesn’t fear to be with her. Millennials often keep hanging onto the wrong person feeling that first love is everything.

2) The Twins!

If you have seen the movie, you must have seen these twin girls dancing on various occasions. With a change in location, the twin girls change to twin boys. Now, some people found it funny and thought it was pretty stupid. There is a deeper meaning to that. The twins depict Rumi’s state of mind. She is confused between 2 men and likes both of them just equal. She loves Vicky whereas Robbie is willing to do anything to keep her happy, hence the twins.

3) Letting Go!

What we learn from the movie is letting go. How Vicky lets Rumi get married because he isn’t sure if he wants to. How Robbie lets Rumi be on her own after discovering she is still in love with her Ex. At last, the most beautiful part of the movie where Rumi learns that she has to let Vicky go. The way she explains it to him is simply beautiful.

4) Not Giving Up

We can learn from the movie not give up easily. The characters had the will to fight for the love they deserved. They did not give up on people or situations without giving it their best shot.

5) Poems & Background Music

Background music is very important for a movie. Manmarziyaan has amazing musical effects throughout the movie. They have used music as much as possible to portray the essence of the scenes. There is a poem by Amrita Pritam-“Main Tenu Phir Milaangi”.

The poem is deep and mesmerizing! Using the poem in the background was one of the best things about the movie.

6) Faith in Love

Most of the people I know around me have given up on love completely. In the age of dating apps and internet love, we have forgotten what it is like to fall in love for real. This movie tells us that we all are worthy and will fall in love with the right person someday. It isn’t a fairy tale but reality! Hope is all that we need, isn’t it?

7) The Music & Lyrics

The music in the movie is breathtakingly beautiful. Every song from Sherni to Daryaa is simply delightful. It is not just the music but the lyrics. It is 2018 and it is no secret that musicians are using lyrics which make no sense. Amit Trivedi & Shelle left no stone unturned to make sure that the music is both, meaningful & melodious.

My personal favorite is Jaisi Teri Marzi. What is yours?

8) Abhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal & Taapsee Pannu Together!

Three really amazing actors together! Their performances were phenomenal. Not only these actors are extremely talented but eye candies as well!

9) Anurag Kashyap’s take on Romance

Anurag Kashyap is not known for making romantic movies. In fact, it is a new territory for him. There is no blood, abusive content or explosions in the movie. Anurag Kashyap is known for movies like Gangs of Wasseypur, Black Friday, & Dev D. There have been mixed views about what we all expected when he touches the genre of romance. It either had to be a disaster or simply flawless. He chose a complex love story and portrayed it flawlessly.

Many people found this movie to be full of flaws but if you look closely, you’ll find meaning to every flaw. There are situations & characters in the movie one may feel connected to. There are songs in the movie which explain the state of our mind on multiple occasions. The movie is definitely worth a watch and especially if you’re a millennial in love.

Director: Amit Sharma
Cast: Ayushmann Khurana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao

Amit Sharma’s drama cum comedy is not only funny but blurts out the social statement without keeping it in the spotlight. It indeed was the highlight of the movie. But there was so much more to it than just an unfamiliar situation. No, the movie isn’t about Ayushmann Khurana walking in on his parent while they’re at it. But a similarly awkward situation. Nakul (Ayushmann) at Manyavar (brand promotion is becoming a thing now) trying out an outfit for his cousin’s shaadi along with Rene (His girlfriend, Sanya Malhotra) when he gets a call that his mother’s sick. Nakul & his father (Gajraj Rao) rushes to the clinic only to find out that Priyamvada(Neena Gupta) is pregnant (major #WTF moment).

The Kaushik’s, a middle-class family living in Delhi’s Lodhi Colony. The movie showcases a typical middle-class family content with their lives and sharing a small space with 5 people. And Oh My Gawd, Dadi(Surekha Sikri) is the most savage dadi you’ll witness in the history of cinema. One has to watch the scene where the secret of this Chhota Mehmaan is revealed to Dadi and she loses it. Well, the movie revolves around how the whole pregnancy situation affects lives. To begin with, it definitely becomes embarrassing for the family but then the entire problem lies here. Why this hypocrisy? Why do we take elderly sex as an embarrassing moment? Two adults married for a long time, indulging in sex after having adult kids, why is it wrong?

‘Badhai Ho’ breaking the stereotype talks about how having sex at that age and getting pregnant *well, of course, accident* is not wrong. The movie has its own moment that’s not humor but sensible. One where Neena Gupta has been given the choice to keep the baby, their love blooming at the 50s, Nakul’s realizing how it’s okay to accept the fact that parents have sex even at an elderly age, emotional relationship between a mother and daughter in law, how the strains of the relationship of Neena Gupta & Gajraj Rao tells on the relationship of Nakul & Rene. All these things in the storyline make it more than just a comedy.

Furthermore, the movie also had some not so teekha but funny tadka to it. Like every other Indian middle-class family would have. Rene’s mother’s dialogue “His family is a circus I don’t want to buy tickets for” surely etched her snob-high society character on the audience, which ends up breaking apart the duo. While the entire family is ashamed of the pregnancy, Soon-to-be-parent-for-the-third-time parents seem to be enjoying the time. It was heartwarming to watch the two of them romancing each other like the good old-gold days. The love you don’t get to see in the new-age cinema. It was all fun and games until this emotional scene where Surekha Sikri (Daadi) blurts out some home truths. She defends her daughter-in-law when in other circumstances she would constantly bicker her.

The film’s first two acts are mundane and the final sequence is effective, strong & honest. The story’s narrated in a completely straightforward manner with situational comedy for the narrative to stay afloat.

