Taking Flight…


Here is our collection of movies (with reviews) that we have enjoyed watching (not necessarily together).  The reviews have been divided into 4 different categories – English, Hindi, Marathi and Foreign-language.

We hope you will find this list useful when deciding on which movie to watch on a Friday night or a lazy Sunday afternoon.  We will continually update this list as we track more movies that we have enjoyed watching.  Note that new movies will appear in red.

Don’t see your favourite movie in our list?  We would love to hear about it (and watch it!) – please use the comment form below to let us know.

English Movies | Hindi Movies | Marathi Movies | Foreign-Language Movies | Leave a Comment

English Movies

21 (2008)

This movie will make you wish that you too could cheat/out-smart the big bad casinos of Las Vegas!  Based on a true story, it’s amazing how a few mathematics geniuses figure out a way to beat the odds by using a small computer, which they build.  Who knew it was actually possible to predict where a ball is likely to land on a spinning roulette wheel based on a few parameters.  Simply genius -but don’t get too greedy, or else that will be your downfall.

Avatar (2009)

There aren’t many movies that can live up to the hype, but this is one of them.  The movie is a seamless blend of… reality and fantasy… mythology and technology… science and magic.  The characters are well-developed, the world is vivid and rich with imagination, and the plot is unique with a fairytale ending – I wouldn’t have liked it any other way.

James Cameron seems to have been inspired by Hindu mythology, Ramayana, which is unparalleled for its story-telling and character development.  The people in the ‘Avatar’ world all have features similar to Hanuman from Ramayana – the tail, jumping ability, strength and overall physical attributes.  Also, the large flying birds in the movie are similar to a vulture named Jatayu from Ramayana.  Have a look at my review of the book Ramayana (English version).  The word ‘Avatar’ itself is of Indian origin.

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, then what are you waiting for?  This movie is the reason why movie theaters were invented!

Being Cyrus (2005)

Interestingly, this is actually a Bollywood movie that is entirely in English.  Anyhow, it’s a well made thriller movie without any loop holes.  Watch it on a Friday night.  This is a good movie for non-Hindi speakers who want to watch Indian films but don’t know which one to start with (skip Slumdog Millionaire), and don’t like all the songs and dancing (this one has none of that).

Beyond Rangoon (1995)

This is a film on an American lady who gets caught up in Burma’s political turmoil in the late 1980s.  This movie plain and simply inspired me to visit Burma as it quite nicely captures the natural beauty of this country and it’s simple people (except the government).  It was only later that I learned that parts of the movie were actually filmed elsewhere.

Black Hawk Down (2001)

I watched this one because it was based on a true story and for its Africa setting.  I found it hard to sympathize with the Americans (supposedly “heroes” in the film) who get involved in something that’s not their business and kill thousands of Somalis in the process to save themselves.

Body of Lies (2008)

This movie is on Middle East and Islamic terrorism.  After Blood Diamond, I’ve started to like Leonardo DiCaprio who plays an American spy in Jordon.  Other than the one scene that is quite Hollywood-esque, the rest of the movie is very realistic and interesting.

Bound (1996)

Gripping… suspenseful… tense… edge-of-your-seat thriller – are some words that come to mind when describing this movie.  It’s about how a female ex-con tries to steal two million dollars from the mafia with the help of her new lesbian lover who is married to one of the gangsters.  The only problem is – you cannot steal from the mafia and get away with it.  Also, in order to pull off their scheme, they need to trust each other completely – can they?  Good watch.

Bucket List, The (2007)

This is a movie with a message: life’s too short; don’t wait too long to do what you really want to do in life, lest its too late…

Casualties of War (1989)

This movie is based on events that happened during the Vietnam War (or the ‘American War’ as it is known in Vietnam).  It’s a story of how American soldiers kidnapped a young Vietnamese girl and gang-rape her during a long “mission”.  Only one man dares to fight (Michael J. Fox) and give justice to the victim.  But does one man stand a chance against the “system” (the U.S. military), which often covers up its dirty deeds?  Watch and find out.  The saying ‘all is fair in love and war’ didn’t come from nothing.

