Every Indian Film on Netflix Described and Rated, UPDATE (thanks to AccessBollywood.net)

Accessbollywood.net does the real work of keeping this list updated, if you want a day by day update, subscribe to them.  But if you want my opinion and recommendation on every single one, read on.

I’ve done my best to give a little information about each film (which is necessary since Netflix tends to do things like describe Rang De Basanti as “feel-good”).  The more interesting films are marked as either COULD WATCH, SHOULD WATCH, or MUST WATCH.  And look for the films flagged as RECENTLY ADDED if you just want to see the updates to the list.

 

All Bollywood Movies Currently Streaming on Netflix

  • 99 (2009)

Watch if you want to see real life couple Soha Ali Khan and hot Kunal Khemu onscreen together.  Otherwise, it was a forgettable movie about betting scandals.

Modest budget horror film.  If you’ve ever been curious about Indian horror, this is a painless way of checking it out.

Movie about the “reservation” system (India’s version of affirmative action), with a reliably good performance from Amitabh, but a pretty superficial take on the issue.

Very very early Saif Ali Khan, co-starring with his mother Sharmila!  And also, Mamta Kulkarni, future drug smuggler.  It’s your standard young-lovers-caught-up-in-past-secrets kind of plot.  Worth it for the curiosity factor of seeing an early Saif opposite Sharmila.

If you are curious what happened to that cute short woman from Chak De, India, you can watch this.  Plus, Nana Patakar is always good.  But otherwise, don’t bother

Legitimately great movie.  If you want to see a well-made film about life in a war zone, this is it.  COULD WATCH

MUST WATCH.  A brilliant female fantasy film, with an amazing lead performance, and an incredibly fun vibe.  Be warned, there is a comedy track that is off-putting and very odd.  I recommend fastforwarding through it as much as possible.  But the other 75% of the film is golden.  Also, for Malayalis, Prithviraj’s Hindi debut!

  • Akira, aka “Naam Hai Akira” (2016)

I liked it!  Good directing, good central performance, interesting script.  And Amit Sadh, my new crush! COULD WATCH

Canadian film set in Delhi, does not really belong on this list.

Konkona Sen Sharma!  Woot-woot!  Otherwise, doesn’t really belong here, it’s an American made English language film that happens to be set in India.

Indian film’s greatest comedy (review here), tied with Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.  MUST WATCH.  Must watch multiple times to fully appreciate!!!  Do not expect to enjoy it on watch one like you do on watch 4.

Eh.  Another film that’s half Indian style and half artsy.  Really interesting cast though, and gives you a chance to see these actresses in bigger roles than they would usually be offered.

Low budget horror film (as you could probably tell from the title).  Biggest star is Anupum Kher.

Shahrukh’s failed historic epic.  MUST WATCH FOR SRK FANS.  For others, it’s a COULD WATCH.  It isn’t quite as epic looking as it could be, and the plot is a big confused.  But the performances are good and it teaches you about Indian history painlessly.

Another one of those films set in India which is really more of an American indie film in style.  But it looks like an interesting thriller mockumentary type thing, if you are in the mood for that.

Terrible terrible movie.  Terrible terrible.  Nargis Fakhri is a blackhole of charismalessness, and they put so much make-up on Emraan he stopped being hot.  Also, it’s just bad. My review here.

High concept scary thriller.

Glossy Salman Khan-Rani Mukherjee-John Abraham-Amitabh Bachchan-Hema Malini movie.  Good songs, great costumes, decent plot and performances.  COULD WATCH.

Has a slow start, but turns into a real tear jerker.  And the rare film that lets older actresses be the romantic leads.  SHOULD WATCH.

So-so comedy, with Tusshar Kapoor as the lead (always a bad sign).

An odd film.  I saw it in theaters out of curiosity from the cast, and it did not live up to expectations.  Amitabh and Hema Malini play a romantic couple, with Raveena Tandon as the other woman and Prakash Raj as the villain.  Unfortunately, too much screentime is spent on the comparatively boring young people, Sonu Sood and Sonal Chauhan.  In general, it just doesn’t quite gel.  Puri Jaganaddh’s only Hindi film, and his live action comic book Telugu style doesn’t quite work in Hindi.  But you can always try it for the curiosity factor.

Similar to Bombay Velvet (below), this is also a Ranbir Kapoor movie that makes me want to gauge my eyes out and slit my wrists rather than continuing to watch.  It is the only film to feature Ranbir with his mother and father, but even that is not enough to save it from being the epitome of suck.

A good movie to watch with kids, might be a little slow and repetitive for adults.  But very cute Amitabh performance, cute Juhi performance, and sort of cute SRK performance.  COULD WATCH

Low budget comedy, could be cute, could be dull

Serious Drama.  Anurag Kashyap’s big break, if you are interested in that.  Otherwise, very depressing movie about terrorism.

