The unique Bollywood masala films are a mixture of many genres rolled into one.
The stale tales are whipped up nicely, the product an entertainment package where the grey cells can remain at home.
The stories are predictive formulas and all about “everything you want to happen will happen” types.
It plays with the emotions – love, hate and anger – over the backdrop of singing songs, running around trees, fistfights and family dramas. A satisfactory ending is almost always assured, with the bad guy disposed off and the good guy getting the girl and a family picture opportunity.
Here are five no-brainer films which are ideal stress busters and provide great entertainment.
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
Cast: Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Neetu Singh, Shabana Azmi, Parveen Babi, Pran, Nirupa Roy
Director: Manmohan Desai
Desai always got the masala right and was the master of such films. He surpassed himself in this venture.
With a star-studded cast which includes some of Bollywood’s best actors, the film was a sure-shot success. The lost and found tale of siblings is handled well by Desai, and the rubbish is stylishly handed.
Some outrageous scenes are enacted well by the big stars to make it seem credible. A runaway hit after its release.
Dulhe Raja (1998)
Cast: Govinda, Raveena Tandon, Kader Khan, Johnny Lever, Mohnish Behl
Director: Harmesh Malhotra
For once the combination of Govinda and Kader Khan comes up with sensible comedy instead of nonsensical stuff. The story revolves around a dhaba owner whose shop is in the premises of a five-star hotel baron.
The dhaba owner refuses to go and a battle ensues. To complicate the plot, the dhaba man falls for the hotel baron’s daughter, who is actually in love with somebody else.
Judging by the standards of those days, the film is a decent comedy with extremely witty dialogues. Govinda and Kader Khan are in top form, ably aided by Johnny Lever.
Mr and Mrs Khiladi (1997)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Juhi Chawla, Kader Khan, Paresh Rawal
Director: David Dhawan
Dhawan is a masala connoisseur and his films are extremely entertaining, barring a few. He gives his own comedy touch to often-told tales.
Here a poor jobless man with big dreams, appropriately named Raja, gets entangled with a rich girl whose father understands his intentions.
Raja feels that an astrologer’s prediction of his marrying a rich woman has finally come true. But the father puts hurdles in his way and Raja has to battle them. Rawal excels as the narrator.
Cast: Sharman Joshi, Sahil Khan, Riya Sen, Tara Deshpande, Shilpi Mudgal
Director: N Chandra
Two happy-go-lucky college students keep playing pranks on others, including teachers, until reality bites.
Entering the last phase of their college days, they decide that an easy life is the best one. They lay a trap to attract two rich girls and live life in luxury.
However, a mystery woman enters their lives and they get embroiled in a murder. The film proved to be a big success despite its ordinary tale.
Raja Babu (1994)
Cast: Govinda, Karishma Kapoor, Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor
Director: David Dhavan
Another entertainer from the Dhawan stable has his favourite Govinda in the lead role of an orphan adopted by a rich man.
The country bumpkin grows into a man who is kind but vain. His vanity is pampered by his mother. He falls in love with an urban girl and tries hard to get some urban manners with disastrous results.
But deceptions explode in the climax but love ultimately prevails. A value for money film.