11 Movies to Watch before Visiting India
The following films are must watch for anyone considering travelling to India or thinking about knowing something about Indian culture. Some depict responses to Indian life, dramatize Indian history, portray its various communities and show off its urban and rural landscapes. While country cannot be entirely captured in this way, these 11 glorious films nevertheless present an introduction to the sights and sounds of India.It will help you understand more about India and it will help you feel connected to India while you travel and see things in real life that you saw once in a movie.
It is a canonizing biopic which tells the story of the Mahatma, played by British actor Ben Kingsley. It begins with the early incident in which Gandhi is thrown from a train in South Africa to his encounters with other religions, his involvement in the Indian freedom movement, and his assassination in India. The film provides some sense of the complex events of those years, and the issues involved in India’s negotiation for freedom. Ben Kingsley is impeccable as a historical leader. He acts with dignity and understatement, sometimes by only the twitch of his face or a fluttering eyelid, and manages to emanate the presence and integrity expected of such a monumental yet humane figure.
2. Life of Pi
Life of Pi is the allegorical tale of man, beast, and the will to survive. On the surface, it is the story of a young man’s incredible journey at sea with the most unlikely companion, a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Its incredible special effects bring to life the fearsome power of the Pacific Ocean and India’s wildest creatures. But at its depths, we find beautiful character motifs of both desperation and hope, and metaphorical storytelling in its spiritual themes and fantastical visual style.
3. Eat Pray Love
Yet another women centered Hollywood flick, Eat Pray Love, directed by Ryan Murphy, reels the character of a divorced and lonely lady, played by Julia Roberts, who arrived India in search of spirituality. You see little of the real India from her journey that displays a glimpse of the bustling city of Delhi and thereafter the quaint and rural atmosphere of Pataudi, Haryana. The movie also gives a traditional flavor of Indian wedding and culture.
A tourist guide meets an unhappy married woman who wants to take up dancing. With his motivation, she becomes a successful dancer but success corrupts the man’s mind. The movie proved memorable for its award-winning performances by the lead actors and memorable music. Time magazine listed it at Number Four on its list of Best Bollywood Classics. A 120-minute U.S. version was written by Pearl S. Buck, and directed and produced by Tad Danielewski. The film was screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, 42 years after its release.
It is real story based on Medieval Indian History during the time of Delhi Sultanate. Queen Padmavati is happily married to a Rajput ruler until a tyrant Sultan, Alauddin Khilji, enters their life and calls a war on their kingdom due to his obsession with the queen.
6. Razia Sultan
It is real story based on Medieval Indian History during the time of Delhi Sultanate. The film is based on the life of Razia Sultan (1205–1240), the only female Sultan of Delhi (1236–1240) and her speculated love affair with the Abyssinian slave, Jamal-ud-Din Yakut.
7. Jodha Akbar
The film centers on the romance between the Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar and the Rajput Princess Jodhaa Bai who becomes his wife. Acclaimed composer A. R. Rahman composed the musical score
8. Monsoon Wedding
Colorful, funny, and romantic, Monsoon Wedding is the perfect way to experience Bollywood without the subtitles! The story is spun around a family as they receive relatives from around the world for the ultimate Indian wedding. Although universal in theme with the inherent drama of family dynamics, the Indian culture provides an exuberant flair for comedy and fun! Delhi is the perfect setting for this energetic film, providing the thematic backdrop of a young-meets-old, modern-meets-ancient cultural narrative.
During the British Raj, a farmer named Bhuvan accepts the challenge of Captain Andrew Russell to beat his team in a game of cricket and enable his village to not pay taxes for the next three years.
10. Mother India
The title of the film was chosen to counter American author Katherine Mayo’s 1927 polemical book Mother India, which vilified Indian culture. Allusions to Hindu mythology are abundant in the film, and its lead character has been seen as a patronymic representation of a Hindu woman who reflects high moral values and the concept of what it means to be a mother to society through self-sacrifice. Mother India represents India as a nation in the aftermath of independence, and alludes to a strong sense of nationalism and nation-building. While some authors treat Radha as the symbol of women empowerment, others see her cast in female stereotypes.
Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former wrestler, decides to fulfill his dream of winning a gold medal for his country by training his daughters for the Commonwealth Games despite the existing social stigmas