Thanks to the lovely Rum of Roti Kapada aur Rum, we are embarking on Shameful Classics Week 2010! A time to celebrate the DVDs we hide in the back of our shelves, behind the more popular Yash Raj & KJo films, so people don't judge us based on an irrational love of Reeta Bhadhuri or Govinda.
I have a couple of Shameful Classics in mind and am working on posts to share these movies and my memories of them with y'all, but to begin with, I thought I would share with you my Shameful Bollywood & Tollywood Crushes, Past and Present.
Yes I grew up watching these films, and as a result, grew up with ridiculous expectations of what the love of my life would be like, how he would treat me, and most significantly, how he would dream about me (because what red-blooded male really dreams about his significant other running around trees wearing baby pink-confection-type ballgowns?). Much like the thousands of pre-teens today running around in love with an emo-sparkly-vegetarian-vampire, I developed a really MESSED UP sense of what love is, what attraction is, and what romance is. Seriously. I mean a lot of these movie heroes die-hard pursuit of the heroine could get them a restraining order (Shah Rukh Khan, I'm looking at you, stalker boy). I sincerely believed in the hindi movie romance, and thought that was what my life was going to be.
And (le sigh) I fell head over heels in love with the heroes. Some of these dudes were worthwhile crushes, and some, well, let's just say that love is blind. It certainly must be in Kajol's case.
So here are my Shameful Filmi Crushes, Past & Present:
See, even he's confused as to why I am so in "LOWWE" with him. He is definitely my first ever filmi crush - I remember finding him cute even at the age of 4 or 5. I won't say my crush started with Bobby, but more around the time of Hum Kisise Kum Nahin. Plus he totally stole my heart with his heart-felt Qawaalis in Amar Akbar Anthony and Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai. What do I love about him? That SMILE. ADORABLENESS. It's just so innocent and sweet. Not to mention he is KING of the light-up disco dance floor. Yes I know as time went on he became Patron Saint of the Bulky Sweater, but he will always have a piece of my heart, especially when I think of him in ballads like "Saagar Jaise Ankhonwali" ... sigh!
My second ever filmi crush is a former Marathi star and an actor that I feel like should have been a much bigger star than he was. Obviously, I was bowled over by him when he played GOD in the Rajshri film Gopaal Krishna - and played the title role with incredible boyish charm. However he also was well-received in films like Geet Gaata Chal and Ankhiyon Ke Jharonkon Se. The film *I* fell for him in was my favorite hindi film ever, Satte Pe Satta. Sachin played the youngest and most loveable brother, Shani aka Sunny. He was sweet, sensitive and expressive - not to mention a talented dancer. I think he WAS handsome, in a conventional way I think, maybe in a slightly girly way though. More over, he was a VERY talented actor. He deserved more love from the masses, but I guess he had a very successful career in television and has directed a number of films. I will always be a fan!
Ok, this one I have NO shame in because I wholly admit my massive crush on Kamal Hassan is limited to the man he was in the 80s and is completely centered on the fact that the man can DANCE. And not just boogie. I mean he can kick-a$$ at CLASSICAL DANCE and THAT is amazing. But if you see him in dance numbers like "Nada Vinodamu" from Sagara Sangamam and "Oh Babua" from Sadma (woot! Silk Smitha!)(I admit, it's a super weird video), you will what I mean - he's graceful, but in an extremely masculine way. I think the South Indian in me allows me to overlook the bushy mustache (in fact, I prefer him with the mustache). He is also one of the most talented actors in the industry EVER, and routinely has reduced me to BAWLING in movies like Saagar and Sadma. Yes I'm a bit disturbed by his serial marrying/dating of various co-stars, and movies like Hey Ram made me seriously question his sanity, but I will always admire his talent.
