Every year, the International Day of Friendship, aka Friendship Day, is honored by traditional meet-ups, cute boomerangs, and super long paragraphs about how long certain people have been friends – either from when they were in diapers or the good ole’ biochem days in college.
We celebrate this year’s #FriendshipDay with these 10 classic Bollywood movies on friendship that are bound to get you and your friends laughing and reminiscing about the best moments spent together.
This movie is the real deal, and one of the reasons why Friendship Day and the accompanying bands are popular in mainstream Indian culture. While “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” does tell us that boys and girls who are friends probably means one of them is in love with the other, this movie does have some classic friendship moments that are sure to make you reminisce the good and the bad. Many of us still cry when Aman was sweet enough to let Anjali be reunited with her childhood bestie, Rahul, despite him being oblivious to and/or ignoring her feelings for so long (if this doesn’t make my life a Bollywood movie idk what does). But in the end, “Pyaar Dosti Hai.”
Mujhse Dosti Karoge
Another movie all about friendship and falling in love – clearly a theme in Bollywood. “Mujhse Dosti Karoge” stars Kareena Kapoor-Khan, Rani Mukherjee, and Hrithik Roshan, and focuses on three childhood friends, young Tina (Kapoor – Khan), Pooja (Mukherjee) and Raj (Roshan), and how love complicates their relationships as they get older. The plot mainly focuses how mistaken identity leads Raj to have feelings for Tina when he should have feelings for Pooja, and Pooja having feelings for Raj, but her feelings are not reciprocated for the first half of the film. As children, the three kids were best of friends, until Raj and his family move to London. He asks Tina to write him emails consistently, which she has no interest in doing. Being the dutiful friend, Pooja writes them under Tina’s name. Years go by, and this love triangle endures roller coaster after roller coaster. But in the end, friendship stays true.
“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”
“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,” or ZNMD, is a movie on the road and a story of self-discovery, but it shines because of the deep and complicated friendship of its three main characters. The boys’ inside jokes and memories feel like our own, so watching the movie itself is like reuniting with old friends and going on an international adventure. And did we mention it’s superbly directed by Zoya Akhtar? — Proma Khosla
Perhaps one of the funniest Bollywood movies of all time, this cult movie is nothing if not the story of a legendary friendship (and perfect for Friendship Day). Though they start out as enemies (and generally useless humans), Amar and Prem are bonded for life by their scheming to get close to the heiress Raveena. Once they’re actually in her life, the friendly rivalry disappears when they uncover a sinister plot by Raveena’s uncle and have to fight kidnappers, thieves, and the notorious Crime Master Gogo. — Proma Khosla
This movie honestly had it all: There were laughs, there were tears, and everything in between. When watching “Rang De Basanti,” one understands that there is a more serious undertone between all the lighthearted jabs made by the protagonists, but it’s only after a tragedy takes place later on that they have to take a closer look at the political situations taking place around them. With a bond as tight as this friend group is another group of friends shown in flashbacks: The freedom fighters who came before them and who they come to represent in the film. They remain there for each other and ready to fight all battles together, until the very end. — Jaspreet Singh
Friendship is in the very title of this movie, which follows the story of two unlikely friends, desperately trying to find a place to live—played by Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham—who must pretend to be a gay couple in order to move in with Priyanka Chopra. From awkward pretend-gay moments to a tortured mother (brilliantly played by Kirron Kher), beside herself with grief at her son’s choice of a bridegroom, instead of a bride, “Dostana” takes us through a comedy of errors, that’s just full on Bollywood entertainment. The friendship among all three characters becomes very real, and eye candy is just an added bonus. — Pooja Dhar
No listicle of friendship movies on Friendship Day is complete without this feel-good romance featuring Salman Khan, in arguably one of his best avatars, as the rich immature brat who evolves into a responsible and dedicated young man, and the terribly missed Bhagyashree as the young ingenue who falls in love above her station, and has to deal with the consequences before she’s given a happy ending. “Dosti mein no sorry, no thank you,” but you can thank us later for reminding/telling you of this movie! — Pooja Dhar
This Rajesh Kumar-Amitabh Bachchan starrer is a classic for more reasons than one. Rajesh Khanna plays the role of Anand, an endearing, happy-go-lucky, eternal optimist, whom we quickly learn has an incurable form of cancer. Amitabh Bachchan plays his doctor and close friend, who is of a much more serious and reserved nature, and must slowly and helplessly watch his friend valiantly fight his illness, as he draws those around him even closer. So many heart-wrenching tributes to love and friendship in this movie, it’s sure to be one of those movies you’ll binge-watch over and over, especially when you’re ready for tears during your Friendship Day movie marathon. — Pooja Dhar
The friendship between Shahrukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan is so infectious in this movie, it spurred the trend of the two of them hosting a gazillion award ceremonies together. Chock-full of inappropriate humor, bittersweet moments and tears, this movie follows the character of Shahrukh Khan, who engineers a love story between a girl in love with him, Preity Zinta, and her best friend (who then becomes his friend), Saif Ali Khan. Can’t give too much away for those who haven’t gotten around to watching it yet (but we are silently judging you)! — Pooja Dhar
Before there was ZNMD, there was Farhan Akhtar’s groundbreaking 2001 directorial debut, “Dil Chahta Hai.” This movie has everything. A killer soundtrack (S-E-L’s breakout album), nuanced storylines, excellent character development, and beautiful shots of Goa and Sydney. What stands out is the complicated and beautiful friendship among its three protagonists and the depiction of how friendship evolves due to time and circumstance. Personally, one of my favorite parts is the subplot involving Akshaye Khanna and Dimple Kapadia. I’m not going to spoil it, but very few Hindi movies explored that kind of story before or since “Dil Chahta Hai.” This is (thankfully) a movie that has aged well, and is always guaranteed to make you feel all your feels, whether on Friendship Day or for any casual viewing. — Shruti Tarigoppula
“Ghoomer,” R. Balki’s latest directorial venture, had its world premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2023 (IFFM), earlier this month, and the moment was nothing short of memorable. Lead actors Abhishek Bachchan, Saiyami Kher, and Angad Bedi, were present to unveil their labor of love to the world, and all three were left speechless at the reaction of the global audience; the film received a standing ovation on opening night, leaving the team extremely emotional — a feeling that Bachchan tells Brown Girl is one he cannot put into words.
