TOP 10 FILMS
My favourite Bollywood film is most definitely "Salaam Bombay!", but I'm sticking to post-1990 films due to the requirements of the Foreign Chops feature.
1. Taare Zameen Par
A poignant story about caring for special needs kids.
As devastating as any other civil war movie you could watch.
3. 3 Idiots
There's some silliness that I didn't like on a first watch, but on repeat viewings the admirable story holds up well.
4. Rang De Basanti
A stirring reflection on the effects of Indian independence. Gets a bit crazy in the end, but still good overall.
Purely a guilty pleasure. I can feel the Bollywood experts scorning me already.
A triumphant film surrounding a game of cricket and featuring spectacular musical numbers.
Fun, escapist action movie. It's got everything - hot chicks, cool gadgets, chase scenes etc.
8. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Say the abbreviated "DDLJ" to any Indian and they will know exactly what you are referring to. This iconic 1995 film can still be found playing in some Indian theatres today!
9. Chak De! India
An inspiring Indian take on the typical "sports movie".
A deeply romantic love story.
TOP 10 ACTORS
Shah Rukh Khan is a glaring omission from this list, but I've never been a huge fan of his. He is undeniably "The King of Bollywood", but it also means that he often gets miscast in films.
1. Aamir Khan
He's da man! I just love him in everything, he can do it all. No surprise that he's in 5 of my top 10 films.
2. Nandita Das
Her work in Deepa Mehta's films is breathtaking.
3. Kareena Kapoor
She has a great gift for comedy.
4. Saif Ali Khan
Plays the hopeless romantic quite well (see Parineeta, Dil Chahta Hai).
She's great in romantic roles, always creating good chemistry with her screen partners.
6. Aishwarya Rai
World-renowned for her beauty, she's a pretty good actress too (see Jodhaa Akbar, Devdas and Dhoom 2).
He brings this effortless "cool" persona to his roles.
8. Hrithik Roshan
Delivers one hell of a movie star performance in Dhoom 2. Also, this man has got some serious dance moves!
9. Irrfan Khan
A talented actor who is adept at working within the different styles of Hollywood and Bollywood filmmaking.
10. Akshaye Khanna
I didn't like the popular film "Dil Chahta Hai" so much, but this guy was excellent in it.
TOP 10 SOUNDTRACKS
Of course, a key component of most Bollywood films are the extravagant song-and-dance numbers. Here are my favourite soundtracks with sample musical scenes that I love.
1. Lagaan (by A. R. Rahman)
2. Jab We Met (songs by Pritam & Sandesh Shandilya)
3. Parineeta (by Shantanu Moitra)
4. Like Stars on Earth (by Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
5. Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (by A. R. Rahman)
6. Om Shanti Om (songs by Vishal-Shekhar)
7. Kal Ho Naa Ho (by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)
8. Dil Chahta Hai (by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)
9. Rang De Basanti (by A. R. Rahman)
10. Love Aaj Kal (songs by Pritam)