Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I like to look at my blog statistics from time to time, just to get a feel for who’s been around, and what they’ve been looking for. The Google search terms people have entered (and have found my blog as a result) are the most fascinating stats.

Most often, the search terms are Dharmendra-related (seeing as this is – technically – a blog in praise of all things Dharmendra-related). Typical ones (paraphrased): ‘Dharmendra and Hema’s Bollywood romance’, ‘Dharmendra: Bollywood star as father’, ‘Dharmendra fan’, ‘Dharmendra handsome superstar’, ‘Best Dharmendra films’, etc. The most interesting Dharmendra-related one I’ve come across so far is: ‘Why Hema Malini still looks sexy’. I love that one. Not exactly sure what the Googler was hoping to find (night cream, milk baths, lotion, love, hair oil, sunshine, religion, dance?), but… it’s interesting.

There are other Googlers in search of a bit of Bollywood goss: ‘Friendship between Kajol and SRK’ was a recent one; and there’ve been things like ‘Juhi and SRK relationship’, ‘Kareena Kapoor said … (can't remember what)’ and ‘Aamir Khan marriage’ in the past as well…

Some Googlers are just looking for info on (and pictures from) their fave movies – there’ve been loads of ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’ Googlers, as well as a few ‘Dil Ka Rishta’ fans. Most Googlers that hit upon this blog are just interested in their favourite movie stars (apart from Dharmendra). There’ve been (paraphrased) terms like ‘Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan acting couple’, ‘Amitabh Bachchan best movies’, ‘Abishek Bachchan in Bluffmaster’, ‘Ash pictures in Veer Zaara and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, ‘Jaya Bhaduri movies’, ‘Jaya Bachchan has said Kajol is a great actress’ (I agree), and so on.
And how can I forget the Monalisa Chinda and Mike Ezuruonye fans who always come by to nick my screencaps (from the Nollywood guest blog I did a while back). Can't hate though, I'm just glad that Nollywood actors have such a strong fanbase.

I know this is a slightly random post, but that’s one of the things I like about the internet…. Randomness is always encouraged.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


So last weekend I saw two Bollywood thrillers. One was, I guess, technically not a thriller - more like a superhero action thing - but with some definite thriller elements. The other was an international crime thriller. Interestingly, my fellow Nigerian-fan-of-all-things-Indian, Uzo, was involved in my viewing experience on both occasions. She lent me her ‘Krrish’ DVD, which I watched (I know, eons after everyone else) on my trusty laptop on Saturday (oh my laptop, how I love you!); and I saw ‘Don’ with her at the cinema on Sunday. I have been a bit short of words about ‘Don’ (it was just so good), but I think comparing it with ‘Krrish’ should be interesting anyway.


I am still trying to figure out whether or not Rakesh Roshan told his cast to act really badly in ‘Krrish’. Cos when I was watching it, all I could think was bad acting’! ‘bad acting’! ‘bad acting’! Priyanka Chopra’s acting was terrible, and even Rekha’s acting was like something out of a really really really bad melodrama. Only Naseeruddin Shah, in my opinion, and the guy who played ‘Kristian’, did a halfway-decent job.

As for my demi-semi-crush Hrithik, he didn’t do too badly, especially in the second half of the movie. In the first half, he got on my nerves a bit – don’t know why… maybe it was the constant smiling and the childish behaviour (the ‘you are so selfish Dadi, you don’t love me’ tantrum was so unappealing on a grown, muscular man – I understood it, because of the way he was brought up and all that, but I still didn’t like it). By the second half, I thought his performance was much more interesting, ‘meaty’ and enjoyable. Actually, to be fair, everyone got better by the second half of the movie.

As for ‘Don’, I loved Shahrukh’s performance, I thought it was delicious and played with such relish and can’t understand why anyone would pan it (haterzzz). Anyways, loved it – simply loved it. Priyanka Chopra was actually ok in this movie, I thought she did a ok job. There were moments in which she was actually good, and some in which she was not-so-good, but generally, she was credible. Arjun Rampal was good as well, and the rest of the cast all did their bit well. Even Kareena Kapoor was alright (if a bit boring). I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed in this department (except by SRK, who tends to overwhelm me even without trying - but that's not just down to his acting), but my ‘bad acting’ radar was largely undisturbed.