“Ghoomer,” tells the story of Anina (played by Kher), an exceptional cricket player who loses her right hand in an accident. Downtrodden and with no will to live, Anina finds a mentor and coach in Padam Singh Sodhi (played by Bachchan), an insensitive and brash failed cricketer who helps her turn her life and career around; Anina also has the unwavering support of her husband, Jeet (played by Bedi). Sodhi teaches Anina unorthodox techniques to make her mark on the cricket ground once again. Enter, ghoomer, a new style of bowling.
Balki checks all the boxes with this feature — his protagonist is a female athlete, the film is his way of giving back to cricket (a new form of delivery), and he highlights the idea that nothing is impossible for paraplegic athletes. The heart of Balki’s film is in the right place — Kher mentions that the film is meant to be more of an inspirational movie and less of a sports-based movie. One can only imagine the impact that a film like this would have on an audience that’s hungry for meaningful cinema.
And, to chat more about “Ghoomer,” Brown Girl Magazine sat down with the stars of the show. Bachchan, Bedi, and Kher came together to talk about their inspiring characters, the filming journey, and how their film aspires to change the landscape of cricket and paraplegic athletes in the country. It was all that, with a side of samosas.
Take a look!
The featured image is courtesy of Sterling Global.
It’s always a flamboyant affair of colour, emotions and grandeur when Karan Johar directs a film, and his latest blockbuster “Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani” is as K Jo as it gets. After recently being recognised at the British House of Parliament for 25 years as a filmmaker, Johar is back to doing what he does best — bringing together families and star-crossed lovers, but this time with a modern touch. He makes a decent attempt at showcasing progressive ideals and feminist issues while taking us on this family-friendly ride.
“Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” is a larger-than-life film revolving around the love story of a boisterous Rocky (Ranveer Singh) from a wealthy Delhi family, and Rani (Alia Bhatt), a sharp journalist from a progressive Bengali household. And of course, despite belonging to completely different backgrounds and lives, our protagonists, in true Bollywood fashion, fall hopelessly in love through a string of slow-motion gazes, warm embraces and some truly breath-taking song sequences in Kashmir’s snowy mountains. They are then forced to face their opposing families which brings along the family drama in the second half of the film.
The plot is not the film’s strongest point — there’s no real surprise about what’s going to happen next, and yet the film doesn’t fail to keep audiences engaged and pack an emotional punch. This is down to its strong acting, witty dialogues and K Jo’s classic, beautiful cinematography.
Ranveer Singh sinks into the skin of his character with ease – not only does he make the hall burst into laughter with the help of perfectly-timed gags but he pulls off those dreamy gazes ,expected in K Jo’s heroes, to evoke that typical, fuzzy-feeling kind of Bollywood romance. Alia Bhatt’s intelligent and undefeated character is no less a pleasure to watch on screen — not only does she look breath-taking in every shot but her feminist dialogues earn claps and cheers from the audience as she brings a progressive touch to this family drama.
Albeit, while Bhatt’s dialogues do their best to steer this film to the reformist drama it hopes to be, some of Singh’s gags and monologues on cancel culture bring out bumps in the road. The film could have done better to reinforce its points on feminism and racism without using the groups it tries to support as the butt of jokes.
There is also a case to be made about how long these Punjabi and Bengali stereotypes can go on with often gawkish displays of Ranveer’s ‘dilwala-from-Delhi’ character among the overly-polished English from Rani’s Bengali family. But it is with the expertise of the supporting cast, that the film is able to get away with it. Jaya Bachchan in particular is as classy as ever on screen; the stern Dadi Ji holds her ground between the two lovers, while Dada Ji Dharmendra, and Thakuma Shabana Azmi, tug at our heartstrings showing that love truly is for all ages.
