Things that happen to the story when it rains in the movies.
Last Updated: 05.26 PM, Jul 30, 2022
Bollywood soaked in baarish… Is there a better mausam? (Images via YouTube/Screengrabs)
‘Rimjhim gire sawan, sulag sulag jaaye man, bheege aaj is mausam mein lagi kaisi yeh agan…’ writes the poet. But is it just a song you hear forever during the rains, not knowing how the rains matter to the movies?
To borrow from Shakespeare, remember the refrain from the song the jester sings at the end of the comedy The Twelfth Night: ‘For the rain, it raineth every day’ or the more popular: 'But, soft! What light through the yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.’ The Bard knew that the weather reflected what his characters were feeling.
Since the weather outside is wet, and there’s a cover of dark clouds threatening to burst over us all, we should explore how some movies just hit the right spot when it comes to the weather. We’re talking Bollywood here for now or I will end up writing reams about rain in Zhang Yimou’s stunning fight in the rain in his fabulous film Hero (Jet Li fighting Donny Yen and more… ).
Once upon a time in Bollywood, movie songs ‘carried the narrative forward’ superbly with songs like ‘Ek jaal hai zulfon ka tu bach ke nikal ja’ (Kahin pe nigahen kahin pe nishana from Dev Anand’s CID). And we have rain songs to fill every corner of your soul. But what does the rain have to do with the telling of the story?
Falling in love with ek ladki bheegi bhaaghi si is perfect in Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein. I wouldn’t want to be the dad at this moment where the son calls him and then is stunned by this girl who steps out of her car and dances with the urchins in the rain.
You think the gazebo scene is better? I admit to my bias because I think no one romances a woman like Shah Rukh Khan does. And he’s right. When you’re in the arms of your beloved, music begins to play...
If you were too young when couples dropped the umbrella and chose to huddle under a denim jacket in the middle of the street (Aashiqui 2), then you will probably remember how Tiger Shroff (now more manly with facial furniture that suits him well) walks out into the rain to persuade Shraddha Kapoor and at that moment she notices the ring.
You thought I’d forgotten SRK in his best RJ moment romancing a girl on a train platform? Of course not! Manisha Koirala is a bit ‘nyaka’ (the Bengali word that does not have a perfect single word option in English) for my liking, but what she does to him became slang in our time (when the lads were heartbroken over a girl who did not show up on a date, we’d say, ‘Dil Se ho gaya iska’.
When you love them, shaadi naturally follows, because Bollywood. Picture this, Shah Rukh has just promised his dad that he’s going to be the ‘good’ son. Of course, his resolve melts in the rain when he sees his beloved bereaved.
Hrithik Roshan dances with Preity Zinta in the rain after Jaadu’s magic works on him, but when he sees Priyanka Chopra dancing in the rain in Agneepath, you feel what he’s feeling. For some strange reason, Priyanka Chopra just did not look like she were a gaon ki gori…
Stalking in the rain award goes to Akshay Khanna who is ogling three girls dancing in all whites in the rain, singing Taal Se Taal Mila… Even though at one point he looks like he tasted the rain that was made of lemon juice when it’s supposed to be a shiver to acknowledge that he’s in love... Someone should commission a coffee table book with heroines singing songs in the rain wearing white sarees.
But there are movies that take the rain metaphor to an extreme. Tumbbad - the movie is the best example. That village is cursed, so the village is covered in grey and it’s raining here, incessantly. The movie is so brilliant, you will drown in all the emotion the movie extracts from you.
Raincoat is of course another film that very obviously deals with a stormy relationship between two people. I do feel that Ajay Devgn is very good in the film, as a man who has travelled all the way from Bhagalpur to Calcutta to ask his friends for money, his discomfort is wonderfully shown, and the hesitation in Aishwarya Rai’s eyes is incredible.
Life In A Metro is all about Mumbai. You watch the movie with a smile on your face because you have been a part of the situations the characters find themselves in or have seen the stories play out in front of you. Irrfan Khan, Shiny Ahuja, Shilpa Shetty, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kay Kay Menon, and Sharman Joshi are some of the lead cast members. The film is available on Netflix if this rain scene inspires you. The songs of this film are brilliant as well…
When I first watched Wake Up Sid, I was amazed at how entitled and privileged the young man Sid, played by Ranbir Kapoor is. My heart went out to Konkona Sen Sharma - who I still believe - deserved better than a spoiled brat who is mostly directionless. His realisation that Konkona is the one he loves happens - you guessed it - when it’s raining outside…
No matter how hard the rain is, when it comes to the two hottest creatures on screen, when they play basketball, it had better rain. It will cool off the hawtness these two people can create when playing basketball together. Aah, how gorgeous Sunheri looks in this scene.
Enough with the steaming up of your glasses? Then let's see two fabulous fight scenes that include rain wonderfully. The first of course has Rajinikanth as Kaala, in a veshti with an umbrella to shield him from the rain.
The second part of KGF has a fabulous mara mari scene. It’s self-explanatory, so here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IpUWa1rw68
Now funerals are made great by adding a bit of rain to the mourners so they can bring out the umbrellas. When I watched Vikram on Disney+Hotstar I ended up laughing because it rains only during the funerals, the rest of the time the roads are dry…
To top off this cheesy listicle about rain-soaked scenes this particular song reigns supreme. It’s Charal from the film Kuselan (technically a Tamil film, but Billu Barber was made in Hindi so I guess it's okay!). When I go out in the rain, I end up looking like a bedraggled bird. Watch it and wish that you too could look like Nayanthara when you dance in the rain...
About the author:
Manisha Lakhe writes on films and TV shows, is a poet, teacher, traveller and mom (and not necessarily in that order). Could sell her soul for Pinot and a good cheesecake.
(Disclaimer: Views expressed in the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of OTTplay. The writer is solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.)