Dadasaheb Phalke had inaugurated the silent feature film in India with Raja Harishchandra for the first time. From then to now, Bollywood has made several advancements and has won several accolades to its credit. The world of Bollywood, with its tragedies, comedies, action, and horror, has not just influenced but has also left an enduring impact on the minds of the many movie lovers all around the world. With its characters, songs, scenes, dialogues, and themes, a memorable Bollywood film is the product of the best craftsmanship that the industry has. This below is a list of must watch Hindi movies that no movie buff can miss.
20 Must Watch Hindi Movies:
#1 Sholay (1975)
What better way to start this list of must watch Hindi movies? Every Indian once in his/her lifetime will have heard of Sholay! With Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmender, Amjed Khan, Jaya Badhuri and Hema Malini playing the lead roles, the movie rocked the box office in its hay days. The film continues to shine as one of the greatest Indian films of all time. The story essentially is a revenge story with Sanjeev Kumar playing the self-sacrificing and righteous cop and Amitabh, Dharmender as Jai and Veeru playing two goons. Amjed Khan oozes quintessential villainy as Gabbar Singh. While Hema Malini and Jaya Badhuri as Basanti and Radha play Veeru and Jai’s counterparts.
Dialogues like, ”Kitne Aadmi the…, Basanti in kutto ke saamne mat nachna” have gained their fare share of fame.
#2 Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995)
Apparently, the title of this cult classic was so long that the cast refused it at first, but can you imagine the title not being a DDLJ? Of course not! Starring Sharukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal, Mandira Bedi, and Parmeet Singh, the Aditya Chopra film has run for a non-stop twenty years in Maratha Mandir, Mumbai. It is the classical love story defining other reel and real love stories.
“Jaa, Simran, jaa, jeeley apni zindagi”, “Bade Bade desho mein aisi chotti chotti batein hoti rehti hai senorita”, are some of the most famous dialogues from the film.
#3 Rang De Basanti (2006)
With Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Madhavan, Alice Pattern, Siddharth, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni playing the leads, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Rang De Basanti,” is primarily a film waking the youth from their deep slumber of stubborn ignorance and immediately calling for action. It also carries a distinct sense of patriotism. There are such great actors like Om Puri, Kirron Kher and Waheeda Rehman appearing for a short while, yet play extremely important and impactful roles.
#4 Taare Zameen Par (2007)
With Aamir Khan and Darsheel Safary playing roles of teacher and student, the film touches the sensitive issue of a social disorder. The film shows how Ishan Awasthy, played by Darsheel Safary becomes the target of an outdated school system that paralyses creativity and compels students to rote learn. Tisca Chopra plays Ishaan’s mother in the film. It is a film demanding tubs of ice cream and a box of tissue, cause your going to be crying.
#5 Padosan (1968)
Padosan primarily plays out as a love story where a simple fellow Bhola, Sunil Dutt, falls head over heels in love with Bindu, played by Saira Banu. Bindu’s Tamil music teacher, Master Pillai, the comedian Mahmood, plays the rival. This Jyoti Swaroop directorial stands as one of the best comedies of all time.
Songs like Ek Chatur Naar Badi Hoshiyaar, Mein Chali and Mere Saamnewali Khidki Mein, are immensely popular.
#6 Anand (1971)
Co-written and directed by Rishikesh Mukherjee, and dialogues by Gulzar, Anand has Rajesh Khanna in the lead and Amitabh Bachchan as the supporting actor. A cult film that is also a part of Anupama Chopra’s book,” 100 Films To See Before You Die.” The first of Amitabh Bachchan’s hit films, the film covers the life of Anand (Rajesh Khanna) who is a cancer patient treated by Dr. Bhaskar (Amitabh Bachchan).
One of the most famous dialogues from Anand is,” Babumoshia zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi.”
#7 Mughal- e- Azam (1960)
Another one of the must watch Hindi movies starring master actors- Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, and Madhubala, chronicles the destiny of the Mughal Prince Salim and Anarkali. It is primarily a story of heartbreak and dire consequences of daring to love a Prince. It was one of the first films to be digitally coloured and theatrically re-released. The song ‘Pyaar kiya toh darna kya’ from Mughal-e-Azam is shot in the Sheesh Mahal.
#8 Lagaan (2001)
Set in Victorian India, the film revolves around the residents of a small Indian village who are being burdened by high taxes. Their fight against high taxes does not involve swords, guns, and bullets but cricket bats, wickets and balls. Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, the film stars Aamir Khan as the lead, along with debutant Gracy Singh, with British actors Rachel Shelley and Paul Blackthorne playing the supporting actors.
