1. Pyaasa (1957)
IMDB Rating – 8.3/10
Vijay (Guru Dutt) writes unpopular poems about the destitute and poor. Vijay is mocked by his brothers and scorned by publishers until he meets Gulabo, a sweet prostitute (Waheeda Rehman). When a homeless man wearing a coat Vijay gave him is killed, Gulabo convinces a publisher to print his poems, believing Vijay is dead. The lyrics have become extremely popular as a result of the myth surrounding Vijay’s supposed death. When he reappears, he discovers that few friends can be trusted.
The film is excellent, beginning with the direction, acting, music, and theme story, but what stands out as unique and best is the amount of intensity and the ability to make the audience feel that intensity. The entire film is dedicated to telling the story of a struggling poet.
2. Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
IMDB Rating – 8.1/10
In Emperor Akbar’s 16th-century Mughal court, Prince Saleem, the heir to the throne, falls in love with the beautiful commoner Anaarkali. Emperor Akbar, Saleem’s father, refuses to allow his son to marry below his social status, resulting in a titanic battle of wills. The troubled relationship between father and son is at the heart of this tragic love story.
Director-writer K. Asif wrote one of the best screenplays ever written, with unrivaled dialogue and beautiful use of Urdu. The best screenplays are performed by brilliant actors, whether it’s a lead role or just a few brief appearances.
3. Sholay (1975)
IMDB Rating – 8.1/10
In the village of Ramgarh, retired police chief Thakur Baldev Singh (Sanjeev Kumar) plots the assassination of notorious bandit Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan) and enlists the assistance of two lesser criminals, Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru (Sanjeev Kumar) (Dharmendra). When Gabbar attacks the village, Jai and Veeru are perplexed as to why Thakur does nothing to assist them. They soon discover that he has no arms and that Gabbar was the one who severed them. They are enraged by this and increase their efforts to assist.
Sholay is considered to be one of the best Indian films ever made. Amitabh Bacchan as Jai, Dharmendra as Virru, and Asrani as the hilarious cop are all excellent choices for the roles. The film is worth seeing multiple times. The music by R.D. Burman is excellent. The action scenes are the best in Indian history. The climax is fantastic.
4. Umrao Jaan (1981)
IMDB Rating – 7.7/10
After her father testifies against him, a corrupt cop sells Amiran to a brothel. Umrao Jaan, an accomplished poetess, and renowned courtesan grows up many years later.
The cinematography is stunning, and each frame is lavishly decorated with glamorous costumes and intricate, sparkling jewelry. ‘Umrao Jaan’ is a classic – a poetic memoir of love and loss, and the longing for a happily ever after that never appears.
5. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
IMDB Rating – 8/10
Raj and Simran meet on a trip through Europe and fall in love. When Raj discovers that Simran has already been promised to another man, he follows her to India to win her and her father over.
A Perfect Indian Fairy tale with a High Repetition Value! DDLJ is a self-defining, stand-alone word, not just an abbreviation! It says a lot about romance and filmmaking at the same time.
6. Hera Pheri (2000)
IMDB Rating – 8.1/10
In desperate need of money, two tenants and a landlord come across a ransom call via a cross-connection. They devise a scheme to obtain the ransom for themselves.
This is an epic comedy with numerous rib-tickling moments as the three leads that get into trouble due to their greed for money, Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, and Sunil Shetty are perfect.
7. Devdas (2002)
IMDB Rating – 7.5/10
After studying in London for ten years, Devdas (Shahrukh Khan) returns to India. He intends to marry Paro (Aishwarya Rai), his childhood best friend, but his parents (Vijay Crishna and Smita Jaykar) oppose the marriage. They believe Paro’s family, descended from a line of dancers, is of lower social standing than their own. Paro eventually marries another man, and the depressed Devdas succumbs to life-threatening alcoholism.
Devdas is a true visual treat, a film of great artistic and cinematographic mastery; it is tremendously well shot with lavish sets, costumes, and a story that has been told before but never in such a spectacular setting.
8. Swades (2004)
IMDB Rating – 8.2/10
Mohan Bhargava is a successful NRI (non-resident Indian) who works at NASA’s technological forefront in the United States. He returns to his roots, driven by nostalgia, in search of the nanny who raised him in his homeland, intending to bring her back to America. His journey takes him into India’s rural heart, to the village of Charanpur, and sets him on an outward and inner quest to discover where he truly belongs.
SWADES is a beautiful, moving, and just damn honest film with a fantastic Shahrukh Khan in the lead.
9. 3 Idiots (2009)
IMDB Rating – 8.4/10
Farhan and Raju form a strong friendship with Rancho in college because of his upbeat and refreshing outlook on life. Years later, a bet allows them to search for their long-lost friend, whose existence appears to be elusive.
Three Idiots is a remarkable, ahead-of-its-time Bollywood blockbuster. This is a comedy film with strong acting, memorable characters, a perplexing storyline, and, most importantly, a highly motivating film to choose the right path in your life.
10. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)
IMDB Rating – 7.2/10
Kabir and Naina meet on a trekking trip, and she falls in love with him but does not express it. They eventually drift apart but reunite at a friend’s wedding.
Critics praised Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani for its direction, story, screenplay, soundtrack, cinematography, production design, costumes, and performances by the cast.