Bollywood's 10 Most Iconic Love Stories
Modern-day Bollywood seems intent on giving up the romantic drama, choosing more often the more marketable rom-com.
Pankaj Kapur's directorial debut Mausam, however, looks like an old-school romance, making us list the 10 Hindi film romances that left the biggest cultural and cinematic impact, over the years.
Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Shakti Samanta's 1969 classic, a gut-wrenchingly emotional remake of To Each His Own, gave us Rajesh Khanna at his very best. An air force officer, he dies in a plane crash leaving behind a pregnant widow.
She lets a wealthy couple adopt the boy she gives birth to, but remains the child's nanny and watches helplessly as he grows into the spitting image of his father. A deeply dramatic and well-crafted film, this one's hard not to fall for.
Image: Aradhana movie poster
Kapoor and Nargis face numerous trials and tribulations on their way to romantic union, and so spirited are the performances from the leads, and so palpable the chemistry, that the film grips you right from the start.
There's more romance in Barsaat's posters alone than in most Bollywood screenplays.
Image: Barsaat movie poster
Their fathers Pran and Prem Nath predictably object to the relationship and all hell breaks loose, but the kids themselves are absolutely stunning in the parts, injecting freshness and verve into Hindi cinema itself with this delightful little film made by Rishi's dad.
Image: A still from Bobby
The film defined big-screen romance in the 1950s and the film continued to influence our love stories decades after it was made.
Image: A still from Devdas
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
This girl Kajol will soon be married to a man she doesn't know. He shows up and decides, against all Bollywood tradition, that he will not run away with her.
A forward-thinking film that, along with Hum Aapke Hain... Koun?, defanged mainstream movies by removing the villain character.
Image: A Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge movie poster
Kaagaz Ke Phool
She becomes a star after he casts her as Paro in his Devdas, but soon things go awry as his life goes to ruin and he ends up a drunken, inglorious shell of his former self. Heartbreaking, and perfect.
Image: A still from Kaagaz Ke Phool
This 1991 Anil Kapoor-Sridevi starrer was the exception, a progressive and almost scandalous love story featuring Sridevi at her very best and Anil Kapoor with a moustache-free upper lip.
Image: A still from Lamhe
Maine Pyar Kiya
The Sooraj Barjatya film sounds like malarkey on paper but, thanks largely to Salman Khan and the music, has an irrepressibly naive charm that just can't be denied.
Image: A still from Maine Pyar Kiya
The actors conjure up unbelievable chemistry, making the very touch of a feather on Madhubala's gorgeous face into one of Indian cinema's most erotic moments of all time.
Image: A still from Mughal-E-Azam
It is a tale of passion and being driven to infidelity, a story where infidelity itself is more about comfort than cheating, and yet a story where the passion -- between Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha -- palpably scorches up the screen.
A very fine film, especially if you pretend the last 20 minutes never happened.
Image: A still from Silsila