Movie time!!!

I have got a few mails over the past one year asking me for pointers on Indian movies. I thought why not do a post? When I think of Indian movies the first thing that comes to my mind is songs and dances. The second thing is melodrama.

But the recent trend is mostly making the movies more Hollywood style to appeal to the younger generation who watch a lot of American and British movies and think all this dancing and singing is plain stupid.

I read a comment once from a British guy who said Indian movies are for the illiterate and semi illiterate. I got so angry at that comment that I wanted to tell him what an ignorant fool he was. The main purpose of Indian movies is to entertain and make you forget all your worries. It works for some and doesn’t for others.

So before I digress any further let me give you a list of movies which I feel you could watch as an introduction to Bollywood.

All the movies below are cross over movie, made mainly keeping in mind the huge NRI (non-resident Indians) audience, but they are also a great introduction to Indian movies because they are in English and you don’t have to take help from the subtitles to understand them.

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First up is my all time favorite Monsoon Wedding directed by Mira Nair. I love this movie and I’ve watched it countless number of times.

It’s a family saga that enfolds during a wedding, where past secrets tumble out of the closet. A few songs, dances and a typical North Indian wedding is what you get here.

Monsoon wedding is strong on plot as well as entertainment. Watch the trailer here.
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Next up is Bend it like Beckham directed by Gurinder Chadha. I wouldn’t call this a typical Indian movie, but it’s a great cross over film.

It stars Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the supporting cast and it revolves around an Indian girl Jess (Parmider Nagra) who wants to break the mold of a traditional and conservative family and play football instead of getting married. It’s a fun movie and probably a little less bollywood types. Watch the trailer here.

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The last movie I want to highlight is Bride and Prejudice also by Gurinder Chadha. I recently saw this movie again on the Telly and I was reminded of it again when I read Beth’s post on Pride and Prejudice adaptations.

bride_and_prejudice
This movie is not an adaptation but is an Indianized version of P&P. With lots of songs and dances, this movie is thoroughly entertaining.

One thing to note while watching an Indian movie is not to think too much and simply enjoy the vibrant colors and dances. Also, they do get cheesy at times; just remember to take it with a pinch of salt. If you don’t like musicals, you would most probably not like Indian movies. Bend it like Beckham is likable though because it does not have any songs as such. Watch the trailer here.

That’s it for now I guess. For non-Indian folks, have you watched any of these movies? Or have you ever watched an Indian movie before?
For Indian folks, which one is your favorite? Can you list any other cross-over movies?

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21 thoughts on “Movie time!!!

  1. I’ve not watched any of these movies you mentioned, but I’ll definitely check them out.

    PS: I’ve heard several good things on Monsoon Wedding so probably this would be my first choice. 😉

  2. as a non-Indian, I’ve seen and enjoyed all of those! Especially Monsoon Wedding and Bride and Prejudice. 🙂

    I’ve seen parts of ‘traditional’ Bollywood films-my fave Indian restaurant in TX used to play them. But I haven’t watched one all the way through.

  3. I love watching old musicals, and these sound kind of like a modern equivalent. I can’t believe I haven’t seen any of them. I’ll have to see if I can Netflix them.

  4. Hi Violet,

    Just to set the record straight, both Bend it Like BeckHam and Bride and Prejudice focus on India, but are British films. You might want to correct that in the post 🙂

    Only Monsoon wedding is an Indian film.

    You could also put most Rahul Bose films in this category, such as Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, Everybody Says I’m Fine, Chameli, and Anuranan. Though some of these may need subtitles, they are also a good representation of how things are in India 🙂

    • Yes, They are British movies but I am kind of focusing on movies as an introduction to Indian movies. They don’t “have” to be directed by an Indian. I know Gurinder Chadha is British. And if you think about it technically, even Monsoon Wedding is a collaboration movie 🙂

      Thanks for your recommendations but I haven’t really liked any of these movies. I know 😦

      They were okay but they are not an introduction to mainstream Bollywood movies 🙂

  5. I watched Bend It Like Beckham and thought it was pretty good. I love singing and dancing so I’ll have to check out the other two~

  6. I would have stepped on that British man’s toe for his comment. My husband and I haven’t seen too many Bollywood movies, but what we have seen we’ve enjoyed. You’ve mentioned a couple I’ve seen. Bend it Like Beckham is an awesome movie. I loved that one. I’ve also seen Bride and Prejudice which was such a fun and entertaining movie. Cheesy, yes, but oh so fun. And I loved the costumes and dance scenes. Being a musical fan, it’s a given that I don’t mind dance and song in my movies. I haven’t seen Monsoon, but it’s going immediately on my Netflix list.

  7. I must check out Monsoon Wedding…
    I loved ‘Bend it like Beckham’. I wasn’t so keen on ‘Bride and Prejudice’ myself, although it did have some good moments!

  8. Great list! I loved Devdas when I watched it a couple of years ago. Also, I may or may not have downloaded the soundtrack… amazing!

  9. I didn’t really like Bride and Prejudice, but your other recommendations are great for someone who is starting out to watch Indian movies. I’d also recommend some of the Merchant-Ivory movies like the recent one, Before the Rains, and Shyam Benegal’s movies.

  10. Aw, I love the singing and dancing. 😦 I’ve actually seen all of these movies! I love Bend it Like Beckham because of Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Hawwwwwt), and it’s a story of how a girl finds her independence but still hangs on to the traditions and values of her family. Monsoon Wedding is a lovely movie. Bride & Prejudice is okay–I thought the Darcy character was kind of boring, though.

  11. I’ve watched all three and enjoyed them all!

    Have you seen the Apu trilogy? I was bored for about 6 hours and then it all came together and the final film was amazing. I’m not sure I’d recommend it as it was dull for so long, but was just interested in your thoughts.

    • I didn’t know those movies were called Apu Trilogy, I had to google it, lol

      I have been wanting to watch Pather Panchali but it’s a Bengali movie, a language which I don’t understand and I’m not too fond of subtitles. But yes, I will watch them someday 🙂

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