For those unfamiliar with Bollywood films, you’re in for a real treat. Based out of Mumbai, India, Bollywood is one of the largest producers of cinema on the planet. Their audiences expect to get plenty for their money, so such films often clock in at three hours (with an intermission) and include romance, action, and plenty of singing and dancing. They’re also not above blatantly ripping off the plots of Hollywood films, and I’ve even seen a Bollywood version of Reservoir Dogs (yes, there was singing).
The following list provides a selection of Bollywood films perfect for those unfamiliar with Hindi cinema. After watching a few, you may find that a whole new world of filmmaking has opened up to you.
Raajneeti (2010) – The title translates to “Politics,” so you can expect plenty of intrigue and double-dealing in this Bollywood thriller. Politicians are assassinated, charged with rape, and forced to choose between love and power. An epic tale of ambition and greed, starring Nana Patekar and Ajay Devgn.
My Name is Khan (2010) – The highest-grossing Bollywood film in foreign markets, the movie follows the efforts of autistic Rizwan Khan (Shahrukh Khan) to meet the President of the United States and utter the following phrase “My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist.” Along the way, he assists hurricane survivors, informs the FBI of possible terrorist activity, and tries to win back the love of his wife.
3 Idiots (2009) – The highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, 3 Idiots is a wacky comedy about three engineering students (Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, and Madhavan) who chafe under their school’s strict rules. Based on Five Point Someone, the best-selling novel from Chetan Bhagat.
Luck (2009) – Sanjay Dutt stars as gambler who recruits “lucky” people to participate in his new reality show. What the contestants don’t realize is that losing means paying with your life. Those who take part include a soldier, a serial killer, and a 16-year-old. But despite the grim subject matter, the filmmakers still find a way to work in some musical numbers.
Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009) – Ranbir Kapoor shows off his comedic talents as Rocket Singh, a master salesman who decides to start his own company. Oddly enough, he starts it within his own company, using an elaborate series of cons to stay one step ahead of upper management. Rising star Shazahn Padamsee makes her big-screen debut.
Jodhaa Akbar (2007) – Set in the 16th century and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, this lavish romance centers around an arranged marriage between two different Indian cultures and religions. But, despite the long odds, a real romance begins to blossom between the couple played by Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan. This epic includes huge battles, musical numbers, romance, betrayal, and well-choreographed dance routines. The epitome of what Bollywood cinema is all about.
If you’re starting to warm up to Bollywood films, you’ll have no problem finding more selections at online rental sites such as Netflix and Blockbuster. While your local video store may not carry any of the titles, there are numerous websites dedicated to selling and reviewing these colorful and frequently melodramatic works of art.
Source by Shane Rivers