Badhai Ho is a welcome change for the hypocritical society that we live in. It keeps up with the context, relatable but not at all common. And oh, had the condom not been stolen by Shardul Rana, they wouldn’t have gotten a sister that dances to the tunes of Morni Banke in the end. One song you just cannot resist but DANCE!

SRK – the name that has been ruling the Indian entertainment industry for the past 26 years now. His charisma is unflinching and his stardom is sky high – reaching newer heights every day. He is one of the most loved movie stars this world has ever seen. In India, before SRK, people have seen the stature of a Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan, but the magnitude of Shah Rukh Khan’s stardom is seen hardly in a century. Nasreen Munni Kabir in his documentary, “The Inner & Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan” described him as the biggest movie star ever. His popularity can even surpass the likes of Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt put together.

In this time of growing stardom of Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, etc. the position of Shahrukh Khan is still secure (Just look at the crowd at Mannat every Sunday or on his birthday!) Because, who has that destiny to hold a record number of nominations – 226 in total, out of which he won 207 times and to be precise won 29 times for the Best Actor. The most prestigious Filmfare Award was won by him 8 times for Best Actor and he was nominated in this category for 25 times.

The Indian cine-goers have applauded Padma Shri Shah Rukh Khan mostly in his romantic avatars because no one can romanticize the idea of romance like SRK does! But personally, he doesn’t like these romantic roles much. It is those action-packed thrillers that give SRK the kick! But he became what he is today for playing those Raj/Rahul’s on-screen who magically opens his arms for the actress. His signature pose is supported by a flawless comic timing & an endearing melodrama!

Before he celebrates rather the whole nation celebrates his 53rd birthday, let’s rewind and find those characters that prove that SRK is more than just the “King of Romance”.

Chak De India
Chak De India
Image Source – Google

Releasing the same year as Om Shanti Om, in 2007, this movie is a milestone in his career for sure. Even the SRK-haters would also agree to this point. A failed hockey player who is hell bent to build the Women’s Hockey Team in India so that his mettle is proved – is a cinephile’s delight! As Kabir Khan, SRK was at his best. What a personality we saw on screen! Kabir Khan’s eyes were always in the search of positivity. His motivational speech to his players or the last scene where he breaks down completely after the win – are two of the best moments of this great movie directed by Shimit Amin.

Dear Zindagi
Dear Zindagi
Image Source – Google

This movie released in 2016 and Gauri Shinde is the 4th woman director who directed SRK. His role was of a psychiatrist which was like an extended cameo presence. Chak De India made him a mentor and this movie made him a therapist. As Dr. Jehangir Khan, he gives some life-altering lessons to Kaira played by Alia Bhatt. This is another Un-SRK movie where he is not given any love interest although the enchanting and mysterious personality of the psychiatrist makes the patient fall in love.

Darr
Darr
Image Source – Google

This movie gave him a strong foothold in Bollywood. K..k…k…..k … Kiran. What a scream was that! Directed by Yash Chopra, this movie released in 1993 and had Sunny Deol as the lead actor of the movie. But guess what! SRK stole all the thunder with his negative role. His eyes were piercing like a hawk! The creepy stalker – he is simply not afraid to kill to get to the love of his life and that amazing performance still give us goosebumps. This is one of his finest performances. In an era where playing a negative role almost killed the dreams of actors, SRK played this role of Rahul Mehra and things changed!

Swadesh
Swadesh
Image Source – Google

A never seen before Shah Rukh Khan was presented in this movie directed by Ashutosh Gowariker that released in the year 2004. This year also saw the timeless romance in Veer-Zaara. But this movie was again a path-breaking one for SRK. He played the role of a NASA Project Manager who comes to India and realizes his duties towards the nation. He completely discarded that “Star” aura with this movie and became one with the character named Mohan. The pain in his eyes seeing kids selling a glass of water for 25 paise is really commendable. He is truly bigger than that “King Of Romance”!

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa
Image Source – Google

Primarily, if you look into the story of this movie, it is a soggy story of any commoner. Someone who doesn’t look good, is not great at studies, not interested in the family business, but desperately loves a girl who doesn’t have any future plans with him! Shah Rukh Khan as Sunil won the hearts of Indian audiences with innocence and flaws. Sunil loves Anna and music but none is giving him anything crucial in life. But he doesn’t lose hope. It was one of the oldest movies of SRK that released in 1994 and the lovely performance won him his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor-Critic.

Asoka
Asoka
Image Source – Google

Directed by Santosh Sivan, Asoka released in 2001 and saw an SRK never seen before. He played Emperor Asoka in the movie who fulfills family duties, falls in love, and then sees the atrocious Kalinga war and chooses the path of peace called Buddhism. Shah Rukh Khan walked the regal way while portraying this historical character. The long hair and intense eyes didn’t make him a Box Office winner but it is one of the finest performances of SRK sans romance!

Baazigar
Baazigar
Image Source – Google

He says that he was able to buy “Mannat” due to this movie. This movie permanently nailed his superstardom in India. He was not totally a hero or an anti-hero in this movie. But yes, he was very much a believable actor. The role of Vicky Malhotra/Ajay Sharma couldn’t have been historic without Shah Rukh Khan. A ruthless person who throws Shilpa Shetty from a tall building is hard-hitting that scares us like hell. But this man is on a mission of taking revenge for his family. He romances the enemy’s daughter and wonderfully enough he portrays both the heartless and lovable characters with ease.