Chronicles of Narnia, The – The lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

This is a children’s fantasy movie that even adults can enjoy watching.

Collateral (2004)

This is an engaging movie on a contract killer (Tom Cruise) who is “on assignment”.  I don’t want to give anything away of this fantastic film – it definitely makes my Top 10.

Death Sentence (2007)

The film is a good example of how one seemingly minor event can change your entire life.  This is not the best movie for a family audience given how much gang violence is shown.  However, it’s a good movie to watch (for guys) when alone.  There’s no typical Hollywood ending here.

Die Hard (1988)

This is a classic Bruce Willis action movie – can’t go wrong with this one.

Die Hard 2 (1990)

See above.

Flawless (2007)

In the mood for a heist movie without the accompanying gore and violence?  This movie shows how an old man steals millions of dollars worth of diamonds from an ultra-secure storage facility without any weapons.  Seems impossible.  Good watch.

Gods Must Be Crazy, The (1980)

I first read the title of this movie on a friend’s “favourite movies” list on his social networking profile.  After subsequently watching it, I thought it was a very funny and original movie about the events that occur after a coke bottle is dropped from a small plane flying over the Kalahari Desert in Africa.  The bottle is found by some primitive tribal people who have had no contact with “civilized” man.  The tribal people believe it was an act of God.  Did I say it was very funny and original?

Gorillas in the Mist (1988)

This is an interesting semi-biographical movie on the life of Dian Fossey who dedicated her life for the conservation of mountain gorillas in Rwanda.  If there are still gorillas in Rwanda, it’s due to her conservation efforts.  Today, the government of Rwanda charges US$500/person to wild-life enthusiasts who wish to spend an hour with the endangered gorillas.  It’s a long, but good and informative movie to watch.  I also liked it for it raw Africa setting.

Harrison’s Flowers (2000)

War is a terrible and useless thing and this movie drives home the point.  The battle of Vukovar shown at the end is far too realistic and gruesome to watch.  In reality, it was probably much worse than what they’ve shown.  Watch this movie to get an understanding of the Yugoslav War of the 1990s.  The movie is really a tribute to all the journalists who lost their lives while covering this dangerous war.  The only negative thing I can say about the movie is the love story that is unnecessarily woven into the plot, which is, needless to say far too unrealistic.

Heat (1995)

This is a classic crime drama starring Al Pacino (cop) and Robert Di Niro (bad guy) who are playing a cat and mouse game – who gets who in the end?  It’s worth a watch.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

This movie didn’t live up to my expectations.  It’s based on the genocide that happened in Rwanda; however, not much is shown of that. I watched it for the Africa-setting, which I liked.  A much better movie on the Rwanda genocide is Sometimes in April (reviewed below).

Illusionist, The (2006)

This is a nice movie about a magician who tries to get a woman who is way beyond his social standing in nineteenth century Vienna.

Inception (2010)

I didn’t understand a single word of this movie, but I still loved it!  Why?  This is the first movie that I watched in a theater with my to-be wife…

Into the Wild (2007)

This is an excellent adventure movie, based on a true story.  It’s on the life of a bright and young student who gives up all of his material belongings and hitchhikes to Alaska.  Don’t expect an Indiana Jones type of adventure movie.  This is a thought-provoking art film.

Italian Job, The (2003)

It’s not as good as I expected, however, you can’t go wrong with a heist movie!

Killing Fields, The (1984)

This is a film on Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge that killed roughly 20% of the population in the 1970s.  America’s role in the genocide is quite interesting and thankfully it is explored in the film.  The Americans helped arm the Khmer Rouge and then turned a blind eye towards the genocide that followed.

