India Insight

Celebrities and their favourite Indian films

As India celebrates 100 years of cinema, we asked celebrities to name their favourite Indian film. It was a tough choice. After all, there are tens of thousands of films to choose from. How could they select only one? In the end, all our respondents sent in several choices, unable to pinpoint the one Indian film they thought was the best.

Fashion designer Ritu Kumar was closest to the brief, naming just two personal favourites. Her choices: “Umrao Jaan” and “Mughal-E-Azam“. Both films were in her words “classical for music, costumes and ethos.”

For writer Amish Tripathi, “Mughal-E-Azam“, “Guide” and “Sholay” reigned supreme in Bollywood. Pressed to reveal his all-time favourite, the author of the Shiva trilogy reluctantly chose the Dev Anand film based on R.K. Narayan’s novel.

“If I have to, have to, have to pick, ideally it’s all three but if I am forced to pick, perhaps Guide would be a step ahead, a very small step ahead,” said Tripathi. “Of course, it’s a great story and it’s entertaining and it’s very well made but it has some nice philosophical messages as well, which I like … it’s such a brilliant mix of entertainment and philosophy.”

Former TV actress and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Smriti Irani sent in four favourites, including two films that starred Amitabh Bachchan.

Which is the greatest Bollywood film ever?

It’s been a hundred years since the first Indian feature film “Raja Harishchandra” in 1913. Since then, Bollywood has made tens of thousands of films – good, bad and middling.

Tell us the movie that you feel is Bollywoods best. To help you make that choice, we have compiled a list of 100 films we have seen and loved, films that are sensitive and sensible in their own way and films that brought ‘larger than life’ into our living rooms.

Of course, lists like this are always subjective and biased and we’re sure many impressive films have been missed. In case we have not included the movie that you treasure the most, do share your views in the comments below.

  •