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The Ultimate Fantasy Films

Last updated on: October 29, 2009 12:21 IST

Image: A poster of Aladin

Movies resonates magic -- the power of make-believe to stage an enormous scale of emotions against a grand backdrop brimming with colours, beauty and music. The celebration of this concept is all the more noticeable in the genre of fantasy films.

Unfortunately, despite Hindi cinema's history of enchantment with classics like Alam Ara, Naulakha Haar and Aladdin Aur Jadui Chirag, the genre's potential remains mostly untapped.

Director Sujoy Ghosh, however, plans to change that with his latest, Aladin, a contemporary take on the beloved Arabian fairy-tale, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Sanjay Dutt and Jaqueline Fernandes.

Meanwhile, here's a look at Bollywood's previous attempts of embarking on a fanciful journey.

Ali Baba Chalees Chor

Image: A scene from Ali Baba Chalees Chor

In Unmesh Mehra's Indo-Russian collaboration, Dharmendra slips into the titular avatar of Ali Baba with pretty ladies -- Hema Malini and Zeenat Aman -- in tow to experience one captivating adventure after another, which includes discovering a magical treasure with the catchy password: Khul ja sim sim and battling a powerful group of thieves.

Set on a lavish budget, Ali Baba continues to thrill to this date with its all-star wonderment.

Pataal Bhairavi

Image: A poster of Pataal Bhairavi

What happens when a good-for-nothing falls in love with royalty? He woos her with grand songs and her dad with displays of valour outwitting an evil sorcerer into a happily-ever after.

Something to this effect and more happens in K Bapaiah's part-cheesy, part-entertaining and unapologetically over the top, Pataal Bhairavi featuring Jeetendra and Jaya Prada.

Hatim Tai

Image: A scene from Hatim Tai

Always one to lend a helping hand, Jeetendra plays a brave young man helping out a cursed fairy return to her original form by solving seven riddles resulting into dangerous escapades.

While the tackiness of this fantasy is to be seen to believed, dynamic Jeetu is not-so-surprisingly comfortable in his bizarre costumes combating implausible wizardry.


Image: A scene from Ajooba

Another Indo-Russian multi-starrer fantasy.

Ajooba, directed by Shashi Kapoor, cast Big B in the heroic costume of a mighty superhero fighting wicked wizards and wild demons with the help of flying horses and charmed dolphins to save his father's tumbling kingdom.

Ridiculed for its shabby SFX and absurd logic, Ajooba didn't quite live up to its name.


Image: A scene from Chandramukhi

A non-starter starring Sridevi and Salman Khan, Chandramukhi has the former superstar play a princess who descends from the heavens in pursuit of a lost magical leaf only to bump into a young boy tormented by his vicious uncle and step-mom.

With her gift, she transforms him into a grown up and the duo fall in love. All's well that ends well? In their case, yes. But the film bombed.

Jajantaram Mamantaram

Image: A poster of Jajantaram Mamantaram

A desi version of Gulliver's Travels, Jajantaram Mamantaram deals with a giant size human's encounter with ant-sized denizens of a mysterious island.

How he proves to be their benefactor by standing up against the fierce demon, Jhamunda forms the crux of this kiddie flick.

Despite its intentions to entertain, J2M2 falls short, owing to amateurish SFX and loud performances from Javed Jafferi and Gulshan Grover.


Image: A scene from Paheli

India's official entry for the Oscars in 2006, Amol Palekar's reworking of Mani Kaul's Duvida is about the emancipation of a woman in a rather mystical manner.

When a lively spirit takes the form of a newly-wed village woman's husband, while the latter is away on work, an unexpected romance blooms.

In the tradition of a true fairy tale, this vibrant fantasy starring Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji, too, somehow, finds a happy fate.


Image: A scene from Drona

Following in the footsteps of a legacy of warriors, namely the Drona clan, Abhishek Bachchan reluctantly steps into the heavy-duty shoes of his predecessors to beat the living daylights of a horrible magician, the comically cruel Riz.

In his pursuit to do so, he goes through a series of whimsical experiences and tests with guarding angel Priyanka Chopra in tow.

Even though Goldie Behl's mythological fantasy bit box office dust it sure held promise if it wasn't for the awful VFX and wayward screenplay.

Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic

Image: A scene from Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic

Not much was thought of Rani Mukerji's Mary Poppins act in Kunal Kohli's light-hearted caper about a fairy coming into the lives of four orphans to bridge the differences between them and their stern guardian, Saif Ali Khan.

While the film wasn't all that bad in itself, it certainly rates high as one Mukerji and Khan's worst performances.