“Holi Ke Din” (“On the Day of Holi”), a colorful explosion set during the Hindu spring festival, is both a festive break between violent action sequences and a romantic tête-à-tête between the roguish Veeru (Dharmendra), whose vocals are voiced by Kishore Kumar, and the feisty Basanti (Hema Malini), voiced by Mangeshkar. Basanti struck a chord with the audience not only for her quick-talking bravado, but for a momentous act of sacrifice: to save Veeru from a heartless bandit, she agrees, in a heroic act different from the Indian musical , dancing on broken glass in “Haa Jab Tak Hai Jaan” (“As Long As I Live”), which Mangeshkar sings lovingly and fearlessly.
Five movies to watch this winter
‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995)
Stream it on Amazon Prime; buy or rent it on Apple TV, Google Play or YouTube.
With a Broadway adaptation of the works and statues of the lead characters to be unveiled in London’s Leicester Square, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” continues to be hailed for making Bollywood a global phenomenon. It became the highest-grossing Indian film in foreign markets, courting diaspora audiences with its story of Indians abroad who maintain a nostalgic yearning for their culture — a trend that caught on quickly, with Europe and North America more often serving as backdrops. turned up.
The film also aided the rise of modern megastars Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan, who play star-crossed Londoners Simran and Raj. The seeds for their world-reaching romance are planted during Simran’s mischievous early song “Mere Khwabo Mein” (“In My Dreams”), in which Mangeshkar, then 66, radiates youthful energy. Even in the film’s more traditional scenes—such as the wedding song “Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna” (“Put Your Henna On”)—she retains a dazzling vitality.
Stream it on Netflix.
Ashutosh Gowariker’s Oscar-nominated historical drama ‘Lagaan’ combines two moving subjects for Indian viewers: cricket and anti-colonial struggle. It follows a group of poor farmers seeking liberation from crushing taxes, a relief provided they defeat British officers on the cricket pitch.
Upon release, the film’s climactic scenes were met with the kind of lavish applause normally reserved for sports arenas. This thrilling impact, however, rests on previous moments of despair, when the villagers gather to sing “O Paalanhaare” (“O Caretaker”), a desperate prayer. AR Rahman’s usually bombastic music in the film is in the background of Mangeshkar’s spiritual lament. The result is a moving performance that illustrates her talent: her voice echoes as if from an alien world, but the emotions she brings with her are deeply human and familiar.