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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Christmas: 10 Feel-Good Bollywood Films to Watch this Festive Season: Part 3

It’s that time of the year again as Christmas is just around the corner.

With COVID-19 and lockdown gloom lurking over us, let’s not forget that the festive season is all about fun, laughter, spirituality and togetherness.

Around this time, TV is packed with special shows and films which will strike a chord with audiences.

As for films, Bollywood has presented us with many feel-good films. One of the biggies streaming this festive period is Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan starrer Coolie No.1 which will be on Amazon Prime Video.

Besides that, there are a plethora of cinematic works that one can choose to escape from our mundane realities.

In anticipation of Christmas, Filme Shilmy presents another list of a few Indian movies to lift your spirits high!

Bombay To Goa (1972)

Nothing beats a good classic – that too Bachchan style for a road comedy like this!

College student Mala (Aruna Irani) has dreams of becoming a Bollywood movie actress; her dreams began materialising into reality when she is approached by Mr Sharma (Shatrughan Sinha) and his assistant Mr Verma who promises to take her to the way of stardom.

Unfortunately, when her parents learn about this they oppose to this and decide to arrange her marriage so that she will be restricted to go above her limits forcing her to approach Sharma for advice who asks her to run-away with huge sums of cash.

Greed overcomes the duo resulting in Sharma killing Verma; Mala who witness this is on the run for her life; she then boards a bus that runs between Bombay to Goa without realising where this journey will end.

With the lockdown blues looming over us during the pandemic, Bombay To Goa combines humour with thrill and some classic tunes!

Rafoo Chakkar (1975)

It’s been extremely difficult losing a legend like Rishi Kapoor ji this year, but alas, we have some fabulous films to watch and cherish him.

Inspired by the classic Some Like It Hot, this comedy directed by Narendra Bedi and packs everything one seeks for in an entertaining movie – romance, action, thrill and music, lots of it!

The movie is about two unemployed musicians (played by Kapoor and Paintal) who are on the run from murderers.

As such, the two men disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band, which entails cat-and-mouse comically intense moments.

Moreover, the movie makes us fall in love with the much-loved pairing of Neetu Singh and Rishi Kapoor.

Khubsoorat (1980 & 2014)

With all the restrictions in place, there’s always that rebel inside us that urges to break free from the rigidity of life.

Of course, the safety measures are in place for good reason – but we can at least uplift our mood by watching Manju (Rekha) as she challenges the strictness of a matriarch (Dina Pathak).

Given the darkness of lockdown, Khubsoorat‘s main character teaches the essence of living life with full zest and not worrying about rigid rules.

Continuing the same sentiment, the 2014 remake starring Sonam Kapoor and Fawad Khan adds a fairy-tale and quirky touch to this Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s classic.

This time, set in the backdrop of a royal family – it makes one want to find their prince charming and lives happily ever after. Oh, Fawad! *blushes*

Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999)

Christmas, or any festival for that matter, is about family warmth and acceptance.

While celebrations might not be able to be done on the grand scale as we are used to, we can try to watch movies that celebrate family love.

Hum Saath-Saath Hain is like an antidote to sadness. Like every Rajshri film, where people are mostly happy and when sadness does occur, the sentiment of togetherness omits the negativity.

It also deals with the importance of unconditional love and how familial bonds always transcend blood relations.

Whether it’s watching the crackling chemistry of Sapna and Vinod (Karisma Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan), the poignant moments or the nostalgic songs, this is the ideal watch for all!

Om Shanti Om (2007)

Before La La Land, we had Om Shanti Om. The euphoria and anticipation for this film were immense and it gave us THE Deepika Padukone.

Farah Khan’s colourful extravaganza is quite a stark depiction the Hindi film industry and addresses several deep-rooted issues within it. Plus, it is heavy on Bollywood pop-culture references.

