Crying over Bollywood movies has pretty much become a daily thing. It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything’s fine- really… I just love Bollywood. August was the discovery of Bollywood for me and in that span I think I’ve watched about 40 movies (and the list continues to grow). These are a handful of the movies that have stayed with me on my Bollywood binge journey. Some tears were inspired by beautiful storylines with the most wonderful ending and the other side of that coin being sobbing uncontrollably feeling like a part of my soul was ripped out as the characters suffered. All of the movies listed below are available to stream with English subtitles. Most movies listed also have the option available with other subtitle languages.

1.Befikre (Carefree)

5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank:Unexpledcted borderline sobbing

“Two commitment-phobic young people living in Paris enter into a casual relationship that turns out to be fraught with more emotion and intermittent break-ups than they can handle. They keep drifting apart” eventually breaking up, but this is where individually, their stories truly begin.

Review: This movie was wonderful! It was funny, sarcastic, heartfelt- lighthearted yet serious. Great storyline and character development. I like how the plot wasn’t dragging on and how the scenes introduced new characters and also aspects of the mains. I would petition for a sequel and watch the heck out of it.

2. Daawat e Ishq (Feast of Love)

5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank:Aditya Roy kaupr is in this, so there were obvi tears bc I love him so much

“Gullu wants to get rich and…fast!! So when she discovers that she can use an age-old practice as a means of blackmail she does not think twice. Taru is the target she’s found for herself. But what seemed like an easy con job, soon turns difficult when she finds herself having second thoughts. Is she the cold-hearted scammer she set out to be or not?”

Review: (love of my life) Aditya Roy Kapur is fabulous in this. His character is so extra yet down to earth at the same time, which is amusing and relatable to watch, simultaneously. I enjoy the dimension this movie brings, From the trailer and the description I assumed this would be a more lighthearted “I’ll forget about as I watch more Bollywood movies” type of thing, but the storyline and genuine connection this explores, stays with you. The script does a great job at exploring real life frustrations and showing motivations as to why people begin scamming others and where humanity may be found along the way. This movie bridges the gap between love and hatred through understanding other’s circumstances.

3. Kalank (blemish)

5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: My soul has never felt this raw before and hurt

“Set in 1945, in Pre-Independent India, ‘Kalank’ is the story of a vivid and ethereal world, lost when the fire of Partition engulfs the city and the country. It’s the story of the shades of reds in their lives as they yearn for highs of love while Husnabad gets soaked in the reds of violence and revenge.”

Review: I just- this movie was WOW. Kalank is easily one of my all time favorites. This film captured every emotion humanly possible while seeming natural and non-overwhelming. I was sad when the story ended and wanted to know more. This film progressed spectacularly and didn’t spoil anything in moments of time jumping foreshadows. I was surprised by the multiple twists and how the narrative progression didn’t bore me with these changes as the plot constantly providing new roadblocks and unconventional ways around them could have easily backfired, turning this into a horribly boring storyline. From the first scene, this film intrigued me. There was a mystery around this movie that was never fully explained and I enjoy that. Not every narration was tied together in a perfect bow at the end- it was imperfect, just like our human lives and left somewhat open-mindedly (hopefully for a sequel to be explored).

4. Raabta (Connection)

5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: my tears have formed an ocean

“A woman crosses paths with her reincarnated lover from a previous lifetime.”

Starring: Kriti Sanon, Sishant Singh Rajput, Deepika Padukone

Review: This was the first movie I saw SSR in and wow, was he a fire. I wish I had known about him prior to his passing. This movie is spectacular. I was apprehensive about the plot as it sounds like the execution could be on the cheesy side. However, the production is next level. I was a bit taken back at how the story progressed and forgot about the part of the “previous lifetime” until about half way through when the movie drastically turned. Despite this shift, I saw the continuity in the acting, script, and settings despite the obvious difference. Overall, the production and execution of this concept worked really well and kept me engaged, on edge, and gasping. Keep a close eye on details as you watch because certain aspects come back in unexpected ways. I realized after I watched this there were multiple aspects in previous scenes that foreshadowed the ending, had I looked closer. The chemistry between Kriti and SSR is comforting and spicy, at the same time. The banter is hilarious and their connection is simplistically beautiful.

5. Band Baaja Baaraat (Band, Music, and Revelry)

3.5/ 5 Stars | Available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime (this one is Hindi only)

Cry Rank: Ranveer’s debut!!!!

“Two graduates from Delhi enter the business world together by creating a wedding planning enterprise.”

Review: This movie was okay for me. I liked it enough to cry laugh along with but I felt a bit abrupt in the end for me. The first half of the movie and the second half seemed as if they were aspects of two different movies that were stitched together. The plot progressed but it was odd and felt different than the first half of the movie- the ambiance, characters, and plot introduced to. I didn’t like the ending either.. I liked it for plot purposes but the execution fell short on my end. There wasn’t much buildup to the peak of the movie, making it seem as if it came too late- yet, at the same time, the buildup was rather disappointing and predictible- the fallout was off compared to how/ what happened in the buildup and was just.. weird?? It didn’t fit. The acting is spectacular on all accounts and the production is great- the only issue is the script, which is why I am generously giving this 3.5/5 stars.