Just, no.  Kunal Khemu is cute, but not enough to save this.

The movie that helped turn Salman back into the biggest of the Khans.  Silly plot, great songs and action scenes. COULD WATCH

Really great collection of 4 short films in honor of the 100 year anniversary of Indian film.  Plus two bonus song sequences, a tribute to Amitabh and a massive every-star-ever-joint-song.  But what makes it a MUST WATCH for me is the Karan Johar section, which reveals both his realistic filmmaking abilities and his burning anger at Indian society.  His is the first section, really, MUST WATCH.

Worst movie ever, like pray-for-death-rather-than-keep-watching bad.  But Karan Johar’s performance is amusing, and there are a couple of really great songs.  Might be worth watching for the curiosity factor, so long as you keep your finger on the fastforward button.

Silly Akshay Kumar comedy.  If you like Akshay, it might be worth watching, high production values and so on.  But not his greatest.  COULD WATCH

Not really an Indian-Indian movie, but if you feel like seeing a sex comedy that is also kind of realistic for being a nerdy horny Indian boy.

Artsy movie, not your standard songs-love story-crazy stunts thing.  If you are in the mood for that.

Silly young SRK romance, good cast, good directing, workmanlike.  Also, has the Queen Mother from Bahubaali in a completely different kind of role. COULD WATCH

  • Chamatkar (1992)

Very fun film, based on the Disney movie Bluebeard’s Ghost.  Naseeruddin Shah as a the ghost of a gangster, Shahrukh as a young innocent he helps, plus an aging Shammi Kapoor chewing scenario, and a young Urmila Matondkar being delightful.  COULD WATCH.

Groundbreaking art film from the early 2000s, great performance by Tabu.  COULD WATCH.

A travesty, took one of the great human comedies of Indian film and turned it into a sex farce.  You shouldn’t watch it ever in protest of its very existence.

Art movie about cast.  Another one of those that is only Indian in setting and artists, not in style.

Historical drama about a forgotten rebellion of the Quit India movement.  Well made, good performances, COULD WATCH.

If you feel the need for another low budget Indian horror movie.

Great script, great cast, Shahrukh at his hottest (review here).  MUST WATCH.

Another Western-style art film.  But with Shabana Azmi!

  • Deewar (2004) RECENTLY ADDED

Not the good one!  The other one.  Amitabh is a POW in Pakistan, Akshaye Khanna (Akshaye!) is his son who wants to rescue him.  Sanjay Dutt is the guy who sets his hand on fire.  Worth watching for the hand-fire scene, and a cute song with Akshaye and Amrita Rao, but otherwise not really.

Another indie style Western type film.  But with Lillette Dubey! (although if you have to watch a Lillette Dubey movie, check out Baghban above)

Really clever mystery that mixes homages to the Indian tradition of film noir, and the often filmed Byomkesh Bakshi stories.  Plus, Sushant Singh puts in a great performances.  MUST WATCH

The winner of my Best Film of 2016 award.  MUST WATCH

Comedy with no stars and a high concept.  Got mixed reviews.  Might be worth trying, but if you don’t like it after ten minutes, turn it off.

Not a great movie.  But very enjoyable if you leave the room or fastforward through the slow bits.  COULD WATCH

Great script, lifted from Malayalam film of the same name (my review here).  I have some problems with the presentation of women in it, but if you are looking for a twisty clever plot, this is the one.  COULD WATCH

Low budget rom-com, possibly the future of YRF, giving us a good script, a small story, and relatable characters.  SHOULD WATCH.

  • Dus (2005) RECENTLY ADDED

Super fun action film from early 2005.  All time great Vishal-Shekhar soundtrack, fun Shilpa Shetty and Sanjay Dutt performances, super good Abhishek Bachchan performance, great Zayed Khan-Dia Mirza chemistry.  COULD WATCH

Not a very notable old film, but one of only two 1970s option currently on streaming.  COULD WATCH

Not a good early SRK film, plot lifted from a Rishi Kapoor movie (Zamane Ko Dikhane Hai).  Some good songs, a ridiculously over the top ending sequence, Shahrukh has a mustache for a bit, but generally more confusing and dull than fun.  COULD WATCH

Interesting and aware comedy about film and South Asia.  Not as good as Tere Bin Laden, but that’s not available any more, so you might as well watch this.  COULD WATCH.

Eh.  Feels like an Italian farce that somehow lost its way and ended up set in Goa.

Really good, really searing film.  Watch if you want to get really upset.