Last King of Scotland, The (2006)

This movie is based on the life of the corrupt and childishly evil Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin.  The movie follows a young Scottish doctor who becomes the personal physician of the dictator.  This is one of the best movies on Africa.

Lord of War (2005)

This movie gives a good insight into the life of an international arms dealer supplying weapons to rouge foreign governments and war lords.  My favourite dialog from the movie goes something like this – “the President of the United States is the biggest gun-runner in the world.”  So true.  The U.S. sells the most weapons worldwide (the Chinese, Russians and many Europeans nations are not to far behind).  I especially loved the anti-Hollywood ending.  Watch this to see Nicholas Cage at his best.

Mountains of the Moon (1990)

What is the source of the longest river in the world, Nile, in Africa?  Based on a true story, the movie follows the adventures of Richard Burton and his friend John Speke who set out to “discover” the source of the river.  I’m putting the word discover in quotation marks since the source was known to the locals all along – but of course, the credit for “discovering” it goes to some English guy.  Richard and John are brought together in the wild and get driven apart in civilization.  The African wild is wonderfully captured and one really gets the feeling of being in Africa.  This is a must watch for anyone who likes adventure movies – don’t expect an Indiana Jones though – this is more historical and intellectual.

Orphan (2009)

This is a fairly violent horror movie with a twisted ending, and some may find the plot quite disturbing.  In any case, it’s far from boring and it’s a good scary movie.

Papillon (1973)

I can’t believe I hadn’t watched this movie until now!  It is a classic prison escape movie, and quite entertaining to watch.  It also gives some historical perspective on the French colonialists.

Paranormal Activity (2009)

I still get the chills down my spine when I think of this movie.  It is, hands down, the scariest movie I have ever seen.  Horror movies don’t normally scare me but this one did; probably because I watched it in the theater.  Patience is required to watch this one since the story is built up very slowly and repetitively.  If you can survive the first 30 or so minutes, which is mighty difficult and will test the patience of even the most patient person (like me), you will enjoy it.  Don’t watch it alone or with children!

Prestige, The (2006)

Like The Illusionist, this is another nice thriller movie based on a magician.  However, this one is about two rival magicians who attempt to sabotage each other’s shows.

Rescue Dawn (2006)

This movie is based on an American PoW (Prisoner-of-War) whose plane gets shot down in Laos during the Vietnam War.  The jungle setting is quite nice.  Thanks to America, Laos is, to date, the most bombed country in the world even though war was never officially declared on the country.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

A favourite on cable TV, I only got a chance to watch it recently.  It’s about how a bunch of random criminals are brought together for a bank heist job and begin to suspect each other when the heist goes horribly wrong.  It’s quite an interesting watch; there’s more dialog than action in this movie, so depending on your expectations, you could be quite disappointed.

Se7en (1995)

I thought the movie concept was interesting.  The movie is about a serial killer whose killings are motivated by the Seven Deadly Sins. It’s quite interesting and Brad Pitt proves he’s not just a pretty boy.

Shoot to Kill (1988)

This is the first Sidney Poitier movie I’ve seen.  It’s on survival in the wild, and people who enjoy adventure movies will like this one.

Shot Through The Heart (1998)

This is a tale of two friends – a Serbian Christian and a Bosnian Muslim – and how their friendship gets affected during the Yugoslav War of 1990s.  It’s a must watch for those who wish to learn more about this war that tore the former Yugoslavia into several different countries divided along religious lines.

Shutter Island (2010)

The plot is quite unique and giving up anything about it would be doing injustice to anyone who hasn’t yet seen this movie.  Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting is top notch and anyone who enjoys watching a psychological thriller will enjoy watching this one.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

A well-made British movie on the life of a Mumbai slum dweller.  This is not an Indian movie.  I don’t understand why Indians celebrated the Best Movie Oscar award for this movie that highlights the worst in India, as their win?  There were many better Hindi movies on the same subject that should have won Oscars in the past (such as Salaam Bombay).  However, those weren’t directed by an Englishman.  Now, how about a movie on skinheads in England, Mr. Boyle?  I think the Oscars are over-rated anyway and never watch the show.