Music (and picturization of songs):

The music in ‘Krrish’ was alright, nothing to complain about, but nothing particularly memorable either. The circus number, I thought, was nicely choreographed and the song is pretty catchy. The 'romantic' numbers (especially the one with a butterfly flitting around Priyanka’s head and Hrithik putting a smudge of butterfly-powder on her cheek, like yuck) were less likeable (Ed. Okay, that is so very not true. I've been listening to the songs again, and I absolutely adore 'Koi Tumse..' - it's been on heavy rotation on my player. 'Chori Chori Chupke Chupke' is good too. Both definitely better than 'Dil Na Diya'. Just goes to show you can miss good stuff the first time around. Good work by Rajesh Roshan) – but still not bad (better than 'not bad').

I don’t know why the soundtrack for Don has been so maligned. I thought it was a decent score. Very Bond-inspired, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and nice tributes to the songs from the old ‘Don’. It could have been better, true, and it’s not half as good as the one from the original movie (which was brilliant), and it’s not going on my hotlist anytime soon, but I didn’t think it was bad at all. I really enjoyed the way the songs were choreographed – I thought it was very fresh and different from the first ‘Don’. Even ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’ was nicely done to my mind, contrary to everything I’ve read. Sure, Amitabh did an amazing job on that number in the original (so amazing it totally freaks me out when I watch it), but taken on its own merit, I think SRK did a good job. ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ was... hmm. Some of Kareena’s choreography was just dodgy, especially the beginning part. It was just… weird and… not good. I especially enjoyed ‘Main Hoon Don’. I absolutely loved it - both the song and the picturization - Shaan is awesome on this song. And when SRK poured champagne on himself at the end of that song… well, let’s just say I had impure thoughts.

Eye Candy:

Yes, I know – not the most technically (or politically) correct category to have in an analysis of a movie, but very important nonetheless. As a great (but shallow) philosopher once said, “eye candy is a beautiful thing to behold”.

In ‘Krrish’, Hrithik was gorgeous as ever, but I wasn’t sure about the hair. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes it just looked really naff and stringy. I didn’t like his costumes for the most part. But he still looked hot - as always. Sadly, he was the only male eye candy in that movie. Tragic.

I guess in the interests of gender equity, I should mention the other category of eye candy. Priyanka, the female candy, looked as pretty as she always does, but the make-up was a bit overdone (as Filmiholic has pointed out). Still, the girl is gorgeous.

‘Don’ – oh Don, Don, Don, Don… anyone who knows me knows I think SRK is the very hotness, and this movie was no exception. He was just so cute, and he had this strut, and this bad attitude, and I loved his hair, and he was sexy in a very, very bad way. And I could go on, but I won’t – suffice to say I have added another fictional character to my ‘bad boys I love because they’re just sooo hot!’ list – Don (1978) was already there, but I think Don (2006) has to rank higher (sorry Amit-Ji, you know I love you dearly).

Happily, there was more eye candy to come. Arjun Rampal with a longer haircut and some sexy stubble – oh yes please!!! Arjun, more movies with you looking so hot and I will soon forget your more-than-occasional woodenness as an actor and add you to my Bollywood crush list. Seriously, Arjun was bahut hot in ‘Don’. And the young police officer, Inspector whatever, was also pretty cute in that serious ‘Zanjeer-ish’ (I only say ‘Zanjeer-ish’ because no one – but no one – can do serious-but-hot-young-policeman like Amitabh Bachchan did it in that movie. He was so so off-the-chain hot).

Ok, Priyanka was once more the female eye candy in this film. And she was beautiful as always. As for Isha Koppikar (also beautiful, I hasten to add), all I can say is that she is a very brave woman for wearing a really really ugly dress and dancing (not very well, at that) next to Ms. Chopra. Ummm… not so smart.

I like how I have spent so much space on eye candy. It would be embarrassing and pathetic – if I didn’t enjoy it so much.

