Either you are already a fan, or you have heard of it and you are still wondering what all the fuss is about. Bollywood, India’s answer to Hollywood, is an industry based in the city of Mumbai. India actually produces more movies than the US each year, and while only about a quarter of them come from Bollywood, they make up more the 40 percent of India’s annual box office.
Bollywood films generally take on serious stories, but with a sense of joy rarely found in American cinema. Mixing comedy, melodrama and musical, they are often explosions of sound and colour that tell deep stories with a light edge.
Pop your Bollywood cherry, or feed your secret Bollywood passion with these 15 quality Bollywood films currently available on Netflix.
2 States (2014)
IMDB Score 6.9/10
This romantic comedy, Krish, a young man from a rich Punjabi background, meets and falls in love with Ananya, a girl from a conservative Tamil Brahmin family. Their relationship can flourish on their university campus, away from the eyes of their families, and they decide to get married. But how will they get the very different families to get along and support them? Starring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.
7 Khoon Maaf (2011)
IMDB Score 6.1/10
Starring Priyanka Chopra, this film tells the story of a femme fatale who keeps falling in love and getting married, only to be disappointed by her partner. She then dispatches each of them and resumes her search for love. We watch our protagonist as she passes through each of her relationships, and wonder when she will find the love the ends her killing spree.
IMDB Score 6.5/10
This is a historical epic about the life of the emperor Asoka, of the Maurya dynasty, who roles most of the Indian subcontinent in the third century BC. Starring Shah Rukh Khan as the titular king, watch his conquest from Pakistan to modern day Odisha, before he throws down his sword and embraces Buddhism, which he introduced to his kingdom. Get some history education with your entertainment.
Beyond Bollywood (2013)
IMDB Score 6.1/10
Not a Bollywood picture per se, learn about this phenomenon with this documentary that tells the story of a young woman trying to break into the industry. While many of the themes will be familiar from similar looks at Hollywood, this is a distinctively Indian story.
Chennai Express (2013)
IMDB Score 6/10
This action flick stars Shah Rukh Khan as Rahul, a man who accidentally boards the Chennai Express and embarks on an unexpected journey from Mumbai to Rameswaram. On the way he falls in love with the daughter of a local don, Rahul finds himself on a terrifying mission for self-preservation and love.
IMDB Score 5.2/10
A Hindi Romeo and Juliet with a twist, but our protagonists aren’t just from different mafia families, they are also long lost siblings, their parents having separated and taken on child each. As the siblings find each other, their parents Raj and Meera must confront their own past. Whose love story is this anyway? Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.
Ek Ladki ko Dekha toh aisa laga (2019)
IMDB Score 5.5/10
An LGTB film for the Indian market, this film stars Sonam K Ahuja as Sweety, a closeted lesbian attempting to come out to her conservative and religious Punjabi family. Eventually she connects with a playwright who helps her tell her story on stage, but will it leave toe acceptance, or ostracism.
IMDB Score 8.1/10
A Bollywood take on the story of Hamlet, it stars Shahid Kapoor as the titular character set in the insurgency-hit Kashmir conflicts of 1995. Haider returns to Kashmir to get to the bottom of the disappearance of his father, but what he finds is unsettling developments in his own home. He is then unwittingly drawn into the politics of the region.
Kai Po Che! (2013)
IMDB Score 7.6/10
The film focuses on three Indian friends, played by Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh and Rajkummar Rao, that open an academy for training India’s next generation of cricket star sand find themselves a talented young boy to support. But their loves and relationships are thrown into chaos by the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and the Godhra train burning.
Luka Chuppi (2019)
IMDB Score 6.3/10
This film stars Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanso as a modern professional pair who decide to live together, but their lives are turned upside down when their traditional families assume that they must be married and decide to move in with them.
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000)
IMDB Score 6.2/10
This comedy is set in the newsroom, with Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla starring as television reporters for rival news channels who form an unlikely alliance to try and save the life of a man who has been set up for a political murder. Of course, there is also romance in the air.
IMDB Score 6.8/10
This is an Indian crime thriller starring Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. It is based on the life story of a criminal bootlegger that sets out to clean his conscious by trying to support his community. He emerges as a promising political leader, but then falls into a political trap.
IMDB Score 4.7/10
Set in both Thailand and India, a young business air arrives in Thailand to enjoy his bachelorhood before having to return home and get married. When a case of mistaken identity throws him in the path of a runaway bride, he falls in love and hatches a plan to make her his. Starring Salman Khan and Asin.
IMDB Score 5.9/10
This political drama weaves together several different life stories as they each work against a power-hungry despot. As they find each other they begin a revolution that will not only change their lives, but the course of the history of their community.
IMDB Score 7.3/10
This story focuses on a woman who refuses to live with her husband once they are married when she discovers that he does not have a toilet. The premise might seem silly, but the lack of toilets in some regions of India is a serious problem, with communal defecation in the outdoors leading to serious disease.