6. Ladies vs Ricky Bahl

1 /5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank:Sobbing because the cast deserved better

“A conman who earns his bread and butter by conning women ends up getting conned when a bunch of women team up to get revenge.”

Review: Not really engaging aside from shirtless Ranveer. There’s no depth, continual interest, or intriguing emotions throughout this. Ranveer’s character progression was the only interesting aspect but wasn’t showcased the best. There was a whole portion of the film left unexplored and plot liens that went nowhere. Overall, this movie could be remade 100 times better. The cast deserved more from a script.

7. OK Jaanu (ok, darling)

5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank:OH MY GOSH THIS WAS ALL AROUND PERFECTION AND SHOULD BE IN THE CINEMA HALL OF FAME. i will never be the same after watching this

“Two ambitious people fall in love after meeting at a wedding. They decide on a no-strings-attached live-in relationship, but doubt their decision when their careers pull them apart.”

Review: I love this movie as if it were my child. This is spectacular, phenomenal, moving, personal, light-hearted, witty, relatable, complicated yet simplistic, raw, motivating, emotional, inspiring, community-oriented, wondrous, full of wanderlust- oh my the list could go on. I didn’t think it was possible to quite literally “feel all the feels” in the span of one movie, yet, here comes Ok Jaanu to challenge my belief. The way this script explores and debunks complexity of relationships leaves me in awe. The angles explored, approaches, communication, and displays of affection are so uniquely overlooked and tender in our everyday lives. This story phenomenally ties together various journeys of people while teaching the characters and audience the multidimensional aspects of love and the may forms it takes. The end credits are so sweet, as well- I was SOBBING as the last scene closed and then a cartoon sketch of “what happened next” danced across my screen, giving me the additional closure I didn’t know I needed. The soundtrack, storyline, and vulnerability of this movie will live in your heart long after the credits roll though. Everyone MUST watch Ok Jaanu at least once.

8. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (O Heart, It Is Difficult)

5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: UMMMMM CAN I JUST HUG THESE PEOPLE? THEY ARE STRUGGLING BIG TIME.

“Musician Ayan’s quest for true love remains unfulfilled as Alizeh does not reciprocate his feelings. In his journey, he comes across different people who make him realize the power of unrequited love.”

Review: I was crying one minute into this, okay. Spectacular journey through love, loss in your first heartbreak, self-discovery, maturity, loneliness, and the power of friendship. This movie is a bit of a slow burner but in a purposeful way. I do not recommend this movie to those who like predictable, perfectly ending movies. The end was a MAJOR twist for me but appreciated as it was refreshing to watch something and have my perspective challenged. This movie is an accurate representation of life’s complexity and the importance of having grace with others and especially ourselves. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil showcases a handful of the people we meet in our lives and the lessons they teach us, if we are open and ready to receive them.

9. Saaho (Let Victory Be Yours)

4.5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: Laughing so hard tears were produced at my own stupidity following this

“A man uses an arsenal of weapons to battle a gang of heavily armed thugs in the city. With the city under fire and people’s lives at risk, the one man has to give everything he has got to take the city back.”

Review: This would have received 5/5 stars if I understood the ending better. The last 30 seconds of the film evoked “???” expression/ feeling from me. I’m not sure if there is a sequel in the works/ out there (I googled and didn’t see one released) but it was contradicting and aggravating if there isn’t one. The move just felt unsettled in the last scene as it was just beginning to 100% make sense. I loved the script and the twist and turns- there were multiple, which I appreciated because they were done so in a classy and explainable way that didn’t seem like a reach. I enjoyed the action in this and the motivations for each twist, turn, grudge, and the explanation of power. Overall very dynamic and engaging. This move is NOT for those who like immediate reasoning, easy to watch without thinking, etc. type of flows- you need to pay attention to this as it is rather complex and long. There were times I was laughing so hard at my own stupidity for thinking I had this movie figured out/ that I was following along, I was crying. Really good execution of the story (minus the end)!

10. Lootera (Robber)

5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: AHHHHHHHHHHH MY BOLLYWOOD LOVING HEART

“A concerned father comforts his daughter after she has an asthma attack, with a story about an invincible king whose soul resided inside a parrot”

Review: The description released for this movie SUCKS. It’s SO MUCH MORE than a girl being comforted through a bedtime story about a parrot. It’s just- I don’t know where to even begin with this masterpiece. This movie is the Mona Lisa of modern Bollywood. Each time you watch this, something new is experienced. Through the straight faces, corrupt yet lovable atmosphere, two people find love in the midst of a changing India as governments have passed new regulations and history is writing itself. The innocence and maturity in the characters continually fight, brining a new sense of emotional struggle and curiosity to the screen. The movie calmly progresses while staying true to the foundation set in the beginning, yet poetically maturing like a fine bottle of wine as the last scene closes out. The display of sincerity and understanding in love through life’s hardship is wondrously executed and challenged as outside influences, changing times, and people’s mind interfere.

