• Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Bollywood films to beat the lockdown blues

Sridevi in English Vinglish

By: Manju Chandran



A DAILY dose of bad news combined with the coronavirus putting many on lockdown has everyone feeling down and in need of a pick me up.

One way to get a quick boost of happiness during these troubled times is by watching a feel good Bollywood movie that puts a smile on your face, triggers happy memories or makes you love life again.

With that in mind, Eastern Eye provides a countdown of the top 40 feel good Bollywood movies to get you through the horror of 2020 and where to find them.

40. Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke: Heavily inspired by classic 1958 Hollywood film Houseboat, the fun family entertainer stars Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla in the lead roles. The story of a guardian to his deceased sister’s children getting help from an unlikely source is about love, togetherness and family. Amazon Prime

39. Mission Mangal: It always feels wonderful when a group overcomes the odds to achieve the impossible and that is exactly what this film delivers. Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan and Taapsee Pannu head an impressive cast in a story based on real life events, which revolves around a group of scientists contributing to India’s first interplanetary expedition. Hotstar

38. Wake Up Sid: The 2009 coming of age film revolves around a spoiled young man, who ventures out and slowly becomes responsible. His transformative journey makes you feel good inside and will likely trigger personal memories from the past. Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma shine in a timeless story with a giant beating heart. Netflix

37. Gully Boy: Ranveer Singh plays the lead role in the multi-award winning 2019 film about an aspiring rapper, who rises up from the Mumbai slums. The story will uplift you, but so will the explosive hip hop numbers and seeing an impossible dream come true. Amazon Prime

36. Chillar Party: Bollywood traditionally doesn’t do kids movies well, but this smart 2011 family friendly comedy bucked that trend and had cross-generational appeal. The story of a gang of kids taking on unscrupulous adults won a well-deserved National Award and a place in the hearts of film fans. Netflix

35. Veere Di Wedding: The 2018 girl power flick breaks all the rules in Bollywood and provides plenty of laughs. Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania play best friends seeing one another through the highs and lows of life. Perhaps not one to watch with the parents! ZEE5

34. Dream Girl: If you want a unique Bollywood comedy then look no further than this 2019 smash hit. The cleverly crafted laugh riot revolves around a struggling actor who gets a job at a call centre, where he pretends to be a woman and unexpectedly becomes a dream girl for men. Ayushmann Khurrana delivers a superb performance in a movie that will have you smiling throughout. ZEE5

33. Tumsa Nahin Dekha: The 1957 rock ’n’ roll classic changed the face of Hindi cinema by making Bollywood films more fun and giving them a western cool that had been missing before. It has great music, a power packed performance from lead star Shammi Kapoor and an energy that will give you an instant lift, even today. Amazon Prime

32. Badhaai Ho: It is impossible to get through this hilarious 2018 comedy about a grown man dealing with his elderly parents expecting another child without laughing. The unique story, peppered with laughs, has a wonderful array of characters portrayed by a talented cast led by Ayushmann Khurrana and Neena Gupta. Hotstar

31. Swades: Shah Rukh Khan plays the lead in the 2004 film about a NASA scientist who finds his purpose when he returns to his ancestral village and goes on a life-altering journey. The movie about making a positive difference is inspiring and entertaining in equal measure. The scene when the light bulb comes on will give you goose bumps. Netflix

30. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro: The 1983 classic about two hapless photographers who accidentally stumble upon a larger conspiracy has clever comedy and colourful characters. Although some elements have dated over time, it’s regarded as one of Bollywood’s all-time great comedy capers and influenced many films. Amazon Prime, YouTube

29. Band Baaja Baaraat: Popular actor Ranveer Singh is like a walking shot of adrenaline and was at his comedic best opposite an electric Anushka Sharma in this breezy 2010 romantic comedy. They play wedding planners, who go from working together to falling in love. Don’t feel shy about dancing along in your living room when the song Ainvayi Ainvayi comes on. Amazon Prime

