By Pinto Lokesh |

As a young child, I remember Bollywood music always playing in the car. While my parents sat in the front seat and talked, I would relax against the back headrest and let the melodies and lyrics warm my soul. Bollywood always gave me a sense of peace and joy. 

I won’t lie, I haven’t always felt like my Indian culture was as welcoming as I wanted it to be, but in some ways, Bollywood movies made me feel more connected to it.

It’s not just me and other Indians who love Bollywood films. Over the past 20 years, Bollywood popularity has soared. In many countries like China, Germany and Indonesia, Bollywood movies are loved. The world seems to be taken with them. Many people who aren’t Indian would like to start watching them, but sometimes they don’t know where to begin. Here’s a list that will help when it comes to choosing that perfect Bollywood movie for your Friday night.

Try movies made in the 1990s

Movies from the 1990s are the best starting point because a lot of monumental pieces in Bollywood history were released during this time. In my opinion, Bollywood movies from the 90s have the best songs, dances and outfits. Some great films to check out from the 1990s are “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” and “Gupt.”

Try films starring Sri Devi

Sridevi Kapoor was one the most prolific Indian actresses of all time. She made about 300 films up until her death in 2018. She is regarded as “The First Female Superstar” in Bollywood cinema. Devi first stole the show when placed next to the male actors such as Ravi Kapoor in the film “Himmatwala.” At the time, it was unheard of for the rise of a woman in Bollywood, so she is definitely a legend worth checking out. Two of her most well-known films are “Nagina” and “Mr. India.”

Try watching the Four Khans of Bollywood

 This group of actors consists of Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan. These four dominate Bollywood. They’ve all been acting for over 25 years and have helped create some amazing films. You can easily find some gems just by looking up these actors and seeing what movies they were in. Here are some of my favorite films starring at least one of the Four Khans: “Swades” (Shah Rukh), “Dangal” (Aamir), “Maine Pyar Kiya” (Salman), and “Kya Kehna” (Saif Ali). 

Try films with the most iconic on-screen couple: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol Devgan

This duo has been acting together for over 25 years and have made some of the most beloved films in Indian film history.They have the most powerful chemistry I have ever seen. In 2002 and 2016, they won the Star Screen Best Jodi (Couple) of the Decade. They are the only on-screen couple to ever win the award twice. Together, they broke milestones. One of their films,“Dilwale Dulhunia Le Jayenge,” which was released in 1995, is still playing regularly in theatres today- making it the first Indian film with the longest theatrical run. Some of their blockbuster hits are “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” and “My Name is Khan.” 

 I suggest watching a Bollywood movie at least once in your life. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll have the opportunity to experience and connect with another country’s movie culture. This connection is important because movies are more than a way to pass the time- they are stories in motion. This is why Bollywood is appreciated within the country of India.

Shar Rukh Khan once said “in India, the films are not looked upon just as entertainment. They’re a way of life.” 

 I hope this inventory of categories will help you find the right Bollywood movie for you.