11. Padmaavat

5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: Inspiring and poetically heart breaking

“In medieval India, a tyrannical sultan and his army attack a prosperous kingdom to try and capture the beautiful Queen Padmavati. Her husband Maharawal Ratan Singh assembles his valiant forces to defend his land and the honor of his beloved wife.”

Review: Padmaavat encapsulates greed, ego, and the implications these two have when executed by someone with a world view of entitlement, paired with an aggressive demeanor. This film shows the power of good people and how no matter what happens or how difficult, a true community can and will overcome the oppression and rise to the occasion. This is a journey of love, fear, and finding your voice. Padmaavat showcases the power and presence of love in all forms- not just romantic, but self-love, cultural-love, community-love, and how decisions we make today, in happiness and in anger leave a lasting mark on others and represent the aftermath for generations to come. The end scene is the most beautiful as it perfectly symbolisms how our thoughts manifest into actions that either strengthen us or become our demise… and sometimes, these happen simultaneously.

12. Ram-Leela

5/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: Pulled at my romance-loving heart strings

“A man from a crime family falls in love with a woman ho is resistant to her family’s choice of a husband for her.”

Review: The opposing families give me MAJOR Bollywood Romeo and Juliet vibes. While this was heavy when directed, the comedic aspect of this script made me laugh constantly and feel more relaxed and able to enjoy the story unfolding infant of me. There were multiple moments when I audibly said “woah” because of the political plays occurring, but overall I enjoyed watching two lovers rebel, creating a new normal for themselves while striving for peace.

13. Ki & Ka (Her & Him)

4/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: T’was cute and made me feel like a teen again

Review: This was an incredibly cute movie. I loved the journey of how two teenagers met, fell in love and matured both individually and as a couple throughout this cinematic journey. I feel like so often “exploratory” movies are still quite limited to the aspects of characters and relationships we see. Many times this “journey” is barely scratching the surface. In Ki & Ka, the characters know themselves and discover new pieces in the world around them, each other, their family, and adult living. While this isn’t a new concept to love, it was a great focus on the beauty of maturing and leaving college and the possibilities of working, family, and relationships have to offer. This was a great example of how tough hardship can be and how to responsibly and maturely handle it while maintaining grace and dignity when you just want to scream into the void and go back to the college days where you could “snooze” your alarm and the only repercussion being an angry email from the professor of whose class you slept through.

14. Bajirao Mastani

4/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Cry Rank: familiar feels

“Bajiro Mastani is an epic love story between a ferocious Maratha general, Bajirao, and his second wife Mastani, a warrior princess and the many obstacles they face. They struggle to make their love triumph amid opposition from his conservative family.”

Review: This is a slow burner. You will get bored if you like intense, fast-paced movies. The detail in this is exquisite! What captured my heart is the essence of wanting to belong and feel accepted. The most popular and widely known Bajiro wants his feelings, choices, and lifestyle to be accepted by those he loves, while Mastani wants her love to be accepted and to feel like she is a part of the world her love is encapsulated with. This is a story of beauty amongst tragedy and strength in treachery. The characters define true strength in not feeling the defeat from emotional trauma and unexpected circumstances. This is a story of forgiveness, perseverance, and love. Mastani continues to redefine genuine kindness with each action and step she takes to belong and I think many people today can find understanding in this character. So often we change aspects of ourselves and try, try, an try to be what other’s need us to be while hoping we’re accepted and will have a friend/community/love. Mastani knows who she is and is unapologetically living in this space. No matter how much hatred is sent her way, she receives it with kindness and understanding.

15. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (Beware Of Marriage)

3/5 Stars | Available on Amazon Prime

Type: Romantic Comedy

“The story is about Mudit Sharma, a Gurgaon boy with a marketing job, who falls in love with Sugandha Joshi. Shy by nature, Mudit tries all possible ways to talk to Sugandha but fails. Finally, he decides to send her an online marriage proposal. When the two finally meet, they feel the sparks and decide to take it to the next level. A formal marriage proposal is exchanged between their families.”

Review: This movie did not progress to what the Amazon Prime description detailed. The google description is much more accurate and honestly, if I read the google description first I wouldn’t have been interested. HOWEVER, I’m glad Amazon had a different foreshadow of this movie as it was quite witty and lighthearted. I wouldn’t pick this to re-watch, but it was funny and entertaining. The end was a bit slow, but overall it was an okay movie.

Have you watched any I listed? What did you think?


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