Kal Ho Naa Ho
Kal Ho Naa Ho
Image Source – Google

In one of his interviews, he told that may be his biography or autobiography would be named “Kal Ho Naa Ho” and this is the tune or song that would be played at his funeral. Many say that this movie directed by Nikhil Advani released in 2003 is a modern-day version of Anand. SRK’s sensitive portrayal of Aman Mathur – a dying man who teaches the meaning of life to fellow neighbors is unforgettable. He made us laugh, cry, and fall in love. Although it is a romantic movie we saw other facades of SRK more in this movie.

Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman
Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman
Image Source – Google

Again a common man story! This is a story of any small town boy or girl who is ambitious and wants to work hard to reach success. Raj Mathur, lovingly known as Raju by neighbors is from Darjeeling who comes to Mumbai to become a big engineer. In his new city he finds love and in office, his boss falls in love with him. This story is not only about romance but shows how difficult is it to lose the moral grounds and how far people go in the name of “earning some money”. Money became so important that the life of human beings seems nothing in front of that. SRK – a middle class from within portrays these confusions beautifully.

My Name Is Khan
My Name Is Khan
Image Source – Google

This is perhaps one of the most challenging roles of SRK. He played Rizwan Khan, a survivor of Asperger’s Syndrome. SRK pulls off this character with utmost brilliance and conviction. Directed by Karan Johar this movie released in the year 2010 and dealt with real-world issues without getting too preachy. The performance of Shah Rukh Khan in this unconventional movie proves why he is more than just the “king of romance”.

Why SRK is a big hero in our country? That is perhaps a million dollar question. But probably because every average Indian person sees a part of themselves in him. He never had the charming looks of Rajesh Khanna, the baritone or height of Mr. Bachchan, or the highly built-up body like Salman Khan. He looks very average, with medium height, boisterous hair, & an ok kind of physique – this is the look of real India. A nation still described as poor, inhabited by middle-class people requires some kind of magical success story as an inspiration or hope. SRK is that dream & motivation. He injects the thought that wherever you are in whichever field you are – if you work hard and remain focused – no one can snatch away your success story!

Raising a toast to many more successful years of SRK!

Movies are the biggest source of entertainment in India. Made up of the ingredients of drama, comedy, and acting, they transport your senses to a different world filled with fantasy and imagination. Bollywood, in general, is known for making movies with the huge budget, elaborate cast, and sets larger than life. Of course, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Bajirao Mastani, Padmavat, etc, are a few names to be clicked in your mind. But lately, some low-budget movies with the strong script, impressive characters, and top-notch acting skills have won over people’s heart. So here are 5 budget Bollywood movies that made it big on the silver screen in 2018.

Pad Man
Pad Man
Image Source – Google

Featuring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, and Radhika Apte, the story of Pad Man is based on the real-life inspiring story of Arunachalam Muruganantham. He is a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads. The menstrual cycle is still considered taboo in India. Many women in various parts of the country suffer from several diseases. As a result of using unhygienic, dirty rags during their periods. Which is sometimes due to the lack of knowledge about the importance of hygiene during menstruation. And mainly because they cannot afford pads due to financial issues.

This movie puts light on the efforts of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who is commonly known as Pad Man. And spread awareness about menstrual hygiene in a loud and clear voice. Made with a low-budget of Rs. 20 crores, this movie gained great popularity among the audience and garnered the total box office collection of Rs. 120 crores.

Raazi
Raazi
Image Source – Google

Raazi is based on Harinder Sikka’s 2008 novel, Calling Sehmat. It stars Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal and directed by Meghna Gulzar. It is the true story of an Indian Raw agent who was married into a Pakistani family of military officials. To spy for her country and provide information to India before the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The incredible act of Alia Bhatt won the heart of the audience. The movie emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films featuring a female protagonist. Made with an approximate budget of Rs. 35-40 crores, the movie managed to make the total box office collection of 194 crores.

Stree
Stree
Image Source – Google

Stree is a comedy-horror Bollywood movie that makes people laugh out loud. While keeping them scared enough to bite their nails with curiosity. Starring Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, this movie is based on the real story of a woman’s spirit. She is popularly called “Stree” who attacks men at night when they are alone at that time. And only leaves their clothes behind. A sentence “O Stree Kal Aana” is written at the entrances of the house to protect men from her wrath. The entire budget of the movie including production and marketing cost was around 24 crores. Which successfully garnered 174.5 crores on the big screen.

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
Image Source – Google

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is a Bollywood comedy movie directed by Luv Ranjan. That stars Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh. The perfect amalgamation of Romance & Bromance, this movie is filled with several twists and turns with not even a single dull moment. Filled with several gripping scenes and witty moments, the movie will leave you in splits. You must definitely watch with your best friend. Made within the budget of 30 crores, the film managed to score a total of Rs 148.5 crores on the silver screen. It emerged as one of the commercially successful films of 2018.

Sui Dhaaga
Sui Dhaaga
Image Source- Google

Sui Dhaaga is a social drama Bollywood film of Yash Raj Banner. It stars Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan as a young couple in rural India who start their small-scale clothing business. Without any financial and emotional support from the family. Despite several hardships and struggle, the couple sees positive results in their self-sufficient business. They receive both money and respect from their family and society. The entire movie was made within the budget of 35 crores. And it managed to make the profit of 119.9 crores on the big screen.

You should definitely watch these low-budget Bollywood movies to experience the world-class act and impressive storyline!

