Tag Archives: Balraj Sahni

Most Influential Films Banned in India (10+1list)

Most Influential Films Banned in India.

written by Souranath Banerjee

In India it is not always enough to make good Cinema; the more challenging part for the directors and producers is to make sure that their movie gets released on big screen!

This year only, the producers of Udta Punjab (a film based on drug udta-punjab-posterabuse in Punjab) had the most highlighted and controversial court fight with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) headed by Pahlaj Nihalani. Finally Anurag Kashyap (representing the Phantom productions) did win the legal battle and the film was cleared with only a single cut. 

But movies being banned is nothing new in India. Due to reasons that may be political or social, it can be for abusive language, use of narcotics or due to explicit sexual content, numerous films have been delayed and some unfortunately have never seen the light of a movie theatre yet!

Here is a list of some of the most influential films Banned in India. Do watch them to know the importance of these films and the real reasons for them being out of reach of their audience.

10. Sikkim (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmSeVvA61xU

Sikkim-PosterDirected by legendary Satyajit Ray, this is a documentary on Sikkim commissioned by the then King of Sikkim Chogyal.

The brilliantly made film is about the sovereignty of Sikkim. But in 1975 when Sikkim became a part of India the documentary was banned by the Indian Government. 

Recently, in 2010 the ban was lifted and the classic is now available for all you film lovers!

9. Fire (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnshN0wqiCo

fire-poster1Directed by Deepa Mehta, this is one powerful Indian film that tells the story of two wives from a middle class family who being frustrated by their loneliness and dissatisfied sex-life ignites a lesbian relationship among themselves.

Bold and thought provoking – though globally appreciated and well received but was predictably banned in India right after its release!

8. Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqztmYen6co

kama-sutra-poster1With numerous candid sexual scenes throughout the film, although artistic and sensual in a very royal-Indian way, this film of course couldn’t manage to pass the morality test of the Indian Censor board.

Directed by Mira Nair, a brilliant piece of storytelling which was too offensive for the audience of a country from where the whole concept of ‘Kama Sutra’ was actually originated. What an Irony! 

7. Parzania (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHWPWsOmoWA

parzania-posterA brilliant film that dares to portray the horrific and painful genocide that took place in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, commonly known as the Gujarat riots!

It was banned in Gujarat because of it’s sensitive subject even though director Rahul Dholakia and lead-actress Sarika won the National award for the film!

Great performances by Naseeruddin Shah and Corin Nemec as well.

Another film on the same subject that was banned too was Nandita Das‘s Firaaq (2008)

6. Black Friday (2004)

Film scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1mkPQI9z0

black-friday-posterThe 1993 serial Bombay bomb blasts that shook the entire nation and then, it’s aftermath – a film that managed to portray it all and that too in a brilliant graphic manner.

This Anurag Kashyap film was too dark and realistic to release at the time specially since the trail decisions of the many arrested were pending.

5. Bandit Queen (1994)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66uIVFb6ATA

bandit-queen-posterAbusive language, nudity, sexually offensive content – the biopic on the media-hyped woman-bandit Phoolan Devi was banned by the Indian Censor board due to all those reasons!

But then again the film directed by Shekhar Kapur, is one of the most courageous and dramatic Indian biopic that I have seen till date!

Seema Biswas won the National Award for her stellar performance as Phoolan Devi while Shekhar Kapur won the Filmfare Best director award!

4. Garm Hava (1974)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJqPQjADWGE

garm-hawa-posterScorching Winds, the film that depicts a Muslim family struggling to find their identity as our country was reeling through the repercussions of the partition.

Directed by M.S. Sathyu, and brilliant performance by Balraj Sahni, but the film was banned since the subject matter was considered to be too sensitive for the time. Finally, after 8 months it got released, and yes – the film was also nominated for the Palme d’Or at the prestigious Cannes Film festival!

3. Aandhi (1975)

Film song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-HnmVg0-O8

aandhi-posterDirected by Gulzar, this one was banned during the time of it’s release due to the fact that the lead character played by Suchitra Sen seemed to have similarities with the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Later in 1977 the movie finally got it’s theatrical release; the film won the best critic award and Sanjeev Kumar won the best actor at the Filmfare Awards!

2. Amu (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqGGM8xl3Qw

amu-posterA film based on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a brilliant story woven around the genocide that once shook our country.

Directed by Shonali Bose and superb performance by Konkona Sen Sharma, the film got banned of course because of it’s sensitive subject matter but it did get a release with an adult rating  and some specific audio-cuts. The film won a National Award that year!

  1.  Water (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7uM-CbzIAI

water-posterAnother one from the highly acclaimed director Deepa Mehta, a stunning portrayal of the widows in India who are forced into a life of extreme sacrifice and poverty. 

The film was not only restricted from the release by protesters who felt it was too controversial a topic for the Indian audience, even the sets of the film were attacked by fanatics while the film was being shot!

and (The ‘+1 film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Gulabi Aaina (2003)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEWPwrAjgpY

gulabi-aaina-posterThe Pink Mirror – a 40min short directed by Sridhar Rangayan which explores homosexuality in India. Through this unique film the concept of trans-sexuality was addressed probably for the first time in our country.

Needless to say a bold film on gender issues has to be banned by the Censor Board even when it was screened in more than 70 film festivals and been appreciated by the critics all across the globe!

Poster courtesy: sikkimnow.blogspot.inwww.imdb.com.