Product Placement:

Ahh… again, not your typical category, but ‘Krrish’ deserves an award for the worst, most pathetic product placement ever. I don’t care how much money the Bournvita people or the Tide people gave the film-makers, they just should not have done this. It was just so in-your-face. It was almost laughable watching Rekha sprinkle oodles of Tide into a pot while talking to Hrithik. Or Hrithik telling that kid to come and have some Bournvita at his house so he could also become super-strong. NOOOOO… and the only 2 products in their house on otherwise empty (and new) shelves and tables were Bournvita and Tide, cleverly displayed to their best advantage. I know every movie has built-in advertising, but this was waaay too much. Were we really supposed to believe that Priyanka got her killa figure from scoffing packet after packet of Lay’s crisps? The Honda advertising, though far more subtle, was also annoying. By that point, I think I was already really irritated by the Bournvita and Tide. I never liked Bournvita (I’m a Milo girl on the rare occasions when I do hot chocolate) but I like it even less now.

‘Don’ had its share of product placement spots too – with the Motorola phones and other gadgets etc, but it was discreetly done, as far as I can remember. Reminded me of the product placement in your average Bond movie (there was definitely some Bond-spiration going on in 'Don') – lots and lots and lots of advertising, but quietly, and not at the expense of the movie.

Film-making (Directing, Script, Effects, Cinematography, Design):

I usually like Rakesh Roshan’s directing – I think he’s usually very creative, visually-minded and precise. That’s why I liked ‘Koyla’ despite all the violence – it had an edge and a clear vision. Even ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai’, with its slightly silly story, had some style to it. But I really can’t relate to his vision for ‘Krrish’. I just don’t get it. It’s an ok thriller with very good special effects, but apart from some bad acting, what else was there to it? It felt really hollow. The funny bits were not funny, the sad bits were not as sad as they could’ve been, and I was generally underwhelmed. It was certainly not bad, but it could've been so much better, in my opinion.

Now, Farhan Akhtar has got a new fan of his work in me – I love the way he did ‘Don’. I think the balance between doing a good tribute to the original movie and making a new (and intelligent and fresh) movie for a new audience was something Akhtar achieved extremely well. I really don’t think it could’ve been done better. I loved all the nods to the old movie, but I loved the fact that there were enough well-placed twists to throw me off. I also love the pace of this movie – it was so well-paced that it didn’t feel as long as it actually was. The funny bits were very funny (loved the scene with Vijay and the surgeon who was about to 'scar' him), and even the slightly silly bits were amusing, and it was just fun. Good scripting.

The costumes for ‘Krrish’ were ok (if a bit boring), as were the sets, but the only thing that really jumped out at me was the coat (post-reversal I mean - the black side, not the stodgy grey) Hrithik wore as Krrish. Very nice. I liked the mask too, although how they could have thought Kristian was Krrish is beyond me. But that’s always a problem with superhero movies – how anyone fails to see that Clark Kent is Superman is another example.

‘Don’ – loved the costuming except there was way too much glittering disco-ball lame – a gold dress for Kareena, a silver one for Priyanka. Overkill. I liked the wide belts on Priyanka, but one or two would have been enough. I also liked the tie-and-shirt combos on SRK, but again, one or two would have done the trick. But other than that, great costuming. The sets were excellent – loved Don’s sheets. Nice detail.

The cinematography and special effects for both movies were really good. I liked the use of aerial shots and the panoramic-y thing (I know nothing about the technicalities, so excuse my crappy clueless lingo) in ‘Don’. There were fewer close-ups than I’m accustomed to seeing in Bollywood films, it was more all-encompassing and thus more fun. Was awesome to watch on the big screen. As for the FX, I liked ‘Don’ a bit more in this respect too, because it was edgier – the scene where they fall out of the plane and fight over the parachute, though ridiculous, was very well executed, I thought; whereas I thought the running-across-the-forest thing in ‘Krrish’ was very cool - until they did it for like the millionth time. A bit too much, it just got annoying.