Ok, I think everyone who watched hindi films growing up in the 80s had some sort of crush on Amitabh at some point, and it IS somewhat shameful in my case as he is old enough to be my father. I have to say for the most part I don't find Amitabh Bachchan to be physically attractive or find him "hot" - but there have been moments. Most notably, the song "Dilbar Mere" from Satte Pe Satta (fave movie, again!) - there's something incredibly intense and romantic about him in this scene. I totally wanted him to stalk me like that. The other song that gets to me is (in my opinion) his most ultimate romantic song EVER - "Jidhar Dekhoon" from Mahaan (I beyond love this movie). I've always more thought of him as the slightly awkward yet endearing Uncle-type, but sometimes intensity and charisma can replace actual good-looks and make someone attractive, and Amitabh most certainly has those qualities.
I always LIKED Anil Kapoor - he generally seems like a nice, jolly sort of guy with a great smile. He acts very well, especially in innocent roles like in Woh Saat Din and Kishen Kanhaiya, and dances really well too (i.e. Raam Lakhan). He was amazingly funny and powerful in Mr. India. But there were a few movies, and songs in particular, in which I kinda felt the chik chik for him. The first and most intense for me is a song that always gives me intense nostalgia - "Kabhi Mein Kahoon" from Lamhe. I think it was something about the slightly graying sideburns, which is a bit scary because I was 14 when I saw this movie. I must emphasize that I ONLY love him with the moustache. But I found him incredibly attractive in that song. The 2nd one is "Kuch Naa Kaho" from 1942: A Love Story. Mmmm. Would love to be Manisha in this one. He gets points for "Kismat Se Tum" from Pukar and "Ramta Jogi" from Taal too.
Shammi is possibly the most conventionally good-looking hero Hindi Cinema has ever known. He has extremely European features, which I'm not usually so into (i.e. I prefer Madhuri and Juhi's very Indian features to Aishwariya's more Western features), but it works so well on Shammi. And his songs were always fun and playful, so you couldn't help but be charmed by him. Though I also loved Shashi Kapoor, I was far more into Shammi. The songs that I TOTALLY wanted to dance with him were "Dil Tera Deewana" (title song) and "Taareef Karoon Kya" from Kashmir Ki Kali. And I'd like to chase him around and sing "O Mere Sona Re" from Teesri Manzil to him too while he makes cute indignant faces. You know, I think with those looks, Shammi could have made a Hollywood career for himself, if he wanted. He is just so dashing!
Yeah, I know. I even question myself about it. But it's starting to become clear that I might have a bit of a moustache thing. I blame it on my South Indian upbringing and lots of tamil movies. But after all, Jackie is the "Hero" of Indian cinema! And I also sort of loved him as the singing portrait in "Tera Naam Liya" from Ram Lakhan (LOVE when she opens the door and he's standing in the doorframe in the suit). I don't know what it is about Jackie - something about how he has these sort of sad-looking eyes that makes me feel sorry for him? His penchant for kind cop roles? The way he often doesn't get the girl in movies? But I love seeing him dolled up in a suit in romantic numbers like "Tu Hi Meri Prem Kahani" from Pathar Ke Insaan (look at that first shot of him standing there with the rose!). Yet I don't think I admitted this slight crush to even myself until Rangeela and the amazingly steamy "Hai Rama" (though admittedly, this song has some really disturbing violent tones) - though in the SAME movie he completely threw me off by wearing speedos in "Tanha Tanha" - YIKES. Apparently Jackie's son Tiger (now 19 yr old) was featured on the cover of Men's Health magazine in India. Um, not so much. The Paramahamsa Yogananda hair is not really working.
Of course "Gharam Dharam" had to make my list, he was so freakin' handsome they made a whole movie about Jaya Bhaduri being his fangirl. He was officially voted one of the most handsome men in the world in the mid-70s. Check him out romancing Vyjayanthimala in "Dekha Hai Teri Aankhon Mein" from Pyar Hi Pyar (1969) and with the adorable Mumtaz in "Aaj Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai" from Loafer. The fabulous Memsaab created a post about awesome Dharam songs too, so definitely check it out for high-quality handsome Dharam images. My favorites? Seeta Aur Geeta, Jugnu, Dream Girl, Sholay and Jaani Dost. I also think he's like the cutest uncle now and want to give him a big hug.
