Whoever said Bollywood movies were a mockery and contained only singing and dancing pointlessly didn’t look close enough at some of the movies of the decade that struck a chord and managed to move people to tears across the nation.
Bollywood isn’t just a “masala move industry”, it’s an amalgamation of different varieties of actors typecasted into different genres. While some actors choose to put their best foot forward and be splashed across Page 3 (and there’s nothing wrong with that), there are actors who do meaningful, purposeful roles that don’t earn them the praise they should receive but a critic’s acclaim for their brilliant acting tied together with a script is marvelous.
Forewarning: this list will contain several spoilers, so in case you’re planning on watching the movies mentioned, we’re sorry in advance.
Here are today’s “Top 10 most emotional Bollywood movies”:
#10: Om Shanti Om
Seen more often as a romantic-comedy than a serious film, the unfair and untimely murder of SHantipriya and Om’s quest and sacrifice to save her from dying warranted for a few tears.
Deepika turned out to be a surpringly good actor for a first movie and showed infinite potential then on. Her chemistry with Shahrukh Khan despite the enormous age gap was still believable and that’s what paved way for this film being more celebrated than scorned.
Of course, if you’re an absolute non-believer that can’t stand the idea of rebirth and reincarnation, this movie is going to give you a headache and infuriate you.
The most emotional scene: After the villain Mukesh (Arjun Rampal) is killed under the chandelier, Om looks up to see the grateful looking spirit of Shanti stand tall before him, with tears in her eyes over his unconditional love.
#9: Three Idiots
More heartwarmingly emotional than depressingly emotional, this movie became a blockbuster instantly for the natural chemistry between the three best friends and the usual humdrum and pressures of college life they yielded to.
A reflection on the current Indian education system combined with oodles of drama and moments of despair and sadness when one of the friends attempts jumping to his death, 3 Idiots didn’t deprive us of any variant of emotion: be it excitement, humor, sadness or hope.
The most emotional scene: Flying the newly built helicopter with a camera fixed to surprise their friend Joy, only to found that he has given up and hung himself in despair.
#8: B.A. Pass
A disturbingly realistic movie featuring Shadab Kamal (who proved to be a brilliant and soulful first-time actor), this movie can be seen as a combination of desire, power, aspirations and responsibility.
A dilemma faced by a common man whose parents face an untimely death and is sent to live with an uncaring aunt where he is denied making any additional expenses results in him looking for a job that will pay him well enough to fund for his two younger sisters’ school tuition fees.
His only friend he finds solace with is Johnny, somebody he plays chess with on a regular basis and soon enough, he is pulled into the world of male prostitution. He goes with it because it pays handsomely and he is desperate to release his sisters’ of the life of sorrow and torture that they face from their warden in the hostel.
Frustrated by the end, he resolves to quit the job and he demands his overdue fees from his most regular client Savita, who claims she has given Johnny the money. Sensing foulplay and hearing her husband knock on the front door, demanding that they open up or he’ll break it down, he follows Savita’s orders and stabs her to death and then flees.
He realizes Johnny has used all this hard-earned money to vacation in Mauritius and ultimately, feeling cheated by life, he leaps to his death from the balcony before the police that are chasing him can catch up with him.
Most emotional scene: The ending when his sisters are trying to reach him in the hope that they start a new life, but he has committed suicide before he could be caught by the cops.
#7: Love, sex aur dhokha
Three intertwined stories that show the precursor and then the aftermath of trusting people that deceive you is the main plot of the entire story.
Interestingly, every story showcases each component (love, sex and dhokha) from young, innocent love leading to a leaked innocent tape or honor killings.
The film ties together the three depressing stories (that don’t end well) to boil down to the moral of the story: never trust anybody, however good you think they are. If that isn’t depressing, I don’t know what is.
Most emotional scene: The scene where the newly wed couple is heading home to the girl’s parents to start a new life together but their car is stopped and they are betrayed by their own parents whom they trusted; who then chop their body to pieces and bury them.
Brace yourselves for a cryfest because this one does not go easy on your tears. This is a story about forbidden young love between Raj (Shahrukh Khan) and Megha (Aishwarya), who is the only daughter of the strict principal of Gurukul, Narayan (Amitabh Bachchan). Narayan does not approve of his students falling in love believing it is a waste of time and effort which will distract them.
Hence, he expels whoever he finds has fallen in love and expels Raj immediately, without seeing his face, knowing he was wooing his daughter. Megha is struck with grief and commits suicide, seeing a blear future without Raj in it and the rest of the movie follows Raj, who returns to the school as a music teacher and tries to make changes Narayan does not approve of.
He advices his students to follow their heart, love what they do and pursue people they love because if there’s anything he learned about his lover’s death was that he felt her presence with him no matter what. His undeterred love for Megha, and his spirited personality won everybody’s hearts and this will remain one of Bollywood’s most emotional romances of all time.
Most emotional scene: When Shahrukh Khan tells his students the story about him and Megha.
#5: Taare Zameen Par
Another subdued reflection on the Indian educations system being brash and unsuitable to children with special needs, this unique movie called the attention of parents and educators to constantly show love, encouragement and support to their children who required it more than they think.
Most emotional scene: The song “Maa”, when Ishaan is sent off to boarding school in the hope that he will fix his study habits and discipline. He doesn’t know how to voice his dyslexia because he is too young to place what is going wrong but he misses his mother terribly and clams up at school, where he feels extremely homesick.
A mute boy Barfi and a beautiful girl Shruti that fall in love with each other but in time, she realizes for her own interests that there can’t be any future with someone with a disability and she leaves him to marry somebody else.
A few years later, she is unhappy and comes back to see him but he is already in a mutually-loving, touching relationship with his childhood autistic friend Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra).
There is a part in between where Jhilmil disappears and is assumed dead although no body is found and Barfi is blamed for it, although she is found later and her father was the accused.
This movie teaches us the value of unconditional love.
Most emotional scene: When Barfi and Jhilmil die together on the hospital bed, not wanting to leave each other alone.
#3: Chak de! India
An emotionally patriotic story that teaches you to think twice before you underestimate the underdogs, this draws upon the power of team spirit and togetherness and Kabir Khan teaches a team of girls in the Indian hockey team to fulfill his aspiration of showing the world what India is capable of.
Most emotional scene: When he is accused of being a traitor and “deshdrohi” because his team lost the final against Pakistan in the days he played.
#2: Veer Zaara
An Indian Air Force Officer falls in love with a Pakistani civilian after rescuing her from a fallen bus, followed by a day spent together in his home in Punjab. He realizes she has a fiance and she realizes she must abide by her parents’ decision but ultimately, she tells them about the Indian man she loves.
That is when Veer leaves his home in Punjab to meet Zara in Pakistan, where he is accused of being a spy and is jailed for years. His love does not decrease over time and knows no bounds.
No wonder Shahrukh Khan’s the Kind of Romance. With movies that create such feels, how can he not?
Most emotional scene: The song “Main yahaan hoon” when Zara sees Veer everywhere and realizes she can be with only him but she knows her parents won’t approve.
#1: Rang de Basanti
India’s historic struggle against the British and it’s potential finally shining through, this movie goes backward and forward to show the youthful group of friends’ sacrifice for their nation.
This movie remains precious to every Indian that is nationalistic and proud of their country despite the odds and the shortcomings.
Most emotional scene: When Sonia (Soha Ali Khan’s) fiance Ajay SIngh Rathod is killed when his jet crashes and the friends mourn his death and recount memories together.