General ‘Wow!’ Factor:

No prizes for guessing: ‘Don’ wins!! To be fair, this might be because I saw it in an actual cinema on a big screen with great movie-viewing company beside me. Must have enhanced the experience. I love my dear laptop, but it’s… smaller. That said, though, I really got sucked into ‘Don’ and the movie just grabbed me and held my attention. It was just very exciting. As for ‘Krrish’, I watched it in like six instalments, had to keep breaking off to eat, or sleep, or because ‘NEPA took light’ or whatever. And I never minded stopping at all. It just didn’t wow me. The special effects were nice – but, no, it did not thrill me.

Overall Winner: (in an awed whisper) Don… Don… Don… Don…


I also saw my fave hottie SRK in ‘Swades’ a few days ago. I really enjoyed his performance – it was so nuanced and engaging. But I’m beginning to think Ashutosh Gowariker needs to chill out on making such worthy-and-blindingly-obviously-so movies. He should do something less ‘worthy’ next time, just to show that he can. I mean, I may agree with the overall message of the movie (although I thought it was a bit unbalanced), but I don’t really appreciate being bashed over the head with it. Simplicity is one thing (one thing which I love, see my Hrishikesh Mukherjee post), but I don't like being hit over the head with a mallet in the name of passing across a message.

Friday, November 17, 2006

‘GAMES MEN PLAY’ (or, the Nollywood Guest Blog)

Nollywood… ahhh Nollywood! It’s an interesting industry, that’s for sure. What I love about Nollywood is that it’s mine – it’s Nigerian. The people look like me, talk like me and sometimes even do the things I do. I like that.

Artists have been making movies in Nigeria for a long time. The late and great Hubert Ogunde made moderately successful movies as far back as the 50s and 60s. But the industry in its contemporary form really hit its stride in the late 80s and early 90s. The release of the Igbo film ‘Living in Bondage’ in the early 90s is often pinpointed as the birth of modern Nollywood. With its success, suddenly it was a whole new world for movie producers, directors, actors, scriptwriters and everyone else engaged in the movie-making industry. The astronomical growth of the industry was promoted largely by marketers of Eastern extraction, who invested heavily in the industry and found that it was profitable. These days, others are finally realizing that they need to invest in this industry if they really want the mediocrity they complain about to go away… but the Igbo traders still largely hold sway, and are even able to ‘ban’ top actors from the industry if they demand fees which they consider to be too high. Talk about power.

Nollywood movies tend to follow trends and themes. There are a lot of movies about wicked mothers-in-law, sons who have gone astray, girls who get into the wrong kind of company, envious family members who use juju to destroy their own relatives, and barren wives (I recently heard about a Nigerian movie that was a Nigerianized copy of ‘Chori Chori Chupke Chupke’, which is ironic as CCCC copied heavily from Hollywood movies like ‘Pretty Woman’). There is also a string of epic-style movies about our pre-colonial days and the challenges they faced at that time (the enormously successful ‘Igodo’ started that trend). There is a string of successful comedy movies, thanks to the likes of Nkem Owoh (‘Osuofia’), Sam Loco, Patience Ozokwor and two little guys who are fondly called ‘Aki’ and ‘Paw paw’. Family is a big theme in Nollywood, because family is a very big deal to Nigerians. Another HUGE theme is spirituality – both the good and bad kind. There are a gazillion films in which demonic powers are destroyed by the powers of Christ. Good v. evil, with good always triumphing, is a major theme.

There are Nollywood films in English, as well as in our other major languages – Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa (the Hausa movies are modeled on Bollywood films, unsurprisingly, as Bollywood is MASSIVE in the North where Hausa is widely spoken – some Hausa people speak fluent Hindi just from watching the movies). The English films, naturally, are the most successful (as English is our official language and is spoken all over the country). Recently, there has been a shift from the normal supernatural movies, to more contemporary, creative, hip, ‘with it’ stories… and ‘Games Men Play’ is one of them. I’ll come right back to that.

The industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and it is the most successful film industry in Africa and one of the most successful, by any standard, in the world. The movies are churned out at an amazing speed, and usually not on the biggest budgets. In terms of quality, they aren’t that great, although some film-makers are trying hard to change that. Nollywood is often sneered at for its myriad faults, but I am proud of the achievements of my local film industry and can only wish it the best.