Not a good movie.  Decent action scenes and John Abraham performance, otherwise not worth it.  COULD WATCH

I may be biased towards this film just because it was the first movie I drove out to see after I got my car.  But it really is a kind of fun Akshay action film.  Not great art, no deep thoughts, but moves along at a nice pace with a lot of fun action scenes.  Be warned, the heroine is truly terrible. But luckily she isn’t in many scenes.  COULD WATCH

One of those movies that I am dubious about because of the people who like it.  It seems beloved by male critics and male directors, the same ones who love The Godfather and The Dark Knight.  And it’s Anurag Kashyap, who I have a bit of a hate-grudgingly respect relationship with.  COULD WATCH

Not a good movie.  Picking up on nostalgia for a superior much earlier film, but with nothing new to say.

Solid group of mid-level famous actors, starting with Dimple Kapadia.  And yet I have never heard of this film and it got minimal promotion, which makes me thing it is terrible and they were sneaking it in and out of theaters before anyone noticed.

This is the best example of a particular kind of film.  If you don’t like this kind of film, Rohit Shetty action comedies starring Ajay Devgn, this is a terrible terrible film.  If you do like this kind of film, it’s very entertaining, COULD WATCH.  And if you aren’t sure, you might want to at least watch the first 5 minutes and decide.  It’s certainly an important genre to at least be aware of, and fairly unique to India.  Amazing action set pieces (which Ajay does all himself, as the son of a stuntman), lots of farcical situations, and lots of wordplay.

Artsy love story, played great at the Transylvania film festival!  But not really “Indian”

Another artsy indie film!  Netflix really went all out on these.

Is this better or worse than Dilwale?  I think maybe tied.  The SRK romance is less good, but the plot and comedy is better.  And the songs are great, it is a Farah Khan film after all.  COULD WATCH

Thriller type thing with Nawazuddin Siddiqui.  Worth watching if you like thrillers, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Yet another low budget horror film!

See above.

See above.

Tiger Shroff’s big break film.  And Kriti Sanam’s first Hindi film.  Big silly action, good dancing (because Tiger), so-so acting (because Tiger).  COULD WATCH.

Akshay Kumar southern remake.  Surprisingly great soundtrack and cute romance with a couple of twists in the plot.  COULD WATCH.

Well, the title says it all.

MUST WATCH!!!!  One of the 5 most important films in Hindi cinema.  Very slow start, but give it a chance to grow on you and you will learn to love it.  Most of all, it is important for showing where the “Family Romance” genre came from in Indian film, and what created the NRI audience.

Follow up to Hum Aapke Hain Koun.  A little more over the top and less boring, but a lot less touching.  COULD WATCH.

You can watch it if you really really really like John Abraham.  COULD WATCH

Another indie festival type thing.

If you want to see Arjun Rampal be sexy, I guess you could watch it?  But otherwise not much point.  Prakash Jha, king of high profile artsy political issues films, directed it.  It was supposed to be a deep look at sexual harassment, but it managed to be neither deep nor fun.  If you really need to see an Indian take on sexual harassment, I recommend Aitraaz, which is terrible, but also super fun.

Kind of an interesting mixture of a more art-film sensibility with traditional Indian film narrative techniques.  COULD WATCH.

Poor Subhash Ghai!  I assume he sold them Ram-Lakhan and threw this one in for free.  It is not good, it did not do well at the box office, there is no real reason to watch it.  Probably pretty, because Ghai is always pretty, but otherwise not worth it.

MUST WATCH.  Not a pleasant film to see, but with some amazingly beautiful song sequences and a good soundtrack, and the casting and performances are totally worth it.  What makes it important is seeing the progression of Karan Johar as a producer and director and overall artist.  He is one of the top people in the industry today, and this film is vital in understanding where he came from.

  • Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa (1994)

Still considered one of Shahrukh’s greatest performances, by himself and everyone else in the industry.  A deceptively simple light-hearted plot of teen romance and a band trying to get a big break, but really a sort of interesting discussion of the anti-hero.  Also, brilliantly directed by Kundan Shah, his follow up to the all time classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.  MUST WATCH.

Absolutely brilliant movie.  Prepare to pay close attention and be on the edge of your seat.  It’s also gorgeous, makes you feel like you are right on the streets of Calcutta.  And it has amazing performances.  MUST WATCH

The film that made Hrithik Roshan a star!  Big silly over the top romance, with amazing songs.  But most, THE FILM THAT MADE HRITHIK ROSHAN A STAR!!!  I cannot possibly convey what a big deal this was when it released.  MUST WATCH.

Another depressing art film, this time about female feoticide.

