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When Bollywood sees RED!

Last updated on: June 29, 2020 08:59 IST

Red -- the colour of blood, anger and passion -- is striking beyond measure.

Whether the focus is romance or rage, red paints the screen with drama and intensity.

Sometimes to mirror the mind of a character, sometimes to add vigour into the mise-en-scene, few hues can claim to enhance a frame like deadly, dynamic red.

Bollywood's obsession with all things lal -- rang, roomal, gaal, gulaal, honth, dupatta, bangles and blood -- acknowledges its supremacy wholeheartedly.

Sukanya Verma looks at the memorable reds in Hindi movies.



Anvita Dutt's gothic take on folktales and feminism is coloured in surreal hues of red.

TheQueen of colours voices her romance, rage, eeriness, brutality, decadence and shakti in a young bride's tale as it unravels before a society that cannot decide if she is 'daayan' or 'devi'.



Despite its critical and commercial disappointment, Kalank remains a thing of beauty. And red ranks high in its marvellously constructed opulence.


The cinema of Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's extravagant use of red -- be it the climax of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas or Padmaavat -- and his need to portray it as the embodiment of romance (Lal ishq, Mohe rang do laal) and shringar (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Guzaarish) is a signature trait of his grandiose film-making.


Dev D, Gulaal, Manmarziyaan

Anurag Kashyap shares one of his favourite film-makers Martin Scorsese's love for red in Dev D and Gulaal, resulting in a series of skilful, stylish shots.

Let's not forget the rebellious Taapsee Pannu's red-streaked hair in Manmarziyaan.


Mirch Masala

In an unforgettably empowering climax, the women working at a masala factory hurl heaps of crushed, potent red chillies at the tyrannical subedar as they declare their solidarity and strength.



Rajeev Khandewal's red briefcase may be the only pop of colour you see in this cheerless thriller, but its contents spell more danger than he or you can imagine.



Helen's Monica Darling cooing 'Dekho, dekho woh aa gaya' whilst heaving sexily in her sparkling, frilly red costume, one she'll eventually strip off to the beats of Piya Tu, is cabaret at its sultriest.


Chaudhvin Ka Chand

When the re-shot version of Chaudhvin Ka Chand's title song came to the censors, they found Waheeda Rehman's sexy scarlet lips a bit too hot to handle. We can see why.



The blue shirt as the dockyard worker of Deewar or the red tunic as a porter in Coolie, Amitabh Bachchan's most iconic looks are embedded in blue-collar fervour.



Madhuri Dixit looks every bit a dream comforting Om Puri's hopeful cabbie in a flowy red chiffon sari.


Andaz Apna Apna

In this crazy, colourful comedy, the goofy heroes of Andaz Apna Apna are too busy playing football of tumblers to smell the mischief of its rose red Sherbet-E-Jannat.

Major props for the red accents on Crimemaster Gogo's costume though.



Don's all-important red diary, carrying details of all his international contacts in Mafiaverse, is a source of constant frenzy and pursuit in Big B's 1978 classic.


Hera Pheri

All the events -- kidnapping, ransom calls, blackmailing and the quick bucks schemes of Babu Bhaiya, Raju and Shyam -- happen around a red rotary phone in Priyadarshan's zany remake of Ramji Rao Speaking.


Hero, Bandit Queen

Bandana for coolness, bandana for spirit, red is the go-to colour of bandits and bhiduS.


Jaani Dushman

Red triggers bulls. Or the cursed wolfman of Jaani Dushman who only attacks brides in red wedding attire.


Mr India

Red is Mr India'S kryptonite and the key to fight his powers of invisibility. We get to see both its delight and dangers in Shekhar Kapur's ultimate gift to the '80s kid.


Maine Pyar Kiya

Prem and Suman's coy romance takes a sensual turn in Mere rang mein, a development that is aptly highlighted in Salman's brick red outfit and neon lighting.


Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

The sheer redness of Spain's Tomatina festival colours the hysterical revelry of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara'S leading stars.


Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar

Fans of Model School's pyjama-chaaps swear by the red sports jersey over cocky Rajput School's all black attire any day.

Director Mansoor Khan's youthful drama about first loves and embracing responsibility symbolises the lovey-dovey face of red across the Pehla Nasha ditty in Aamir Khan's sweatshirt, Pooja Bedi's flowy dress and Ayesha Jhulka's bandhej skirt.


Kal Ho Naa Ho

'Laal mere dil ka haal hai. Lagta tum pe kamaal hai. Kya Subhash Ghai ki picture Taal hai?'

Red dress, red tie, red roses... Kal Ho Naa Ho builds a bittersweet motif around the three.


Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

That moment when tomboy Kajol discovers Shah Rukh Khan is into Rani Mukerji and leaves school for home. But not before tossing her bright red bandhini dupatta at Rani as a blessing of sorts.



Badan pe sitare lapate hue, raves Shammi Kapoor about Vyjayanthimala and her sparkly red sari in the ultra-catchy song of this 1969 confection.


Ram Lakhan

One can spot ample stunning reds in Subhash Ghai's creations.

Of these Ram Lakhan is particularly significant what with Anil Kapoor's One Two Ka Four shirt, Madhuri's glossy benarasi lehenga and Raakhee's bloodstained reminder of her murdered husband.



A fully drenched Dimple Kapadia raising the mercury in her figure-hugging red chiffon sari and sexy, stringy blouse owes some of its heat to the uber glamorous hue.


Umrao Jaan

We'll be sure to notice the overwhelming red theme of Rekha's courtesan costume once we get past the perfection of her flawless red lipstick.



God bless technology and its gifts for allowing us to witness the splendour of Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya and its gorgeous red touches in colour.



Trust Amrish Puri to sport the baap of all red bindis as part of his fierce serpent sadhu get-up in Nagina.


Om Shanti Om

The spoofy tone of Deepika Padukone's 'Ek chutki sindoor ki keemat' is duly conveyed to Ramesh Babu and us with a red bindi on the forehead and sprinkling of the colour on the maang.



Meena Kumari in Pakeezah's ethereal anarkalis is a sight to behold. Red or green, they're all iconic.


Dil Se..

How can red not make its presence felt in a movie called Dil Se..?



Part of the fun is the creepy creature reveal called Hastar in Tumbbad. They are red, revolting and reckless beings whose appearance is a spoiler so we'll leave you with a hint of an imagery.



Wearing traditional red and white clothing, Sanjay Dutt and Sunny Deol slip into bloody warrior mode duelling over clan rivalry in J P Dutta's hotheaded drama.


Red Hot Ladies

Vyjayanthimala and Dimple Kapadia's swimsuit turns in Raj Kapoor's Sangam and Bobby...

Parveen Babi leaving a babbling Amitabh Bachchan speechless in Amar Akbar Anthony...

Zeenat Aman's slinky Aap jaisa koi jig in Qurbani...

Urmila Matondkar's scorching moves in Rangeela's Hai Rama...

Madhuri Dixit's Choli tales in Khalnayak...

Kareena Kapoor's swinging between desi and western in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Ra.One...

When it come to red-hot divas in Bollywood, the list is endless.