The coronavirus lock-down in India ensures that some of us have the right to work from home, not to move to work. Like several others, I used the extra time to first binge-watch my list.
I instantly felt the urge to shift to old Hindi movies after ticking off much of what I wanted to watch online. I started with Chupke Chupke and then searched for more because it reminded me of the comfortable afternoons on holiday when my grandmother and I sat and watched these films on channels like Zee Cinema and Set Max. These films gave me a peculiar feeling of warmth and security in these bleak days.
So here’s a list of five films from Hindi that you might watch online. I’m sure some like me are there. Most of them are fun, airy watches that take away all the news alerts that are anxiety-inducing all the time.
They come with gender- and class preconceptions of the periods they were created, though they are fun to watch. These movies will give you good humor, gorgeous tracks, and a window into the past if you want to look over it.
Stream it on Netflix
2 hour 6 mins(Comedy, Drama, Family)
The arrival of a spunky family member who opposes laws is a stern matriarch’s regimented household. You may have seen the 2014 edition by Hrishikesh Mukherjee of Sonam Kapoor (a Fawad Khan), but now look at her inspirations. Manju is playing Rekha and, after marrying her sister’s home, visits her (yes, in the current version, Kirron Kher’s name is Manju). While Manju and her family have a lifestyle free of treatment, her sister’s mother-in-law is incredibly strict. Manju struggles to stick to the rules, but even though she loves Indes, played by Rakesh Roshan, she tries to introduce a mini-revolution into the household. Watch the hit Sun Didi and Bawri. Watch out for the hit songs.
Stream it on Amazon Prime Video
2 hour 45 mins(Drama)
A stable family is in troubled times due to a major error by one of the family members. This Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi-starrer depict Indu’s life when she discovers that her husband has a son with a girlfriend. When most females had no agency to leave their relationships, Drawn is a tale about how Indu accepts Rahul, played by Jugal Hansraj. The film features a stunning actor, with Supriya Pathak, Tanuja, and Saeed Jaffrey playing character roles. There is also Urmila Matondkar, a young man who plays the eldest daughter of Indu. If you skipped this at the top of the stage for whatever reason, this was the movie featuring songs from Lakdi Ki Kathi, Do Naina Aur Ek Kahani, and Tujhse Naraz Nahin Zindagi.
- Chupke Chupke(1975):
Stream it on Netflix
2 hour 26 mins(Comedy, Drama, Romance)
A newly married husband plays a handy joke with the blessing of his wife and colleagues in the family of his wife. This film follows Professor Parimal Tripathi (Dharmendra), looking for one of his wife’s brothers-in-law whom she has high respect, based on Upendranath Ganguly’s Bengali novel, Shadobeshi and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. When Sulekha, played by Sharmila Tagore, visits his sister, Parimal also pretends to be the new driver who speaks Chaste Hindi, Pyare Mohan Ilahabadi, troubled by English pronouncements. Simultaneously, Sulekha’s sister and brother-in-law are confused by his proximity to Pyare Mohan while the newly married couple deviously tries to pass the time with another man. The funny film has significant roles as well as Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri.
- Shatranj Ke Khiladi(1977):
Stream it on Hotstar
2 hour 9 mins(Comedy, Drama, History)
Wazed Ali Shah ruled one of India’s few sovereign kingdoms. The Britons had sent General Outram on a covert mission to dominate this prosperous nation to pave the way for annexation. Ali Shah composes poetry and listens to music in his palace while the tension is mounting among intrigues and political maneuvers. The court was without any assistance, as demonstrated by the nobles Mir and Mirza, who spend their days playing constant chess festivals, ignoring the condition of their country and their duties towards their families.
This is the only Hindi film produced by Satyajit Ray based on a story penned by Munshi Premchand. Established in 1856, this film follows two men – who are fascinated with playing chess – played by Sanjeev Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey. They discover new ways to play the game without being interrupted by their families. The British plan to conquer Awadh in the past is also growing with their fascination. The movie stars Shabana Azmi, Amjad Khan, and Tom Alter as well.
- Gol Maal(1979):
Stream it on Netflix
2 hour 24 mins(Comedy, Romance)
A simple man’s falsehood makes his work more complicated as his orthodox employer becomes suspect. Again, Gol Maal is true to his name, and no, nothing like the new Golmaal franchise (actually, just watch all its movies). The film is based on the adage that deception leads to lying. He thinks that when Amol Palekar lies with Bhavani Shankar, an employer played by Utpal Dutt, he is a human being. He thinks it’s okay. However, as he loves Bhavani Shankar’s daughter Urmila, he finds himself in the twirling web of more lies. In the end, Ramprasad must find a way out of the false life that he made. This is a modern comedy.