There is a good reason why kids have summer vacations in Delhi – the reason is “Summers”. That season where the air as hot as an Aam Aadmi party internal discussion, and as dry as a Narendra Modi appeal to the opposition to let the parliament run. The only place to stay for the kids during the day in indoors – an idea that send shudders down the calmest of mothers. I was, hence, thinking of what my sons could do during the day time. I realized that a good way would be to show them some movies I loved and grew up on.
Here is the list I came up with.
At Number 10 is Mr India – the 1987 Shekhar Kapur movie. My kids have to watch this mainly for one reason – that they understand the context when someone says “Mogambo. khush hua!” The excitement of becoming invisible , the scene with Hanuman ji flying all over the place and beating the bad guys. With so many kids in the movie, the kids should love every bit of it.
Every Indian kid must know about the style who was called Dev Anand, and the master storyteller who was called Vijay Anand. Although, Guide would be the best movie the two made together, but I am sure it is a little too complex for little kids. That one is reserved for their teenage. Coming back to Johnny Mera Naam (Nahee Hai !) it is a fast paced, song infused, action packed movie. Unlike The Jewel Thief, there are very few slow moments in the movie – and Dev Anand is on top of his game. Perfect movie to fall in love with Dev Anand, and to also get introduced to the phenomenon known as Pran.
Every Millennial kid deserves to know about the magnum opus multiple storyline converging into one at the climax era of the 70s. Deewar would be too heavy, Naseeb would be a little boring, but Amar Akbar Anthony is a must see to understand what 70s was all about. Anthony-Bhai is the avatar of Amitabh Bachhan that every Indian kid should know about. And they need to laugh at how over melodramatic a movie can be. Make them watch all the Nirupa Rai scenes and if they complain – assert your position as a parent.
Do you want to know whether your kids would create their own intelligent puns when they grow up ? Do you want to know whether they would understand verbal humour as opposed to the slapstick bhelpuri being served today ? Show them Chupke Chupke – and observe them. The classic comedy , with Amitabh playing a second fiddle to Om Prakash and Dharmendra , this film is perfect to introduce the pure class called Hrishikesh Mukherjee to your kids. Teenagers ? Show them Anand – and they will love Hrishikesh Mukherjee forever.
Amitabh, Rajnikant, Govinda in a single movie ? Comedy, Action, Revenge ? Jumma Chumma De De ? All boxes ticked for Hum to show the kids what was considered class out of crass in the 80s. Well not exactly – the movie came out in ’91 , but it was a true representative of the cinemas of the 80s -and one of the best of that lot.
At number 5 we have 100 Days to scare the sh** out of the kids. We need to show that Bollywood too makes some really scary movies – even if the main protagonist is the beautiful, lovely, elegant Madhuri Dixit. Someone they know as a TV reality show judge – it would be a good point to show them all the songs of this movie and her dances. And for safety sake, better play this one during the day time.
The only black and white movie in this list, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, is the comedy woven around love amongst the three brothers, respect for elder brother, love for younger one. Brothers who never fight – all the subliminal messages for my boys (wink wink) along with all the entertainment they need. Exposure to black and white cinema (no pun intended) would also be good and knowing that there was a lady whose name was Madhubala – and she is still the most beautiful lady of Indian Cinema would be an added benefit. Hence this Kishore Kumar classic makes it to #4 on my list.
Why Namak Halal ? Because English is very funny language. Bhairon becomes baron, because their minds are very narrow. And of course, for the scene with the fly. And, every other scene including the climax – the entire movie is a fun ride. With Amitabh Bacchhan as the not so secret sauce, all songs and dialogues were written for him. In fact the complete movie was made for him by Prakash Mehra, so the kids should love every bit of this movie. And of course, do not hesitate to “educate” them about Smita Patil and Prakash Mehra.
Any well meaning parent will show their kids Jo Jeeta Wohee Sikandar. The movie about teenage love, friendship and family interwoven with sports and the cycle race in the climax is sure going to keep the young ones on the edge of their seats. When I was young, the message I took away was – it does not matter how many mistakes you make, one well deserved victory would make you the Sikandar. Nice message, right ? especially in this highly competitive times ? Keep your kids away from stress.
Speaking about keeping away from stress, the first position is taken by Andaz Apna Apna. There is no way your kids would not roll on the floor with laughter at some scenes in the movie ! Specially all the scenes where Robert and Bhalla implement their “plans” , the confusion about who is Teja. But the show stealer for the kids would be Crime Master Gogo – don’t be surprised if they ask you play this one again and again !
That was the top ten – but there were a lot of other movies I wanted to include here – but didn’t. For example – Jaane Bhi Do Yaro might be too early for my boys, but should be in every teenager’s list. Also, Mere Mehboob – for the now lost concept soft subtle love must be included in every cinema diet. I could go on and on with the inclusion of Waqt, Karavan, Teesri Manzil, Golmal, Padosan and even Tiranga – but they are not in my top ten. Any other movie I missed ?