Though I am fond of serious movies, mysteries and musicals; I like quality comedies too which are neat and clean humorous tales, free from vulgarity. Today I am presenting the list of the top ten Bollywood comedies according to my subjective choice which is as follows :
1. Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) : Since the day I watched this movie, it has been my numero uno comedy. An outstanding endeavour of R.K. Hirani, teaching the Gandhian philosophy through humour. Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi became immortal through the roles of Munna and Circuit.
2. Munna Bhai MBBS (2003) : R.K. Hirani’s maiden venture, exposing the heartlessness prevailing in the medical system through natural laughs. Sanjay Dutt aka Munna’s Jaadu Ki Jhappi won audience’ hearts.
3. Chupke Chupke (1975) : A great comedy of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, examining English vis-a-vis Hindi. Dharmendra delivered a great humorous performance alongwith Sharmila, Amitabha, Jaya, Om Prakash and Asrani. It can be watched any number of times and is able to make the viewer laugh afresh on every watch.
4. Naram Garam (1981) : Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s underrated comedy which not only generates laughs throughout but makes the eyes wet too through the undercurrent of emotion. This Amol Palekar, Swaroop Sampat and Utpal Dutt starrer hits hard on the superstitions prevailing in the Indian society. Shatrughan Sinha too, delivered the comic performance of his lifetime in this movie.
5. Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge (2010) : An outstanding comedy released this year containing great performance of Paresh Rawal alongwith Ajay Devgan-Konkona Sen Sharma and others. It reminds us of the great Indian hosting tradition in which the guest is considered as equivalent to God.
6. Golmaal (1979) : Another memorable comedy by Hrishi Da with unforgettable comic performances by Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt.
7. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) : A great comedy by the three real life brothers – Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar and Anoop Kumar alongwith Madhubala in female lead.
8. Padosan (1968) : A classic comedy starring Kishore Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Saira Banu and Mehmood. Ek Chatur Naar and Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Mein were the highlights of the laugh riot created in the movie.
9. Joroo Ka Ghulam (1972) : This Rajesh Khanna-Nanda starrer is an underrated comedy which, alongwith laughs, renders the exemplary message to the middle class Indians to stay away from pomposity.
10. Ek Thi Larki (1949) : A memorable, black and white, laughter-studded rom-com whose song – Lara Lappa had made the heroine, Meena Shourie a star overnight. She was paired opposite Moti Lal. This movie is also the career highlight of Bollywood’s famous comedian-cum-filmmaker, I.S. Johar in a villainous role (this being his debut movie).
Other than these top ten, the following comedies are also mentionable :
1. Pati Patni Aur Woh (1978) : An excellent movie presenting the plot of a male’s licentiousness in the utmost comic way. Memorable performances of Sanjeev Kumar, Vidya Sinha and Ranjeeta alongwith the brilliant direction has kept the freshness of this movie intact even after so many years.
2. Aankhen (1993) : This Govinda, Chunkey Pandey, Raageshwari and Shilpa Shirodkar starrer David Dhawan comedy movie is considered as one of the biggest box office grossers of Bollywood. In fact, it was a remake of Vinod Mehra, Mehmood, Anjana and Aruna Irani starrer comedy – Do Phool (1973).
3. Coolie No. 1 (1995) : The trio of Govinda, Karisma Kapoor and David Dhawan (director) has given many commercially successful comedies. Among them, I like this one very much.
4. Gopi Kishan ( 1994) : Sunil Shetty presented hilarious comedy in double role in this movie, directed by Mukesh Duggal.
5. Chashm–E-Baddoor (1981) : Talented lady director Sai Paranjpye presented this Farooq Sheikh, Deepti Naval, Ravi Baswani and Rakesh Bedi starrer comedy which got both admiration and box office success.
6. Angoor (1982) : Even profound moviemaker Gulzar made a comedy starring Sanjeev Kumar, Deven Varma, Moushumi Chatterjee and Deepti Naval, borrowing the plot from William Shakespeare’s classic work – Comedy of Errors. One more movie Do Dooni Chaar (1968) had also been made earlier on the same plot with Kishore Kumar and Asit Sen playing the roles that got played by Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Varma in Angoor.
7. Do Aur Do Paanch (1980) : An amusing comedy starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini and Parveen Babi.
8. Andaz Apna Apna (1994) : Raj Kumar Santoshi presented this laugh-riot starring Aamir Khan and Salmaan Khan together for the first and the last time with Karisma Kapoor and Raveena Tandon in female leads.
9. Hera Pheri (2000) : Priyadarshan’s much-acclaimed comedy which made Paresh Rawal’s character – Baburao quite famous and established Akshay Kumar as Bollywood’s comedy-king, dethroning Govinda.
10. 3 Idiots (2009) : The much acclaimed and highly successful comedy of Rajkumar Hirani, the director and Aamir Khan, the actor.
In addition to comedies, I hereby mention certain satires which do render laughter to the audience alongwith the sarcasm inherent in their plots :
1. Katha (1983) : Sai Paranjpye’s classic satire starring Farooq Sheikh, Nasiruddin Shah and Deepti Naval which is a modernized version of the ancient Hare & Tortoise fable, is a treasure of laughs.
2. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983) : This Nasiruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani and Bhakti Barve starrer satire, directed by Kundan Shah which is now considered a classic, provides genuine laughs too.
Comedies by default :
The following movies are not comedies but they are full of laughs for the audience which is more or less a free gift for the audience :
1. Ram Aur Shyam (1967) : Tragedy king Dilip Kumar demonstrated his comedy talent in this movie directed by Tapi Chanakya. Waheeda Rehman and Mumtaz star opposite him.
2. Gopi (1970) : Gopi is a relationship-based emotional movie but Dilip Kumar (alongwith his real life wife, Saira Banu) made the audience laugh time and again.
3. Kal Ho Na Ho (2003) : Karan Johar’s Nikhil Advani directed this movie is a very emotional movie but its first half in full and second half in part, is studded with heartfelt laughs.
4. Victoria No. 203 (1972) : This crime thriller is still remembered for the laugh riot created on the screen by two Bollywood veterans – Ashok Kumar and Pran.
5. Namak Halaal (1982) : This formula-based movie is not a pure comedy but Amitabh Bachchan’s admirable comic acting turned it into a hit comedy. Smita Patil stars opposite Amitabh in the movie which contains Shashi Kapoor and Parveen Babi too.
6. Gupt (1997) : This murder mystery starring Bobby Deol, Manisha Koirala and Kajol can be watched again only for the comedy provided in the movie by character actors like Raza Murad, Prem Chopra, Harish Patel, Sadashiv Amarapurkar, Ashok Saraf and Om Puri.
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