The Romantic Era of Bollywood Films from 1990-1999

Evergreen Bollywood movies from 1950 to 1960_ the golden era of Bollywood

Being a 90s kid I probably have a soft corner for the 90s movies. No matter how non-realistic and cringy you find some of the movies you know it is your guilty pleasure. You might find the movies overdramatic full of Romeo Juliet kind of romance but those are the movies that made our childhood memorable. I don’t know if it was awesome or awful for you but I had a great impact on the 90s movies in my mind. The films from the decade became so deep-rooted within us that I still remember the songs from the 90s while playing Antakshari rather than the new songs. If you can relate to it, give me a high five!

Discuss the time people started having a TV in their households. Previously people gathered at one home on a Sunday evening for watching their favourite movie and TV shows. You might have a black and white or a colour TV if you were fortunate enough. But this did not reduce the craze of spending your weekends in the cinema hall. It rather brought business like never before. You can actually see Munna (refer to Aamir Khan from Rangeela) selling tickets outside leading movie theatres in black. Talking about movie theatres Multiplex came new into the market while the single screens also existed and were doing great business.

We remember the 90s from the Khan’s. Two superstars Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan totally changed the dimension of the Hindi film industry. They were a brand and still is one of a kind. Just like now after watching Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai people followed the trend of wearing funky clothes having a hairstyle like Shahrukh and of course the arms spreading like him. The totally New Era begins where the Khan’s were doing the romantic hits while stars like Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, and Sunil Shetty were also giving commercial hits as an angry young man and choosing script beyond romantic dramas.

Talking about actresses we cannot forget Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sushmita Sen, Madhuri Dixit, Kajol, Karishma Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, Rani Mukherjee, and Preity Zinta. It was that time when Govinda was also so at his career’s peak. He and David Dhawan had their own cottage industry of the silly and the slapstick. He has a unique acting style dancing style and movies that mostly ended with number 1 such as Coolie Number 1, Hero Number 1, aunty number 1, and so on.

But it was actually the time when Bollywood movies started gaining popularity among foreign countries. Bollywood actually started to gain recognition internationally. And the era of significant benefit from an audience started with the movies from Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Subhash Ghai’s Pardes. Both the film starring Shahrukh Khan who becomes the favourite Bollywood actor among the foreign folk. No wonder he still is the king of Bollywood.

In this series of best Bollywood movies from the decades that made it memorable. We have come up with my favourite decade the 90s. The films, if arranged in ascending order of their release year, you will see how the Khans ruled the nineties.

1. Agneepath (1990)

Genre: action, crime, drama

Director: Mukul Anand

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Madhavi

IMDb rating: 7.7

agneepath

Trivia

The iconic character of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan is from the classic movie Agneepath. Even though it is one of the classics and a Pioneer in the Hindi film industry which was much ahead of its time was a flop at the time. The probable reason for people not resonating with the movie was because it was a heavy crime movie but the audience was in a light mode loving the blooming Romance plots. It was evident from the success of the movie Maine Pyar Kiya.

Another reason was the heavy drop in Amitabh’s voice. People did not like his deep voice of Amitabh which was a sudden change for them. But to be honest most mimics nowadays copies Amitabh style from the movie Agneepath only. The iconic “Hain” of Amitabh is there in Agneepath in several scenes. At some theatres, the audience from the front row protested that the sound system of the theatre was faulty. The Movie only had three songs which we rarely recognise. It was another major reason for Agneepath not becoming a super hit movie. But the creators of the movie knew that they have made something out of the box which will be remembered. Which were absolutely correct people do remember Agneepath as one of the classics of Amitabh Bachchan.

He received the National Film Award for the movie and it was Amitabh first national award. Mithun Chakraborty also received the Filmfare Award for Best supporting actor. Karan Johar made is equal of this movie in 2012 as a tribute to his father Yash Chopra.