Another Karan-Johar’s-Journey movie, and also just a straight up good film.  Really clever script, really clever filming techniques,  great songs (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy!  My favorites!), and an amazing performance from Shahrukh and an even more amazing performance from Saif Ali Khan.  MUST WATCH

Eh.  Another arty movie, but with more sex.

  • Khakee (2004) RECENTLY ADDED

Kind of interesting police story (as you can tell from the title).  Amitabh plays a wise old cop on the way out, Akshay plays a cocky young cop, Aishwarya plays a beautiful woman.  The songs are decent.  But it’s really nothing special.

MUST WATCH.  Sridevi and Amitabh, and Nagarjuna!!!!  Amazing dialogue, amazingly delivered, great songs, terrible wigs, just all around magnificent.  Unless you don’t like that kind of thing, in which case give it 10 minutes and then decide.  The opening will give you a good idea of the rest of the film.

  • Kidnap (2008) RECENTLY ADDED

Eh.  For those few Imraan Khan trufans, you can give it a watch.  Otherwise, don’t bother, it is kind of a boring mess.

Possibly Hrithik Roshan’s greatest performance, a surprisingly touching Alien superhero movie.  Also decent songs, and a really great latter day Rekha performance.  SHOULD WATCH.

Not a good movie.  Terribly filmed (like, the light saturation is off in half the scenes), and crazy plot but not in an entertaining way.  Also, a waste of Hrithik’s dancing abilities.  But if it’s a rainy day and there’s nothing else available, you might as well.  COULD WATCH

Such a bad movie!  So bad!!!  But amusingly bad, COULD WATCH.

Wikipedia says it is a black and white psychological drama.  Blech, is what I say!

Yet another sex comedy.  Who at Netflix is picking all of these?  And I really hope he isn’t sharing a cubicle with the guy who buys all the indie Indian art films.  Or if they are sharing a cubicle, I really hope Netflix makes a sitcom about that.

MUST WATCH.  The first 5 minutes are amazing.  The rest of it is extremely uneven.  But this is an important part of Indian history to know, and this is the most painless way to learn it.  Just try to overlook some of the costume and acting choices, especially from the “British”.

  • Lens (2015) RECENTLY ADDED

Another arty film, this time about voyeurism.  Just rewatch Rear Window and skip it.

B level comedy, Govinda and Fardeen Khan and Tusshar Kapoor.  Poor Genelia D’Souza and Prachi Desai are trapped in it too.

Artsy movie technically set and made in India, but really fits more with the American indie art scene.  But if you want an indie male-male romance with an Indian setting, check it out!

Very very good.  Ignore the title, it is very very good.  And touching and teaches you about immigrants and being caught between two identities and all kinds of things.  MUST WATCH.

OMG I DID NOT REALIZE THIS WAS HERE!!!!!!  MUST WATCH!!!!!  Because it looks TERRIBLE!!!!

  • Luck (2009) RECENTLY ADDED

Did you know that Imran Khan’s father works for Netflix?  That’s not a joke, he really does.  Imran’s Dad is an American tech guy, Imran was born in Ann Arbor Michigan.  Then his parent’s marriage broke up, he and his Mom moved back to India, and Aamir stepped up and became a bit of a father figure for him.  Anyway, I am thinking that this might be the explanation for the random assortment of not very good Imran Khan movies that are suddenly appearing.  This one at least has Sanjay Dutt in it too.

Oh boy, another arty indie movie!  But with Barry John (guy who taught Shahrukh Khan, Varun Dhawan, and dozens of other young actors), so might be worth a watch for that.  COULD WATCH

Surprisingly good biopic, very straight forward in presentation, but high quality performances and mise-en-scene and all of that.  COULD WATCH.

Another thriller!  With Jimmy Shergill and Irrfan Khan.  But otherwise not very notable.

An ambitious movie, that fails in execution.  John Abraham produced and starred, and he isn’t the usual infallible hero type.  It’s a spy movie that’s more about information and talking than about grand chase scenes and adventures.  And it deals with one of the big no-nos of Indian history, the intelligence failure that lead to the assassination by bomb of Rajiv Gandhi.  Might be worth watching if you love John Abraham, or if you are curious about how the topic is presented, but otherwise not.

MUST WATCH!!!!!!  A legitimately fun film, plus made Salman Khan a star, plus introduced Sooraj Barjatya as a director and showed the early seeds of what would turn into Hum Aapke Hain Koun.

SHOULD WATCH.  I haven’t seen it myself, but this is India-does-Chinatown, and it is supposed to be almost as good as the original.  Also has Abhay, for you Deol-o-files.

Arty film, got good reviews and a slightly wider release than usual.  About queer issues and disability rights issues.  COULD WATCH

Another thriller!  And this time I don’t recognize anyone on the cast list.