28. Mr and Mrs 55: Legendary filmmaker Guru Dutt was known for his heart breaking classics, but had a light moment with this breezy 1955 romance opposite Madhubala. The story revolves around an heiress who gets into a marriage of convenience with a struggling cartoonist to get an inheritance, which then unexpectedly leads to true love. Amazon Prime

27. Dum Laga Ke Haisha: The 2015 romantic comedy about a man getting married to an overweight woman and finding out the true meaning of love is a gem of a movie that will brighten up anyone’s day. The film starring Bhumi Pednekar and Ayushmann Khurrana has plenty of laughs, coupled with moments that will melt even the coldest heart, including the epic wife-carrying race. Amazon Prime

26. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani: A fun Saturday night may feel like a thing of the past, but this 2013 musical about love and friendship will feel like you are at a party. Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone generate amazing chemistry in the delightful tale of two friends taking their sweet time to realise how they feel about one another. Eros Now

25. Bawarchi: Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee specialised in message driven films that combined intelligent humour with a warm glowing energy and this 1972 Rajesh Khanna starrer ticked all the boxes. The story of a chef bringing harmony into a warring household makes you see the positive aspects of life. Netflix, Amazon Prime

24. Queen: This mood enhancing 2014 film starts off on a sad note and then soars into the skies. The story of a simple woman dumped by her fiancé and going on her European honeymoon, anyway, shows that an end is the beginning of an exciting new journey. Kangana Ranaut plays the lead in a film about the kind of life changing moment that puts a spring in your step. Netflix

23. Shree 420: Raj Kapoor lit up the 1950s with a persona that was inspired by Charlie Chaplin and delivered movies with plenty of feel good moments. This story of a country boy making it big and realising he has become disconnected from his roots has a big giant beating heart. The 1955 film also inspired 1992 Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, which has the same kind of positive energy. Amazon Prime

22. Bajrangi Bhaijaan: The blockbuster 2015 film won a well deserved National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Salman Khan stars in the story of an Indian man trying to get a young Pakistani girl trapped on the wrong side of the border back home. Hotstar

21. Padosan: The cult 1968 comedy about an absolute buffoon falling in love with a beautiful neighbour way out of his league will make you laugh. The colourful cast of characters, catchy music and comedic one-liners will feel like one joyous dance from start to finish. Eros Now, Amazon Prime

20. Barfi: The characters played by Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in the sweet movie are like shots of endorphin, which will give you an instant boost of joy. The magical 2012 film takes you on a ride that will end with a wide smile and make you want to go back for more. Netflix

19. Dil Chahta Hai: One of the many things you will be missing during self-isolation is your close friends and this brilliant 2001 buddy movie will remind you of the good times with them. That nostalgia will be combined with plenty of smiles and show that even though you are away from them right now that bond will remain strong. Netflix

18. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi: This 1 958 film was a breath of fresh air when it released and helped lay the foundation for the commercial Bollywood comedy as we know it today. Talented brothers Kishore Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Anoop Kumar starred alongside Madhubala in a movie that has romance, music and plenty of rib-tickling moments. Amazon Prime, YouTube

17. Taare Zameen Par: A film that young people will relate to and trigger memories in older audiences. The simple story of a young boy helped with a learning difficulty will make you cry, but they will be laced with happiness and nostalgia. By the end, you will have a new-found belief in life. Netflix

16. Professor: Shammi Kapoor changed the face of Hindi cinema with his high-energy entertainers, which were like a shot of adrenaline and most are recommended even today during these troubled times. They had romance, great music and a dashing hero going on what turns out to be an uplifting journey. In this film, he disguises himself as an old professor to get a teaching job and the results are hilarious. Netflix

15. Kal Ho Naa Ho: The 2003 film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan is a great reminder to enjoy the life we have and real love is seeing those you care about happy. The story of a dying man bringing happiness to those around him has emotions, but each one is attached to an uplifting life lesson. Eros Now, Netflix

