It’s a well–known and pretty undisputed opinion among the general population that movies are amazing. I mean, what’s not to like? They’re entertaining, they make you feel emotions, and they are beautiful snapshots into human existence and culture.
That being said, the full breadth of film often goes under–appreciated, mainly because it’s easy to fall into a comfort zone of cultures and human experiences you can relate to. Movies are made in almost every country, but people don't consume all types with equal passion, especially here in the US.
Film is a universal language spoken in many languages, and that’s what makes it extraordinary. It’s easy to fall back to the English–speaking films on Netflix and completely ignore that “international” category, where the words are harsh and foreign and the culture might make little sense in the context of your way of life.
Well, that’s boring. To hell with any comfort zones. I personally think that everyone should try watching at least one foreign film this 2019 because you may be surprised by what you find.
If you need some help with that newly–imposed New Year’s Resolution, I have a genre to suggest: Bollywood. The films are intoxicatingly bright and bold, with tales of love, loss, humor, action and everything else you can come up with, all wrapped up in a beautiful two–hour package. There’s something in there for everyone, and you’re bound to fall in love with the genre faster than the first musical number.
Still need more convincing? Well, here are some of my favorites that I’m sure will sway your opinion:
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
This is a relatively recent film, especially compared to most of my other favorites. But Deepika Padukone—arguably the current most important actress in Bollywood—needed to be mentioned at least once in this list. And the movie always manages to leave me with that perfect warm, fuzzy feeling that I spend months flipping through Netflix rom–coms for. It’s an adorable story of two high school classmates that reconnect well into their futures. It beautifully captures the struggles of love and growing apart that I’m sure everyone can relate to.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
I’ve seen this movie more times than I could possibly count, and I completely empty my tear ducts each time without fail. It has an all–star cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan (holy shit, he’s hot), Kareena Kapoor, and Kajol. There’s no way this movie wouldn’t be perfect, it’s logistically impossible. Definitely give this a watch, but come prepared with an entire box of tissues because you'll need them.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
This is a classic. You need to see this, regardless of whether or not you’ll ever click on a single other Bollywood movie in your life. The star–crossed lovers. The drama. The nights I spend lying awake wondering when I’m ever going to find the Raj to my Simran. It’s a must–watch. Cautionary note though: you might lose hope in ever finding true love after this whirlwind romance.
Jab We Met
This is an incredible meet–cute love story. The songs are some of my all time favorites, and their romance is freeing in a way that restores my faith in love. It reminds me that romance doesn’t have to be grand gestures or over–the–top displays, just two people who manage to click together so perfectly that it’s almost as though they were always meant to be by each other’s side. And, if that wasn’t enough, the stars of the film also happen to be some of the biggest names in the world of Bollywood, so it’s definitely a great film to start acquainting yourself with the genre.