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Anvitha Pentaparthy



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One of the best socially relevant movies of recent times! Dealing with domestic abuse, the film does a great job of portraying Amrita's internal distress as she makes a life-changing decision about her marriage. Director Anubhav Sinha also threads stories of the other women in Amrita's life who are subject to the whims of the patriarchy, making it a well-rounded affair. If nothing else, watch for the fantastic monologue towards the end!
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan does a good job of showcasing how the LGBTQ+ community in India still faces a lot of trouble with societal acceptance, starting with their own families. Emotional at the right places, the film doesn't come off as preachy, and the lighthearted approach makes the movie breezy and enjoyable. Both the leads were convincing but I do wish that the actors were actual gay men.
While Veere isn't as emotionally resonant as some of the other friendship movies centered on male bonding, it does add to the sisterhood genre in a breezy manner. The film tries too hard to be feminist, but the moments of bonding between the four friends are a warm reminder that even if everything goes to hell, you'll still have your girl gang by your side.
I recently re-watched this movie, and I have to say that despite the runtime (three and a half hours long!), K3G is worth watching, at least for the sake of nostalgia. Whether it's Poo's memorable dialogues, Shah Rukh Khan's charm, or the renowned music album - the film has shaped an entire generation of memes and Millenials.
Probably one of the best sports-related movies in Tollywood! A defeated husband leeching off of his wife turns his life around when he picks up the bat and rejoins the cricket team - what's not to like? I am not embarrassed to say that I most certainly cried at the end.
A feminist sports tale, this movie made me realize two things - hockey can be interesting, and Shah Rukh Khan is more than just the King of Romance. Watching the girls go from individual players to a strong team remains an unforgettable journey, not to mention the fact that the "Sattar Minute" (Seventy Minutes) speech still retains the ability to inspire chills. Young me was a huge fan of this movie!
A big fan of The Fault in Our Stars, I couldn't not watch the Indian adaptation of the book. And while the movie may not meet the pressure and expectation that comes with being an adaptation of a bestselling book, I'd recommend watching this film simply for the emotional quotient that it offers. Being Sushant Singh Rajput's last Bollywood release, the feature was doubly impactful in its ability to offer fans those final few moments during which they could mourn the death of both the character and the actor.
Oh My God! does a good job of depicting a nuanced understanding of faith as opposed to a blindly devotional one. I especially liked Paresh Rawal's portrayal of a stubborn atheist who eventually changes his mind about the existence of God. While the movie is preachy at places and does not cater to atheist and agnostic notions of divinity, it does contain a socially relevant message about religion and how it is used to inspire fear instead of love.
A fantastic movie on student activism, Rang De Basanti hits the right notes when it comes to portraying friendship and patriotism. The ways in which the script utilizes characters from India's past to awaken the patriotic spirit of India's future - the youth of the country - is so powerful. AR Rahman's music, as always, is soul-stirring, and I dare you to watch this film without crying when Luka Chuppi plays in the background.
One of the best period films of Bollywood, Jodhaa Akbar is a romance of epic proportions. While the movie is on the longer side, the time frame is justified by the intentional slow-burn relationship between Jodhaa and Akbar, which pulls at your heartstrings. Accompanied by one of my favorite Hindi albums (honestly, listen to the album even if you don't end up watching the movie), it is the complete blend of love, action, and drama. The costumes, the locations, and the powerful performance make for the perfect royal endeavor.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is not just a coming-of-age film that exquisitely blends friendship with travel; it is also a movie that prompts us to conquer our fears and live life on our terms. This is one of the first few films that come to my mind when someone asks me for a Bollywood recommendation, so definitely give it a watch! (And don't blame me if you're suddenly filled with the urge to go on a road trip with your best friends, buy a €12,000 Hermes handbag, or burst into the lilting tunes of diamond biscuit).
YJHD is about friendship, love, adventure, self-discovery, and so much more. Watching Naina decide to go on a solo trip to Manali was such an empowering moment for all the shy and introverted kids who are afraid to take a leap of faith, and even though it wasn't a main thread within the movie, I absolutely loved Naina and Aditi's friendship. Here's to the film that inspired so many couples to hold a destination wedding in the beautiful palaces of Udaipur.
No list of friendship movies would be complete without a mention of 3 Idiots. One of the best movies of recent times, Aamir Khan portrayed the eccentric and quirky Rancho to a T. Watching Raju and Farhan chase their passion (and later, their best friend across the country) and achieve their dreams is truly inspiring. Director Rajkumar Hirani captures friendship in a rare movie that inspires you, devastates you, and makes you clutch your sides laughing.
I remember watching this movie in theaters and looking left and right to see everyone around me crying. Such is the emotional nature of this movie. But don't let that deter you. The relationship between Ishaan and Ram is truly heartwarming, not to mention the complex relationships he shares with his family members. A relevant social commentary on a society that is not fully equipped to teach differently-abled kids or welcoming of them, Taare Zameen Par makes you wish for an understanding and patient education system that is just like Ram.
The name itself might reveal the feminist and empowering nature of this spirited movie. Kangana Ranaut as Rani does a great job of being innocent, vulnerable, scared, brave, and adventurous, all at once. Queen is an inspiration for the multitudes of Indian girls who are told that marriage is the end goal in their life. Rani shows us that it isn't and that no matter what happens, we can still enjoy our own company, make new memories, and find amazing people.
Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na is a classic favorite of the "what you're looking for was right in front of you all along" genre. Best friend to lovers is a very popular trope, so much so that most movies become predictable, but Rats and Meow still manage to charm you into a re-watch. 
As with movies about reincarnation, Om Shanti Om certainly has a good dose of "dreams left unfulfilled" in it. Om's innocent love for Shanti in the first half will warm your heart (watch out for the song Aankhon Mein Teri), while the second half will have you rooting for the revenge sub-plot. Oh, and I can't forget to shout out the title song - there is no other song that can top the iconic status of Deewangi Deewangi, which brought together most of the major Bollywood actors of the time. 
On the one hand, we have the tormented and dejected Aditya, while on the other is the bubbly and fun-loving Geet - if opposites attract, then it is no wonder that the two of them are one of the most loved Bollywood couples on-screen. A stellar performance by the two of them makes their romance believable, and the accompanying soundtrack only adds to the emotions. A rom-com worth watching. 
A love triangle is confusing enough without having one of the love interests help the other one, but Kal Ho Na Ho somehow pulls it off. Is it self-sacrificing? Most certainly. Yet, Aman's "make the most out of life" approach only endears him to you, even though it could have easily been annoying and preachy (perhaps because it is Shahrukh Khan playing Aman with his trademark charm). Even pessimistic Naina and her dismal outlook on life grows on you. Watch this one if you're in the mood for an emotional cry-fest. 
Suri just wants to get to know his wife better, but is disguising himself as someone else really the best way to do it? The answer might seem predictable, but Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi does not fail to entertain you. Watching Suri transform into Raj and back is always a treat to watch, not to mention the spirited Taani suddenly becoming a mellow version of herself. "Be yourself" is advice easily given, but when being someone else seems to work better, what do you do? Watch to find out.