Quarantining under a lockdown could be taxing. The global crisis is affecting a lot in our lives, and that might just change your mental health also. So, it is essential that you keep your spirits high, get charged up, and share that positivity around. So, how do you start feeling motivated? You can always turn to Bollywood for an answer. Just like any other genre, Bollywood offers a plethora of inspirational movies that you could watch and fill your heart with that upbeat vibe, which is a need of the hour. And, for that we collated the below list for you:
1. Chak De! India
This film recruited the best of all genres. From director as Shimit Amin to the producer as Aditya Chopra to the protagonist as King Khan himself set the sails of the film. It is believed to be based on the life story of a veteran hockey player – Mir Ranjan Negi. The movie rolls out with Kabir Khan, who had determined to lead an Indian Women Hockey Team into the championship. The catch is Kabir Khan is already a tainted (in) famous international hockey player. The Nation allegedly blamed him for the humiliating loss with Pakistan. Therefore, to prove his innocence, loyalty, and patriotism to his motherland, he undertook this journey.
Back in 2007, the women team did not get the same limelight as the men division sports used to enjoy. When the film was released, the public noticed the gender inequality women face in the sports genre. The film spikes patriotism, dedication, and redemption in the form of love for sports. Irrespective of age, you will love this film for its exceptional execution of the movie if you happen to be Shah Rukh Khan’s fan, this must-see for you. Fun Fact: do you know what the National Sport of India? The perfect game to support feminism!
2. 3 Idiots
We have another Khan to the topper’s list. This time it is the perfectionist Khan we are talking about. Aamir Khan, coupled with Rajkumar Hirani, gave one of the best youth inspirational Bollywood of the decade. The movie comes with golden rules that will guide you to your betterment in the long run. The story is based on the book of Chetan Bhagat – Five Points Someone. It deals with the journey of three engineering students sharing a room in the top university of India. The protagonist – Rancho, aka Phunsuk, is the topper while the other two hardly pass their exam. The hero teaches them (in reality us), whenever you think you are deep in hot water, just say, “All is Well.” Those words will not bring a solution but will give you the right courage to face the problems.
The other lesson is how much our educational system is messed up. Not only the books but also due to our parents (with exceptions) we often forget there is a life other than the grade card. Since our birth, we have been running to win the rat race. The film urges the students to voice out their real aims instead of studying under society tags. If you focus on your real call, then you don’t need to worry about success. Moreover, it will find you if you’re pouring the right dedication mixed with excellence. Every student should watch this film along with their parents.
3. Taare Zameen Par
Another inspirational movie by our beloved Aamir Khan, who also happens to be the producer and director of this movie! The 8.4 IMDb rated 2007 film deals with our educational system, again. We just talked about the rat race, but imagine what this cruel system does to a dyslexic child? Ishaan faces humiliation every day from his parents, brother, and school due to his poor academic outcome. His father decides to send him off to boarding school to “fix” him. However, the nightmare for Ishaan came to an end when Ram, the art teacher, recognizes his concealed potential.
The academic system needs to be fixed. The parents need to be more supportive, especially children with special needs or who’s delivering below-average performance. We have come across many headlines where students commit suicide due to pressure. Moreover, if we lack the support of the parents, things make it worse. Every child is different, their need is different, and no parent can compare their wards with others. This film also shows how other fellow students need to be cooperative and encouraging with special children. Throwing insults have never helped anyone! At least the friends should have each other’s back.
4. Manjhi: The Mountain Man
It is based on a real-life story. Ketan Mehta directed the 2015 movie to show the world how a simple villager made the impossible happen. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as Dashrath Manjhi, is a poor lower-caste man residing in an outskirt village. The sad part is the town is separated from its day to day work by a mammoth mountain range. Therefore one needs to climb over it to get their things done. Manjhi’s wife, Phaguniya (acted by Radhika Apte), was rising over the peak for food, but she slipped to her death. The unfathomable loss in Majhi’s life was filled with rage and determination.
He was determined to make a path through the mountain so that no one family should suffer such pain. He took a hammer and a chisel to start his mission to pave the path. He made 22 long years to break through the rocks, all by himself, but he did it. This movie shows the real-life example of how a man’s love and faith can move mountains. He was broken, yet he channelized the anger in a productive direction. At some point, we all face such loss, but we should not give in to it. Instead, we should overcome the way Manjhi did. The exemplary acting skills of both the leads will be a treat to watch it.
5. English Vinglish
We have another stereotyping breaking movie, English Vinglish. This movie not only shows the naked truth about how most of the Indians look down upon non-English speakers but also how one should act upon it. This film is for both participants, one who knows the language and the one who doesn’t. English is just another language; it cannot be used as a standard unit of status and intelligence. We all the above words, yet we lurk within the judgmental eyes of prejudice. Late veteran actress Sridevi as Shashi is an entrepreneur who faces criticism in her home.
