Bollywood Movies for Non-Bollywood viewers

So while a lot of people still have the perception of Bollywood films being cheesy love story musicals, where they dance around trees and profess their love for each other and get married in the end.  A lot has changed in the past 20 years!  Movies have a lot more substance, real stories, better acting and more emotional connections!  Here are a few that anyone could enjoy!

Gully Boy

Here is one movie that was not just a huge jump forward for Bollywood, but the Indian Rap scene!  It was a true unique gem that you’ve never seen before.  A movie of hope, determination showing that you can accomplish if you don’t give up!


You will notice I have a few movies with Amir Khan in them.  This was a very unique movie with a lot of deep messages.  It’s about a humanoid alien who loses an item which he needs to get home.  He starts asking people for help, they all tell him to ask God for help.  As he starts that, then he begins getting confused as to how to pray to God asking people of different religions.  It then goes to show you how people will use their religions to manipulate people and to do terrible things.  The movie itself is a very well done comedy, but it really does give you a lot to think at the end.

Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India

This will be one of your favorite sports movies ever after watching it!  This I feel is the movie that changed Bollywood cinema.  It is about the time during the British conquest of India where the village was desperate for a tax relief and an arrogant Captain of the British Army challenged them to a game of Cricket which they knew nothing about to determine their fate.  It is an incredible underdog sports story, beautifully filmed, well-acted and paced.  Not only that, can help you learn a thing or 2 about the game of Cricket!


This movie is essentially a remake of Reservoir Dogs but I personally feel this was better.  It was well acted, had a much quicker pace and had a good amount of dialogue rather than the Tarintino overdose.

Wake Up Sid

A coming of age film about a man who’s really never had to take any responsibility in his life and is now starting to realize he’s not young anymore.  But it also shows that parents can only do so much, you need to let your kid find their own way.

Zindagi Nai Milege Dubara

While at first this seemed to be a remake of The Hangover, it actually turned out to be much more.  It was a group of friends reconnecting for one of their bachelor parties during a week long trip to Spain.  During the trip they discuss issues that they’ve been having with each other, rekindle relationships and make significant self-discoveries.

Chak De! India

Another underdog sports story!  This one is a story of redemption for the main character and also a giant wake up call to everyone, that we need to support other sports and teams besides the national cricket team!


This one is based on a love story, but a realistic take!  It begins with a young couple who decide to secretly elope after being with each other a short time.  When it’s finally discovered they are both shunned from their families and reality starts to kick in.  It shows you a realistic approach on going from young love to true love.


Oh man…get ready for waterworks!  An emotional tale about a deaf blind child and the teacher who was able to help her learn how to communicate with the world.  This story is based off of The Miracle Worker, but it’s beautifully done and will certainly pull your heart strings.

Jab We Met

A fun little story about how a random encounter turned into something more.

3 Idiots

The movie mostly takes place in flashbacks, about 3 friends from college who are trying to reconnect with one of them who’s completely disappeared.  They begin to realize he wasn’t who he said he was and they’re trying to unravel the mystery and find answers.  The speech itself in the movie will put you into tears in laughter!

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