Cinema is entertaining because it shows you everything in motion. It is not only the actors you like on the screen that makes a good movie. If you have loved Amitabh Bachchan & Rekha dancing amidst the Tulip gardens in Amsterdam, then Kay Gee deserves a big thanks. If you have loved the Paharganj in Dev.D, then Rajeev Ravi should be thanked. Yes, I am talking about the cinematography in movies which builds up a city in front of you. Every city has a history, culture, and flair and a good cinematographer captures these nuances beautifully. For example, with the mention of Haider or PK, you would remember Kashmir or Delhi because these places were shot that amazingly!

Here is a list of my favorite 7 Bollywood movies where the work of the camera in capturing a city was beyond excellence. These works were so good that just like the lead actors of the movie, the cities also became a character that would never leave your mind.

Kahaani: Would-Be Mother With A Motive In Kolkata
Movie Kahaani
Image Source – Google

Kahaani directed by Sujoy Ghosh would remain one of the dearest thrillers of Bollywood of all time. Every aspect of this flick was extraordinarily beautiful. It is the story of a pregnant woman from London who comes to Kolkata for the first time in search of her missing husband. It is perhaps the best work of Setu, the cinematographer who shot the city wonderfully. The early morning – when the city wakes up & gears up to face the day; the mid-day – when the city is tired and perspiring; evening – when the city starts wrapping up and calling the last passengers; night – when the city is bare & naked – that’s the time when truth runs fast and you have to capture it before it slips.

The pre-puja preparation, the sweet language, the “always ready to help” people, the flawed Hindi, tea in small glasses & earthen pots, Kolkata Kachori, Dharmatala, Mocambo, the nostalgic-narrow lanes of North Kolkata, the posh South Kolkata, opulence of Victoria Memorial – Kolkata was never so true & so captivating before. The special mention has to be the last scene where Maa Durga is immersed & the voiceover of Mr. Bachchan plays at the background – it really gives you goosebumps!

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: A DCH in Spain ….
Movie ZNMD
Image Source – Google

10 years later another Akhtar gifted us another road-trip movie where again 3 friends are going somewhere to find themselves. Carlos Catalan shot this movie and shown Spain just like another character actor – sometimes messy, sometimes clean & clear, sometimes heroic, sometimes villainous, sometimes friendly, and sometimes like a stranger. The large expanse of Spain, its culture, architecture, tradition, food, lifestyle – everything was an intrinsic part of this movie. Spain crafted by Carlos Catalan was the stage on which the rest of the lead characters enacted their part. The last part of the movie where that famous Bull fighting happens still gives goosebumps!

Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani: Friends, Trek, Travel, & Destination Wedding
Movie YJHD
Image Source – Google

This is one of the fanciest movies of Bollywood made in the recent past. The story of 3 friends befriending another one on a trekking trip to Manali (originally shot in Kashmir) & their reunion in a destination wedding in Udaipur was shot by V. Manikandan. From the lofty Himalayas to the royal Udaipur – the movie was a visual treat for sure. Hidamba Temple in Manali, the Oberoi Udaivilas where the wedding takes place, and the Bagore Ki Haveli in Udaipur. These are the prime locations which would leave you with a feeling of visiting these places once.

Rang De Basanti: College Rebels Bringing A Revolution
Movie RDB
Image Source – Google

One of the top cinematographers of Bollywood, Binod Pradhan shot this iconic movie. It is a tale of 6 college friends and how they pledge to take revenge with the corrupt government officials and change the system. This movie was shot in over various places like Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan, & Punjab. Generally, in movies to introduce a city, the iconic monuments are shown. For Delhi, India Gate is shown to introduce the city. That scene where DJ & his friends make a chakkar around the India Gate would remain as one of the best scenes in the history of Bollywood. The dingy and narrow lanes of Old Delhi, the posh South Delhi, cultured India Habitat Center, All India Radio – you can instantly feel the presence of two types of Delhi in this movie. One is still struggling to be modern and the other one is trying to retain its values!

Of course, you would remember the Nahargarh Fort, which oversees the city of Jaipur and also Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara of Amritsar.

Highway: Rich & Well-Behaved Girl Kidnapped Or Freed….
Movie Highway
Image Source – Google

By the time Highway released, we all knew that Imtiyaz Ali is one of the best movie-makers of our generation. And he dwells on the idea of traveling. All through his movies, the characters are running from one place to another and all the locales are beautifully captured. And when one of the best cinematographers of India, Anil Mehta comes on board, things would be different. I believe this movie didn’t give much credit to Anil Mehta. If Imtiyaz Ali was the story writer, Anil Mehta painted this story with his craftsmanship. Veera running on the Rann of Kutch post-midnight and finding nowhere to go – that one shot of the Rann led us to take a dive into the heart of Veera who is all vacuum at that point.

This movie traveled a lot with Delhi, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, & Kashmir. The dangerous hilly terrains were shown by placing the characters atop the bus! An unnamed village of Kashmir where Veera finds her home, snow-capped mountain, the folk singers of Rajasthan singing at a tea stall with Thar as the background – every frame of this movie was brilliant! So, ultimately, these places become a prominent character in this movie which pricks & soothes the other characters.

Raanjhanaa: Love @ The Oldest City Of India
Movie Raanjhanaa
Image Source – Google

Varanasi or Benares, Banaras, or Kashi is the oldest city in India. This city was the most talked about the city since the medieval period. Till today, you could hear the history of the past centuries from the stairs of the ghaats, evening aarti, & the holy Ganga – which is the witness of time! Raanjhanaa was a beautiful love story that starts in Varanasi and ends in Delhi. The narrow lanes, colorful Holi celebration, temples, dialect, Ramnagar Fort, that half immersed Shiva temple – Varanasi was captured in the most flawless manner. Ganga Maiya (as the local people call) & Bholenath (another name of Lord Shiva) – are the two most prominent identification of Varanasi and you would see a deep presence of these two here. With a cut wrist, Kundan plays the damru during evening aarti; out of angst, he drowns Sonam & his scooter in the river. Varanasi looked endearing & Natarajan Subramaniam-Vishal Sinha are to be thanked for that.

