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Friday, August 12, 2011

We Love the 80s: Disco, Glitz and Art

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This week, we take on the mammoth froth of catchy music and bad fashion that is the 1980s in Hindi cinema with Anandini from the amazing retro-blog Bollystalgia.

Given the general lack of love experienced by this decade in Hindi fandom, the decade where the parallel movement was put on life support, we thought it might be fun to compare a list of movies that won the Filmfare Award for Best Film through the 80s with their blockbuster counterparts. The two lists threw up a few surprises to say the least! This chart will show you what we mean.

Of course, lists don't always represent the reality. For example, Amitabh Bachchan delivered some of his greatest hits during this decade without rating a mention in these lists. Meanwhile, the list is full of the old guard, which isn't an accurate description of a decade dominated by newcomers like Sunny Deol and Anil Kapoor. The trend continues today - the Khans dominate the box office even though the chatter is all about the young guns like Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan and Shahid Kapur.

Yes, you really DO need to watch Toofan!

In this episode we discuss
  • our list of the quintessential 80s movies / actors
  • why Sridevi was hot and Jayaprada was not
  • where is Amitabh? Delivering some of his greatest hits followed by some of his greatest clankers.
  • the star kids of yesteryear like Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav
  • where is Mithun? Becoming a national icon.
  • Rishi becomes Sweater Uncle
  • Jeetendra was the hero of our childhood
  • the always fascinating topic of 80s fashion! Say yes to apsaras in netting!

PS - According to an interview with Anusha Rizvi (Peepli Live) Kamal Swaroop's Om Dar-ba-dar - the title makes more sense once you figure out the pronunciation - was an excellent film that was either never released or couldn't manage a distribution deal. If anybody has seen it or knows where we might get to see it, do let us know!


  1. Ladies, you've crammed in so much into this episode and I was often nodding along in agreement. It's intriguing that the critics' list of movies and the actors they feature is so different from yours. That's also my experience - would never think to identify Dilip Kumar with the 80s!

    Loved Sri Devi being described like a cupcake (very true), and I agree that she was so unlike auntie material back in the 80s. However, I fear that anyone willing to admit to a Jeetendre centric childhood might require therapy!

    I listened with interest to your comments about Masoom which I only watched a few years ago with my mum. We loved the film for its simplicity, brilliant performances and also the sensitivity with which the adult themes were handled. This for me is one of the key differences between 80s films and current ones which seem so overtly, often needlessly, sexualised, even without the presence of an adult theme. I'd love to share more Bollywood movies with my 6 year old girl, but the only one with lots of glitz and magic that I've dared to watch with her so far is Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

  2. This episode made me relive my entire childhood and teens. Now I feel like calling my sister and discussing all these movies with her. I was a teenager in the 90's and had Shahrukh posters in my room. Kinda liked Aamir but was never a Salman fan. (As an aside, I think Karan Johar's "Khan for all seasons" used to be a very important question in my high school. Every girl in my class had one Khan she was crazy about.)

    I remember my sister and her friends being smitten with Jackie Shroff and his bad boy image after Hero in the 80's.

    I was surprised you did not mention Akshay Kumar among the people who started in the 90's and are still going strong. The soundtrack of my life in the early 90's is mostly from Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Sunny Deol movies. Also, Ajay Devgan and Tabu are two people who were on their way to semi-heartthrobbishness in the mid 90's. After watching this song who would have imagined these two would be considered serious actors 10 years later. God, what is she wearing!

    I know she was around for a very short while, but Divya Bharti is also a part of my 90's memories. She is also in Vishwatma and that famous song "Saat samundar paar" with an extremely bouncy skirt. A lot of people believed that she was going to be the next Sridevi and she had top billing in Deewana with Rishi uncle, one of Shahrukh's early movies.

  3. I forgot to mention this in the previous comment. Deepika is in a toned down version of the "Apsara dress" in the first segment of the Dhoom Tana song in Om Shanti Om. I must say, you came up with the perfect name for that dress because it always reminded me of how the apsara's were dressed in the Amar Chitra Katha comics.

  4. This disco musics are amazing I remember seeing them when I was kid. Thanks for your share. 80s Hindi songs are better comparing to Bangla song and others in the sub continent. But they all have improved a lot.