Inspirational sports biopic starring Priyanka.  Not too good, not too bad, just okay.  If you are a huge Priyanka fan, or really want to see a sports biopic, you can check it out.  COULD WATCH.

Art film which got great reviews and has a good cast.  Don’t watch it if you are in the mood for something light, but worth watching if you want to see something really good.  COULD WATCH

Because I care, I took the effort to skip through to the two sex scenes.  Netflix does NOT care (or, more likely, it was part of the Red Chillies deal), and so the sex scenes were cut.  BOOOO, Netflix!  BOOOO!.  You can see at 1:31 the start of the first scene.  And then at 1:40 there is a sudden cut, you see them lying in bed together with love bites and feathers everywhere, but we didn’t get the scene of Shahrukh stripping for her and passionately ripping the pillows (which is on my 8 year old DVD).  BOOOOO, Netflix!

A kind of funny Priyadarshan film, with a great cast.  Akshaye Khanna (always brilliant), Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, and Genelia D’Souza. AND SHOBHANA!!!!  COULD WATCH

Naseeruddin Shah.  That’s it.  If you are up for a mid-level arty movie, because it has Naseerji in it, than watch it.  If you are less of a Naseerji trufan, don’t bother.

Terrible terrible movie.  Worth watching for the train wreck of it all, but otherwise not.  COULD WATCH

Not very imaginative plot, not very good acting, incredibly good music and visuals.  COULD WATCH

Arty movie that also gives you a bit of a backstage look at Indian filmmaking.  Got really good reviews.  COULD WATCH.

High class social statement comedy movie starring Ranvir Shorey, or as I think of him, “Mr. Konkona Sen Sharma”.  Did not get very good reviews.

Another great cast farce.  Arshad Warsi, Soha Ali Khan, Javed Jaffrey, Shakti Kapoor.  Only, not directed by Priyadarshan.  So not worth watching.

Silly remake of Meet the Parents, but with a lot of heart.  Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar play joint leads, and both of them are at the top of their comic games.  Plus, great songs and an early Priyanka Chopra.  COULD WATCH.

Another arty film, supposed to have a cameo from Salman maybe?  If you watch it, tell me about that.

Another one of those sweet low budget rom-coms with no stars and no publicity.  Could be good, could be bad, watch the first ten minutes and decide.

SHOULD WATCH.  I would say “must watch”, except this is so seeringly emotional, I don’t know if I want to force anyone to go through that.  It’s just a fantastic film, integrating Indian sensibilities with songs and families with realism and naturalistic acting.  Just, an amazingly good film.

Another Ketan Mehta film after Maya Memsaab.  But no sex scenes, not even in the original version.  Great stagey Brechtian style performance from SRK though.  Strange plot, slightly mallet-handed social statement, but very interesting to watch.

Brilliant brilliant comedy.  Based on a stage play, Akshay Kumar snapped up the film rights and brought in the main cast (including Pawesh Rawal) and cameoed himself in an important part.  Oh, and Sonakshi and Prabhudeva do an item dance.  Just a lot of great stuff.  SHOULD WATCH.

A lessor SRK film.  On the one hand, the plot makes no sense, on the other hand AR Rahman did the songs.  And on the third hand, SRK and Juhi have some of the sexiest scenes of all time together.  COULD WATCH.

Yet another sweet low budget rom-coms.  But it sort of has a star, Abhay Deol.  And it got a little publicity because of some complicated lawsuit by the composers related to how their credits were listed.  But mostly just another sweet low budget rom-com.

Artsy depressing movie about being a woman in India.

  • Patang, aka “The Kite” (2011)

Another arty movie!  But slightly less depressing.

Great performances from all 3 leads, Irrfan Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Amitabh.  More than that, heralded a new age of hit film, with a movie based around a female character and realistic settings, but still with a bit of romance and songs.  SHOULD WATCH.

Brilliant movie, great performances, important story.  Not the best songs.  And the story line is a bit harsh (attempted rape and the persecution by court trial of the victims).  So like Neerja I won’t say “must watch”, but I will say SHOULD WATCH.

If you want to see a seriocomedy about queer issues in the desi community, this is it!

Fun fun fun!  And pretty pretty pretty!  Very much a fairy tale come to life.  Don’t expect anything too deep, or which will make you think.  But definitely a COULD WATCH.

  • Prince (1969) RECENTLY ADDED

Lesser, but still fun, Shammi Kapoor movie.  Also, Vyjantimala!  COULD WATCH

Lower budget ripoff of the Masti film series.  Which is already pretty low budget and raunchy, so you can imagine how bad the ripoff is!

Sequel to a low budget ripoff of an already terrible movie.  So, like, negatively bad.