Dil Chahta Hai: 17 Years …. & Still The Bible Of All Unplanned Trips
Movie DCH
Image Source – Google

Directed by Farhan Akhtar, it released in July 2001 and 17 summers have passed since then. An entire generation has gulped down this movie with awe! Ask any 90’s born kid and they would walk back the lanes of nostalgia with the mention of Dil Chahta Hai. This list would be incomplete without the mention of DCH. Which is the best shot of this movie? Anyone who has watched this movie would say out loud that the shot of Akash, Sid, & Sameer at the Aguada Fort in Goa. Goa was a popular destination in India but with this movie, the popularity touched its zenith! Many more movies have been shot here after DCH but DCH became like a brand-name for Goa Tourism.

Through the able lenses of Ravi K. Chandran, we have seen Goa like never before. The beautiful lanes, Arabian Sea, & the cool soothing breeze – you would always feel them through this movie. This movie was about the friendship of 3 people and their respective love-lives but for a considerable portion, you would take back Goa as that played as the pre-interval & ending high of the movie.

These were my list of some Bollywood movies where I found a stark presence of the city as good as the actors. You can share your favorites too!

The author bio suggests that I am a cinephile and a foodie. Believe me, these are the two best things ever invented by human civilization. All I need for sustenance is food and entertainment – let there be chaos elsewhere! Now, when these two interests of mine come together, it leaves me in a perplexed state of mind – which one to love more?

What all you remember from a movie? The star actor? Comedians? Story? Dialogues? Clothes or jewelry? But when food becomes a character in a movie – things are really hard to choose. There’s a way of presenting food too in the movies. Sometimes, it is not an intrinsic part of the movie but the way an actor eats creates a craving in you. Remember how Ranveer Singh or Bittu in Band Baaja Baaraat was eating Bread Pakora with Shruti? And his Bread Pakora is so dear to him that he even swears on that! For that matter, the way Saurabh Shukla or Rishi Kapoor eat from their lavish plates in Jolly LLB and Shudh Desi Romance are also memorable!

Bollywood is more than a century old and it has given many memorable flicks which make us laugh and cry both. Here is a list of my favorite 6 Bollywood movies which left me with an endearing culinary experience.

Bawarchi (1972)
Bawarchi
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A bawarchi is the Hindi name for cook or chef. It was a typical Hrishikesh Mukherjee movie with dollops of food in it. In a middle-class family where the brothers and sisters-in-law fight with each other over domestic issues of who spends how much and who works how much, suddenly a Bawarchi comes and changes everything. He is a chef with unique abilities to work non-stop all through the day and night. And his dishes are to die for. He can make cabbage taste like mutton! The united family enjoying their tasty meals is a sight to watch.

Cheeni Kum (2007)
Cheeni Kum
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The best chefs of the world can say all the ingredients used in a dish along with the exact quantity of salt & sugar by smelling that dish once. They can also say for how long the rice has been cooked or for how long the bread has been baked. This movie was exactly like that where Mr. Ghasphoos or Amitabh Bachchan owns the best Indian restaurant in London named Spice 6. Food thus forms a huge part of this movie. He falls in love with the character of Tabu over a debate on Hyderabadi Zafrani Pulao. The film then condenses on normal daal-roti-chawal, brinjal curry, chicken kebabs, to the famous street foods of Delhi. An intense love story gifted by ace director R. Balki, this 2007 movie is still a food lover’s secret love.

Stanley Ka Dabba (2011)
Stanley Ka Dabba
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Stanley Ka Dabba is one of the most heart-warming stories of this decade surely. Released in 2011, this movie garnered massive acclaims from each and every one. It narrated the story of an orphan child who works at a restaurant and gets abused & beaten by the owner of the restaurant, his own uncle. He is popular among his peers & teachers. Mr. Verma, the Hindi teacher of the school enters and the movie forges into something brutal. Mr. Verma is a glutton & phagomaniac who does not bring his own dabba either but lusts after everyone else’s, also stealing food on occasion. We see kadhi pakodas, samosas, bhindi, rajma, cakes, paneer, baingan bharta, etc. – many more to salivate!

You would experience a lust for food through Mr. Verma & to what extent he can go (rebuking or suspending a student for not bringing tiffin) for having food. You would also see how less food and more of love we need to stay happy in life!

English Vinglish (2012)
English Vinglish
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Shashi, the entrepreneur knows to make the best motichoor ke laddoos and snacks for adding happiness to people’s lives. She also knows to make the best Rajma-Chawal & Parathas. She is the epitome of Goddess Lakshmi. The whole movie & its basic plot of “Is English so important?” runs on one side and on the parallel side are the lovely foods and sweets. In a PTM also, she talks about banana chips & murukku. She joins the English Speaking class and there also she becomes popular for her recipes! This feel-good movie would always remain special for the ghee-lathpath motichoor ke laddoos.

The Lunchbox (2013)
The Lunchbox
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Directed by Ritesh Batra, this movie is touted as one of the best love stories of our generation. The love story blooms over dabba or lunchbox that is wrongly delivered. So, every morning you would find the housewife cooking and packing the food while having a chat about food with the lady staying upstairs. The love notes are exchanged through the lunch boxes and with each passing day, there are some new dishes, new stories shared, and a new love! A supporting character is shown chopping veggies on his office files while going back home in Mumbai local. Through Alu Gobhi, Matar Paneer, Daal Fry, Fried Rice, Raita, etc. – Nowhere this movie lost its connection with food!