14. Amar Akbar Anthony: The world needs unity more than ever and this iconic 1977 film about three separated brothers brought up in different faiths delivers that. There is also hope, great musical numbers and a stunning star-cast in a movie that stitches together smile-inducing moments. Netflix, YouTube


13. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: There is love and undying friendship injected into this record-breaking 1998 blockbuster, which is the perfect antidote to when you are feeling down. Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji and Kajol star in a movie that has a wonderful energy flowing throughout it. Netflix

12. Jab We Met: You may be stuck indoors, but why not take a trip with what is perhaps the best road movie from modern day Hindi cinema. The 2007 musical, starring Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan, is a movie that is essentially about finding hope again and that is something we all need. Amazon Prime

11. Ram Aur Shyam: Tragedy king Dilip Kumar surprised audiences by showing off his funny side in Bollywood’s greatest double role movie. There are laughs a plenty in the story of identical twins separated at birth with contrasting personalities, who accidentally switch places. The 1967 film would influence many comedy classics, based on a similar theme, including blockbuster 1972 hit Seeta Aur Geeta. Eros Now

10. Hera Pheri: The cult comedy classic fires so many laughs from start to finish that you have no choice, but to turn that frown upside down. Suniel Shetty, Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal star in a movie that has perhaps generated more funny memes than any other Bollywood film. Amazon Prime, YouTube

9. 3 Idiots: The record-breaking gift of a film has meaningful messages wrapped up beautifully in an entertaining story that offers up memorable moments from start to finish. The Raj Kumar Hirani directed film wraps itself around the audience like a warm hug and tells them everything will be okay. Netflix

8. Hum Aapke Hain Koun: The record-breaking family film is like one big indoor celebration and who doesn’t like a good party? Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit star in a film that promotes family values and brings all the splendour of a big fat Indian wedding onto your screen at home, with plenty of sing-a-long moments. Eros Now, Netflix

7. English Vinglish: A key ingredient to a feel good movie is a seemingly impossible dream coming true and that is what happens in this warm-hearted 2012 drama about a taken for granted housewife who secretly learns English. The film may inspire you to learn something new during lockdown or finally pursue that dream when this pandemic is over. Eros Now

6. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: You can switch on the 1995 game-changer at any point and feel entertained. That is because this movie starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol has individual magical moments stitched together expertly to deliver a film that will make you feel a rainbow of cheery emotions, even in the sad bits. Amazon Prime

5. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham: The current Covid-19 lockdown is making more people than ever before think about the importance of family. This 2001 blockbuster with the stellar star cast is perhaps the ultimate family film with happy moments and emotional scenes that will have you weeping happy tears. Add to that big musical numbers and you have a film with a big heart. Netflix

4. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: The 2011 buddy road movie is about embracing life, overcoming fears and a reminder that you are alive. Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol star in a film that will make you want to spend time with your best friends when the Covid-19 lockdown is over and go on an adventure. Netflix

3. Anand: The 1971 classic sees Rajesh Khanna play a dying man who teaches those around him to love life and appreciate their blessings. At a time when everyone is going through a tough time, this film is a timely reminder that an inner light will shine brightly even during the darkest times. Amazon Prime

2. Andaz Apna Apna: The cult 1994 comedy has grown in stature and continues to make people laugh more than 25 years after it released. Aamir Khan and Salman Khan play the lead role in the comedy about two individuals competing to win over an heiress. There is laughter from start to finish in the cult classic. Netflix

1. Munna Bhai MBBS: The life-affirming 2003 movie will make you want to hug everyone when social distancing is over. Sanjay Dutt stars as a small-time crook, who goes on a life altering
journey and positively impacts those around him. Director Raj Kumar Hirani followed it up with the equally impressive Lage Raho Munna Bhai, which is also highly recommended. Both films will make you laugh, feel good and think about small gestures of kindness that can make a big difference. Eros Now

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