Plot

The angry young man Vijay Dinanath Chauhan seeks revenge for his father’s murder Dinanath Chauhan. He was an honest school teacher who tries to save the villagers from the conspiracy of Kancha Cheena. He was the dangerous underworld don, involved in heroin smuggling. But he somehow manages to manipulate the villagers against Dinanath. And they kill him by lynching him publicly. Vijay struggles through his entire childhood but on the path of revenge from Kancha he finds himself involved greatly in the dark world of the underworld. With passing days he is becoming more like his enemies. Will he find his vengeance and redemption?


2. Aashiqui (1990)

Genre: musical, drama, Romance

Director: Mahesh Bhatt

Cast: Rahul Roy, Anu Agarwal, Avtar Gill

IMDb rating: 6.3

aashiqui

Trivia

You have heard about the music composers who composed songs after they read the script. And they created the songs according to the demand of the script. But Aashiqui 2 was the only movie that existed because of its songs. Gulshan Kumar was about to release the song as an album. But when was bird listened to the songs he convinced Gulshan Kumar that he should release them in a film. He convinced Gulshan Kumar that he will write a film according to the songs and put them appropriately in the story.

Aashiqui is in a true sense a musical hit. Even after 30 years of its release the songs of the movie are still alive in our hearts. T-series stopped counting the sales of cassette after they reached 1 crore. All the songs were sung by Kumar Sanu except one song Mera Dil Tere Liye which was sang by Udit Narayan.

Mahesh Bhatt wanted to do the movie with new faces because he had great success while releasing many Pyar Kiya. He went to congratulate Indira Roy who was a UNICEF worker there he saw the picture of Rahul Roy and decided to cast him in Aashiqui. Boots the actors Rahul Roy and Anu Agarwal received immense Fame from the movie and their Stardom began. Kumar Sanu became an overnight star after the release of the movie.

Nadeem Shravan on the Filmfare awards for best music director and Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal for best male and female playback singer respectively.

Plot

Rahul and Anu each other in the police station. Rahul instantly falls in love with Anu and he finds out about her hostel and told her about his feelings. But the hostel warden Arnie text Anu to Ooty to get her married. Rahul also finds out that Anu’s legal Guardian uncle Peter is an alcoholic and he is a miserable person. Rahul bribes him to stay away from Anu’s life.

After getting rid of both Arnie and uncle Peter Anu wants to be self-dependent and she took admission to a typing institute. However, she became a model and when Rahul and Anu prepare to get married Rahul’s mother came to Anu and asked her not to marry Rahul until he achieves something in his life. Anu agreed and heartbroken Rahul went on to establish himself. Two years later when Rahul establishes himself finds out the truth behind Anu’s refusal in the first place. And they reunite.


3. Baazigar (1993)

Genre: crime, drama, musical

Director: Abbas Ali bhai burmawala, Mastan Ali bhai burmawala

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Dalip Tahil, Shilpa Shetty

IMDb rating: 7.7

baazigar

Trivia

the movie which made Shahrukh Khan Kajol and Shilpa Shetty superstar has formally rejected by Ajay Devgan Salman Khan Akshay Kumar and Arbaaz Khan. All of them turn down the movie because of the negative role of the lead character. But Shahrukh Khan agreed to do the movie. It was his first movie in a villainous role. It was the debut film of Shilpa Shetty. Kajol also was a newcomer at the time and he received significant recognition after this movie only.

The movie not only became a commercial head but it was also one of the major financial successes from the nineties. The movie had a theatrical Global premiere on 12 November 1993 which was Diwali. It made an income of rupees 120 million. The movie became a called film over years due to its suspense screenplay story music and star cast performance.

Shahrukh Khan received the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Other than that the film won three more Filmfare Awards.

Plot

Ajay Sharma the protagonist of the movie seeks revenge for his father’s death caused by a business tycoon Madan Chopra. He seduces his older daughter Seema and makes her commit suicide intentionally. The latter also seduces his younger daughter Priya with the intention to acquire all the wealth of Madan Chopra. However in the journey of seeking vengeance he falls in love with Priya. Priya finds out about the killer of her sister and the real intentions of Ajay. Will Ajay be successful or not in his Revenge game?