Sometimes In April (2005)

I watched Sometimes in April… in April 2010.  It’s not a family movie.  It’s not a popcorn flick.  It’s not a date movie.  It’s very real.  Whatever is shown has really happened.  And it’s horrible.  The movie is about the genocide that happened in Rwanda in 1994.  Nearly a million… a million people were killed in only 3 months… from April to June.  How many people even know about it?  The world didn’t care, because as an American government official said, it was “Rwandans killing Rwandans”.

Men, women and children were killed indiscriminately with AK-47s, machetes and Uzzis.  Weapons were supplied by the United States, Germany, France, Belgium, Israel and China.  Even after the killings started, the so-called “civilized world” did nothing to stop it.  Why?  Because there was no oil or gold or diamonds in Rwanda.  The US even denied that genocide was happening in Rwanda, but later “apologized” for it.

I highly recommend this movie.  Everyone should watch it.  It’s important to understand.

Sorcerer (1977)

I discovered a hidden gem when I saw this movie.  The second half of the movie is an edge-of-your-seat thriller set in the jungles of Latin America.  There are really no good guys in this movie.  The title is quite misleading and does not give away anything about the movie.  I’m still not sure why they decided to name the movie Sorcerer?

Taken (2008)

A story of how a retired CIA father goes to any length to save his kidnapped daughter.  It’s very unrealistic, but fun to watch nonetheless.

Tears of the Sun (2003)

This is a ‘save the damsel in distress’ movie set in the jungles of Nigeria.  The armed rebel violence that has engulfed Nigeria is shown quite accurately.  The methods used by the militia to kill and maim people are quite gruesome.  It has really happened.  It’s a good movie to watch if one wants to get a quick history lesson on Nigeria – Hollywood style.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Most people probably haven’t heard of this one.  It’s an art flick about an “oil man” who makes a fortune in the very early days of the oil industry in America.  It’s about greed, religion, politics and family.  It’s a great movie that drives home the point that behind every great fortune is a great crime, and that crime doesn’t pay.  This is an art flick and therefore not everyone will enjoy it.

Three Kings (1999)

This is a good action movie set in the Middle East.  It’s about some US soldiers trying to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait.

Training Day (2001)

I can’t believe I had missed this gem.  Set in the City of Angels (Los Angeles), this is an excellent movie on police, gangs and double crossings.  To live and die in LA, it’s the place to be…

True Romance (1993)

I would describe this movie in Hindi as hatke.  A lonely man with a mediocre job is setup with a prostitute, and they fall in love with each other.  The man tries to rescue the damsel from her pimp who happens to be a mafia gangster, and inadvertently kills him and mistakenly picks up an identical briefcase containing millions of dollars worth of drugs (as opposed to the briefcase he was supposed to take, which had personal belongings in it).  Thus begins a thrilling game of cat and mouse where the mafia are hot on his trail as he tries to sell the drugs in a get-rich-quick scheme.

Up (2009)

Most people get so caught up in the rat-race and the materialistic way of life that by the time they realize what they’ve missed, it’s often too late to do anything about it.  So what have they missed?  Living their dreams.  We live in concrete jungles that are full of people – yet we’re lonely.  We have all the materials things that money can buy – yet we are unhappy.  This is a tale of a man who lived the “American dream”.  He had it all – a loving wife, money and a nice house with a white picket fence.  Yet, at the tale end of his life he feels he has missed living his childhood dream of exploring the world.  So he sets out to explore and discover in his Golden Years…

Up in the Air (2009)

I think this is a masterpiece.  It’s about a man whose job is to fly all over the country and inform people their services are no longer required to the company they work for.  It’s certainly not an easy job.  I have matured as a movie watcher and like meaningful cinema with a good message – and this is one of them.  Some memorable quotes from the movie:

“Let me get up.  Let me get out.  Let me find something… my kids are my purpose… my family.”