Okay… enough with the “Nollywood 101: Nollywood for the Unitiated” crash course… and on to ‘Games Men Play’ (GMP). This movie was recommended to me by a number of people, most recently by Uzo (hey girl, now I know where you got the ‘permanent fixture’ post from!) and I’m glad I saw it. It’s a very entertaining movie, with good performances, some very funny moments (and some appalling ones), and a lot of resonance (if exaggerated) with what contemporary Nigeria is like. This review is massively spoilered, I must add, so if anyone who plans to watch this movie wants to read this… you have been warned!

Ok, but before I go on, I need to get this off my chest. The hair stylist on this movie should have been sacked – can I just say I absolutely HATE what (s)he did to Monalisa Chinda Deso Richard’s (that is one long name by the way girlfriend, I know you just got hitched and all but...)hair?

Anyway, now that I’ve got that said, on to my review. GMP is a movie about relationships: male/female relationships. The challenges faced particularly by the women as a result of the… you guessed it, “games men play”. The narrator of the movie, in the name of conducting research for her friend and boss’s talk show (called ‘Abby’s Corner’), tracks down some pretty interesting couples and follows the, shall we say, intricacies of their lives. (She also adds her love life to the research.) The narrator, Tara (or was Tara her twin sister? anyway, whatever), is played excellently by Kate Henshaw Nuttall, a very consistent actress who can always be relied upon to do a good job – this was a nice turn by her (but the groaning on the loo bit was a tad…eeuw).

Here’s couple Number One:

Wifey is 'very' preggers, and they already have a cute little girl, but hubby is having a kind of 'I hope I'm still hot' phase and is still roaming around town with a young chick because she has (in his words) a hot body or sweet body (or something like that). Hot-body is telling herself that hubby will divorce wifey and marry her (yeah right), and wifey is trying to be a 'virtuous woman'. All I can say is, if packing condoms if my husband's toilet bag when I know he's headed for some weekend sex with his mistress makes me a virtuous woman, then... don't call me 'virtuous'. (really!) Apparently, being virtuous means being a footmat. It kinda works for her, I guess, cos hubby eventually (in the scene above) breaks down and apologises and begs her forgiveness. Aww... I liked this scene cos I think the actor in it (Jim Iyke) is a very good actor. I especially liked him in a movie called 'One Dollar' - he was in it for just a few minutes but totally stole the show. He really gets into each character he plays and does it with relish. I like him although there's something a bit 'funny' (funny in a Colin Farrell-ish, I'm-a-bad-boy-and-I-like-it way) about him.

This is Hot-Body (sorry, can't remember her character's name). Dakore Egbuson (I love her dreads, her make-up and her dressing - she's very stylish) played her to perfection. Perfect deluded chick who thinks a guy is going to leave his wife for her. Pathetic, really.

And then there’s couple Number Two:
Couple Number Two - well let's just say they're meant for each other. Tayo (the girl, played by Ini Edo - very good, OTT performance) is crazy - all she cares about is the money. She is the classic greedy student draining her boyfriend's pockets. Boyfy (Mike Ezuruonye - smarmy to a tee in this film), on the other hand, is a total dog - his name is Richmond (Richmond, VA?) and he's seeing Tayo at the same time as he's dating a celeb - TV talk show host, Abby. Richmond is a good-for-nothing skivver and does 419 deals (nasty!). Abby thinks Richmond will marry her someday (why do girls do that?) but Richmond is only interesting in making money from her. So, he freeloads on Abby and plays around with Tayo, while spending Abby's hard earned cash on Tayo... crazy, huh?
Please, Richmond, take my money, please, just take it... no, that's ACTUALLY what Abby's saying in this scene.

Couple Number Three:
Abby, after much suffering (and spending), finally sees the light and finds a guy who loves her to bits - you should hear the things he says to her - cringeworthy, really...

