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This Valentine’s Day Subhash K Jha Picks The 10 Most Romantic Hindi Films Of All Times

1.     Amar Prem(1971): The underrated  director Shakti Samanta created  two timeless odes to love Aradhana and Amar Prem both featuring the charismatic couple Rajesh Khannaand Sharmila tagore. My Valentinian pick is Amar Prem . There is  not even an embrace  between the lead pair. He, a married man seeking comfort in his loneliness.She, a prostitute mothering him, nurturing his heart as though he were her child. Never seen love so sublime in  any film.Never felt  more happy to know love lives.

2.     Bobby(1973):  Every generation has its favourite  love story. I pity those who think Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Dilwale  Dulhaniya Le Jaynege are the acme of amour. Excuse me, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia in Raj Kapoor’s  rugged, sexy muscular and melodious adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet were every bit the antidote to cynicism that was creeping up on us from Amitabh Bachchan’s ireful domain as the 1970s gathered  momentum and lost the  feeling of romance that Rajesh Khanna’s cinema created.There were scenes here in Bobby where Raj Saab borrowed moments from his own relationship with Nargis.Awara hue.

3.     Pakeezah(1972): Call me  a diehard nostalgist  or an incorrigible romanticist. But to me no one does the pangs of separation better than Kamal Amrohi. Casting his wife The sublimely tragic Meena  Kumari  as the lovelorn poetess tawaif Sahib Jaan who accidentlymeets  the love of her life on a train gave Amrohi occasion to unleash a torrent of melodies steeped in poetry. The ethos of aristocracy barely concealed an unabashed celebration of love across the class barrier.Yes, this is the film that will one day revive the era of romance  in the cynics who believe love is about hormones.

4.     Hum….Dil De Chuke Sanam(1999): The eternal dilemma faced by a beauteous  woman who has to chose between reckless passion and stability,  here represented by Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. Aishwarya Rai in her most beautiful avatar, finally picks stability . But her scenes with Salman are among the most endearing manifestations  of  romance ever seen in Hindi cinema.

5.     Kabhi Kabhie(1975): Yash Chopra was a diehard romanticist. To pick one from his odes to romance is to select one rose from  a beautiful bouquet. But yes Kabhi Kabhie had incredible chemistry between Amitabh Bachchan and Raakhee Gulzar who  never looked more beautiful. I’ve never seen Mr B share the same intensity of emotions with any actress, certainly not Rekha in the utterly artificial Silsila  where every romantic line  is mumbled for effect.Could Sahir Ludhianvi’s poetry and Khayyam’s music have something to do with undying ardour of Kabhi Kabhie? I don’t know . After numerous viewings I am still trying to figure out.

6.     Sadma(1983): Kamal Haasan and Sridevi sharing what outwardly seems  like  a borderline paedophiliac relationship. But then you look at the soul of  tenderness that  pours  out of the man into the object of his affection and  you know  this chemistry is unparalleled  in the history of celluloid romance.He is the father-figure. She  is  child-woman. When he combs her hair, and sings  a lullaby for her you know in that vivid glorious  rush of intensity what true love means. 

7.     Mughal-e-Azam(1960): That one sequence where Dilip Kumar’s Prince Salim makes love to Madhubala’s Anarkali caressing her face with a feather as  Hindustani classical vocalist Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sings Prem jogan…This ranks as  one  of Indian cinema’s highest peaks of romanticism.It helped that Madhubala was desperately in love with Dilip Kumar, though by the time the  film was completed  he had deserted her. Hence when Lata Mangeshkar’s imperishable vocals pierce the air with Mohabbat ki jhoothikahani pe roye , it’s not a broken heart we are looking at. It’s a lament to love for all ages, for all seasons.

8.     Prem Patra(1962):  A gorgeous Sadhana wooing a  blind Shashi Kapoor,his eyelashes brushing against her lips. The chemistry was so palpable  it makes our hearts beat with pulsating precocity even today. Catch this  Bimal Roy’s most romantic film ever for  the lead pair’s urbane charm that lights up every frame of this black and white masterpiece shot by Dilip Gupta who also shot Roy’s other romantic gem Madhumati. And  yes the composer-singer duo of Salil Chowdhary-Lata Mangeshkar eked out the most exquisite  songs of love and hearbreak obtainable to mankind.

9.     Ankhiyon Ke Jharonkhon Se(1978): A tender charming adaptation of Erich Segal’s Love Story with Sachin and Ranjeeta playing out the Prince and the Showgirl theme with heartbreaking sincerity. Elegantly directed by  the neglected Lekh Tandon and with a pleasing score by Ravindra Jain this romance stays with you long after its tragic finale.

10.  Tere Mere Sapne(1971):  Okay, most would opt for Vijay Anand’s Guide.  But let’s get romantically reckless this time and opt for the neglected Vijay Anand gem where Dev Anand starred as a doctor who turns corrupt right in front of his starry-eyed wife Mumtaz’es misted eyes . She who thought she had married an idealist. As  her idyllic world comes crashing down we can almost  hear the sound of her  breaking heart.Pyar teradoona ram jaane phir bhi kyon hai jeevan soona soona. Finally romance is  felt most tangibly when it  is  gone.

S

Subhash Jhato SKJ, me
1 hour agoDetails

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