#9 Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur is a saga of revenge, terror, violence, power struggle, and murder. It revolves around the coal mafia of Dhanbad and Jharkhand and the politics between the three crime families. Part 1 of the series features Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddique, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vineet Kumar Singh, Huma Qureshi, Richa Chaddha and Pankaj Tripathi as the leads.
#10 Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ is a film based on the bond of friendship. His outlook of friendship differs from the typical Bollywood friendship portrayed in the eras before him. This bond shared by Akash (Aamir Khan) Sameer (Saif Ali Kha)n and Siddharth (Akshaye Khanna)a is tested and only time tells if it survives. The movie also examines the theme of relationships. Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni, Dimple Kapadia, Rajat Kapoor, Ayub Khan are the rest of the cast.
Additionally, the visuals and songs are extremely appealing and ‘in’.
#11 3 Idiots (2009)
No list of must watch Hindi movies would be complete without 3 Idiots. Raju Hirani’s 3 idiots has Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, Madhavan, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Boman Irani as the leads. The story revolves around the college life adventures of 3 friends. It clearly criticizes the present education system and the concept of a rat race or competition. Songs and the amazing visuals make the movie that it is.
#12 Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
Carpe Diem is the main theme of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. The plot revolves around three college friends played by Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, and Abhay Deol, who are on a bachelors trip to Spain, where friendships are mended & wounds are healed. It offers them an opportunity to experience and fall in love with life yet again. From the Tomatina song to Senorita, all the songs are a hit both in the visuals department and the music and lyrics department. The other cast includes Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval & Ariadna Cabrol.
#13 Rangeela (1995)
Rangeela stands as one of the finest works from the canon of Ram Gopal Varma. Urmila Matondkar plays Mili, a middle-class girl who dreams of stardom but gets caught in an unknown love triangle. On the hand, there’s her childhood friend Munna (Aamir Khan), and on the other, there’s superstar Raj Kamal (Jackie Shroff). Furthermore, the songs of the movie are a delight to watch.
#14 Deewar (1975)
Yash Chopra’s Deewar is typically a story of Vijay, a boy who is at a very young age separated from his family, who then turns to crime to discover a sense of being and strength. Amitabh Bachchan while playing Vijay expresses the pressures of the angry young man of India in full force. Vijay’s younger brother on the other hand, played by Shashi Kapoor, grows old to become a police officer. Fate pits them against each other. ‘Kehdu tumhe,’ a song from Deewar went on to become extremely famous.
#15 Andaz Apna Apna (1994)
Andaz Apna Apna at the core is a comedy which will make you laugh every 2 minutes. Amar and Prem played by Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, hail from a middle-class background. Their tug-of-war over Raveena Tandon, who is portrayed as a rich millionaire and their run into Teja, a local gangster is what invites loud guffaws.
#16 Ram Lakhan (1989)
Starring Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Madhuri Dixit, and Dimple Kapadia, Subash Ghai’s Ram Lakhan developed into a cult over the years. The film revolves around the relationship of two brothers after and before trouble strikes their peaceful household. It explores the themes of love and revenge. It is primarily a revenge story possessing the motto of avenging the father’s death.
#17 Hera Pheri (2000)
Priyadarshini’s Hera Pheri qualifies as a comedy of a lifetime. The plot revolves around two tenants and their landlord, who are in desperate need for money. While in this position, they chance upon a ransom call through cross-connection. What happens after is what is worth the watch. The movie features Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal and Tabu in the lead roles.
#18 Baazigar (1993)
No 18 on this list of must watch Hindi movies is an SRK special. Baazigar stars SRK, Kajol and Shilpa Shetty as the leads. The film’s protagonist is a cold-blooded murderer who is after a billionaire’s daughter’s life. His first move is to charm her and second to kill her. Although, the cunning of the murderer makes it look like a suicide. At the core, Baazigar is a revenge story, peppered with mind-blowing songs.
#19 Swades (2004)
There are movies and then there is Swades! With a slight dab of safron and the will to change, Ashutosh Gowariker’s movie warms into the hearts of millions. Shah Rukh Khan, a scientist from NASA, returns to India to shift his nanny to the US where he can take care of her. In the process, he rediscovers his roots and becomes a strong force of change.
The song, ‘Yeh jo desh hai mera Swades hai mera’ creates in us a strong sense of patriotism.
#20 Parinda (1989)
To conclude our list of must watch Hindi movies is Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Parinda. A cult classic features Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, and Madhuri Dixit. With an introduction to realism in Bollywood, the film won critical acclaim and became a trendsetter. The story revolves around 4 characters: brothers Kishan and Karan, Karan’s love interest Paro and Kishan’s boss, who is a Don. On the whole, the movie explores the politics within an underworld gang.