I discovered through Kay from Totally Filmi's Govinda Week 2010 that I actually had a completely undetected crush on Govinda circa mid 80s all this time and I never knew it. I never realized until that blogging project that Govinda had a number of steamy, hot film songs that totally made me luuurve him, most notably "Jo Muskurahat" from Dadagiri, "Jabse Tujhe Dekha" from Pyar Karke Dekho, "Aa Bahon Mein Aa" from Mahasangraam, and "Sanam Mere Sanam" from Hum. But after a number of years Govinda stole my heart again as Taxiwallah Raju in Salaam-E-Ishq, and his performance was so sincere and powerful. He stole the show. I love a lot of things about Govinda, and think he is far more than a comedic actor, but one of the things I love BEST about him is how he makes me laugh. Humor is incredibly attractive!
Ok, I totally don't care what anyone says about this dude. He can DANCE. And he can dance circles around all the Hrithiks and Shah Rukhs in the world. And that alone makes him super adorable to me. But there IS more. There's how humble he seems in interviews. There's the classic South Indian guy way that he stands with his arms folded that makes him seem respectful. There's the way he makes me laugh. And there are specific songs from movies, like "Ennavale Adi Ennavale" from Kadhalan and "Vennilave/Chanda Re" from Minsara Kanavu/Sapnay that make me totally luuurve him. And come on, have you seen the "Benny Lava" video? How can you not love him?
After Kamal Hassan, it was a long time before I had another tamil movie star crush. Along came Ajith Kumar! Before he was the rough, tough action hero he is today, he was a young, handsome romantic hero in movies like Aasai, Aval Varuvala and Unnai Thedi. The pinnacle of my "lowwe" for him came in Kandukonden Kandukonden - the tamil/modern version of Sense & Sensibility starring Tabu & Aishwariya Rai. "Yenna Solla Pogirai" is a classic example of the Ajith that stole my heart! But he was super adorable in his special appearance in Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen too and I LOVE him in Vaalee (love him & Simran together!). Also his angry young man role in Amarkkalam (in which he starred with his now wife, the lovely Shalini) was too good. Also love him in Poovellam Un Vaasam with Jyothika, and was IN LOOOOWE with him in this gorgeous song "Ore Manam" from Villain, in which he co-starred with Meena and Kiran. More recently I loved the song "Kaatril Oru Vaarthai" featuring him and Asin in Varalaaru ... and oh yeah, I prefer Ajith with his full on bushy moustache. Heh heh. I had it pretty bad for Ajith. Still have a soft spot for him but miss his romantic movies.
Though Surya's been around for a little while, I fell for him around 2003 when Kaakha Kaakha came out - songs like "Uyirin Uyire" and "Ondra Rendra" totally made me see him in a new light! That was followed by his amazing performances in Ghajini, Sillunu Oru Kadhal, Varanam Aayiram and Ayan (LOVE "Nenje Nenje"). Surya is one of those actors that isn't conventionally good-looking, but his intensity and charisma is what draws you in. He's become one of the actors in tamil films whose performances I really look forward to! Not just because he's a sexy beast, but because he's a seriously good actor too. And a lucky dude, he married the lovely Jyothika.