Ki & Ka (2016)
Ki & Ka
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In a mediocre way, this movie challenged or questioned many things that our society follows. Why cooking is associated with a woman? Why only a man should earn more than the woman to run the family? Why a woman is not given due respect and appreciation when she decorates her house or cooks food? Why the movie turned out to be different was the fact, all these questions were put up by the male lead who believes her housewife mom was no less than an artist. He marries the lady for whom making a cup of coffee is no less than rocket science. From fluffy Spanish omelet to spaghetti, healthy salads to Rajma Chawal, beaten coffee to cheesecakes, chicken tikka to daal fry – you would feel the aroma of food traveling from the screen to your room.

There are many such movies where you would find a nice presence of food through the characters who are either eating them or talking about them. Movies like Ramji Londonwaley, Chef, Duplicate, Dawat-E-Ishq, Hasee To Phasee, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, etc. are some foodgasm in motion for sure. Those who love movies & food both (like me) find a heavenly comfort in these movies. Watch these movies again (in case you have watched it before) and enjoy the lip-smacking experience again!

Classic things can never be wiped away from our memories. Like any other classic and timeless movies, Jab We Met didn’t meet with stupendous Box Office collections. It was definitely a hot film but when compared to the content of other potboilers, the profit of Jab We Met was low. But who wants to know the Box Office of Mughal-e-Azam, Pyasa, or Silsila? There are certain movies which are made ahead of times and their charm crosses the boundaries of time easily. Jab We Met is one of those rare movies which would always make you more confident about yourself, make you enjoy life, urge you to shed your inhibitions, and finally teach you to love yourself to the fullest.

The most interesting fact about this movie is that nobody expected anything from this movie. Imtiaz Ali was a flop director, Kareena & Shahid had a string of historic flops in their career. But this movie made them emerge from the ashes. Till today the fashion and dialogues of this movie are followed with pride.

In October 2018 this movie would celebrate its 11th anniversary. Let’s revise some major life lessons taught by this classic movie and refine our life once again.

  1. Love Yourself Without Conditions
Love Yourself Without Conditions
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No one can fall in love with you if you don’t love yourself. This is the most important tenet of Jab We Met. “Main apni favorite hoon” – Geet says it without any inhibition. She knows she has flaws like others but is simply proud of the way she looks or the way she thinks or the way she behaves. Half of the problems of life would change if you start loving yourself the way Geet loves herself.

  1. Practice What You Preach
Practice What You Preach
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It is definitely easy to preach something to others but practicing what you are preaching is most important. Geet was a happy-go-lucky, cheerful, and optimistic girl in the first half of the movie who teaches Aditya that one should never lose hope in life or face his challenges with bravery rather than escaping. But when life hits a rock bottom, she forgets her own teaching and becomes a pessimist who has no motive in life.

  1. Everything Is Fair In Love
Everything is Fair in Love
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Very simplistically, Geet understands the problems of Aditya’s mom even when she has never met her. A middle-aged lady who has an adult son runs away with her lover leaving only insult for the whole family – this is what Aditya thinks of his mom. But Geet enters his life and utters that age-old priceless logic – everything is fair in love. It really is! Maybe for a temporary time, your friends, relatives, and family members would be angry at you but eventually, they would understand. That’s why you should take every possible step to fulfill your love without fear.

  1. Break-Up is Just a Part of Life
Break-Up is Just a Part of Life
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Geet is madly in love with Anshuman whom she met during her college days. After her return to her home, she learns that her family is fixing her marriage with one of her childhood friends and she runs away from home only to learn that Anshuman is not ready to marry her. He breaks up with her citing she is very childish and crazy. Geet cannot handle this break-up and becomes another version of Aditya. Just like your job, social status, peer group, etc., the break-up is also just a part of your life, and not your whole life. Your whole life, therefore, cannot succumb to self-pity – right? The right one would enter your life just at the right time!

  1. Follow Your Heart …. Always
Follow Your Heart …. Always
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This is from the book of Shah Rukh Khan and his romantic mannerism in Bollywood. Your brain and your heart would always have a tussle but always follow what your heart says for happiness in the long run. Geet thinks that she cannot convince her family easily to marry a non-Sikh man and thus effortlessly plans to run away. Why? Because her heart is convinced that after some time, all will be fine! And she takes up every other step with that ease!

  1. Simply Play Life, Don’t Get Serious
Simply Play Life, Don’t Get Serious
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Here is another lesson from the world of Geet and Aditya – stop taking your life seriously. Be attached to everyone, feel for everything, but also know to free yourself from everything. Because the moment you are serious, you feel pain more intensely. Geet is a family-oriented person who would do anything for her family but she also knows how to get the love of her life and thus doesn’t wait for her family to reprimand her for choosing a non-Sikh man. Instead, plans to elope with plans of returning later. In a line or two, she changes the world of Aditya. She says that “In the future, I don’t want to blame anyone and say that my life got ruined because of you”

  1. Never Let Go Off Your Passion
Never Let Go Off Your Passion
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You may have a passion – everybody has! Never ever give up on that passion. Life may make you do something else but always save your time for that passion because that would keep you happy. Aditya forgot about his singing passion and started leading life like a robot. Geet made this logic clearer to him and he found happiness in his office.

