Bringing the Bollywood World to Light
BY SAHANA PRABHU '23
Have you ever wanted to expand your horizons through film? Both the pop culture world and Hollywood have many films that parallel Bollywood. Bollywood, which is the Indian film industry, is widely popular, and I and many others have grown up watching their films. It never hurts to broaden your horizons, so let me recommend some high-quality Bollywood films that correspond with your favorite Hollywood tropes!
To start, let’s take a movie from one of the biggest franchises, Black Widow, and a movie from Bollywood, the popular Baahubali. Baahubali is a hero, just like Black Widow; he defeats an entire army of an enemy tribe and does so graciously. Like how Black Widow is motivated by her family, Baahubali’s mother and wife give him a purpose to fight. Both heroes are passionate about protecting the people they love, making Baahubali the perfect fit for those interested in an action-packed and heart-warming story.
Next, we have The Fault In Our Stars, a romantic film about two teens with cancer navigating their way through life. This movie is similar to India’s Kal Ho Naa Ho, a film where the main character falls in love someone diagnosed with cancer. These films both show the perseverance many with terminal diseases display, and they teach many lessons about how to lead a fulfilled life.
Another popular Hollywood movie is She’s The Man. This Hollywood film is about a girl who disguises herself as a man to play soccer because of the discrimination she faces in the sport. Bollywood’s Dangal, a former wrestler, accomplishes a similar feat. Dangal is a former wrestler who wishes that his children were boys since they can win a wrestling championship, but he has three girls instead. Like She’s the Man, he makes his daughter wrestle anyway, even though it is taboo for women to wrestle. This movie taught me a lot about female empowerment and how anyone can do anything they set their mind to.
My final recommendation for you to check out is Koi Mil Gaya. This movie is about a disabled man who is unable to fall in love and live his life. By the end, he is granted many wishes, including supernatural wishes. This movie is a great fit for anyone who enjoyed Wonder. Wonder, a film about overcoming disabilities. The films are similar, as both protagonists refuse to let their disabilities stop them from achieving their goals. They learn that they don’t have to meet someone else’s standards of how they should live, and the protagonists of both movies teach kindness to others. This movie taught me how to take things into perspective and will teach you about that as well.
Talking about heroines and heroes, life and death, and so much more, will hopefully persuade you to expand your interests in film. I’ve learned several life lessons from Bollywood movies, and I would love it if you took the time to explore some as well. I hope you watch some of these because these films teach people a lot about life, love, compromise, overcoming unimaginable circumstances, and so much more.
You can watch these movies on Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney+. Once you start watching Bollywood movies, you’ll find a whole new genre to explore! Bollywood movies are so diverse in their subject matter that you can easily draw parallels to Hollywood movies. Let me know if you find any!