Couple Number Four:

All I can say is… eeuw (and trust me, you'll see why). This couple can’t have a baby because the guy has a medical condition (I must say I liked that, was a change from the usual ‘barren woman’ spiel). So, they decide to adopt. Just before the adoption, and at the woman’s most fertile time of her monthly cycle, she is brutally raped by a ‘robber’. She falls pregnant, and severely traumatized, wants to abort the baby. But hubby’s having none of it. He says the baby is a gift, regardless of the way he was conceived… eventually, we find out that hubby actually arranged for the rape (!!!!) by getting an old friend to do him the favour of pretending to be a robber and rapist. Anyway, 7 years later, old friend loses his pregnant wife and suddenly remembers – hey, my friend’s child is my kid! And he foolishly tries to get his son back. All kinds of mess ensue… Bottom line for me is, it’s absolutely appalling that the woman eventually goes back to a husband who arranged for her to be raped… APPALLING, APPALLING, APPALLING (can’t say it enough). Her friend tells her it’s just one of those challenges every marriage faces… uh… oh-kay….

Couple Number Five:

It’s Ms. Narrator herself, Tara (or whatever), who falls in love over the internet (the internet??!!!!) only to find out, at the fateful meeting, that her rich and handsome amour is actually a little person. An extraordinarily loquacious, mouthy, vain, rude, arrogant and hilarious little person. So not PC, but so funny. The funniest part of the movie, for me.

Couple Number Six:

This couple turns out to be pretty normal, healthy, honest and sane; which is remarkable cos the guy has this makossa-thing about him (he was cool though) and the girl, well, let’s just say this actress (Benita Nzeribe) always scares/amazes me with her sheer – whoa. She is just so… loud. Good lesson from these guys - they were open and up-front about their expectations... no games. Good stuff.

The craziest thing about this movie (apart from Monalisa’s hair) is the outfits… I mean !!!!! What were they thinking?! It was entertaining in any case - the costume designer was definitely ummm... creative. Here are a few of my faves.

First we have the love affair with brightly-coloured frilly tiers/layers:

Abby gets in on the frilly-tiered action in time for her showdown with Tayo:

yup...almost the same pink-and-blue frilly ensemble on two different people.

Richmond was rocking hats and loud shirts with strange prints:

Monalisa was cute in this outfit...

...until we saw the bottom half...

And this get up... Inspired by the disco?

Kate is wearing those nasty split down the front pants in this picture, and her sister is rocking a leopard print top (more of that later)...

You gotta love Kate Henshaw - she rocked this hoochie mama leopard-print outfit like a pro:

The bit where they all dance at the end, all dressed in white at Abby’s wedding, was, I must admit, quite cool. I enjoyed watching that bit. Very self-indulgent of all of them, but I can’t hate…

Even the rapist in his jail cell gets in on the dancy-licious action (yuck).

This was a fun movie to watch... enjoyed it.

Monday, November 13, 2006


This post is a tribute to great Bollywood soundtracks. My cousin, who watches a bit of Bollywood now and then, always skips the songs. She says they are time-wasters, make the films unnecessarily long and mess with the storyline. Oh I so disagree. If it were not for the music, I honestly would not love Bollywood half as much as I do. I love, love, absolutely love, the music.

Sure, the music is not always perfectly done. Sometimes you find that the soundtrack just does not fit the movie – they are out of sync somehow. They are on totally different pages – hate when that happens. Sometimes the music is decent but the movie is so bad that it distracts you from enjoying the songs. Sometimes the music is just so forgettable, it sounds like a million things you’ve heard before. Sometimes, it’s not the music but the choreography and movement that fails – and it just doesn’t flow (hate that as well, but love it when it works). Sometimes it’s just plain ol’ flat-out bad music. Which can be a shame, ’cos even a good movie can be semi-sabotaged by bad songs.

BUT WHEN IT’S HOT, IT’S HOT… and I absolutely LOVE it. When the music rocks, and is right for the movie, it’s a beautiful thing. Here are some of my favourite Bollywood soundtracks. I’ve put 25 of my favourites (in no particular order) here. This is just 25 of my favourites off the top of my head, so I’m sure some of my faves haven’t made it on here just because they’ve skipped my mind at the moment. Still love them, though, whatever they are (I'm sure I will be hitting myself for skipping some of my favourites later).

