Alfred Hitchcock once said, “the length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.” But that hardly holds true for Hindi cinema. Our Bollywood musicals conveniently stretch up to two and a half to three hours. Or sometimes even more!
Now, the duration may not have always have to do with the quality of the film. But more often than not, it becomes a deciding factor in the overall watchability of the movie itself. So, in order to acquaint you to movies varied in quality but abundant in quantity, here’s a look at the longest Bollywood films ever made.
Some of these went on to become classics, while others bummed at the box office. Which of these have you ticked off your list?
1- Gangs of Wasseypur
The crime drama was originally shot at a run-time of 319 minutes (5h 19 min). But no Indian theatre agreed to run it for its 5-hour duration. It was, therefore, released in two parts. And the film justifies its insane length for it is nothing short of a masterstroke in storytelling. The 5-hour-plus magnum opus is clearly Kashyap’s best work to-date.
2- LOC Kargil
LOC Kargil was not only one of the longest Bollywood films of its time but also had the biggest star cast. Based on one of India’s biggest wars the film had a huge star cast and a fairly long stretch of 255 minutes (4h 15min).
3- Mera Naam Joker
Raj Kapoor made every minute worth our time. If you haven’t seen this gem yet, we suggest you do. Mera Naam Joker is the second longest movie with 2 intervals. It had tanked at the box office. It was 244 minutes (4h 4min) long.
Another Raj Kapoor directorial, starring him alongside Rajendra Kumar and Vjayanthimala, Sangam was one of the biggest hits of its time. It was Raj Kapoor’s first colour film as well as his editorial debut. The longest Bollywood movie of its time with the screen time of 238 minutes (3h 58min), Sangam was also the first with two intervals.
5- Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
He had ruled the 90s along with the two other Khans. Lagaan, however, had placed Aamir in a different league. The sports drama at 224 minutes (3h 44min) made every second count. The film altered the course for modern Indian cinema. It allowed India to enter the Academy Awards in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category that year.
Bollywood big guns Amitabh Bachchanand Shah Rukh Khan shared screen space for the first time in Mohabbatein. This was also the film that revived Amitabh Bachchan’s career. The movie had a screen time of 216 minutes (3h 36min).
7- Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love
Salaam-e-Ishq too was a tedious affair to sit through. The songs are listenable but nothing memorable. The movie was 216 minutes (3h 36min) long.
8- Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
The star-loaded romance drama opened to mixed reviews. Featuring Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Abhishek Bachchan, the film was written off by many, not just for its duration but its cursory treatment to a subject that required more earnestness and sensitivity. The movie was 215 minutes (3h 35min) long.
Sunny Deol fans must have had the time of their life watching the film that lasted 214 minutes (3h 34min) in duration.
10- Jodhaa Akbar
We were totally saved by Hrithik and Aishwarya’s amazing chemistry and did not feel 214 minutes (3h 34mins) passing.