Saving the best to last, it is the film’s cinematography that makes the strongest case for audiences to flock to the cinema. The soul-stirring songs steal the show with their extravagant sets and powerful dance performances that treat the audiences to the much-awaited cinematic experience of a K Jo film. While audiences may already be familiar with the viral songs, “What Jhumka?” and “Tum Kya Mile“, it was the family-defying fight for love in “Dhindhora Baje Re” that really gave me goosebumps.
Overall, the film does exactly what it says on the tin and is a family entertainer with something for everyone. It will make you laugh, cry, and cringe at times, but nothing leaves you feeling as romantic as some old school Bollywood with a mix of new school humour, in true K Jo form.
March 20, 2023March 21, 2023 4min readBy Nida Hasan
If you are a South Asian, born in the ’80s or the early ’90s, chances are your ideas of love and romance are heavily influenced by Hindi films — that first gaze, the secret love notes, that accidental meeting somewhere in Europe, over-the-top gestures and dancing around trees. While reality may have been far from what was promised on reel, you still can’t stop pining over a hopeless romantic, with chocolate boy looks, chasing you across the earth and many universes; in the life here and the ones after. Somewhere deep down, you still dream of that possibility despite your husband sitting and sipping his morning coffee right next to you. And much of the credit for weaving this dreamland, that we can’t resist happily sliding into, goes to the legendary Yash Chopra. Award-winning filmmaker Smriti Mundhra’s docu-series, “The Romantics,” that released on Netflix on February 14, chronicles Chopra’s prolific career; offering an illuminating look into the highs and lows of his journey, his unblemished vision for Hindi cinema and sheer love for filmmaking.
I wanted to look at Indian cinema through the lens of it being a major contributor to the global cinema canon and Yash Chopra seemed like the perfect lens to explore that because of the longevity of his career and the fact that he had worked across so many different genres. His films, for so many of us, defined what Hindi cinema is.
— Smriti Mundhra
As “The Romantics” unveils, in a mere episode — a challenging feat in itself — Chopra did experiment with multiple genres as a budding filmmaker, initially under the shadows of his elder brother B.R. Chopra. From the religiously sensitive “Dharamputra” and the trendsetting “Waqt” to the action-packed and iconic “Deewaar.” It wasn’t until later on in his career that he set a precedent for a Hindi film having a wholly romantic narrative; though “Waqt” did offer the perfect glimpse into what would go on to become Chopra’s cinematic imprint. And then came “Chandni” which ushered in a new era for Hindi cinema; defying the formulaic approach to box office success and making love stories the golden goose.
In the words of more than 30 famous faces, a host of archival videos and interviews, and personal anecdotes, audiences get an extensive insight into the life and career of Yash Chopra and the evolution of his vision through the business acumen and genius of his polar opposite son and a famous recluse, Aditya Chopra. “The Romantics” is not a fancy portrait of a legendary filmmaker but an exploration of what goes into making a successful film family and a path-breaking production house. As viewers, we not only get a peek into the making of a fantasy creator but also learn of the many failures, hurdles and uncertainties that the business of filmmaking comes packaged in, the impact of socio-political shifts on the kind of content being produced and demanded, and just how much control we have as an audience over the fate of the film and the filmmaker.
For both the uninitiated and fanatics, there are some interesting revelations like Shah Rukh Khan’s lifelong desire to become an action hero as opposed to a romantic one and the creative conflict between Aditya Chopra and his father Yash Chopra on the sets of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” — a project that, surprisingly, did not seem too promising to the latter. Mundhra penetrates deep into the family’s history and industry relationships evoking some really candid conversations; almost as if these celebs were eagerly waiting for their moment to speak. With one appraising interview after the other, it’s a panegyric that does border on being a tad tedious but there is enough depth and fodder in there to keep one hooked. Kudos to Mundhra for managing to achieve cohesion despite there being more than enough material to chew on. In the process of bringing this project to life, Mundhra also ends up achieving a number of milestones: one that the series features the last of actor Rishi Kapoor’s interviews and two, it brings Aditya Chopra, who, it appears, can talk a blue streak contrary to popular belief, to the front of the camera after almost two decades. The moment when he puts the nepotism debate to rest by referring to his brother’s catastrophic attempt at acting is quite the show-stealer.
At some point during the four-episode series, you might question if it’s fair to credit the Yash Raj family for being the only real changemakers of the Hindi film industry and for picking up the baton to get Hindi cinema the global recognition that it has. But then there is no denying the Chopra clan’s body of work, their ability to understand what pleases the crowd and their commitment towards growth and progress amidst changing times and technology — Yash Raj Studios is in fact the only privately held and one of the biggest, state-of-the-art film studios in India. Chopra’s career and legacy are in no way under-lit that Mundhra can claim to throw new light on with “The Romantics.” But what she really has on offer here are sheer nostalgia, some fascinating discoveries and an ode to a cinephile and his art with a bit of fan service.
In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, Mundhra discusses why it was so important for Chopra to be the subject of her docu-series, her own learnings during the series’ research and creative process and her accomplishment of getting Aditya Chopra to talk, and that too, at length.