This is a tribute to the great, super-talented and super-creative composers, lyricists, instrumentalists and playback singers of Bollywood (who I know will never read this). I love you all (really – I’m not just saying that), your music makes me happy (or sad, but in a good way). You rock my world (even though a lot of the time I don’t know what you’re talking about – I always love it when they remember to subtitle the songs – wish they would always do that!).

VEER ZAARA: A rich, beautiful and evocative soundtrack that completely and perfectly complements the movie. My personal favourites are ‘Do Pal’ and ‘Tere Liye’, but I would happily listen to the entire album over and over again without skipping a single track.

UMRAO JAAN: The poetry is beautiful. The music is beautiful. Asha Bhonsle (thanks, Carla) sings like an angel (albeit a very seductive one). Nothing else to ask for, really.

MERA SAAYA: One of those soundtracks when you really only remember one song from it, but somehow it’s enough. I love the theme song ‘Mera Saaya’, and honestly can’t remember the other ones, but… it’s still on my hot list. The song ‘Mera Saaya’ is haunting, mysterious, and somehow a bit quirky – perfect for a ‘60s mystery movie. Love it.

MUQADDAR KA SIKANDAR: Three words: ‘O Saathi Re’. Again, I love this soundtrack just for one song – ‘O Saathi Re’ is just beautiful to me and is amazingly sung (by Kishore Kumar, I think). It’s just terrific. I could listen to this for hours.

THE BURNING TRAIN: Three songs from this soundtrack make me love it – ‘Teri Hai Zameen, Tera Asmaan’, ‘Pal Do Pal Ka’ and my personal favourite ‘Pehli Nazar Mein Humne’. ‘Teri Hai Zameen…’ is kinda cheesy, but sweet and even inspiring, ‘Pal Do Pal Ka’ is a 15-minute orgy of music that just makes you feel happy; and I just have a special place in my heart for ‘Pahli Nazar…’. ‘Wada Haan Ji Wada’ and ‘Meri Nazar Hai Tujhpe’ are also very good songs.

BLUFFMASTER: A great soundtrack, just perfect for the film and guaranteed to make you wanna dance. ‘Bure Bure’, Sabse Bada Rupaiyya’ and ‘Say Na Say Na’ are my favourites. Very memorable.

LAAWARIS: Another fun soundtrack from one of Amitabh Bachchan’s earlier movies. ‘Jis Ka Koi Naheen’ is almost deliriously defiant and brilliant, and the other songs are delicious and indulgent.

SHOLAY: Another soundtrack that was perfect for the film. Great songs all around, I like the folksy, off-kilter ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ (Helen rocked it out in the movie); but ‘Yeh Dosti’ has to be my favourite.

KABHI KHUSHIE KABHIE GHAM: A number of good songs are on this soundtrack, but I never get tired of watching the video for ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ and listening to the song. Love it! ‘Shava Shava’ is fun and ‘Bole Chudiyan’ is even more fun. And the title song is sweet.

DUSHMAN: You wouldn’t expect a thriller about a serial rapist-murderer to have such a great soundtrack. It’s surprising, and therefore brilliant. I particularly love ‘Awaz Do Humko’, but ‘Pyar Ko Ho Jane De’ is good too. The one where they go ‘kabhi nahin, kabhi nahin’ is nice too.

MAIN HOON NA: Ah, ‘Main Hoon Na’. Great music. I love the title song, but I think my favourites are ‘Chale Jaise Hawaein’ and ‘Tumse Milke Dil Ka’ (particularly the latter). ‘Gori Gori’ is fun too.

HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN: The major reason I love the Bharatya (I'm not sure I spelt that right) family musicals, like this movie and HAHK, is the music. It’s just awesome. This is a great soundtrack, from the title song to ‘Maiyya Yashoda’, to ‘Mhare Hiwda’, to ‘Yeh To Sach Hai Ki Bhagwan Hai’, to ‘Sunoji Dulhan Ek Baat Sunoji’. Even the cheesy-oh-so-cheesy ‘ABCDEFGHI’ song gets my thumbs up.