  1. Friendship & Love Is found In The Least Expected Places & Situations
Friendship & Love is found in the Least Expected Places and Situations
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You never know when and where you will meet someone who would become an intrinsic part of your life. Maybe you end up influencing that person or get influenced by him/her in a big way. Geet found Aditya in a train traveling between Mumbai and Delhi. With a spate of horrendous incidents, they explore each other and become friends. Geet ends up inspiring an almost dead (emotionally) Aditya. Geet finds love when her ex-lover is back in her life and is ready to take the relationship further. So, basically, life is full of surprises and friendship & love which forms the major part of life are formed when least expected.

  1. Be Crazy Now To Laugh Later
Be Crazy Now to Laugh Later
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There is some need for craziness in your life. These crazy or weird attitude would give you some shining memories to ponder forever. The tasks that we do in life are mundane and sometimes you simply need to jerk off the monotony. Geet urges Aditya to take a plunge into deep water. She also urges him to burn his ex-girlfriend’s picture and flush it away. All these are creepy to Aditya but he finds a charm in it later.

  1. The family Is Always The Medicine During Crisis
The family is Always the Medicine during Crisis
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The family is the one place where you are always safe. You can be wrong or very wrong, but your family would always accept you. They may punish you for a while or say something harsh but that is only for a moment. They will always love you unconditionally and without any expectation at all. Geet was away from all contacts for 9 months and her family doesn’t ask anything to her, simply accepts her.

  1. Plans Hardly Work Out, So Don’t Fret
Plans Hardly Work out, so Don’t Fret
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Geet had a plan ready for herself after college. She was supposed to elope with Anshuman, the love of her life, and later settle in the hills. But life definitely had some other plans for her. Sit down and count your best memories – how many of these memories were a result of pre-planned actions? I hope you got the answer – always rely on unplanned trips or activities and never fret when plans are dissolved. Because the Almighty always keeps the best plans for you.

After reading this whole blog, you must be feeling like watching this movie again! Go and enjoy it once again and don’t forget to share with us about your favorite life lesson from Jab We Met.

The world of cinema is a wide one and each and every country has a signature of its own. Our India produces the highest number of movies in the world. I am proud of the movies my country produces. There is some highly creative content that is found in our movies but due to low publicity or budget constraints, they don’t reach out to everyone. Maybe we are not technologically advanced in terms of Hollywood or in some ways we are too shy in portrayal but our movies are “no-nonsense” at all. I am saying this with conviction because I believe Bollywood is not the only benchmark to judge Indian Cinema. Over the years, I have come across many soul-stirring movies and some of them are jotted below.

Gangoobai
Gangoobai
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Whenever you see the name of NFDC on a movie poster, you must expect something beautiful! NFDC didn’t shatter its wise audience this time too. Sarita Joshi plays the role of Gangoobai who dares to dream and how long she walks to fulfill that dream forms this excellent movie. Directed by Priya Krishnaswamy, this movie released in 2013 when most of the nation is praising Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani or Chennai Express. Made on a small budget, you would find a beautiful soul in this Hindi-Marathi movie which would leave you with a satiating smile on your face. Gangoobai lives in Matheran of Maharashtra (commendable job by the cinematographer here) and works as a domestic help to some well-off families.

One day she sees a print ad of a pretty saree and simply starts dreaming to buy that saree. But how would she manage to buy a designer boutique saree? She works day and night as a coolie, house help, and even bets on a horse race to earn that money. But the path is not easy! The dream that Gangoobai had in her heart may sound very laid back or childish to some of the privileged people. But what actually is a dream to someone who has no family or belongings at all? This movie would make you ruminate that it is very easy and simple to own people and love them without expecting anything in return. This movie would also teach you that when your dream shatters, something better than that dream arrives – you just need to have a pair of eyes to witness that opportunity.

Mirch
Mirch
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This Bollywood movie released in 2010 and was directed by Vinay Shukla. It is one of those lovable anthology films where the theme is love and betrayal. Women’s sexuality and gender equality is what this film tried to project through the four short stories. It had some stellar actors like Boman Irani, Konkona Sensharma, Ila Arun, Arunoday Singh, Shahana Goswami, Tisca Chopra, Mahie Gill, Raima Sen, Rajpal Yadav, Prem Chopra, Shreyas Talpade, and etc. Unlike other movies in this list, this one is much lighter and commercial. Enjoy this well-knit stories on a relaxing weekend!

Barefoot to Goa
Barefoot to Goa
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This is not only a movie but is a nostalgic ride. It would take you back to those ethics of a joint and nuclear family. Directed by Praveen Morchhale, this Hindi movie released in 2015. It is one of those very rare crowd-funded movies. An old lady in Goa passes her day and night hoping that someday her whole family consisting of a son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren would be united. She writes to them who stays in Mumbai and her daughter-in-law gleefully dumps those letters in the dustbin. The two grandchildren read these letters one day and learn that their grandma is ailing and decides to go barefoot to Goa (although not technically). It would make you yearn to revisit your grandparents, old lanes of your village, and most importantly would make you miss your childhood days when you didn’t fear any trials and tribulations at all!

The Last Lear

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I never was a fan of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan truly. But this is the movie that I watched two times back to back and I was flabbergasted by the aura of Mr. Bachchan. There are very few movies where you don’t actually know who was the master – the director or the screen actor? This movie falls in that category. At some point, the barrier between real and reel vanishes, thanks to the plot. Some hefty Bollywood names were included in this English language movie like Shefali Shah, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal, and Divya Dutt along with notable actors like Jishu Sengupta and Prosenjit Chatterjee. It was released in 2008 and won 2 National Film Awards.

