From great dance numbers to heartwarming love stories, Bollywood has officially become one of the most watched sections of Netflix, and with new titles popping up every day, the film titles are getting more diverse, and much better, than ever before.
And while not all musically inclined, this list of Hindi hits ranges from stalwart detectives to heart-wrenching dramas that will leave you begging for more, so load up your queue and cancel all your plans for a night in with the screen (and maybe some well-seasoned popcorn).
- Dariba Diaries
For major fans of detective stories and a Sherlock style eccentricity, this television show follows Mirza Jaan Nawaz, a detective with a master of observation skills, who solves murders across 19th century Delhi with aplomb. When local investigators are perplexed, Nawaz pops up to stop everything from courtesan murders to the fate of an entire village with a mix of good looks, great charms and stellar detective work. Perfect for anyone looking for a long time love, this serial is bound to put a smile, and a thinking mind, to good work.
Released as Guilty in 2015, Talvar is the story of one family’s trials and tribulations through the death of their daughter and one of their servants. Based on the Noida double murder case, Talvar chronicles the discovery of the deaths and the subsequent conviction of the parents for the crime as the viewer is taken through all the views of guilt and innocence along the way. Starring Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi and Sohum Shah and winner of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 63rd National Film Awards, Talvar shed light on a case that left many bewildered, confused, and most of all unsure, about the imprisonment of the Talwars and their tragedy.
- Bombay Velvet
This period crime drama centers on Balraj, a street fighter, who falls in love with jazz singer Rosie and enters into a world of crime to win her affections. Agreeing to take the position of club manager for the “Bombay Velvet,” Balraj becomes the lackey for a wealthy business person who uses the club as a way to further his illegal activities and endeavors. Becoming embroiled in shady practices, Balraj enters the world of a 1960s crime lord and gets in deep before realizing there might not be a way out. Perfect for lovers of gangster movies, Bombay Velvet provides the kind of big bang viewers have come to know and love about the genre.
- Once Upon a Time In Mumbaai
This action thriller was an absolute box office hit (hint the sequel, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai 2) based on the inner working of big time gangs during 1970s Mumbai. The film opens with the attempted suicide of the Assistant Commissioner of Police Agnel Wilson and continues with his story of how the Bombay Bombings of 1993 were in part his fault when his actions led to the rise of Shoaib Khan, a wealthy and powerful gangster. Traipsing through the underworld and all means of corruption, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai outlines how a benevolent smuggler created an underground kingpin that is too powerful to stop and provides plenty of back alley negotiations, bangs and opulence along the way to delight thriller lovers the world over.
- Meet the Patels
This documentary takes its viewers along for a ride of love, dating and family life. When Ravi Patel falls in love with the woman of his dreams, a redheaded American by the name of Audrey, he must come to terms with the role of love and marriage in his first generation Indian American family as they battle with their traditions and their society and customs from home. Part romantic comedy and part family drama, this movie explores the depth of American society and its effect on cultures from around the world as Ravi goes through the processes of finding a good match that his family approves of. Full of laughs and the gritty situations that many Indian Americans can identify with, Meet the Patels is a feel good film that will leave its audience completely satisfied.
For US viewers, these five picks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a treasure trove of Bollywood films now available on Netflix, and with the streaming service now available in India, there’s more watching and more loving to be done by movie connoisseurs every day. For other international viewers, no worries—it’s easy for you to access the same films as well.
Without further ado, I wish you happy Bollywood viewing!
About the Author: Caroline