I fell for Maddy in the very first film I saw him in, which was Mani Ratnam's Alaipayuthe. He's not everyone's cup of tea, but he most certainly is mine. I think he's totally adorable - he has the cuuuutest smile, is a very natural actor, and comes across as sweet and modest in interviews. Not to mention he is equally fluent in both Hindi and Tamil, which just makes me lowwe him more. My absolute favorite movie of his is Minnale (which was remade in Hindi as Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein) - check him out in the beautiful song "Vaseegara". Some of my other favorite songs of his are "Pache Nirame" from Alaipayuthe, Kannathil Muthamittal (title song), "Ichutha Ichutha" from Run, "Muthal Muthalai" from Laysa Laysa, "Muthal Muthalaga" from Aethiri and "Sudum Nilavu" from Thambi. Example of little things I love about Maddy: at the end of this song from Minnale, at about 4:39, he gets all intense and it is sooo freakin' adorable.
Speaking of sexy beasts. I already did an entire post dedicated to Vikram-love, so I won't repeat myself here. You already know that I am totally having the kaadhal for Vikram. Everything about him is HOT. He is intense, passionate, strong, masculine, fiery, etc. etc. etc. You can see it oozing through the screen in songs like "Konjum Manjal" from Ullasam, "Pudichirukku" from Saamy, "Chi Chi Chi" from Majaa, and "Ragasiya Kanavugal" from Bheema . And kisses like the ones from The Notebook and Twilight ain't got NUTHIN compared to this one from Kadhal Sadugudu (how jealous am I of this chick?). Raavanan was incredible too - the whole thing was a total Vikram-fest and I for one loved it. He's like a testosterone festival. YUM.
I've got it pretty bad for Jr. Bachchan. I am a total fangirl. I don't know what it is about him, because I know it's not the looks. Love him to death, but he's definitely not conventionally handsome. Like his dad, I think he's got that charisma that just draws you in. I can tell you exactly what made me fall in love with him. And it's this interview on Koffee with Karan with Preity Zinta. He is SO funny, and I was hooked on him the very first time I saw it (I have watched it a million times since). Love his sense of humor, love his natural ease with people, love his humility, love his unabashed admiration for his parents, love his acting (I think he is one of the most natural actors around, I don't care what anyone else says, he is a breath of fresh air every time he comes on screen), love his slightly awkward dancing, love everything. Then I saw him in this song from Kuch Na Kaho and fell MORE in love. Then I saw Bluffmaster and about fell over with love because he's so damn goofy! It doesn't matter how many dorky headbands he wears, what kind of wacko fashion choices he makes, I'm in lowwwwe. My most favorite song of his? "Bol Na Halke Halke" from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom - it's so beautiful! His costumes are totally weird, but whatevs. Abhishek, you are awkward, funny-looking, have no fashion sense and are just plain silly, but I am just mad for you. Bring it, haters.
Ok, it's no secret that I had a HU-U-U-UGE Salman Khan crush back in the day. I totally had his pictures ALL over my walls as a teenager, and in my defense, he was a total hottie back in the early 90s. I'm not the only one that thinks so either, as evidenced by him being the only Indian actor besides Gharam Dharam to be named one of the most handsome men in the world. Yes I know there's been tons of shady stories about him and he may or may not have an, ahem, anger issue? But every so often I see a little glimpse of that charisma he had when he first started out, and my heart melts. I love when he plays shy, quiet, brooding characters like Prem (eh-hey!) in Hum Saath Saath Hai - it allows you to not have to listen to him talk or watch him jump around like an idiot but just bask in his looks. And songs like "Chandni Raat Hai" from Baaghi (1990), "Bahon Ki Darmiyan" from Khamoshi (1996) and one of my personal favorites, "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan" from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam are songs where you can see how really handsome he is when he is serious and intense. It's shameful now when you look at the tragic circumstances of his hair and all the crazy stories in the news, but hey, there you have it. Shameful Classic #1 for me = Salman. I mean look at the way he's looking at me in that picture above. He lowwes me too. It's ok Sallu. Chod denge zamane ki saari khushi, saath tera kabhi bhi na chodenge hum!
So there we are, the good, the bad and the ugly (maybe in your opinion), but I lowwe them all and they are my SHAMEFUL CLASSIC LOWWES.