Her family makes her feel insecure only because she cannot speak the language fluently. To escape the judgmental words, she enrolls in an English speaking class. She meets new people and also she finds herself back. The film shows how steadily Shashi starts to see life beyond the criticism. She starts to value her irrespective of the taunts. And this is how every individual should aspire to be. We cannot be excellent in every field, but the social norms should not decide our esteem. We should not allow it to. Gauri Shinde made the classic movie to discredit prejudices in 2012.
6. My Name Is Khan
In 2010, Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan came together to release a film on a sensitive topic of the world. The duo always awed the audience with their skills, and My Name Is Khan is no exception. The film opens with a Muslim man, Rizwan Khan suffering from high functioning autism – Asperger’s Syndrome falls in love with a single mother, Mandira. Mandira, played by Kajol, her son, and Khan, live happily together in the USA until the 9/11 attack. The attack made the world see every Muslim as a co-conspirator. Due to such fear, the couple loses the son as he was beaten to death due to his surname. Khan leaves home to prove his innocence to the world. He goes through several difficult situations and steadily wins the heart of the Nation. In the end, he comes face to face with the President of America to prove his innocence. The movie spoke volumes, not only on the terms of communal differences but also the mental and physical pains. The film might be set in the USA, but the concept is no alien in India. We, as responsible citizens should not be a part of such blind faith; instead, we should go after facts and truth. Terrorism has no religion.
7. Mary Kom
The film brought the experts together – Omung Kumar as director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali as a producer, and Priyanka Chopra as the protagonist. In 2014, this sport centric film was released, which also promotes feminism. A girl chasing a boy ends up in a gym where boxing training was going on. She was excited and asked the coach to train her. The coach agreed on one condition, that she needs to prove to him that she is a deserving candidate. She starts her coaching and excels outstandingly as Mary Kom. Although her father disapproved of such training, she continued. She was at her peak when she decided to get married and have kids.
After the twins were born, she struggled to gain her place in the World Championship. With the help of her ex-mentor and supportive husband, she started juggling training and Motherhood. It is often heard, a woman’s success in sports stops after she becomes a mother. But Mary Kom proved, a woman indeed becomes more robust when she enters into Motherhood. She excelled, broke records, and gained many medals for India. The real story inspired both girls and boys to take up boxing as a sport. Priyanka did an excellent performance to implant the “never say never” attitude within the youth of India.
8. Nayak – The Real Hero
India is renowned as the largest democracy in the world. What is the real face of such a democratic country? The 2001 political thriller vividly shows the loopholes in the largest democratic country. Anil Kapoor as an ordinary reporter, aka Shivaji Rao, was challenged to sit on the throne of Chief Minister for a day. He was asked to do so when he questioned the integrity of Maharashtra’s CM. In a day, Rao took large leaps to control corruption within the system. When things didn’t go as anticipated by Balraj Chauhan (by Late Amrish Puri), he ordered hurdles into Rao’s life.
Rao was forced into politics due to his honest work at the cost of his parents’ lives. However, he did not stop and went on succeeding. The movie shows how the youth of the country hesitates to aspire to a politician, how our system is flawed, how bribing plays an integral part, how crimes win over innocence. The film was a favorite flick for many critics to burst the balloon of modern democracy.
Another movie based on real-life heroism! The 2016 thriller and drama film by Ram Madhvani is set in 1986 on the Pan Am Flight. The film narrated the story of Neerja Bhanot and her heroism when terrorists hijacked the flight. After the plane was under their control, Neerja Stood up to support her passengers and her co-workers. It was because of her that the pilots escaped from the cockpit. If they hadn’t warned them in time, then the hijackers would have ultimately succeeded. She risked her life to save British civilians. In the end, she died while protecting a kid. She showed extreme courage and loyalty to her profession. She not only stood up to the terrorists but also in her personal life.
She faced domestic violence in the name of love. Her keen sense of justice made her winner in both professional and personal lives. The utmost loyalty to one’s job, the commitment to one’s principle, and the compassion Neerja had showcased are the life lessons for every youth. She was posthumously awarded for her bravery. This is a must-watch as Sonam Kapoor totally justified her role, as well as the goosebumps of reality.
10. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
The star kids are here to give advice; you should take your life easy. This is the lesson you need to learn from the movie. In 2020, we all run behind the 9 to 5 jobs or similar headaches. Amidst the strict schedule of our life, we forget to live and breathe. This is how Kabir, Arjun, and Imran take a vacation to Spain to celebrate Kabir’s bachelorette. This trip was planned to be fun. Instead, it takes a significant turn in all three lives.