DEVDAS: ‘Devdas’ as a movie was (for me) visual overload, so the songs had to live up to that. I think they succeeded. My favourites are ‘Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka’, ‘Hamesha Tumko Chaha’ and ‘Dola Re Dola’.

DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE: I’m sentimental about this film so it just had to be on this list. But the songs really are great - absolutely delectable music. I particularly love ‘Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam’ (I'm sure I didn't spell that right), ‘Mehndi’ and ‘Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko To Pyar Sajna’.

HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN: Another Bharatya film with a fantastic soundtrack. Love the title song, so sweet. Love ‘Waah Waah Ramji’, ‘Joote Dedo’, and Dhiktana Dhiktana’. Even ‘Chocolate Lime Juice’ which is a bit silly, sounds good.

BUNTY AUR BABLI: A fun soundtrack with a few cringe-y moments. Overall, it’s very very good. I love ‘Dhadak Dhadak’ most of all, it always makes me feel good, but I also like ‘Kajra Re’ (Ash rocked it out), ‘Nach Baliye’, ‘Chup Chup Ke’ and even (aww shucks), the title song.

KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI: Whenever I hear that unmistakable ‘Tum Pas Aiye’, my body involuntarily starts to move. When I was watching ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge’ and this song came up in the medley, I was singing like a madwoman. This is a great soundtrack, infectious, instantly recognizable, and perfect for the film. Other highlights for me are: ‘Koi Mil Gaya’, ‘Ladki Badi Anjani Hai’, ‘Raghupati Ragav Raja Ram’ and ‘Tujhe Yaad Na Meri’.

YES BOSS: This is a chilled out, goofy movie – and the soundtrack is equally chilled-out and goofy. Some of the songs are duds, I have to say, but I think ‘Main Koi Aisa Geeta Gaoon’, and a few of the other numbers, make up for them.

DIL TO PAGAL HAI: This is a really nice film (with Madhuri Dixit totally killing it when everyone thought her career was over – go Madhuri!! – and SRK and Karisma doing a great job too), but I think I loved the songs even more than the movie. My favourite is ‘Koi Ladki Hai’ (so catchy, and I love the kids’ voices on it). Other good picks are ‘Dholna’, ‘Are Re Are’, ‘Le Gayi’, ‘Pyar Kar’, ‘Bholi Si Surat’, and of course, the excellent title song. This is a really lovely soundtrack.

SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM: Again, the title song would be enough for this movie to make my list. Perfect for the film - haunting, mysterious, melodious, beautifully sung. The other songs are great too - very... interesting and 'different' - for a 'different' film.

MAIN TULSI TERE AANGAN KI: Who woulda thought you could make such a great title song out of such a long title? It works, it absolutely works. To hear this song is to love it, and it’s mostly in the way it was sung (can’t remember if it was Lata or Asha who did the honours). Whichever of the sisters did it, it was beautifully done.

ARADHANA: This is a romantic movie to the core, and they gave it an appropriately romantic soundtrack. The songs are great – from ‘Main Sapnoon Rani Kab Aaegi’ (Kishore Kumar always rocks), to ‘Gun Guna Rahe Hain Bhavre’ (my personal fave), to the sexy ‘Roop Tera Mastana’, to ‘Baghon Mein Bahaar Hai’ (‘Ha Hai!’)

JUNGLEE: ‘Yahoo!’ I absolutely love this soundtrack. The title track is totally right for the film, and I also love ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ and the oh-so-sweet song that has ‘Tumse Mohabbat Hoge Hum Mujhe’ in it (can’t remember the title but it’s my favourite song from the film). The soundtrack complements the film beautifully.

THE RISING – THE BALLAD OF MANGAL PANDEY: I love the way this soundtrack was done. It’s very creative and moving, it tells a story, it conveys the feeling and tone of the film, and I just think it rocks.

For number 25, it’s a tie between DIL and YEH VAADA RAHA: which I guess is kinda appropriate because they are both romantic films (which, I must admit, I love). I guess the right thing to do would be to make the list a list of 26; but I don’t really like that number so I’ll keep it this way. For me, ‘Dil’ had a great soundtrack – young, catchy, passionate and just right for the movie. Same goes for ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’. Nuff said.