(When I got the brief to work on this article for Culturama, listing 100 Indian must-watch movies to coincide with 100 years of Indian Cinema, my list ran to 182 movies before good sense (the editor's) and a deadline prevailed! Not the most definitive of lists, but I loved working on it immensely, especially with the challenge of keeping each movie review below an average of 40 words! An edited version of the following article was published in Culturama's May 2013 Issue.)
There's no such thing as a definitive movie list for the Indian film industry, with its many languages, numerous dialects and diverse sensibilities. But there is such a thing as a mash-up of critically acclaimed, much-loved and innovative movies, which usually straddle genres.
It has to be kept in mind is that Indian movies have always had a fair representation of adaptations from regional and English literature. Also, more than one movie can have the same name. For instance, Devdas is a novella in the Bengali language that has been adapted to cinema in over 16 versions across languages and over decades. Do refer the storyline, language and the year - watching the newer version of something called Junoon (1992) could leave you learning quite a bit about Indian weretigers and how to slay them – not quite the effect that the earlier Junoon (1978) may have intended!