  • Q (2014)

Very odd sounding low-budget movie, of the western-style.

What is this, the Mamta Kulkarni collection?  Is the drug bust getting her a sudden burst of fame or something?  This film looks really not good, a very late Dilip Saheb performance, a fairly late Rekha performance, and a just barely past her prime Mamta performance.  Not that all of them couldn’t still give good performances, just that if a film which really requires a younger cast can only get these people, it means it must not be a very good film.

Brilliant movie all around.  Just, amazing.  Shows you why Kangana gets so much rope in the industry.  MUST WATCH

A film that is worse than it should be.  Brilliant central performances, solid script, great directing.  But the plot is oddly pulled back and forth in directions that don’t make sense.  Feels likely that it was affected in odd ways by censorship, self-censorship and social censorship.  But it is still worth a watch, if you pay attention to the buried message, the angry and active Muslim man, crucified by the establishment. SHOULD WATCH

MUST WATCH!!!!!!!!  Hugely hugely important film, helped change the 90s film landscape to rural romances, includes the first major onscreen kiss (and its a hot one!), made Karisma Kapoor into a major actress (deservedly!), amazing comic relief characters, Kunal Khemu as a little boy before he got hot, and a just amazingly amusing plot start to finish.  Oh, and great songs.

Not a good movie.  A remake of Angels With Dirty Faces, with Shahrukh playing Jimmy Cagney.  Confusing, strange performances, hilarious costumes, all of that.  But, one of the all time great laugh-out-loud in amazement fight scenes right at the beginning, after the “Pump Up the Bhangra” song.  And Shahrukh and Juhi are both doing their best with what they are given.  If you are a Shahrukh fan, COULD WATCH.  Otherwise, just skip to 17 minutes in, and watch the song followed by action sequence, that is a MUST WATCH.

Thriller with Nawazuddin Siddiqui.  Got good reviews for his performance, but everything else was more on the “okay” side of things.  If you like thrillers, this is probably the best of the bunch available.

TERRIBLE TERRIBLE MOVIE!  Shockingly depressingly off-puttingly bad.  Save yourselves and don’t watch it.

If you want to see what happens when “Daddy” is a film producer who buys you an action film and hires a top director and then forces everyone to try to make you look like you actually know what you are doing, Watch This!  Jackky Bhagnani is just the worst, is what I am saying, and his father needs to stop indulging him.

Remember my Osho post?  This is propaganda made by one of his followers about his early life.

Almost shot for shot remake of a Korean film.  But with John Abraham, who is very handsome.  COULD WATCH

Akshay Kumar in a white navy uniform.  That’s it, that’s the draw.  COULD WATCH

Watch this instead of Mary Kom.  Very good sports drama, great central performances, will make you fall in love with Madhavan all over again.  SHOULD WATCH.

Super low budget comedy about average people living in the city.  Could be a brilliant hidden gem, could be kind of dull and uneven.  I suspect more the latter, since I haven’t heard of it before.

Okay, if between the two 1970s movies available you can only pick one, watch this one. COULD WATCH.

Yet another thriller!  Kalki Koechlin is in it and gives a great performance.  COULD WATCH.

Ridiculous action film remake of Pocketful of Miracles by way of Hong Kong (Jackie Chan’s Miracles).  Super fun performance by Akshay Kumar, amazing title song that will stick in your head for days, just over all good times.  COULD WATCH.

Possibly my favorite action film.  Certainly my favorite Ajay Devgan film, and my second favorite Rohit Shetty film (after Chennai Express).  SHOULD WATCH.

There was this brief period back in the late 90s when Bobby Deol was a big big thing.  Enjoy this movie as a time capsule of that period!  And enjoy seeing Bobby and Priety having a round-cheeks-with-dimples contest for who can be cuter.

A heist movie, very different from the usual, shows you the whole process of it all.  An interesting experiment for a mainstream Indian film.  COULD WATCH.

A low-budget comedy.  I have a warm feeling for it because a friend of a friend was involved (I think as an actor?  Or else writer/director).  So, I guess, SHOULD WATCH so that my friend of a friend has a better career.

  • Talvar, aka “Guilty” (2015)

Very well made movie based on a real life murder mystery that still fascinates India.  Irrfan Khan does his usual great performance.  If you want to learn more about the actual case, Saavn has a podcast you can download.  COULD WATCH.

A different kind of romance, with earthier characters and flavorful settings.  Like Queen, it is important for showing why Kangana is so beloved.  Like Saala Khadoos, it is important for showing why Madhavan is hot.  COULD WATCH.

Vidya Balan and Amitabh Bachchan play off each other, but otherwise it is nothing special.  If you are only going to watch one Avenging Amitabh film from 2016, watch Pink.  But if you want to watch two, this is a COULD WATCH.

