Inspired by Temple's concept of "foundation masala" (in the comments on Karz) and Rum's very excellent essay on the various states within the new nation of Masala Pradesh, here's a question for anyone who wants to take it up: what's on your Superwow Masala list and why? What do you consider essential viewing? (Those two descriptors might not always overlap.) Which films define or exemplify the idea of a masala movie? And spinning off of the core list, which films do you love or admire for their variations on the theme (e.g. disco masala)?
I don't want to flat-out ask "What makes a movie masala?" - I'd rather let that arise out of everyone's answers. There are many other masala -related quesitons to explore, and no doubt many other sites and authors and cinema studies graduate students have done so; if this experiment works the way I hope, we'll take a stab at them too. The kind of stab you take at the man who ruined your father/humiliated your mother/kidnapped your sibling/committed another atrocity that you accidentally witnessed as a child and now cannot escape.
I'm still mulling mine over, and I hope to have a list up by Monday. Something tells me I'll end up putting Parvarish near the top.
In this one shot alone, we have a location whose exterior is a badly done model, wacky outfits, not one but two pairs of lost fathers and sons, a police officer, a gun, a Kapoor, a classic villain actor, a time bomb, and the king of them all. Its only flaw, as a snapshot of the greatness that is Parvarish, is that it doens't show Neetu, Shabana, a song, or evidence of faked blindness. But you can't have everything.... Oh wait, yes you can: you watch masala!