5 Inspirational Bollywood Movies You Must Watch

There is some amount of discomfort while juxtaposing inspirational alongside Bollywood. What the phrase ‘Bollywood’ conjures in our heads is illogical song, dance, and mostly inspiration that we are better off without. That may be a stinging thing to say, however, I wonder if many would disagree. On the brighter side, the times, they are changing! We always have had great movies and still continue to make them. Different movies touch different people, but some movies are quite universally moving. Here is a list of five inspirational Bollywood movies [arranged in no particular order] that will leave you feeling moved, motivated, inspired. See if your favourites made this list (and tell us if they didn’t!).


  1. Anand – Some old is truly gold. This 1971 Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna starrer is a must watch – regardless of whether you are already a very inspired and motivated individual! While the story might sound familiar and seem like its old candy in new wrapper, you can watch it and still be very moved by it. Amitabh Bachchan plays a cancer doctor, and the story revolves around him and a patient of his – Anand (Rajesh Khanna), who discovers he is terminally ill and pledges to make the best of the time he has. The doctor’s experience with the patient leaves a profound impression on him, and so he writes a heartrending bestseller based on recorded interviews with Anand. A true depiction of our philosophy – Be Happy in the Now!
  1. Ship of Theseus – Anand Gandhi’s debut film, and one that has certainly made Indians very proud. It is truly a relief to observe that more and more people seem to have a stomach for alternative cinema, as opposed to the clichés and bling of Bollywood. The movie brings together three very different people from different walks of life, and concludes with how they are integrally connected to each other. The ‘how’ if I give away, will be a spoiler. Inspired by the paradox of Theseus – ‘if all parts of a ship were replaced by exactly the same parts, would it still be the same ship?’ The movie accomplishes the difficult job of portraying the paradox in all its complexity – through a rich tapestry of human experiences.
  1. Queen – A breath of fresh air in what we have so far called mainstream Bollywood. The story is about a Delhi based girl and how her life changes dramatically when her fiancé (and long-time boyfriend) breaks off the marriage. “Rani”, still decides to go on her ‘honeymoon’ – without her husband. While some call it feminism, I would say it is more about how travel and exposure (which has got nothing to do with being a feminist!) changes you and defines you as a person. You think you are someone, but it is only when you allow yourself to experience that you discover who you really are. And the discovery never really ends!
  1. English Vinglish – This movie was considered to be the “comeback” for Bollywood’s beloved – Sridevi. Contrary to what you may expect from a Sridevi starrer, this movie has its share of surprises for the audience. The movie has your attention right from the beginning, all the way to the end. Sridevi, plays the role of an ideal wife, mother and daughter. The problem is, she cannot speak in English – which has been a matter of great shame for her husband and children. When suddenly she has to go to the United States to attend her niece’s wedding, the alienation she faces in a foreign country because of her inability to converse in English, dares her to start taking spoken English classes. And that is the first step she takes for herself on the path to self-discovery. A truly motivational and inspiring flick and one that shouts out very subtly that it is never too late to learn!
  1. Stanley ka Dabba – Amole Gupte’s directorial debut is a beautiful movie which will bring back the memories of the yesteryears when we were all school kids. Stanley our protagonist is an expert story teller and quite a favorite amongst his classmates. However, behind his lively garb are the realities of life the child has to negotiate with. The movie delves into exploring the classroom and school dynamics and captures truthfully, how children emote. Why is this movie on this list if it is a movie about children? Well, when you watch it, you will realize, even though we are all grown-ups, we are still the same we were as children, in very many ways. It may be ‘about’ children, but it is not exclusively ‘for’ children! 🙂

We hope you liked the list of Inspirational Bollywood Movies we drew up for you, and if you did, be sure to tune in to the next post which is about 5 Inspirational Movies You Must Watch – Hollywood!


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