Another low budget under promoted rom-com!  If you have a massive crush on Ali Zafar (I know you people are out there!  Some of you may be my friends!  And this same anonymous person might also own all his albums which is just super weird!), then this is a “must watch”.  Otherwise, no.

SHOULD WATCH.  Really good film, very real, very hard to watch.  With some moments of pure beauty.  I would say “must watch” except, again, it is hard enough to see that I don’t want to force anyone.

COULD WATCH.  Again, very hard to watch, very gritty.  But if you only have so much patience for a gritty film that starts with “U”, make it Udta Punjab.

Eh.  Another art film.  But with Pratiek Babbar, so interesting if you want to see what he is up to these days.

Art film, maybe interesting for some backstage stuff since it shows what a session violinist who works on soundtracks lives like.

Madcap comedy, think A Fish Called Wanda.  But with Dimple Kapadia.

Artsy multi-director collaboration.  Featuring a short film by my favorite reviewer, Raja Sen.  But still, if you are going to watch a multi-director collaboration, make it Bombay Talkies.

All the Deols in one film!  Dharmendra, Bobby, and Sunny.  Okay, not “all” the Deols, no Esha or Abhay.  But most of the Deols!  And it was surprisingly fun and funny as well.  COULD WATCH.

This also had all the Deols, but was surprisingly unfun and unfunny.

NO! Nonononononono!!!! I had to watch this for a talk I gave a few years back and it is TERRIBLE!!! Jackki Bhagnani is a scourge on the earth only rivaled by Nargis Farkhri.  Only watch if you are so blindingly attracted to Neha Sharma that you are willing to see anything if she is on screen.

Bonus extra credit work:

The addictive Pakistani soap operas Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Humsafar.  Both of them are definite SHOULD WATCH.

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25 thoughts on “Every Indian Film on Netflix Described and Rated, UPDATE (thanks to AccessBollywood.net)

  1. Based on your recommendation, I am 20 minutes into Kahaani and I cannot believe how I have not seen this before. It is absolutely gripping.

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  2. Just finished watching kahaani, What a spectacular movie experience! Thank you for recommending. I did not see that ending coming. AT ALL. That was stunning.

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          • Have you seen Talaash yet? It’s not the same as Kahaani exactly, but it is kind of similar with the plot being the king more than anything else. Plus, more Nawazuddin!

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          • I loved Talaash! Finally, an Aamir performance I was actually moved by. (I am not a huge fan otherwise – I like his films, but I am never able to connect with him the way I can with the characters Shah Rukh plays. Have you noticed this in others before? Or is it just a bias?)

            Anyway, I loved Talaash! And of course NAWAZUDDIN SIDDIQUI SHOULD GET ALL THE AWARDS!

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          • Someone else made almost the exact same comment! Another commentator, this was months ago, talking about Aamir, that Talaash was one of the few performances that didn’t feel over conscious and mannered.

            I don’t feel it quite as strongly, but now that the previous commentator, and you, have pointed it out, I can see it. Sometimes it feels like he is using his acting tricks and costumes to kind of hold the audience at a distance. There are only a few moments where a sincere emotion seems to peak through in a lot of his more recent stuff. Talaash feels like the exception to that, he is playing a “real person” through out.

            On Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 5:19 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I have a number of non-desi friends to whom I have shown DDLJ, Chak De, and even Devdas and KANK. They have also seen 3 Idiots, Rang De Basanti, PK and Talaash. They could always (both male and female) relate and connect to even an over-the-top Dev in Devdas better than they could with a Rancho. I don’t get it – because every one of those Aamir films is a spectacular classic. You like the film, you even love the film, but you don’t connect with the character as much. I don’t see why – and from your answer, it’s something the actor does? Consciously or subconsciously?

            I remember a friend saying to me, Dev in KANK is too rough around the edges, his pain and bitterness a tad unfounded, too angry with the world, all too human in his failings, and that makes him endearing a little bit. You feel sorry for him, or you hate him, or you want him to get some kind of happiness, but at least you walk out of that theater feeling something for him. He is still a presence in your mind. On the other hand, you watch 3 Idiots or PK, and you are leaving the theatre thinking it was a great moviegoer experience, but you can’t name 5 things about the lead character you really liked or admired off the top of your head instantly. You can name why the movie is great. Not a personal connect with the character. I have always found this fascinating.

            Like, why is Kabir Khan from Chak De still a spectacular leading man, and you love him more than perhaps Mahavir Phogat from Dangal. You are rooting for Mahavir, yes, but you genuinely LIKE Kabir. He is endearing. Mahavir is interesting, but Kabir is endearing.

