30 Evergreen Bollywood Films You Should Watch Before You Die

Aayushi Sharma

August 24, 2019


1 min

1. Manmarziyaan (2018)

Bollywood has a film for every mood, every move. Whether you are recovering from a recent breakup or facing the mid-life crisis, there is a literally a flick for every phase. We have compiled a list of 30 Bollywood movies a buff should watch before you know…you die. Because you don’t wanna miss if Rahul married Anjali or live without knowing about Rani’s solo honeymoon! From the early aughts to latest blockbusters, we rounded out evergreen and feel-good entertainers for you to binge. They appear in no serial order, whatsoever.

Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan is a Hindi romantic drama starring Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Bachchan, and Vicky Kaushal. Rumi (Taapsee) and Vicky (Vicky) are in love but when the latter gets cold-feet, she marries Robbie (Abhishek). A muddled love triangle reflecting on modern-day relationships makes for the rest of the narrative. Who will Rumi finally choose?

2. Bareilly ki Barfi (2017)

Bareilly ki Barfi stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Sanon. Laced with witty one-liners and quirky twists, Ashwini Iyer Tiwary’s 2017 light-hearted comedy is a must-watch for all cinephiles! The story revolves around Bitty (Kriti), a free-spirited girl, falls in love with an author, Pritam Vidrohi (Rajkummar), and requests the book shop owner Chirag (Ayushmann) to introduce her to Pritam. However, Chirag himself falls for Bitty and must find a way to impress her.

3. Hum Aapke Hai Koun (1994)

Hum Aapke Hai Koun is a timeless classic. The 1994 film traces the love story of Madhuri Dixit’s Nisha and Prem, played by Salman Khan. Nisha is Prem’s elder brother Rajesh’s sister-in-law. Pooja, Rajesh’s wife, is about to share the good news with her family but passes away in a tragic accident, leaving behind a baby.

Prem and Nisha’s family ask Nisha to marry Rajesh, for the sake of her nephew. Will Nisha agree?

Hum Aapke Hai Koun recently completed 25 years! Catch the celebrations here:

4. Jab we Met (2007)

We mean every word when we say Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met is one of the finest romantic comedy films Bollywood ever saw. Shahid Kapoor’s Aditya and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Geet give us the laughs every time we watch it, regardless of how many times we have watched it already! Click here to watch.

5. Qayamat se Qayamat Tak (1988)

Before we had Varun Dhawan, Vicky Kaushal, Ranbir Kapoor…Aamir Khan was the ultimate chocolate boy of B-town! A gripping tale of two lovers from rival families fighting for their happily ever after, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak also had Juhi Chawla at her acting best.

Watch the film here:

6. Mother India (1957)

Hailed as India’s ‘Gone with the Wind,’ Mother India was the country’s submission for the Academy Awards (foreign film category). Starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, and Rajendra Kumar, the 1957 movie hold great cultural and social significance.

7. Mughal-e-Azam (1960)

K. Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam was a milestone in the history of Indian cinema. The magnum opus took six years to complete and a decade to finally hit the screens. The Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj Kapoor-starrer was an ambitious project and thus, an expensive film of its time.

8. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is a benchmark in the romance genre. DDLJ beat Sholay to become the longest-running film in India. It has clocked over 1000 weeks as Maratha Mandir, an old theatre in Mumbai, continues to play a show daily.

9. Lagaan (2001)

Lagaan is a package deal – an epic sports drama rich in romance and accentuated by A.R. Rahman’s music. Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh’s film is set in the colonial India era. A bunch of villagers challenge the Britishers in their own game, cricket, in exchange for removing taxes. Ashutosh Gowariker brilliantly puts together old montages, juxtaposed against a rustic background.

10. Chak De! India (2007)

Until Chak De! India released in theatres, not many Indian confidently could answer that field hockey is India’s national sport. Firebrand Shah Rukh Khan rewrote his ‘King of Romance’ image by playing a coach of Indian Women’s Hockey team in this 2007 film. Also involving the age-old India-Pakistan on-field rivalry, the movie makes for an entertaining watch even a decade after its release.

11. Bobby (1973)

It was only when Bobby happened that teenage romance was explored as a genre. Raj Kapoor lost all his savings to the failure of Mera Naam Joker but Bobby delivered salvation. He launched his son Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, making them taste overnight success!

12. Sholay (1975)

In the words of filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, “Indian film history can be divided into Sholay BC and Sholay AD.” The masala potboiler ran for over five years in theatres and that goes to say volumes of the finesse put together by Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Amjad Khan, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bachchan and Hema Malini.

The 1975 film gave us ultimate bromance goals as Jai-Veeru’s friendship has been immortalized for times to come. Besides, Gabbar Singh is undoubtedly the best villains of all time. Not to forget, the hilarious dialogues and punchlines, “Tumhara naam kya hai Basanti?” Sholay is an entryway to Bollywood.

13. Lootera (2013)

If not for Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera, Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha‘s volcano of talent wouldn’t have erupted so early on, on the screen. Bhavani Iyer’s script brought the critical excellence of two stars who were seen as commercial actors until then. It is partly based on author O. Henry’s 1907 short story The Last Leaf.

