I do love a good buddy film. Redford and Newman in The Sting and Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, and James Caan and Billy Dee Williams in Brian’s Song (the most surefire way to get an American man to cry) illuminate those films with friendships that remain vivid long after the lights come back on.
So here are my favorite Hindi movie buddy roles—and brothers are not allowed. So…no Shashitabh here, sorry (Shashitabh probably deserve a post of their own some day).
Jai and Veeru (Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra) in Sholay (1975):
This is of course the definitive buddy movie, as iconic as the Hollywood films mentioned above, and “Yeh Dosti” is the anthem for male friendship. My favorite scene is Jai going to Basanti’s aunt to plead Veeru’s suit and telling her all about his faults instead. It’s brilliant on so many levels, and Amitabh is hilarious. And who doesn’t sob as Jai dies in Veeru’s arms after making a lone stand against Gabbar’s men, enabling Veeru to escape with his Basanti.
Munna and Circuit (Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi) in Munna Bhai MBBS (2003) and Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006):
Two great movies with one great buddy pair. No matter what Munna asks of Circuit, he does his best to deliver. It’s impossible to imagine one without the other. My favorite scene between them is in Lage Raho when Munna asks Circuit to forgive him for slapping him, but it’s followed closely by many many others.
Dr. Banerjee and Anand (Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna) in Anand (1970):
A terminally ill patient teaches his doctor how to live life to its fullest extent, bringing love, joy and laughter into every day he has left. My favorite scene is the one where Anand somberly explains to Banerjee that he sees his approaching death on Banerjee’s face every day—it’s so moving—and then a minute later makes him laugh by acting the clown.
Raja and Rana (Ashok Kumar and Pran) in Victoria No. 203 (1972):
An exceedingly complicated plot and bad wigs don’t prevent Ashok Kumar and Pran from stealing the show as Raja and Rana, two jailbirds who immediately find themselves in trouble again upon their release from jail. My favorite scene…is pretty much any time they are on screen together. They completely overshadow the lead pair of Saira Banu and Navin Nischol.
Vinod and Sudhir (Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Baswani) in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983):
Two hapless photographers struggling to run their own studio take a job for a newspaper editor and are unwittingly drawn into murder, bribery and corruption. These two are quintessential geeks who bumble and argue their way through the mayhem. My favorite scene is their disruption of the Draupadi scene on stage in front of the audience. A dark but funny film.
Who are your favorite dosti?