Best Bollywood Classics (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Classics.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Can anybody pin point the place so popularly know as ‘Bollywood’?

You cannot, because interestingly enough Bollywood does not exist as a physical place.

Bollywood’s existence is only in the form of it’s Cinemas; the films that are produced from in and around Mumbai (earlier called Bombay) essentially in the language ‘Hindi’.

When Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke) made the first Indian silent feature Raja Harishchandra in 1913; when Ardeshir Irani directed films like Alam Ara in 1931 (the first talkie film of India) and Kisan Kanya in 1937 (the first Indian colored film) – little did they know that some day the Bombay-based Film industry (Bollywood) will churn out the maximum number of films in the world!  

Bollywood is our planet’s largest Cinema factory, producing more than 1,000 films annually; about the double of Hollywood’s output!

And now let’s focus on some of the evergreen Bollywood classics; films which are adored by all generations and are directly responsible for Bollywood’s world wide success.

Here we go.

1. Do Bigha Zamin (1953)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmy8B_4bhAQ

Do-Bigha-Zamin-poster

Staring Balraj Sahni and Nirupa Roy, the film is a classic tale of economic exploitation with which we can easily relate to, even today.

Directed by Bimal Roy, it’s the heart breaking story of a poor farmer who in order to free his land-debts takes up rickshaw-pulling as a profession.

The film won the first ever Filmfare award and also got a special mention at the Cannes film festival.

2. Shree 420 (1955)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRg65WuI1tY

Shree420-poster

Probably the most influential film of the time that took Bollywood to global popularity.

A man comes to Bombay with big dreams that eventually comes true but with a price of course.

Director/actor Raj Kapoor sets a trend with his baggy trousers and the Chaplin-hat as he goes along the road singing ‘mera juta hain Japani’.

3. Mother India (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmPzpWQ5v_E

mother-india-poster

Starring NargisSunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar, it was the first Bollywood film that was nominated for the Oscars as the best Foreign language film from India.

The love and struggle of a single mother bringing up her two sons, director Mehboob Khan made the first ever Bollywood film with a female protagonist! 

4. Mughal-E-Azam (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXz_vWzMh_U

MughalEAzam-poster

A dramatization of the famous Mughal love story – prince Saleem (Dilip Kumar) who falls in love with a court-dancer Anarkali (Madhubala) against the will of his father, emperor Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor).

Director K. Asif manages to get the best out of these brilliant actors. With only expressions and dialogues – this film is probably the best ‘love-story’ ever made. 

5. Pyaasa (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBZYJAzz5ys

pyaasa-poster

A film about poetic injustice (literally), since it’s the story of a poet and his thirst for love, fame and recognition.

Guru Dutt, the visionary actor/director along with Mala Sinha and Waheeda Rehman brings us this masterpiece.

Soulful songs – Sachin Dev BurmanHemanta MukherjeeGeeta Dutt and Mohammad Rafi at their best.

The 50s and the early 60s were considered as the ‘golden age’ of Bollywood and rightly so.

6. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCDbIT13MRY

Sahib-Bibi-Aur-Ghulam-poster

Directed by Abrar Alvi, an illicit love story full of passion and desire, hate and loneliness – an epic tragedy.

Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman and Rehman in the star cast but the one who really stands out is Meena Kumari. Her drunken outbursts and the sarcastic laughs are textbook even for today’s heroines who dare to take such courageous roles.

7. Anand (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfGX2AEaMUU

anand-poster

A man who is too busy living his life to the fullest, too busy to notice his terminal illness, too busy to be afraid of his inevitable death!

Superstar Rajesh Khanna gives his career best performance and Amitabh Bachchan is a great support.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee‘s best, the film will make you laugh and cry at the same time!

8. Sholay (1975)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLhzpe3_V_g

sholay-poster

Bollywood enters the phase of hard-core action and this film is an epic in it’s own right. A true entertainer.

Ramesh Sippy‘s direction, the brutal clash between Gabbar (Amjad Khan) and Thakur’s (Sanjeev Kumar) hired ‘hands’ Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru (Dharmendra).  

Hema Malini and Jaya Bhaduri takes care of the love stories on the side.

9. Deewaar (1975)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN1ptONRWpE

deewar-poster

Enters the ‘angry young man’ – the era of Amitabh Bachchan best portrayed by this particular film.

The anger and an attitude of revolt against the system, the underworld and the police, the clash of two brothers, and the dilemma of their mother.

Yash Chopra direction, staring Shashi KapoorNeetu SinghNirupa Roy and Parveen Babi

10. Bhumika (1977)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdcVs0nceOY

bhumika-poster

Shyam Benegal was one director who held tight the reigns of art-cinema in Bollywood. This film is one of his greatest work and Smita Patil gives her best performance. 

The story of a girl growing up, her career, her affairs, her joy and her despairs.

Naseeruddin ShahAmrish PuriAmol PalekarKulbhushan Kharbanda all at their best.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most cool one. A must watch).

+1.  Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spkmLziFFg4

Jaane-Bhi-Do-Yaaro-poster

And finally a comedy, an ultimate political satire, full of dark humor and many rib-tickling moments of absolute joy.

Directed by Kundan Shah, the film is about two photographers Ravi Baswani and Naseeruddin Shah who are sucked into a whirlpool of dishonesty, corruption and murder.

Om PuriPankaj KapurSatish KaushikNeena Gupta all at their best but towards the end of the film Satish Shah as ‘Draupadi’ is simply priceless!