4. Hum Apke Hain Kaun (1994)

Genre: comedy, drama, musical

Director: Sooraj R barjatya

Cast: Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Monish Bhal, Renuka Shahane, Alok Nath, Anupam Kher

IMDb rating: 7.5

hum apke hai koun

Trivia

Are you one of those who always get confused between Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Hum Saath Saath Hain. Because I am one of those. As a child, I used to get so confused between these two movies because of extended Indian happy family kind of the same storyline and because of same actors.

This movie set a trend of nonviolent Hindi movies with light-hearted storylines. There was no angry young man but movies consisted of romance and family love. The villain was not a Gangster but a character from the family only. Or there was no villain at all. People started to love this kind of family drama movies. Inspired by these movies only e the daily soaps were becoming mod of a family drama.

It was the highest-grossing Indian film. It was the first Indian film to cross over Rupees 1 billion. The movie was, of course, one of the highest-grossing movies of the 90s but if adjusted to inflation the movie still remains one of the highest-grossing movies of Bollywood. The movie had a total of 14 songs which was larger than the conventional films. And 11 of the bottom songs was sung by legendary Lata Mangeshkar she also received special Filmfare Awards. The movie in total won five Filmfare Awards including best film best director and in the best actress category. The film also won the National Film Award for Best popular film providing wholesome entertainment.

Plot

Prem and Nisha fall in love in their elder siblings marriage. I want to get married but unfortunately, Nisha elder sister dies leaving behind her child. The family wants Nisha to get marry to her widow brother in law. Will Nisha choose responsibility for her love for Prem? However, that is secondary because the dog in the movie Tuffy helps in deciding Nisha and Prem’s destiny.


5. Andaz Apna Apna (1994)

Genre: action, comedy, Romance

Director: Rajkumar Santoshi

Cast: Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Raveena Tandon, Karishma Kapoor

IMDb rating: 8.2

andaz apna apna

Trivia

Andaz Apna Apna is one of those movies which did not do well in its initial days. The film did moderately well at the box office. It wasn’t even at one of the top 10 highest-grossing Indian films of that year. But the film was one of the greatest comedies of Bollywood that became a cult film in the coming years. New upcoming stars Salman Khan and Aamir Khan were in the star cast of the movie. But at that time they were not a superstar. The collaboration of both the actors created one of the best comedy genre movies in the Hindi film industry.

However, the collaboration of Amir Khan and Salman Khan could not compete with other movies released the same year like Laadla Mohra Hum Aapke Hai Kaun Krantiveer 1942:A Love Story etc. In 2013 while reviewing Grand Masti significant critic Khalid Mohammed stated that Andaz Apna Apna was a collection of excellent comedies.

The time when the movie was released was a time when people liked romantic Dramas and light-hearted movies. Even though the movie had both comedy and romance the movie was rated among average movies of that year. But today several dialogues from the film like “Crime Master GoGo Mocambo ka Bhatija”, “Do Dost Ek cup Mein chai Pienge”, Teja Mein hoon. Mark Idhar Hai are so popular in pop culture.

Plot

Amar and Prem are two friends who dream of Getting Rich by marrying rich women. Raveena Bajaj is the daughter of welding Ram Gopal Bajaj. Raveena and her secretary Karishma travel to India in search of the groom. But the twist in the plot is the secretary is playing Ravina and the actual daughter of Ram Gopal Bajaj is acting as her secretary. She did this because she wants to find a boy who will not love her for money but for her as a woman. Now Ram Gopal has a twin brother who is Teja and the villain of the story along with Crime Master Gogo. Actually, Amar and Prem became the protectors of Raveena and Karishma from the villain.


6. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995)

Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: Aditya Chopra

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri

IMDb rating: 8.1

dil wale dulhaniya le jayenge

Trivia

One of the greatest movie of the Indian film industry Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is a legendary movie and occult favourite. The movie is a brand itself that still has so much impact even in 2021 among the netizens. The film was a massive hit and it was a major attraction for non-resident till Indians. The movie was also the top-grossing movie of that year. The movie made Shahrukh Khan and Kajol super hit Jodi. Hence making filmmakers Stardom in subsequent movies. Dilwale Dulhania is the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema. As of now even after 26 years after its release DDLJ is still running on Maratha Mandir Mumbai.