The tour opens a portal to heal wounds, fix the damages, face the monstrous fears, and rebuild the courage to fall in love. Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol starrer Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara teaches us to lead a stress-free life. We have got only one experience; let us do everything that would make us happy. Zoya Akhtar received several applauds for this 8.1 IMDb rated 2011 film. As Gen Z says, #YOLO, therefore, just be satisfied.
The 2005 sports and drama film by Nagesh Kukunoor is an out of box storyline in this genre. All the above films have encouraged youth to take up sports if they are interested, but none spoke how a special child should pursue it. Iqbal is a boy from a village who is suffering from speech and hearing impairments. However, he is one of the kids who are born with talent. He wants to be a bowler, but his shortcomings are hindering in the Indian Team selection.
He sought out help for a retired drunk coach, Mohit (played by Naseeruddin Shah). Both Iqbal and Mohit helped each other to put their lives back on track. Iqbal overcame his shortcomings and other political influence (against him) and finally won a place in the Indian team. This movie teaches never to bow down to injustice practices. None of us is perfect, but we should not let our weaknesses take control of our lives. We should thrive upon our strengths.
In India, Cricket is our second religion. Ashutosh Gowariker capitalized the sport to influence the mass that as Indians, we should be united to every hurdle. Aamir Khan as the protagonist, the film is set in the British Period. The English folks ruled us with loads of injustices. One of such was heavy taxes the poor people had to pay. Bhuvan challenges the British Authority with a cricket tournament. If the villagers win, they will be levied off taxes, or else they need to pay the current amount thrice.
The catch is the villagers never played cricket. They came together, practiced day and night, and defeated the English in their own game. This movie shows us if we are united with dedication, loyalty, and courage, we can take over on anything. As a child, we all read the moral, “United we stand, Divided we fall,” and this movie is based on the proverb. It has slightly touched on the betrayal and forgiving quality of humanity. This is a movie to build up one’s character, which will help in the long run.
13. Bhaag Milka Bhaag
I guess all the real-life stories are somewhat inspirational to the crowd. According to our research, the list is dominated by biographies. This movie is the story of the “Flying Sikh” of India, Milkha Singh. The 2013 film by Rajesh Omprakash Mehra, coupled with Farhan Akhtar as the protagonist; it leads to massive success in both box office and critics. It is the story of the Olympian and world champion runner tearing the victory ribbon despite his heinous childhood.
The film shows how a homeless kid, who witnessed the death of his family during the partition, became one of the most loved, successful athletes of his time. Milkha Singh went through several dark pits of vulnerabilities and darkness. His infamous defeat in the 1960 Rome Olympics created a huge dent in his career. However, he overcame and portrayed what a man of steel he is. He fought through and gained the light of redemption. The film inspires the youth and influences them to be dedicated, teach discipline, and maintain discipline to triumph over downfall.
The last decade witnessed a lot of developments in the feminism genre. Although we cannot say it is a total feminist flick, it happens to be woman-centric. The 2014 drama and comedy film by Vikash Bahl is a hilarious watch with bombing lessons. Kangana Ranaut as Rani goes to her honeymoon alone when her fiancé breaks off the marriage at the eleventh hour. She was devastated, but she took the trip to get over the tragedy. The journey to Paris proved to be quite a quality one.
She started to live the days as her own, wearing herself every day and began to live in her comfort zone. She was discovering herself every day, rejuvenating the dents, and living the fullest. The movie comes with the moral that no matter what life throws at us, wear a smile, and fight off the obstacles. It is essential to have self-respect and confidence in oneself. While achieving your aim, you should always leave rooms for breaks and adventures. It is another film that pleads the generation to live to the fullest amidst the work schedules. One should also aim at a carefree, happy life in their bucket list.
The 2004 film by Farhan Akhtar directly confronts one of the most growing problems – aimless, lazy students. The protagonist is Hrithik Roshan, as Karan is one of such youth, who is just sitting and living off his parents’ empire. The antagonist is his good for nothing attitude. His daily life schedule included partying with his friends and romancing with his girlfriend Romi (acted by Preity Zinta).
He got inspired and joined the army after watching an action film. Soon, he quit as the initial training was too hard for him. After his cowardly act, Romi and her family lose respect for him. He got himself enrolled again to gain the esteem. The film teaches us that it is vital to have aims and goals in our lives. We are born and have a fated purpose to this world. We should keep working towards perfecting our objectives dedicatedly and happily. Watch and re-watch them alone or with your family. These movies are timeless and will end up making you laugh, fill with joy, and leave you on an inspiring note for the rest of the day and more.