The 20 Finest Bollywood Films of the 2000s


Ah, the early 2000’s—an period marked by Y2K, flip telephones, and no social media. Hollywood was thriving with its totally fledged superstars, an idea that has begun to fade as we close to 2020. 

Throughout the ocean in India, Bollywood was equally coasting on the star energy of a choose few family names. This was the last decade the place Shah Rukh Khan totally leaned into his nickname “King Khan,” dominating the field workplace; Aamir Khan began to transition from being a dependable on-screen star to calling the photographs off-screen; and Hrithik Roshan continued his rise as India’s heartthrob. The movies themselves diversified from thrillers to romance epics, usually mixing genres as Bollywood’s “masala flicks” typically do.

Listed below are 20 of Bollywood’s finest from the early aughts, a lot of that are timeless classics and essential views for anybody intrigued by the Hindi movie business.

Director: Farhan Akhtar


Bollywood’s OG gangster flick, Don (in its a number of iterations) might be likened to India’s model of The Godfather. This 2006 model remake of the unique 1978 movie follows the underworld crime lord “Don” (Shah Rukh Khan) and his contingent of goons, in addition to a layman named Vijay (additionally SRK) who has the unlucky destiny of trying precisely just like the gangster. Vijay is recruited by the police to go undercover and impersonate Don amongst his crew, resulting in a precarious balancing act and an earned twist ending. On your motion and dishoom sound impact cravings, Don will do the trick.

Director: Kunal Kohli


Mujhse Dosti Karoge follows a love triangle between childhood buddies aided into existence by your typical case of mistaken id. When Raj (Hrithik Roshan) strikes away, he vows to remain in contact along with his crush, Tina (Kareena Kapoor). However Tina rapidly loses curiosity in writing emails to Raj, so Pooja (Rani Mukherji) takes up the romantic mantle, waxing philosophically beneath Tina’s title. When Raj lastly returns to India, the charade rapidly falls aside and lies come to the floor, most notably in an iconic song-and-dance quantity wherein Raj’s unraveling is ready to a medley of well-known Bollywood oldies. Mujhse Dosti Karoge is one thing of a pre-MTV Catfish, with loads of hacky early 2000s on-line flirtation to heat your chilly, nostalgic coronary heart.

Director: Rakesh Roshan


One of many extra distinctive movies to return out of the ’00s, Koi… Mil Gaya can most simply be likened to the ’80s blockbuster E.T.. A mentally disabled teenager, Rohit (Hrithik Roshan), discovers his late scientist father’s pc, which was designed to make contact with extraterrestrials, and by chance summons them to earth. One alien is left behind, and Rohit names him Jadoo (“magic”). Jadoo transforms Rohit’s bodily look and offers him superhuman power, permitting him to win over his crush, Nisha (Preity Zinta), and combat the boys that bullied him earlier than. However after the police uncover Jadoo’s presence, Rohit should discover a option to maintain his new life in tact. That includes among the finest performances of Hrithik Roshan’s profession, Koi… Mil Gaya is the proper feel-good household drama.

Director: Rajkumar Santoshi


A gaggle of Indian cops (in glorious turns from Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Tusshar Kapoor) set out on a chase to herald an accused terrorist, Aangre (Ajay Devgn), from a small city exterior of Bombay. Realizing the officers are scorching on his path, Aangre units off a sequence of occasions to throw them off his scent. A basic cop movie with dramatic twists and unpredictable turns, Khakee is an enthralling thriller that may maintain you on the sting of your seat.

Director: Farah Khan

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Located in up to date India-Pakistan tensions, Main Ram Prasad Sharma (Shah Rukh Khan) is assigned to “Undertaking Milaap,” a top-secret mission that will launch captured civilians from each international locations in an effort to drive peace within the area. As a part of this project, Sharma should go undercover at a college to guard his boss’s daughter, who has turn out to be a goal of Undertaking Milaap’s foe. On his father’s deathbed, Sharma finds out he has a half-brother—in fact, one other scholar on the identical college—which additional colours the mission for him. Although he makes some hilarious missteps, Sharma finally wins the 2 over till they discover out the secrets and techniques he’s hiding. Fundamental Hoon Na is a politically inclined motion comedy, and a heartwarming have a look at love and household beneath the specter of warfare.