The master director Rituparno Ghosh beautifully presented a Shakespearean theater actor’s struggle to excel in the art of cinema acting. In the hindsight of the main plot where a film director urges a snobby theater actor to be a part of his movie, there is a powerful love story too between Shefali Shah and Mr. Bachchan. If you believe that Black or Piku was Amitabh Bachchan’s career best, you would have to reconsider after watching this movie.

Ship of Theseus
Ship of Theseus
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This offbeat Hindi film was directed by Anand Gandhi and released in 2013 and simply won the hearts of those movie-goers who are looking for something different in terms of plot execution. It had three stories that dealt with the Theseus’ paradox. The Greek philosopher Plutarch inquires whether a ship that has been restored by replacing all its parts remains the same ship – this forms the crux of the film.

The blind photographer who is marvelous at her job struggles to click a single iconic picture after her cornea transplant. A Jain monk who fought all his life to ban animal testing in the pharmaceutical industry is diagnosed with Cirrhosis and the only way out is to depend on those medicines made by the pharmaceuticals who tests on animals. A young stockbroker just got his kidney transplanted and learns about organ theft. What follows thereafter is life-changing! All these three plots would leave you with some uncomfortable questions about life!

Antaheen
Antaheen
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This is one of the perfect movies that I have ever watched. The smart direction and smarter editing make this movie a must on your list. It released in the year 2009 and was the debut movie of Radhika Apte and second movie of Pink-fame director Aniruddha Roychowdhury. It went on to win 4 prestigious National Film Awards. Shantanu Moitra composed the soul-wrenching music for free. Rahul Bose and Sharmila Tagore worked in this Bengali movie for free. Can you imagine such an impactful movie with SRK or Bhaijaan who would charge millions? No…Never! Someone correctly said that the best things in life are free.

This is a movie which would leave a hope and despair both in your heart. This is a movie that would ache your heart but still, you would want to return to it again and again. It is perhaps like the wise Chivas or Champagne which you would relish forever!

The story surges through three types of love in three generations. Sharmila Tagore’s character fell in love with an unknown voice when Telephone was new to our world. She never asked his name and still, there was an unsaid comfort in that relationship. But one day suddenly that call stopped ringing. There is no expectation or anger in this love! The estranged couple Aparna Sen and Kalyan Ray still find solace in each other who separated due to growing ego. Rahul Bose and Radhika Apte know each other virtually through a chatting app. They also know each other socially but are unaware that they are meeting the same virtual person with whom they share a strange cord of love, understanding, romance, and happiness. Watch this movie and see how unconditionally magical love can be!

Memories In March
Memories In March
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Directed by the very-talented Sanjoy Nag, this English language movie released in 2011. IMDB rates it 7.2/10 but I would personally want to mark it 9.5/10. Yes, it is that great a film. It won one National Film Award and was shown at the Pusan International Film Festival. This is a riveting story of a mother who comes to terms with her bereaved son’s hidden life. The characterization of the son is done with excellence. The character is introduced only through some letters and e-mails and you won’t feel the need of seeing the face – such is the impact of the script!

Siddharth works in an ad agency which wins an award and thus a party follows where he gets drunk too much. He meets with a fatal accident and his mom comes straight to the crematorium and later stays in the guest house where her son lived. She comes to know that her son was a homosexual and firstly she fumes at her son’s partner but later accepts him. They sob together for the loss of their most precious person in life and this intense subject is handled carefully by the director. You must not miss this brilliant movie if you are a lover of good cinema.

Ventilator
Ventilator
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Produced by Priyanka Chopra, this Marathi movie released in the year 2016 and went on to win 1 prominent Dadasaheb Phalke award and 3 National Film Awards. With an immaculate impact, this movie obliges the anger, envy, humor, hatred, sorrow, regret and uncountable human emotions. The story is about the palpable relationship between a father and a son. How family binds you together in moments of dismay is the basic message of this film. A father never leaves his child alone when he/she is young. But when the child grows up and gets entangled in other priorities of life, the father is neglected. You would smile with tears in your eyes while witnessing this movie!

Sairaat
Sairaat
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This is the first ever Marathi movie to cross the profit mark of Rs. 100 Crores. Released in the year 2016, this movie was a surprise for everyone from masses to classes, from movie maniacs to film critics. It was directed by Nagraj Manjule and he made sure that you won’t feel the need for a break (read intermission) for a good 1 and a half hours of the movie.

It is a simple love story where the boy is poor and the girl is rich. Cupid strikes and romance brews between them but in a small village of Maharashtra you simply cannot get away with just love – right? The age-old tale of power and financial status would overdrive love. The couple elopes and finds a place in Hyderabad where they learn other basics of life apart from love. Earning money and getting a roof becomes the motto of this couple who doesn’t give up. But years later when they have a child and have a proper home, revenge strikes back! The climax of the movie would leave you shattered and teary-eyed. Enjoy this classic love story!

Mugulu Nage
Mugulu Nage
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IMDB rates it 7.9/10. Released in the year 2017, this Kannada movie was directed by Yogaraj Bhat and dealt with an interesting subject. The story revolves around a guy who has some medical complication and cannot cry. So, what can make him cry and understand how does it feel to cry? Of course LOVE! The director brilliantly divides the movie into four parts to make us understand the basic human emotion which is love. One of the best things about this movie is that the leading ladies are given something meaningful. Rather than just being a commercial object like in most of the movies. You would enjoy a great time watching this movie and learn something new about crying and laughing!

These soul-stirring movies would definitely make your richer and thus don’t delay in experiencing a whole new face of Indian Cinema!

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