Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Bollywood* Beginner Movies 4-6 — Romance, Action, and Myth

Last week we began by looking at romantic comedies. We continue with different genres and stars — action, romance, and over-the-top mythical tales. You'll get a sample of a distinctive director, S.S. Rajamouli, whose films Telugu language movies which are called "Tollywood."


4. Bang Bang 

Frothy cotton candy action-romance when an ordinary woman encounters an charming thief. Full of diamond heists, car chases, and (of course) lots of singing and dancing. You'll see why Hrithik Roshan is considered one of India's best dancers. (My review, Hannah and Rose discuss it here.)

  • Tashan (Style)
    Ridiculously entertaining action film combining Tarantino style action (without the gore because it is Bollywood not Hollywood) with big song and dance numbers (Bollywood not Hollywood). (My review here. Hannah and Rose discuss it here.)


5. Lootera

In a village, a young archaeologist falls in love with a landlord’s daughter. Their union seems doomed. But destiny brings them together a year later. A straight-up romance that's full of twists, turns, and reversals. With redemption in the end. No singing and dancing but a fantastic movie. (My review here)

(From Tollywood)

6. RRR
(Rise Roar Revolt)

The director's dream about two Indian revolutionaries who never met but might have been besties if they had. An over-the-top bro-mance with great choreography for singing and action, exciting dances, and a lot of heart. American critics loved this one. (My review here.)  

More from director S.S. Rajamouli:

  • Baahubali 1 & 2
    Epic. Myth. Battles. Good. Evil. Singing. Dancing. And war elephants. About a royal family in a mythical India that's more like The Lord of the Rings or 300 than you are probably imagining. CGI in the first one isn't great, but just ignore it. (My review. Scott and I discuss them here. Hannah and Rose talk about them here.)
  • Eega
    Totally amazing movie about a guy murdered by his rival in love ... who is reincarnated as a fly. And is still determined to take vengeance on his murderer and protect his love. By the director of Baahubali and RRR. (My review here. Hannah and Rose discuss it here.)


Part 3 will feature Shakespeare, thrillers, and modern life.

For my complete list of recommended films, go here. The list begins with what I've seen most recently.

* "Bollywood" as I'm using it is shorthand for Indian movies in general. The Indian movie industry has a lot of different centers that are based on regional languages and storytelling styles. There will be a few recommendations from others as we go, however, generally speaking, Bollywood (Bombay/Mumbai) offers the easiest entry points for Western viewers.

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