“Bollywood” is a combination of Bombay and Hollywood, and it is the nickname for the Hindi language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Maharashtra, India. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and the popularity and influence of its films is spreading world-wide. So if you want to see what the Bollywood craze is all about, here are ten Bollywood films that will help get you up to speed. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and the popularity and influence of its films is spreading world-wide. Kamal Nath and the Urban Ministry in India have made it a priority for more films to be shot on location in Indian cities and filmmakers have taken full advantage.
This 1973 film tells the story of a Romeo and Juliet-esque romance between two young lovers belonging to different social classes. The plot of this film has inspired many later Bollywood films, which also feature young lovers battling class struggles.
This 2007 musical is a light-hearted parody of Bollywood and features several cameos by Bollywood stars, including over 30 famous faces during one song alone.
Showing that Bollywood can produce more than just musicals, Dhoom 2: Back in Action is the 2006 sequel to Dhoom. This action film features several heavy action sequences, including many fast-paced motorcycle scenes. These scenes inspired young Indians to ride their motorcycles recklessly, and the number of road accidents actually increased after Dhoom series was released.
This Bollywood epic runs a bit long at 238 minutes, but every minute is necessary to tell the story of the psychologically complex love triangle between three childhood friends. It was extremely popular when it was released in 1964 and it is now considered a Bollywood classic.
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (Mutiny: A Love Story)
The conflict during the Partition of India provides the backdrop for this 2001 period piece. Set in 1947, this film tells the story of two lovers who face religious and nationalist conflicts.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (The Big Hearted Will Take the Bride)
Although the plot this 1995 film is somewhat predictable, it makes up for its predictability with excellent performances and exceptional choreography. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge has become a Bollywood classic and it set a record in Febuary 2010 for being played continuously in Mumbai theaters for 750 weeks.
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…! (Who Am I to You?)
This 1994 film is a remake of the 1982 Bollywood film Nadiya Ke Paar, and features two of the top Bollywood stars of the 90‘s. One of the first non-violent family dramas, this film has inspired many imitators.
A landmark in Bollywood history, this 1957 film was India’s first submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. A close second, this remake of the 1940 Bollywood film Aurat lost to Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria by only a single vote.
Mughal-e-Azam (The Greatest of the Mughals)
Taking nine years to make and costing over ten times more than the normal Bollywood film, this Bollywood epic shattered records when it was first released in 1960. It re-tells a popular Indian love story, loosely based off of the life of Prince Salim.
This wildly successful Bollywood film was first declared a commercial disaster when it was released in 1975. However, word of mouth built up hype around this film and it has become the biggest hit in the history of Bollywood. Adjusted for inflation, this film has grossed over $160 million. The stroy of two petty criminals, Sholay has been declared the “Film of the Millennium” by BBC India.