DDLJ won 10 Filmfare awards and National Film Award. It was in several achievement lists first of The Times of India listed it in the 10 Bollywood movies you must see before you die list. It was one of three Hindi films in the film reference book 1001 movies you must see before you die.

Plot

Simran belongs to an orthodox Indian family who lives in Europe. Raj is a modern Indian with cool life living in Europe. They fall in love at the first sight. But when Simran moves to India for her arranged marriage Raj came to India also. He came to India with a dream to win Simran’s family especially her father’s heart. But it’s not that easy. A tough journey awaits for Raj to win back his love.


7. Border (1997)

Genre: action, drama, history

Director: J P Dutta

Cast: Sunny Deol, Sunil Shetty, Akshay Khanna, Jackie Shroff

IMDb rating: 7.9

border

Trivia

The border was JP Dutta dream project. The film was one of the first modern age Patriotic films. Even today we remember the film Border Ford its highlights scenes performance and most importantly anti-war message. It is among the best movies of the decade nineties. The movie is an adaptation of the real-life events that happened during the Longewala war in 1971. It was an Indo Pakistan war. At Longewala 120 Indian soldiers defended the post during the word until they the received next command from Indian Air Force.

It was the second highest-grossing movie of 1997. It received immense positive reviews from critics as well as the audience. Border won several awards including four Filmfare and three National Film Awards. On 17th India independence day, the Indian Directorate of film festivals and the ministry of defence jointly presented the Independence Day film festival where they screened border for it being a Cult favourite for 20 years.

Plot

The storyline of the movie is based on the Indo Pakistan war of 1971. The plot is inspired by a real-life incident in the world. A small battalion with few numbers of soldiers defended the Longewala post against a massive attack of Pakistan. They were waiting for the order of the Indian Air Force which they received the next morning. But it was a long night and The protagonists of the movie played by Sunil Shetty Jackie Shroff Akshay Khanna and Sunny Deol thought like brave army man. Even though India won the war the amount of destruction and the number of diseased soldiers broke their hearts.


8. Pardes (1997)

Genre: drama, musical, Romance

Director: Subhash Ghai

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Mahima Chaudhary, Amrish Puri

IMDb rating: 7.0

pardes

Trivia

Another Bollywood movie that attracted the non-residential Indians and had a great income overseas is Pardes. It was the debut film of Mahima Chaudhary and Donna first film See received a positive appraisal. Eventually, Shahrukh Khan and Mahima Chaudhary, both actors received good critical acclamation. The gross income of birthdays crossed over rupees for 90 million worldwide which was a big deal at that time. Hence we can call the movie a commercial success.

India Today said that it was the first Bollywood movie that succeeded in the United States. The music of the movie also received a positive response from the critics. It had a total of 12 Filmfare nominations and it won three Filmfare Awards including a best female debut for Mahima Chaudhary best screenplay for the guy and best female playback singer for Alka Yagnik.

Plot

Ganga is a homely Indian girl deeply rooted in her traditions. Kishori Lal a non-residential Indian is looking for an Indian bride for her son Rajiv. He wants Ganga to get engaged with his westernized son. To settle the things he sent Arjun his Foster son to India. Initially, Ganga is impressed by Rajiv and she goes to us to see the life in the US.

But there she finds out a completely different face of Rajiv and she finds herself alone there. Her only companion is Arjun. However, they fall in love but do not Express it. On the other hand, Rajiv tries to have sex with Ganga without her consent. Ganga ran away after injuring him and Arjun comes to her rescue. Buddha families thought that Arjun and Ganga eloped but later they got to know about the truth of Rajiv. Hence, they agree with the relationship between Ganga and Arjun.


9. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Genre: comedy, drama, musical

Director: Karan Johar

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee

IMDb rating: 7.6

kuch kuch hota hai

Trivia

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is another message success of the Jodi Shahrukh Khan and Kajol. It was their fourth film together. And it was the directorial debut of Karan Johar. It was the time when Indian films started doing great business overseas. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai set a new trend in the Hindi film industry. With its modern age storyline having love Triangles friendship and tragedy at some parts made the movie a complete package.