“It’s not all about the money.  Money can keep you warm, pays your heating bills.  It can buy you a blanket.  But it doesn’t keep you as warm as the support that my husband gives me.”

Hindi Movies

99 (2009)

This is a funny and well-made movie on the Cricket match-fixing scandal that hit India in the late 1990s.  I watched it twice and enjoyed it both times.  For a change this is a comedy movie that does not fall apart in the end.

1971 (2007)

This is an excellent and realistic movie on the Indian Prisoner’s of War (PoW) that are rotting in Pakistani jails since the 1971 war.  The movie is a good example of what happens when the publicity department fails to do its job; most people haven’t even heard of this gem of a movie.  The movie is on the life of Indian PoWs, which the wicked Pakis did not release after the war was over (as the Indians did; in hindsight, quite foolishly).

3 Deewarein (2003)

This is a good prison-escape movie with a twist – can’t go wrong with it.

3 Idiots (2009)

I don’t think this movie needs “another review”.  Everyone has probably watched it by now.  Some things don’t make sense, especially towards the end – but who cares?  It’s still an entertaining movie.  The movie sort of makes fun of the Indian education system and it’s many flaws.  Ragging is shown as comic relief, however, in reality, it is a disgusting culture in Indian colleges.  Instead of helping freshers, the senior students are too busy making their life miserable to the extent that some freshers even commit suicide.

The movie does not really touch on Indian History, which is probably the most manipulated in the world; first by the British and now by our own government to appease the minorities.  Probably the biggest flaw in the movie is the message it conveys in the end (which runs counter to the message it tries to convey earlier), which is, “you are not successful unless you become rich”.  I thought it was totally unnecessary to show that.  Nevertheless, Aamir Khan won’t disappoint you (as always).

A Wednesday (2008)

The only thing I will say about this excellent movie is that I wish something like this would happen one day… the ‘common man’ in India is fed up of Islamic terrorism.

Aamir (2008)

This is a story of how an innocent Muslim man is used by Islamic terrorists to do their dirty work.  It’s quite an interesting concept and a unique movie coming out of India.

Baazi (1995)

I watched this in a theatre in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar).  The movie starring Aamir Khan and Mamta Kulkarni is not particularly good – if there was ever a “typical” Bollywood movie, it is this, it is this.  However, I’ve included it in this list for the fond memories of my Burmese Days it brings out.

Barah Aana (2009)

A very simple story line and excellent acting.  It’s about a trio of poor guys who stumble into crime and realize that it’s not such a bad business…

Burning Train, The (1980)

I loved it the first time I saw this and loved it the second time too.  The movie title is quite self explanatory as far as the plot is concerned.

Chandni Bar (2001)

This movie quite realistically follows the life of an innocent village girl who becomes a “bar girl” or dancer in Mumbai due to some sad turn of events.  This is an excellent and thought-provoking movie by Madhur Bhandarkar who has now become well known for his well-researched reality based movies.

City of Gold (2010)

This is one of the best films (originally in Marathi, dubbed in Hindi) I have seen in a long time.  In spite of it being a low-budget film (which implies unknown actors), the acting is top-notch and the plot is very realistic and interesting.  At no point does the film fall apart.  I would classify this as a semi-documentary/art-film.  It’s on the life of Mumbai’s textile mill workers who lose not just their employment and livelihood when their mills get shutdown (and land sold to real estate developers), but also their hopes…

Dasvidaniya (2008)

This is the Hindi version of the Hollywood movie, The Bucket List.  It’s a movie with a very simple message, i.e. do what is really important to you, lest it is too late…

Fashion (2008)

I was dying to watch this movie after my Kanchendzonga trek and ended up watching the 9:00 AM show in a Pune multiplex by myself – and enjoyed every minute of it.  The soundtrack is especially good.  “Tere ishq mein mar jawaan…”

Gangajal (2003)

This film is on the life of a good cop (Ajay Devgan) who gets transferred to the badlands of lawless Bihar where it’s still law of jungle, rather than government.  Parts of the film have been shot in Maharashtra (and shown as Bihar – see this picture).

