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Bollywood—or India’s Hindi film industry—is thriving. Not just the staggering revenue or the new-found ubiquity, but the current vogue of Bollywood is substance over style. The timely emergence of platforms such as Netflix has been nothing but beneficial to the industry. Netflix’s Bollywood catalogue has a multitude of movies that bring the best out of the genre. Here is a list of the 10 best Bollywood movies to stream on Netflix as of August 2017.
From the impressive collection of movies spawned out of director Anurag Kashyap’s ingenuity comes Black Friday, a movie equal parts shocking and divulging. Black Friday sheds light on the dire consequences of 1993’s serial bomb blasts in Mumbai that caught the country off-guard and shook its foundations. Black Friday is a fierce attempt to exhibit the conflicting perspectives of the perpetrators, law enforcement officials and the victims of the gruesome attack.
Bollywood was rife with mainstream musicals in 2007 when Manorama Six Feet Under befell on unsuspecting Indian viewers. The mystery drama was as anomalous as it was splendid. The movie revolves closely around the grim reality of Indian bureaucracy that lives off the frailties of the bourgeois. Additionally, Manorama Six Feet Under leaves no stone unturned with its gritty depiction of the horrors.
Director Ram Gopal Varma’s movies tend to divide public opinions. However, when it comes down to his political thriller Sarkar, it’s indeed an unequivocal masterpiece liked by all who watch it. Starring the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Sarkar is a grim story of the political infighting and the immoral nexus between the law enforcers and the underworld.
Shahid is a biographical film based on the life of a contentious lawyer, Shahid Azmi, who met with a tragic end. Actor Rajkummar Rao plays the protagonist, whose life is constantly on the line, oscillating between the worlds of hope and despair. The film garnered much controversy in India, due to its interpretation of matters relating to Islamic terrorism.
Anurag Kashyap delivers an absolute gem in the form of a psychological thriller, Ugly. The convoluted plot of this film revolves around the abduction of a girl, which causes complete mayhem, jeopardizing relationships and rekindling old enmity. Amid all the furore, new players emerge with the sole intent of capitalizing on someone else’s predicament.
This whim is India’s answer to urbanity and gender emancipation. Starring the feisty Kangana Ranaut as Rani Mehra, Queen starts with Rani’s marriage being called off on feeble grounds. The rejection takes Rani on an unaccompanied soul-searching voyage across Europe on what would have been her honeymoon. Furthermore, she is faced with circumstances that challenge her prudish upbringing.
Masaan paints a sincere picture of the orthodox Indian suburbs dominated by complacency and a vague apprehension for what the future holds. The interwoven plot beautifully captures the puritanical social construct of India and simultaneously attempts to defy it, albeit with repercussions. For those who fancy a deeper understanding of Indian orthodoxy, watching Masaan is perhaps the best place to start.
Indians have an apparent penchant for courtroom dramas and 2016’s Pink met this need with a brush of contemporary issues tormenting India. A trio of young women come to cross paths with a system of diabolical beings sworn to annihilate them. In their hour of need, they turn to a formidable retired lawyer Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) to save them from their affliction.
The infamous 1987 Opera House heist was meticulously done and the perpetrators left no trace. Special 26 is the big-screen adaptation of the infamous heist and boasts a star-studded cast. Inspiration from the actual events gives the movie a competitive edge over routine Bollywood movies.
Akin to Special 26, Madras Cafe is another mainstream thriller that lived up to expectations. The plot of Madras Cafe is perceptively crafted by director Shoojit Sircar, incorporating real-life political events into a fictional tale. Major Vikram Singh, played by actor John Abraham, finds himself in the battle zone, torn between fulfilling his obligations and fighting life’s inexplicable infatuations.