14. Wake up Sid (2009)

Ranbir Kapoor‘s transformation from a spoilt brat to a responsible son is a well-put-together tale of passion, for we have all been Sid at one point or the other in our lives. The movie is a coming-of-age drama with relatable content that makes you smile and cry, not in that order necessarily.

15. Delhi Belly (2011)

When Bollywood experimented with dark comedy, Delhi Belly was born. The Vir Das, Kunaal Roy Kapur, and Imran Khan-starrer film literally leaves you in splits. There is not a scene where you don’t want to grin or giggle and go ‘s**t happens.’ The character graphs are such brilliantly sketches and of course, the million-dollar songs only amplify the effect.

16. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

We bet Dil Chahta Hai makes you want to plan a trip to Goa with your BFFs. Packed with hilarious dialogues, slapstick comedy, slice-of-life gags, friendship, and romance, Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Akshaye Khanna’s film will make you go “Ya toh dosti gehri hai, ya yeh photo 3D hai.”

17. Andaz Apna Apna (1994)

The list of Bollywood classic comedies is just incomplete without Andaz Apna Apna. Crime-Master Gogo is an icon! No matter how hazy things get, but we can never stop figuring out Yeh Teja Teja kya hai? Mark kidhar hai??

18. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Karan Johar’s 1998 film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai starring Kajol, Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji in a love triangle is arguably one of the evergreen hits of Bollywood. A reboot of this iconic film would serve us just fine, KJo.

19. Queen (2013)

Kangana Ranaut’s Queen is a winner all the way! The actress’ portrayal of an innocent and naive Rani, put in situations like getting mugged in Europe or picking up a s*e toy or going to a strip club that made a statement with such panache. With great aplomb, Queen is a departure from the cliche serious message-ridden plots.

20. Gangs of Wasseypur series (2012)

Gangs of Wasseypur is a two-part crime film, produced and directed by Anurag Kashyap, and written by Kashyap and Zeishan Quadri. Centered on the coal mafia of Dhanbad, and the underlying power struggles, politics and vengeance between three crime families, the film features an ensemble cast, with Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Richa Chadda and Tigmanshu Dhulia in the major roles.

21. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is filled with many light-hearted and life-changing moments. Some make you realize the importance of relationships, some simply teach you a thing about life. Embark on a virtual trip to Spain with Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, and Kalki Koechlin in this Zoya Akhtar film.

22. Piku (2015)

Replete with all things Bengali, Piku very simply puts forth the relationship between a child and a co-dependent parent. Old age, father-daughter bond, digestive issues form the narrative of this funny watch.

23. Hera Pheri series (2000 and 2006)

Things never go as planned for three unemployed men – Raju, Shyam, and Baburao. In their quest to earn easy money, their antics and arguments make for a seriously entertaining watch. You may have a laughter attack after watching Hera Pheri and Phir Hera Pheri.

24. Hindi Medium (2017)

Hindi Medium is a refreshing break from the usual intense roles Irrfan Khan plays. A well-written plot with a strong message put subtly, you learn while you laugh in this film.

25. 3 Idiots (2009)

Engineer or not, the flawed education system showed in 3 Idiots applies to one and all. Memorize the ultimate Baba Rancho’s mantra ‘All Izz Well’ for any and every problem in life. Chatur’s speech is another highlight, bringing back memories of college days pranks!

26. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander

Aamir Khan, Pooja Bedi, Ayesha Jhulka-starrer 1992 film Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar remains a classic high-school drama. Sanjay Lal and Ratan Lal Sharma are two brothers who live in Dehradun. Ratan is a devoted student and hard worker while Sanjay is a lazy prankster, always getting into trouble. In an unexpected turn of events, Ratan loses the cycle race due to the intense rivalry among three colleges. Sanjay then wows to win the award and his brother’s honor back!

27. English Vinglish

English Vinglish is a 2012 Hindi drama film featuring Sridevi and Adil Hussain. The Gauri Shinde film was critically acclaimed and bagged several honours. English Vinglish is the story of Shashi, a homemaker, who can’t speak and understand English. After being continuously mocked by her husband and daughter, Shashi decides to learn English during a trip to the USA

28. Deewar

Remember the iconic Shashi Kapoor dialogue – “Mere paas Maa hai?” Shashi said it to Amitabh Bachchan in the memorable 1975 film Deewar. The action-drama starred Nirupa Roy as their mother. The award-winning film revolves around Vijay who joins the underworld and his younger brother Ravi becomes a police officer. As fate would have it, the brothers are pitted against each other. Can Ravi and his mother help Vijay to mend his ways? Revisit the golden era and watch Deewar here.

29. Taal

Subhash Ghai’s Taal is counted as one of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s best works. Also starring Anil Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna, the story revolves around Mansi, daughter of singer Tara Babu who falls in love with Manav. But Manav’s rich family disapproves their relationship and insults Tara Babu. Desperate to make name for herself, Mansi joins Vikrant’s troupe and soon becomes popular. Will the lovers ever unite?

30. Mr. India

Mr. India is a 1987 Hindi adventure comedy film starring Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, and Amrish Puri. This superhit film is considered a cult classic and features in the list of ‘100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time’. Mr. India is the story of Arun Verma, a simple, kind-hearted man, who receives a gadget that will make him invisible. He is expected to put this gadget for good use and protect the poor, innocent and save the country from enemies

Know of any other movies to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

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