Director: Aditya Chopra


Translating to actually imply “Love Tales,” Mohabbatein tells 4 concurrent love tales set at an all-boys school. The varsity’s extraordinarily strict headmaster (Amitabh Bachchan) forbids romantic relationships of any form, however three college students (performed by Uday Chopra, Jimmy Sheirgill and Jugal Hansraj) disobey the foundations and fall in love anyway. A brand new music trainer (Shah Rukh Khan) joins the college and preaches the ability of affection, difficult the backwards philosophies of the college and the headmaster. A weepy drama, Mohabbatein is a kind of movies to show to for those who’re in want of a superb cry.


A recent have a look at tensions between Muslim and Hindu teams in and round India and Pakistan, Veer-Zaara friends by way of the lens of Indian cinema’s favourite theme: love. Veer (Shah Rukh Khan), an Indian Air Power pilot, and Zaara (Preity Zinta), a Pakistani girl, fall in love in India. Zaara is engaged to an overbearing Muslim man, and Veer travels to Pakistan to win her and her household over, however he’s finally jailed. The movie was rightly lauded by critics and followers alike for its portrayal of the area’s shared historical past and conflicts, in addition to for the performances by Khan and Zinta. For these all for studying extra about India-Pakistan relations and embedding themselves in a forbidden relationship between members of those two combative teams, Veer-Zaara is the proper alternative.

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker


Bollywood loves forbidden unions, be it spiritual, cultural, class or in any other case. An epic interval drama based mostly on a regal (and controversial) Hindu-Muslim union, Akbar (Hrithik Roshan), a Mughal king, is betrothed to Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai), a Rajput princess, as an alliance between the 2 areas. However as their marriage turns into actual, so does their love—regardless of exterior forces attempting to interrupt them aside. Jodhaa Akbar excels in its opulent visuals, wealthy costume design and unique soundtrack borrowing its sound from Qawwali religious fashion. It’s a portrait of a loving relationship in a attempting, war-stricken time, and paints an image of sixteenth century India that may scratch any historic itch.

Director: Shimit Amin


Do you know area hockey is India’s nationwide sport? I’d wager to say that neither did a lot of the Indian diaspora till Chak De! India was launched. The sports activities drama addresses the tense relations between Pakistan and India head on, as a former, disgraced participant from the boys’s nationwide Indian workforce (Shah Rukh Khan) takes over teaching duties for the nationwide ladies’s workforce years after he’s suspected of throwing a match towards Pakistan. In his new teaching position, he molds the ladies from numerous states in India to beat the prejudices they maintain towards one another and function as a workforce. One of the best sports activities films are disguises for deeper, extra significant conversations, and Chak De! India is a surefire aim.

Director: Neeraj Pandey

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Retiring police officer Prakash Rathod (Anupam Kher) describes probably the most troublesome case of his profession, which unfolded over the course of a Wednesday afternoon. The case, a bomb risk unfold throughout the town of Mumbai, was by no means filed and the main points are solely recognized to those that witnessed it, and continues to hang-out Rathod to today. A Wednesday is an expertly plotted motion thriller that attracts well-deserved comparisons to Die Arduous and retains you guessing till the top.

Director: Shaad Ali 


Born into two completely different societal circumstances, Aditya (Vivek Oberoi, at his peak) and Suhani (Rani Mukerji) elope after their dad and mom reject their deliberate nuptials. Nevertheless, life after marriage proves to be simply as troublesome and a number of arguments threaten to tear them aside. After one specific combat, when Suhani doesn’t come house, Aditya is left to look the streets for his love, finally discovering her in an unimaginable place. Saathiya is without doubt one of the uncommon Bollywood movies that exhibits marital strife in such a uncooked method—and the superbly composed soundtrack by A.R. Rahman solely provides to its appeal.

Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra


A international filmmaker casts a gaggle of buddies in her movie about India’s freedom fighters, however quickly finds life mirroring artwork. What begins as an easygoing encounter (and movie) all of a sudden turns extra critical; after one of many buddies is killed by the hands of the corrupt Indian authorities, the group trades of their passivity for the revolution. Rang de Basanti is about having love in your nation even when it instantly opposes your values, and in immediately’s political local weather it might ignite a fireplace inside you to face up and do one thing.

Director: Rajkumar Hirani


Three engineering college students—Rancho (Aamir Khan), Farhan (R. Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi)—are navigating school collectively, continuously beneath hearth from their tyrant-like headmaster (Boman Irani). Ultimately the trio persuade him of their talents and he permits them to graduate. However after commencement, ringleader Rancho disappears from their lives and, years later, the group units out to search out him. 3 Idiots’s appeal isn’t simply within the story of school buddies difficult and supporting each other, or that it does so in comedic moments filled with coronary heart. It’s additionally that the story makes some extent to touch upon the rigorous expectations of Indian education, which typically drives college students to excessive selections like suicide.

