India

Films. On the big screen.

It’s true – films can be fun and frivolous. But as well as being entertaining, travel movies are also a gateway to knowledge. A country’s history, culture, and people come alive on the screen, giving you a window into new worlds. Begin your journey through film now.

Historical-Drama

Gandhi (1982)

Directed By Richard Attenborough

An epic film – 3 hours 11 minutes in length – about an epic life. This Oscar winner stars Ben Kingsley as India’s iconic advocate of independence and non-violence. It provides a solid introduction to key events in Gandhi’s political and spiritual evolution.

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Comedy-Drama

Kal Ho Naa Ho (Tomorrow May Never Come) (2003)

Directed By Nikkhil Advani

Bollywood musical dramas are hugely popular not only in India but amongst the Indian diaspora around the world. If you want to see what they’re all about, try this tear-jerker/comedy with song and dance starring “the King of Bollywood,” Shah Rukh Khan. Set in New York, it’s about a stressed-out MBA student who falls in love with a terminally ill man who lives next door.

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Comedy-Drama

Monsoon Wedding (2001)

Directed By Mira Nair

This romantic comedy-drama that pleased crowds and critics. It’s an exuberant yet subtle portrayal of a modern but traditional family. A middle-class clan gathers together in Delhi to celebrate the arranged marriage of the uncertain Aditi to Hemant, a computer programmer who lives in Houston.

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Drama

Padmaavat (2018)

Directed By Leela Bhansali

A big-budget, extravagant epic about warring dynasties in the 13th century which may remind some Jewish viewers of the story of Masada. It generated controversy in India with both Hindu and Muslim groups protesting at its depictions of historical and mythic figures.

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Drama

Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) (1955)

Directed By Satyajit Ray

Made on a tiny budget, this film is lauded by many film buffs as a milestone in modern cinema. Director Satyajit Ray launched his remarkable career with this humane, lyrical portrayal of life in an impoverished village in the 1910s. Not for those looking for fast-paced thrills.

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Drama

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Directed By Danny Boyle

Another Oscar best-winner, this “rags to Rajah fable” is about a young Muslim living in a Mumbai slum. He aims to strike it big on the Indian version of the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” TV quiz show. It combines powerful scenes of poverty with an exciting Hollywood meets Bollywood drama.

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Comedy-Drama

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

Directed By John Madden

A gentle, feel-good comedy. A group of British retirees come to India looking for affordable, comfortable accommodation. What they find is something both less and much more than they expected.

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Comedy-Drama

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Directed By Wes Anderson

Director Wes Anderson takes his quirky view of the world and his favorite actors (including Owen Wilson and Bill Murray) to India in this offbeat comedy-drama about three brothers who embark on a train trip across the country.

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Romantic-Drama

The Lunchbox (2013)

Directed By Ritesh Batra

A young woman and a retiring widower find friendship and perhaps something more after a mix-up in Bombay’s famed lunchbox system (where food from home is transported to loved ones at work).

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Drama

Water (2005)

Directed By Deepa Mehta

Critics described this as a harrowing but beautiful picture about British-occupied India in the 1930s

 

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