Film, TV + Theatre

7 Iconic Bollywood movies to put on your must-watch list


By Zoe Yang

7 Iconic Bollywood movies to put on your must-watch list


The Brave-Hearted Will Take the Bride (also known as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) (1995)

Starring: Kajol, Shah Rukh Khan and Amrish Puri

If you need a reason to watch this movie, you should know that it’s included in a film reference book—1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. The film is best known for the portrayal of strong family values and encouraging people to follow their heart. It follows two strangers, Raj Malhotra (played by Shah Rukh Khan) and Simran Singh (played by Kajol) who both met while travelling in Europe and fall in love as time goes by. However, Simran’s conservative father disapproves of their relationship and wants his daughter to marry someone else instead.

Watch how the story plays out and see if Raj and Simran manage to get her father’s blessing of their relationship.

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Jab We Met (2007)

Starring: Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Saumya Tandon, and Tarun Arora

Aditya (played by Shahid Kapoor) feels depressed after his girlfriend left him; what’s more, his company is struggling as well. Stressed from his life, he boards a train just to get away from everything. That is when he meets a talkative stranger, Geet (played by Kareena Kapoor), where she notices that he’s upset and tries to cheer him up. As they spend more time together, Aditya feels better and Geet also shares with him that she’s in love with Anshuman (played by Tarun Arora). Slowly, he falls in love with her but knows he had to leave after dropping her off at Anshuman’s house. They never see each other again. After nine months, he finds out that the man she loves rejected her coldly and is determined to find her.

Will Aditya and Geet meet again and fall in love?

Bhoothnath (2008)

Starring: Aman Siddiqui, Amitabh Bachchan, Juhi Chawla, and Shah Rukh Khan

This is a Bollywood film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s book, The Canterville. A new family moves into a haunted house where an angry ghost, Bhoothnath (played by Amitabh Bachchan) resides to fend off visitors from getting his house sold. Banku’s mother said that ghosts don’t exist but angels do; this makes the little boy, Banku (played by Aman Siddiqui) sees Bhoothnath as a guardian angel. An unexpected friendship formed between Banku and Bhoothnath athough he tries to scare the family out of his house. Slowly, the movie shows Bhoothnath’s storyhis past and how he became a ghost. Rather than a horror film, this film is more like a comedy.

Watch the film to find out how Bhoothnath met his demise and it might just make your heart sink!

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3 Idiots (2009)

Starring: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani, and Omi Vaidya

This is one of our favourite Bollywood films of all time and it’s definitely a film that everyone needs to watch at least once in their lifetime. The movie tells the story of three friends who go through their personal hardships together during their university years thus resulting in a meaningful, lifelong friendship. However, after their graduation ceremony, Rancho leaves without saying goodbye; none of them knows why. Ten years later, Chatur (played by Omi Vaidya), a competitive student and friend back in their university years, reminds Farhan and Raju of the bet placed with Rancho, where both Chatur and Rancho will compete and compare their success in 10 years; the person with the most success will win. The three take a roadtrip to find Rancho, in hopes of finding out the underlying reason why Rancho left, but only to uncover some twists behind Rancho’s story.

This thought-provoking film is not only filled with silly humour but also many heart-warming moments. You most certainly don’t want to sit this one out!

The Lunchbox (2013)

Starring: Nimrat Kaur, Irrfan Khan, Nawazu Siddiqui, and Nakul Vaid

An almost nominated film for the 86th Academy Awards Best Foreign Film Category, the movie revolves around a wife, Ila (played by Nimrat Kaur) who is trying to spark romance in her marriage by preparing delicious home-cooked meals for her husband. Ila subscribes to a lunchbox delivery service where they help deliver food to people at work. However, the lunchbox was wrongly delivered to a widower, Saajan (played by Irrfan Khan). She realises the mistake and wrote him a letter, informing him of the error. From there, their friendship starts to develop as both of them exchange messages through the prepared meals, sharing stories about their lives.

This film is highly praised for its interesting style of storytelling. Another reason not to sleep on this filmthe delicious looking food scenes!

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Piku (2015)

Starring: Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan

Piku (played by Deepika Padukone) takes care of her hypochondriac father, Bhashkor (played by Amitabh Bachchan) who suffers from constipation. One day, he decides to go to Kolkata, which Piku follows in order to take care of her father on the road trip. Rana (played by Irrfan Khan) is a taxi driver who drives them to their destination. As they travel to Kolkata together, both Piku and Rana are constantly irritated by Bhashkor’s fussiness and exaggerated worries during the trip.

Although the film has a simple storyline, it definitely focuses on the characters’ shared journey rather than the destination. This film has its own funny moments as well as many touching and heartfelt scenes.

Dangal (2016)

Starring: Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, and Sakshi Tanwar

Based on a true story, Mahavir Singh Phogat (played by Aamir Khan) is a former wrestler who has always hoped for his wife to birth a son to realise his dreamto win the wrestling championship. However, all four of his children are girls; hence he gave up on his dream. One day, two young boys’ parents confront Mahavir that their sons are badly bruised and injured after a fight with someone from his family. He mistakes his nephew as the culprit but only to realise that the culprits are his two daughters, Geeta and Babita. Mahavir was rather amazed than angry as he sees the bruises on the boys’ bodies and recognised that his daughters have the strength and potential to wrestle.

This uplifting and inspirational film definitely shows the challenges faced in tackling the social norms in India, especially the social expectations of females and gender stereotypes. Don’t miss out on this film for nail-biting moments as the two sisters take on their own battles!

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