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Film / Taal

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Taal is a 1999 Bollywood musical starring Aishwarya Rai, Akshaye Khanna, and Anil Kapoor.

Mansi (Rai) is the daughter of Tarababu, a poor but influential singer and musician. Manav (Khanna) is the eldest son and heir of the Mehtas, a wealthy and Westernized family. After seeing Mansi while photographing India, which he is visiting for the first time, Manav follows her around and photographs her. When Manav is caught and Tarababu confronts the Mehtas, they take the opportunity to use his influence on the local politicians to help them secure a land deal, buttering him up while secretly looking down on him for being poor.

After Mansi and her father are horribly snubbed while paying them a visit, Mansi becomes a famous pop star and starts a relationship with her agent (Kapoor). Will she choose her first love or her newfound fame and fortune?


Was chosen by Roger Ebert as one of his top Overlooked Films, and was the first Hindi film to make the top 20 on Variety's box office list.

This film provides examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: During a yoga lesson.
  • Anti-Villain: Vikrant. He's motivated more by money than anything else, but he does genuinely love Mansi, and is willing to let her go if it makes her happy.
  • Cool Old Lady: Manav's grandma.
  • Country Mouse: Mansi and her entire family.
  • Daddy's Girl: Mansi. "Every norm of society I will break, but I will never leave my father's house."
  • Dark Reprise: Kapoor's remixes of Tarababu's music.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Mansi, to Manav. Later re-frosts during the confrontation between their families.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Averted. Kapoor "remixes" Tarababu's music and makes a profit off selling it to a Western audience, but he hires Tarababu legitimately to write music for him and hires Mansi as a singer.
  • Advertisement:
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: When Mansi breaks up with Manav.
  • Dramatic Shattering: Deconstructed and lampshaded - Manav's point is seven times more valid than his uncle's because he broke seven glasses compared to his one.
  • Dramatic Thunder: When Mansi accepts Vikrant's bangle as an offer of marriage.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Manav. The guy gets burned in a fire trying to save a scarf.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Vikrant is duplicitous, makes a fortune off of selling other people's music, doesn't believe in charity work, and has ridiculous stipulations in his contracts... but he turns down a lucrative offer for Mansi to be the face for a bra ad campaign, because it would hurt her reputation.
  • Evil Matriarch: Not the female head of the family (that honor goes to Manav's grandma), but his aunt Shakuntala fits the rest of the bill.
  • First Guy Wins
  • Funny Background Event: When the priest of Shiva comes to bless Mansi's wedding, you can distinctly see several mascots dancing in the background, including (bizarrely) Michelangelo.
  • Gratuitous English: Averted. Manav and his family alternate between English and Hindi, and Manav specifically is mentioned to have been born and raised in London.
  • Indirect Kiss: Possibly the only way drinking Coke can be erotic.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Vikrant.
  • I Will Wait for You: Manav.
  • Jerkass: Manav's father. Becomes Jerk with a Heart of Gold by the end of the movie.
  • Love at First Sight: Manav sees her silhouette in a photograph and falls in love with her.
  • Pair the Spares: Mansi's aunt and Bannerjee.
  • Papa Wolf: Tarababu. You do not stalk or insult his little girl. And conversely...
  • Parents in Distress: do not insult Mansi's dad.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: In-Universe, it is Manavsi.
  • Product Placement: It is very obvious Coca-Cola sponsored the movie.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Manav's father and grandma.
  • Rescue Romance: Mansi and her cousins try to rescue Manav while he's falling off a cliff, and then Manav saves Mansi when she falls down after him.
  • Rich Bitch: All of Manav's aunts.
  • Sad Bollywood Wedding: Averted - Mansi isn't in love with Vikrant, but she isn't sad, she's just apathetic.
  • Stalking Is Love: Manav and Mansi's relationship starts with him taking photos of her in different public places, including while she bathes dressed in a sari.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Inverted. Vikrant tells Mansi why she should go to Manav by listing all the things he despises about himself.
  • This Is Reality: Manav tells Mansi that yes, their situation is indeed like that of a Hindi film, but this is real life, and he would never leave her.
  • Triang Relations: Type 7. Mansi definitely is in love with Manav, and he's in love with her, but she puts him aside after his family insults hers and starts a relationship with Vikrant.
  • Type Caste: Not as obvious, since it's more about economic standing and Westernization rather than caste specifically, but it's subtly there.
  • Wet Sari Scene: During the eponymous song "Taal Se Taal."