Ever since we have started quarantining ourselves after the coronavirus breakdown, LatestLY has been giving you movie suggestions that you can check out during self-isolation. As much we tried, we have avoided giving you popular choices, because we are pretty sure you don't need us to tell you to rewatch a Dil Chahta Hai, a Queen, DDLJ, an Avengers: Endgame or a Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Instead, we are looking out for some 'off the rack' choices, that may not be very popular and sometimes, not even great movies, but they are enjoyable in their own ways. Quarantine & Chill! 10 Bollywood ‘Under-the-Radar’ Comedies to Cheer You Up While on COVID-19 Lockdown (and Where to Watch Them)
From today, we will start focussing on our favourite stars, and let's begin with a man whose 'flop' movies do nothing less Rs 100 crore business at the box office. That's Salman Khan for you. Now Salman Khan and 'underrated' are two terms you don't usually see together. But Bhai has done some 'gems', both polished and unpolished, that deserve a bit more attention, and now is the right time. Here are 10 such films.
Biwi Ho To Aisi
Contradictory to popular opinion, Salman Khan's first film wasn't the superhit Maine Pyar Kiya, though that movie was responsible for making him a star. His first role was a supporting character in this Farooque Shaikh-Rekha starrer, where Salman plays the hero's brash younger brother. The movie is quite a decent watch, especially Rekha being in fine form as the loud village belle looking to tame her arrogant in-laws.
Baaghi: A Rebel for Love
Baaghi is a name that is most associated with Tiger Shroff these days, but the OG 'Baaghi' was Salman Khan. In his second film as a hero, we have his angry young man fall in love with a girl about to the trapped in flesh trade (played by Nagma). Baaghi has one of Salman's most intense performances, with Bhai also having a story credit. The songs are still popular, especially "Kaisa Lagta Hai". Coronavirus Lockdown: 15 Hindi Song Lyrics From Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan Movies That Tell Us the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ To Save Ourselves From COVID-19 Outbreak.
Yup, this is the same film that has Bhai in flowing golden locks, playing some sort of warrior inspired by Thor (not me, Wikipedia says so!). Before you start rolling your eyes, remember - sometimes 'Cheese' is fun! Suryavanshi is silly, but it is a fun kind of 'serious' silly, with Salman in a double role and Amrita Singh having a blast as the supernatural powerful entity.
Salman Khan's second film with him being credited with story is inspired by Tom Hanks' Big, and has him as a child who is turned as a man overnight by a fairy (Sridevi) from Moon, who is herself chased by an evil wizard. Pretty sure reading the previous line would have made you quite curious what the film is all about. Believe me, it has enough fantasy cheese for entertainment, even if you find Sridevi and Salman to be a mismatched pair.
Dil Tera Aashiq
Strangely released on the same day as Chandra Mukhi, both the films failed to draw in the crowds, despite being entertaining in their own right. Lawrence D'Souza directs Salman and Madhuri Dixit again after the superhit Saajan, with DTA more light-hearted in tone, and fun supporting turns from Kader Khan and Anupam Kher. While the movie failed to work its magic during its release, Salman and Madhuri did manage to create box office history a year later with Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.
Veergati is a product of its time - in its case, the '90s. A potboiler that pits the good against the evil, with Salman once again playing an intense angry young man, who doesn't have a love interest, or much words to say. It's only for Bhai's intensity (that I find lacking in his recent movies) that Veergati (a title that is actually spoiler-ish) find a place in this list.
Khamoshi: The Musical
I am someone who prefers powerful drama and performances with honest story-telling over technical finesse any day, which is why Khamoshi still remains my most favourite Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Which wasn't the sentiment the public shared then, as this lovely film bombed at the box office. Khamoshi is anchored by the strong performances of Nana Patekar, Manisha Koirala and Seema Biswas, with Salman doing a really fine job in a more supporting capacity. The scene in the church where he breaks down mid-speech is a rare example of Bhai doing some heartfelt emotional performance.
You may call Salman Khan as someone who never takes risks, and yet many forget that he took a very risque role right when his stardom was on a high. In Revathy's remake of Tom Hanks' Philadelphia (before Aamir Khan, Bhai had an obsession for Hanks, it seems), Salman had a cameo as Shilpa Shetty's college crush, who turns out to be HIV-infected and thus accidentally passing her the virus during their one-night-stand. Salman's act in the film, especially in the scene before the climax, is heartbreaking, and is bound to move you to tears.
Shirish Kunder's debut as a director is the kind of film that loved to break the rules of filmmaking, by taking potshots at cliches, breaking the fourth-wall and often delving in irreverence. All, the while, establishing itself as a light-hearted love triangle, with Salman and Akshay Kumar in terrific form. Sadly, the movie forgets its own formula in the second half, taking the very same cliched route it was trying to troll. But thanks to the performances of the lead actors and its inherent humour, Jaan-e-Mann is still a fun watch.
Okay, this may not have Salman Khan in any kind of acting role. But Chillar Party deserves a place in this list for being the BEST film Salman Khan has produced. The kiddie film was directed by Vikas Bahl and Nitesh Tiwari, both of whom went on to achieve more popularity in the days ahead (and in Vikas' case, infamy too). Chillar Party also has to be remember for having a Ranbir Kapoor cameo in a Salman Khan film, a phenomenon that may not happen again in the near future.
Watch this space for more suggestions on another of your favourite superstar.