Director: Nikkhil Advani 


Primarily based in New York Metropolis, Kal Ho Naa Ho presents a love triangle sure to have you ever crying by the Hudson River. Naina (Preity Zinta) falls in love along with her quirky neighbor Aman (Shah Rukh Khan), who’s in flip attempting to set her up along with her finest pal Rohan (Saif Ali Khan). It’s his option to disguise his true emotions and defend her from the reality behind his jovial smile—he’s slowly dying. Interfamily drama, commentary on immigrants in America and homosexuality inside the Indian group, and a remix to Roy Orbison’s “Fairly Lady” (that may 100% get caught in your head) all mix on this participating weepy.

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj


A contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, Omkara is a politically minded motion thriller. Omkara (Ajay Devgn) is a gang chief and political enforcer, who steals a bride (Kareena Kapoor) on her marriage ceremony evening to maintain as his personal spouse, and later runs for workplace himself. Leaving his outdated place vacant, he appoints one in all his former lieutenants, Kesu (Vivek Oberoi), to steer the drive, which solely causes the opposite loyal servant, Langda (Saif Ali Khan), to seethe in jealousy. Langda units in movement an elaborate plan to carry down Kesu, however finally ends up ruining way more than his profession. Omkara drew worldwide reward for its performances, story and path, and remains to be one of many best Bollywood movies of this century.

Director: Sanjay Leela Bansali


Identical to Hollywood, Bollywood has sure tales it retains coming again to, and Devdas is without doubt one of the business’s favorites. This 2002 movie is the third iteration, starring Shah Rukh Khan as Devdas, a person who turns to alcohol and the corporate of a courtesan after his marriage to his childhood sweetheart is rejected by their households. The interval piece is a devastating view of how caste and sophistication have performed a task in Indian society, and a miserable finish to an epic love story. Seize your tissues for this one.

Director: Karan Johar


That includes Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan (one in all Bollywood’s most outstanding on-screen duos), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (K3G) is a story of sophistication warfare. When Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) falls in love with Anjali (Kajol), his father (Amitabh Bachchan) forbids him from marrying her due to her decrease financial standing. Pushed by love, Rahul disobeys his father and is banished from his family and from the household. K3G embodies the Indian worth of respecting your elders even once they’re fallacious, and demonstrates the concept even probably the most cussed individuals can come round when prodded by love. You’ll snigger, you’ll cry, you’ll most undoubtedly end up Googling the movie’s songs afterwards.

Director: Farhan Akhtar

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A narrative of children discovering themselves, Dil Chahta Hai set the stage for a lot of up to date Bollywood movies when it premiered in the beginning of the last decade. The movie is an exploration of mid-20s angst and unrest, of following unconventional needs, of discovering happiness amidst the insanity. Sameer (Saif Ali Khan) chases a woman out of his league; Siddharth (Akshaye Khanna) lusts after an older divorcee; Akash (Aamir Khan) tries to reconnect with somebody from his previous. Their selections check one another and themselves, and trigger rifts of their seemingly unbreakable friendship. Dil Chahta Hai is concerning the bonds of friendship, and simply how far they are often stretched.

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

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You could have heard of Lagaan, one of the crucial simple entryways into Bollywood. The movie famously acquired India’s third-ever Academy Award nomination in 2001 and is rooted in a wealthy entanglement of a high-stakes sports activities recreation and a forbidden romance. An epic sports activities drama based mostly in colonial India, Lagaan is the story of a gaggle of Indian villagers who problem their British colonizers to a recreation of cricket in change for the removing of their more and more rising taxes. We get recruiting and coaching montages, drama amongst teammates, an intercultural flirtation, and a bangin’ soundtrack from the legend A.R. Rahman. It has every little thing and has been rightfully hailed as one in all India’s most entertaining and considerate productions that appears to solely get higher with age.

Director: Aamir Khan

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A dependable tearjerker, Taare Zameen Par exhibits us the ability of affection and acceptance by way of the connection of an eight-year-old baby with dyslexia and his compassionate trainer, the one grownup who is ready to pin down his incapacity. Conventional Indian instructional techniques are notoriously unsympathetic to psychological and studying disabilities; that this movie tackled the topic induced a groundswell of constructive dialog throughout its launch in 2007. It’s one of the crucial lovely movies of this century, and is unconventional so far as Bollywood goes—there’s famous realism to the story and just about no song-and-dance numbers—however faucets into the guts of cinema: love conquers all, and love can save us, too.


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