Ghajani (2008)

I watched this movie three times; twice in the theater and once in a bus from Nagpur to Aurangabad.  It’s a dark movie based on the Hollywood flick Memento (which I did not understand).  Since I’ve seen both, I wouldn’t say it’s a “copy” of the Hollywood movie – the Hindi version is much more coherent and easier to follow for the average viewer.  The soundtrack is also excellent; “Hai guzarish” and “Kaise mujhe tum mil gayee…”

Gheharai (1980)

This is not your typical Bollywood horror movie.  It’s actually quite scary with absolutely no gore, yet I wouldn’t classify this as a physiological thriller.  I liked it a lot!

Jail (2009)

I had high expectations from this movie seeing as it was made by Madhur Bhandarkar (of Page 3, Chandni Bar and Fashion fame).  It’s a well made movie and an entertaining one, but doesn’t quite live up to the mark of his previous films.  The Indian Justice system is one of the slowest (and most hopeless) in the world and the film shows this quite accurately.  It’s easy to imagine oneself to be the main character as what happens to him can happen to anybody.

Katha (1983)

In the mood for a light-hearted comedy?  Then this excellent movie is for you.  I think this is a hundred times better than today’s mindless and vulgar “comedies” that don’t even make you laugh.

Life … in a Metro (2007)

This is an excellent movie on the complicated modern lives of several people living in a large metropolitan city.  It seems everyone in this movie is having an extra-marital affair.  This is an all-in-all entertaining and thought-provoking film from start to finish.  Great cast and soundtrack.  “In dino dil mera mujhse hai keh raha…”

Luck by Chance (2009)

This is a movie on how a struggling actor becomes a Bollywood star.  Good watch.  “Sapno se bhare naina, na neend hai na chaina…”

Maharathi (2008)

A suspense thriller with some flaws, but an entertaining watch nonetheless.  Decent acting by Neha Dhupia (quite unexpectedly).

Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)

This suspense thriller set in the desolate Thar desert of Rajasthan will keep you guessing; good acting by Abhay Deol.

Mukhviir (2008)

This is an interesting movie on the life of a police informer.  There aren’t many Hindi movies on this topic.  It’s incredible what lengths they have to go just to “blend in”, and the danger they put themselves in.  Hats off to them.

Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978)

This is a good Amitabh Bachchan movie with a great soundtrack, especially “o saathi re… tere bina bhi kya jina…

Page 3 (2003)

Another realistic movie by Madhur Bhandarkar on the lives of the rich and famous in Bollywood.  It can be quite disturbing to watch, but then again, the truth is bitter.

Pushpak (1988)

There are absolutely no dialogues in this movie; however, the movie is very funny and the story keeps the viewer engaged.  Good acting by Kamal Hassan, and the actress, Amala, is very beautiful.

Red Rose (1980)

The storyline, which can be disturbing to some, is quite different than any other Hindi movie to date.  This movie was way ahead of its time.  Warning to viewer: your image of romantic hero Rajesh Khanna may be ruined forever after watching this film.

Risk (2007)

A good movie on the underworld activity in Mumbai.  It’s not as good as Vaastav, but still watchable.

Rocket Singh (2009)

The movie is about a recent college grad, who barely manages to pass, who wants to become a salesman.  Generally speaking, in India, those who don’t get any other job go into sales.  There aren’t many movies on this topic so it was a welcome change.  Many people have cribbed on Ranbir Kapoor’s acting skills (or lack of), but I think he did a good job.  A very intelligent friend of mine in Mumbai who is in the same profession said the movie quite accurately depicts the general atmosphere and people in an Indian sales and marketing firm.  Although it flopped in the theaters, I thought the movie was quite entertaining with a good message.