Based on a film-extra Om (Shah Rukh Khan) who falls in love with a superstar (Deepika Padukone), but are killed and reborn when tables have turned, continuing to be a saga of vegenance and love.

The actual story is intense and serious, but Khan dresses it with a kaleidoscopic appeal with several humorous and endearing tropes.

There is everything for a viewer wants from a commercial Bollywood film – be it romance, action, revenge, comedy and of course, song and dance.

Wake Up Sid (2009)

Most Ranbir Kapoor films are endearing to watch. They all seem to follow and speak the language of today’s generation hence, appeals strongly.

Wake Up Sid is one of those movies that act as an awakening of sorts. It makes one realise priorities, responsibilities and our greatest strengths as human beings.

The film is about a careless, rich brat Sid Mehra (Kapoor), a college student who is taught the value of owning up to responsibility by Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma), an aspiring writer from Kolkata.

For many, the pandemic and lockdown have been an awakening. Plus, watching a film like this during the festive period can only enhance this enlightenment emotion.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)

Since travelling is limited this Christmas, why not travel through celluloid? and Zoya Akhtar has the knack for humanising geographical locations.

In ZNMD, Spain is not just an escapist location, but a place which helps the protagonists to discover themselves.

Akhar presents a tale of three mates (played by Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol) who reunite for a three-week road trip and explores each strand in a convoluted manner.

Aside from seeing the three characters holidaying in an exotic, foreign location, we see them overcoming their insecurities and fears, which is a theme which many viewers can resonate with.

English Vinglish (2012)

Whilst lockdown has been unprecedented and difficult, many have used this tough period as a way to learn something new.

Shashi (Sridevi) in English Vinglish is also prone to challenges, She is a middle-class housewife who makes and sells laddoos as a home-business, but is poked fun at by her family members for not being able to speak English fluently.

When she goes to New York for her niece’s wedding, an incident at a cafe leaves Shashi heart-broken and she finally decides to enrol herself in English-speaking tutorial classes.

The movie is not only women-centric but it also centres around the theme of self-love. The English language almost becomes an additional character.

Kapoor & Sons (2016)

Families are complex and a Christmas without family can be said to be empty. Kapoor & Sons is a contemporary/progressive take on familial dysfunctionalities.

The narrates the story of two estranged brothers Arjun Kapoor (Sidharth Malhotra) and Rahul Kapoor (Fawad Khan), who are reunited on the calling of their ailing 90-year-old grandfather (Rishi Kapoor).

Performances by the lead cast Fawad and Sidharth are terrific. In both of their filmographies, this shines like gold.

It carries a quirky, bitter-sweet tone similar to Hrishikesh Mukherjee style of movies. But the beauty is that this family drama is not portrayed in a larger-than-life manner. It is poignantly realistic and layered.

Good Newwz (2019)

IVF is still a social stigma. But Raj Mehta’s Good Newwz is a fun and thought-provoking spin on it, which guarantees laughter and warmth.

Two married couples (Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kiara Advani, Diljit Dosanjh) are unsuccessful in conceiving and seek medical treatment.

However, they end up in a complicated situation after their doctor makes a blunder. Very seamlessly, the movie addresses several issues including class disparity, stereotypical gender roles, parenthood and more.

Not only does Good Newwz have a light-hearted tone to it but also celebrates the joy of giving birth and the importance of human relationships. 

Final Word

On the whole, Christmas is a festival of love, laughs and family. To read our additional lists, check them out here!

To present a list of 10 feel-good Bollywood movies is quite a challenging task.

As such, these are a few of our favourite films which you will definitely enjoy watching – many of which are not just entertaining but are high on sentiments as well as social themes.

However, if you fancy watching some more films, here are a few honourable mentions!

  • Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
  • Bawarchi (1972)
  • Ishq (1997)
  • Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000)
  • Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
  • Hum Tum (2004)
  • Golmaal series (2005-Present)
  • Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani (2009)
  • Hasee Toh Phasee (2014)
  • Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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