Most Americans are at least aware that India has a thriving movie business.  These “Bollywood” movies are typically filmed in Mumbai in the language of “Hindi”.

My first introduction to Bollywood was about 15 years ago with the movie, “Monsoon Wedding” which received a fair amount of attention in American cinemas.

Movie Poster for Bollywood hit Monsoon Wedding

Movie Poster for Bollywood hit Monsoon Wedding

A couple of years ago, I saw a wonderful Bollywood comedy called “3 Idiots” (or Three Idiots).  In addition to wonderful comedic timing, “3 Idiots” was complete with sweeping dance numbers with the dancers in beautiful outfits.

“Three Idiots” is very funny and has several very clever plot twists. If you’ve never seen a Bollywood movie, this one would be a good first choice. It’s lighthearted and fun. “Three Idiots” would be a nice initiation into Bollywood movies.

Movie poster for Bollywood hit Three Idiots

Movie poster for Bollywood hit Three Idiots

Most Americans are very familiar with the 2008 drama, “Slumdog Millionaire” which won eight Oscars at the 2009 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  “Slumdog Millionaire” retraces the life events of a Mumbai orphan as he competes on the India version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.

The movie got a warm reception in the United States grossing over $140 million in American theaters.

While “Slumdog Millionaire” has some light moments, the movie is mostly a drama about the poverty in India’s Mumbai slums, and, one little boy’s amazing triumph in overcoming all obstacles.

“Slumdog Millionaire” is affirming of the human spirit. But, there are many sad moments within the movie as the stark reality of Mumbai slum life is shown in vivid detail.

Movie poster for Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire

Movie poster for Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire

If you want to experiment with Hindi movies online, there are many online film streaming websites that you can try.  You can even see free Hindi movies online at several sites.

Start your search at Bharat Hindi movies online.

With a population of 1.2 billion people, India is the 2nd most populace country (behind only China), and dwarfs the United States’ population of approximately 310 million people.  As the purchasing power of India’s middle class continues to grow, expect continued success for Bollywood.

Online streaming of Bollywood movies is already very popular given the large number of immigrants from India who live in the United States and throughout Europe and North America.

So, if you’re in the mood to try something new, check out the many paid and free online streaming services for Hindi or Bollywood movies.

One final mention: “Bend it Like Beckham” is not a Bollywood production. However, the movie about two female teen soccer players will give you a nice introduction into India’s culture and tradition.

The movie stars Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra as two friends whose obsession with soccer (and seemingly with each other) alarms both sets of parents. The movie is a feel-good comedy. Nothing too dramatic here.

Movie poster for Bend it Like Beckham

Movie poster for Bend it Like Beckham

The character played by Parminder Nagra (who has gone on to star in other Hollywood movies) is further confronted with the traditional roles expected of young women from India.

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