            Or all of this rant could just be my subjectivity and bias based on the actor.

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          • No no, I agree. I think it might be a difference in their training methods.

            Shahrukh was trained by Barry John in “method” acting. Meaning, connecting to the emotion of the character and trying to relate that back to an emotion within yourself and evoke the same emotion in the audience. He had a grounding in that technique before he ever started working in film.

            Aamir was trained on film sets, film by film. He is a perfectionist, he wants every line and gesture and everything to be just right in a scene. I think it can sometimes make him feel removed from the emotions of the scene, you are so focused on his little tricks, like the way he makes his Rancho in 3 Idiots seem like an innocent teenager through posture and facial expression and so on, that you miss the emotion of the moment.

            Both techniques can be hit or miss, I’ve certainly seen performances from SRK where he was too overwrought and over the top. His scenery chomping in Happy New Year, for instance. And I’ve seen a few performances from Aamir where it felt like he kind of broke through the technical to the emotional center. But on the whole, I find Shahrukh more emotionally grounded, and Aamir more about the surface.

            On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 10:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s fascinating insight! Thank you. I have never thought about how much influence that the actors draw on from their early training. And if the extent they draw is different film to film. I imagine Swades would have required something very different from Shah Rukh when compared to say, My Name is Khan, or Devdas.

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          • I know you are as obsessed as me, so you have probably run across those interviews where he acknowledges the films where he isn’t really bothering, versus the films that he really cares about. Happy New Year, Dilwale, except for a few moments he wasn’t really digging deep, he was just going through the motions of “dimple-half smile-puppy eyes-frowny face”. But Raees or Fan or even Dear Zindagi, he had some level of drawing on real emotions for every scene, it wasn’t just the Shahrukh Khan wind up toy going through his 5 expressions.

            On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 2:21 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Fine, you caught me 😛
            I have seen every interview that man has ever given. (Note to self: make friends.)
            One of the things I have been thinking about for a long time now, is that not only the extent to which he has to dig deep is different from movie to movie, but also from time to time. Like, there’s a bit from the Making of Fan, where he is trying to redo that scene from Darr, where he is bleeding on the floor, and the crew is basically telling him – whatever you are doing is good, but not as good as it was in the original. He is confused, because he did both of the takes, he is doing the exact same thing (as far as he is concerned), but the observer determines the outcome.
            So, not only is his effort different from script to script, it might be different for the same/similar script at different times in his career.
            (I would give my left arm to watch him prepare for the dwarf role with Anand L Raai. I just want to know what’s going through his head.)

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          • That’s part of what I am fascinated by in my scene by scene of DDLJ, young Shahrukh, hungry for success and eager to work, is giving so much in every single shot. Old Shahrukh, in a similar role, would have more tricks of the trade, would know how to deliver a line slightly better, how to face the camera, how to keep his hair always looking good, and so on. But he doesn’t have that energy any more, he can’t be incredibly intensely feeling it for every micro-second of screen time.

            You can see the same thing in all the big stars, I don’t think young Salman could do Bajrangi Bhaijaan, that part would have been too subtle for him. But I don’t think old Salman could do Maine Pyar Kiya again, there’s an intensity in every frame that you can only have when you are young. And Amitabh, of course, Deewar Amitabh and Piku Amitabh are night and day. Both brilliant, but completely different.

            On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 2:52 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Just watched Aiyyaa thanks to your recommendation. What a fun movie! I know there are lots of jokes I missed because they referenced old films and stars I haven’t seen. Any chance you could do a review and explain them all? Also, what was that factory making…?

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    • Aiyyaa review: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2016/08/31/aiyyaa-like-ohm-shanti-oshaana-but-weird/

      (I have really got to figure out some way of indexing all of them)

      For the references, it opens with a quick series of references to classic films of the 90s, Tezaab, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, and Chaalbaaz. I don’t know if there’s anything really specific after that. The “Dreamum Wakeupum” song is heavily influenced by the “Sapna” song from the original Himmatwala. The little clip she watches right before it starts is a Silk Smitha song which I found on youtube once, and now can’t find again and it’s driving me crazy!
      Oh, and of course John Abraham from Dostana!!! For her super crazy friend. And her fiance references Chashme Buddoor, the original from the 1980s not the remake, which is BRILLIANT and you should absolutely watch if you can track down a copy.

      Beyond that, I think it is just general filmi tropes they are making fun of. The love marriage, the eloping, the bad boy, all of that.

      Oh, and the factory was making incense. That’s why he always smelled so nice.

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  6. Pingback: Classics Friday: Mughal-E-Azam, Hindi Films Biggest Film | dontcallitbollywood

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