Shaurya (2008)

A story on a few supposed “bad apples” in the Indian Army posted in dangerous Kashmir who shoot first and ask questions later.  It’s too easy to be critical when your life is not on the line.  The ending is too politically correct and makes no sense.

Stoneman Murders, The (2009)

A relatively unknown suspense thriller about a serial killer in Mumbai – apparently based on actual events.  For a change, the movie is well-made from start-to-finish and doesn’t fall apart at any point.

Summer 2007 (2008)

The first half is pure Bollywood masala, and the second half is about loan sharks in small villages that prey on desperate and poor farmers.  Good message in the end.

Wake Up Sid (2009)

There are many movies on the topic of “coming of age” and this is another one.  Does one really get tired of watching such movies?  Not really.  Ranbir Kapoor has acted well in this and suits the role.  Most people will be able to relate to the main character (maybe not to that degree) since we all have to go through the phase of “finding oneself”.  The best part is, unlike real life, the movie actually has a happy ending.  This is a good weekend movie.

Welcome to Sajjanpur (2008)

It’s nice to see some unique ideas coming out of Bollywood – this is one of them.  It’s a good watch and it’s something different than the usual.

Yeh Mera India (2009)

This is one of the best and original movies to come out of India.  It has a good message and the editing is excellent.  I’ve watched it twice without getting bored.  “Meri aankhon mein ansoo, tujhse hamdan kya kahoon kya hai?  Thair jaye toh angara hai, bahe jaye to dariya hai.”

Marathi Movies

Aatmavishwas (1989)

I don’t normally like family dramas, but this one was a definite exception.  The acting is superb, and the storyline is engaging and entertaining to watch.  It’s about how a stay-at-home mom is taken for granted by everyone in her family and how she gets her self-esteem back through supposed “black magic”.  Quite an interesting watch.

Adla Badli (2008)

This is a comedy starring Ashok Saraf and Sachin.  The duos teach a lesson to a couple of rich guys who often make bets with each other at other people’s expense.

Anaahat (2003)

An interesting concept and good performance by Sonali Bendre.  It’s a very short movie.  I can think of an alternative title for this film – desperate wife!

Chhadi Lage Chham Chham (2005)

This movie shows how a good person at the top can bring about positive change in the entire system.  The movie is about how a new principal turns a bad school into a good one.

De Dhakka (2008)

This movie has just the right amount of comedy and drama. vIt’s a good watch with some classic Makrand Anaspure lines such as “ugdhya samor nagda gala ani raat bhar heuvani maila!” Siddharth Jadhav’s acting is very good.

Divasen Divas (2006)

This is a good movie on the life of a young couple who get married against the bride’s father’s wishes.  The movie is on the financial struggles that follow, which put a strain on their relationship.  The movie shows that when things go wrong, they really go wrong.

Goshta Choti Dongraevadhi (2009)

This is an excellent and highly-recommended movie depicting the life of drought-affected and debt-ridden farmers of Maharashtra, and how government corruption affects the people at the very bottom of the pyramid (farmers in this case).  The government announces money for distressed farmers, but it never reaches them.  In desperation, farmers often commit suicide with the hope that their debt will be forgiven and their family will be able to get some money (from the fund for distressed farmers).   The movie also offers viewers a chance to see Makrand Anaspure in a non-comic role for a change.  No, it’s not a depressing movie.

Goshta Dhamal Namyachi (1984)

A classic Ashok Saraf movie.  Need I say more?

Harishchandrachi Factory (2009)

This is a well-made movie that shows the birth of the film industry in India.  This movie was sent to the Oscars but I think there were other better ones that could have been sent, such as Goshta Choti Dongraevadhi.  This is a good historical movie and should ideally be shown to school children.

Maskari (1991)

This is a comedy movie starring Laxmikant Berde, who often gets himself into trouble with his lies.  I put this movie in the ‘time-pass’ category.

Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy (2009)

The movie starts off good showing the poor plight of the “helpless” Marathi manoos in Mumbai.  Towards the end, the movie is more preaching than entertaining.  Good dialogs.

Natarang (2010)

This is a good movie on an off-beat topic.  One can now say that Marathi film industry has blossomed.  The soundtrack is excellent and hats-off to Atul Kulkarni for his hard-work and acting.  Natarang Ubha, Apsara Aali and Khel Mandala are some of the great songs from the movie.  Sonali Kulkarni who plays the character of Naina Kolhapurkar has also acted well and looks very beautiful.  Question: if Arjun (from Mahabharata) can play the role of a hijra without losing his social standing, then why is a nachya ostracized for acting like a woman in a lavni?  [People not familiar with Marathi culture will have no idea what I’m talking about.  So, please ignore.]

Sail (2006)

I can’t believe I watched this movie.  One has to be in a certain state of mind to bear this one.  The movie has nothing but 2 characters interacting with each other in their poorly-lit porch at night.  It’s about politics and is quite good.  You won’t be able to enjoy this movie if you’re distracted in any way.

Sanai Choughade (2008)

This is an interesting movie on the process of modern arranged marriages and the complications arising out of being truly honest and forthcoming in the process.  Question: should skeletons that are in the closet be left in there?

Topi Var Topi (1995)

This is a classic Ashok Saraf and Laxmikant Berde comedy movie.  Ashok Saraf takes up a life of crime and Laxmikant Berde goes one up on him and teaches him a lesson.  Good one.


This excellent movie is very entertaining and it has a good message on top of that.  It’s about superstition; the rural Maharashtra setting (Gadchiroli district) is also pleasing to the eye.

Foreign-language Movies

Apocalypto (2006, Maya language)

Set in the Mayan civilization, this is an edge-of-your-seat thriller.  The entire movie is in the Maya language.  In spite of that, I loved this movie.  The foot chase scene after the first half is one of the best I’ve ever seen.  Even better than some of the Jackie Chan movies I’ve seen.

Cidade de Deus (2002, Spanish) – English Title: “City of God”

This movie is highly rated on imdb, so I decided to check it out.  It’s about gangsters in a neglected Brazilian town.  Although it’s a good movie that’s worth a watch, I’ve seen better movies on gangsters, such as Vaastav (in Hindi).

Motorcycle Diaries, The (2004, Spanish language)

Follow Che Guevara as he undertakes an epic journey through South America with his buddy on a motorcycle in the early 1950s.  The movie is thought-provoking and full of adventure.  Che undertakes a journey that changes him … and then he changes the world.  Awesome movie.

4 Comments to: “Movies”

  1. Hi Neeraj..!! I think u should include a hindi movie ‘Ab Tak Chappan’ on ur list based on Mumbai Police Crime Branch Unit.. Brilliant performance by Nana Patekar…!!!
    And would like to suggest couple of marathi movies as well… ‘Jogwa’… Winner of 6 National Awards… And ‘Harishchandrachi Factory”… Wonderful story of THE VISIONARY “DADASAHEB PHALKE”…nd a great tale of family bonding…!!!

  2. I found the movie recommendations very interesting. I have watched quite a few. Can you recommend any business/technology based movies (since you seem to be a movie buff). I have a monthly screening of a movie as a library event and am scouting for relevant movies of an hour or so, or documentaries. Thanks
    It saddened me to read about ‘Koleshwar’. Incidentally I am having a story session with slides by Deepak Dalal, who is a well known childrens’ story writer, based in Pune, as part of our library event. If you are based in Pune you are most welcome to the event – Saturday 17 December, 5:30 to 7 pm. You may check out our site
    Regards, saroj

    • Thank you, Saroj. If I was in Pune, I would’ve definitely tried to make it to the event.

      As for a business/technology based movie recommendation- try Minority Report, Matrix, The Net or The Social Network.


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