It was the highest-grossing movie of that year and the third highest-grossing Indian film of that time. The movie is a Cult favourite with dialogue became immortal. This was the movie that came up with the famous dialogue Pyar Dosti hai which became very popular in pop culture. Karan Johar wrote a script about a love triangle between a tomboy slightly intense boy and a beautiful girl. But he did not like this script and shelved it. Little he wrote another script about a widower’s child who wants a mother and help her father to find his love. But he again shelved this script. But for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai the thought of combining both the scripts and created a Masterpiece.

Plot

Rahul and Anjali are best friends in college. Anjali is a tomboy and Rahul is a cool dude of college. Tina a beautiful girl joins college and Rahul falls in love with Tina but Anjali secretly loves Rahul. There is a love triangle. Rahul gets married to Tina and they have a daughter. Tina dies and she left a letter to her daughter where she mentioned Anjali. There she also mentions that her last wish is Rahul and Anjali should get married. Now the little girl is on a mission to bring Anjali back into Rahul’s life and fulfil her mother’s last wish.


10. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

Genre: drama, musical, Romance

Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Cast: Aishwarya Rai Bacchan, Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan

IMDb rating: 7.5

hum dil de chuke sanam

Trivia

We know how great Sanjay Leela Bhansali movies are. The Epic theme with great cinematography and screenplay is the significant characteristics of his movies. People loved the emotional content music and cinematography of the movie. Along with the great performance of the lead actors Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The film was a massive hit and became the third highest-grossing Bollywood film of the year.

The music of the movie was equally praised. Most of the songs were Sang by Kavita Krishnamurthy Udit Narayan Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik. Different was an adaptation of Maitreyi Devi’s Bengali novel Na Hanyate. The film naturally received several awards including four National Film Awards and four Filmfare Awards. Sanjay Leela Bhansali received the Award for Best movie and best director.

Plot

Nandini is the daughter of famous singer pandit Garba a renowned Indian classical musician. Being a Rajasthani family they are quite orthodox. Sameer Aspiring singer came to Pandit Darbar to learn music under his guidance. Sameer lives in Italy and he is a happy-go-lucky fun-loving guy. Raj and Nandini gradually fall in love and their family get to know about it. Her father got very angry and asked Sameer to leave Har house and never see Nandini again. They forcefully got Nandini married to Vanraj. However, Van Raj gets to know about Nandini previous affair and that she is still in love with him. He takes Nandini to Italy to find Sameer. In due process, Nandani fell in love with Vanraj. And in spite of successfully finding out Sameer, she runs back to Vanraj.


11. Hum Sath Sath Hai (1999)

Genre: drama, musical

Director: Suraj R Barjatya

Cast: Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Mohnish Bhal, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Karishma Kapoor

IMDb rating: 6.2

hum sath sath hai

Trivia

Another Sooraj Barjatya movie featuring an extended Indian family with so many family members living happily together. The movie was a great fit as it became the highest-grossing film of the year. This is the movie that brought so much controversy during the shooting of the film. Salman Khan Saif Ali Khan Neelam Tabu and Sonali Bendre went out hunting in the forest of Rajasthan. And they got involved in the infamous blackbuck poaching case. Even though the film was a massive hit it did not receive any significant awards and accolades.

Plot

Ramkishan and Mamta run a Happy Family. He has four children Vivek, Prem, Sangeeta, and Vinod. But Mamta is his second wife and Vinod is his son from the first wife. But Vivek loves and respects Mamta and Mamta also never let him feel any discrimination. All Ford children’s live happily with their partners and spouses. Sangeeta husband is Anand. And Anand elder brother Anurag cheats on him for inheritance and share in the family business. Sceneries Mamta becomes very paranoid of the decision of Ramkishan making Vivek in charge of the business. This creates a misunderstanding among the family members but last month I realise her mistakes and they again brought their family together.

Here were the best films from the romantic decade 1990-1999.

Also Read: The Mixed Array of Bollywood Cinematic Delights from 1980 to 1989

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