Bollywood has become synonymous with India for a lot of foreigners. The melodrama, the over-the-top action sequences, the singing in the mountains and dancing on cliffs. And oh, Shah Rukh Khan.
So, when someone on Quora asked all the non-desis “As a non-Indian, which are your favourite Hindi movies?” we were not surprised that almost every answer had a couple of SRK movies in them.
From 3 Idiots to My Name Is Khan, there were some obvious choices. Here are the movies that Quora users from around the globe love, in no particular order.
1. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995)
User Ralph Lengler from Switzerland says, “Watching this scene you sense the chemistry between SRK and Kajol and you feel how much love is in the air. In comparison to other Indian films, this film feels modern and timeless.”
2. 3 Idiots (2009)
Khanh Luu from Vietnam says that for many Vietnamese, perhaps this movie is one of the most favourite Indian movies ever. “Honestly, we envy Indians as you guys have produced so many great, world-class movies, which may take us decades to catch up with.”
Camille Grace Simborio from Philippines says, “Well who wouldn’t love this movie? It wouldn’t make you cry out of sadness only, but also of happiness (Seriously, I laughed so hard many times). Anyone could watch this movie and learn valuable lessons.”
The film made a user realise that China’s education system is similar to India’s. Steven Zhang says, “This movie can be listed as one of the best movies in my life which deeply influenced my mind. And it changed my view of Bollywood,” he further adds.
Hussain M. Zaidi from Pakistan mentions that he understands the system where everything depends on only grades and seldom on innovation. “Although winds of change are strong and there are improvements in a few good institutions, but the cultural tendency remains of education being used as a tool for pursuing wealth generating careers rather than enhancing one own self,” he further clarifies.
Pakistani-Canadian user Syeda Ratal Zehra says, “I am so glad that this movie was made to show the amount of senseless competition and straight memorization (but no desire to actually learn).”
Joey Armenio from Canada says, “Its moving and captivating story still resonates within my soul. I know that sounds rather “deep”, but to be honest, it’s a pretty deep movie.”
3. Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Onyeche Douglas from Nigeria says, “Aside from all the key features that make Bollywood films great to watch, the movie deals with a contemporary social issue and does it well. Aamir Khan really got me as a fan with his performance in this movie.”
Simborio says said that the movie taught her that every child was special and adults need to believe in them and their talents.
For Carlos Matias La Borde from Chile, Taare Zameen Par is a special film that not only enabled him to understand dyslexia better but also helped him connect better with a friend suffering from the same.
4. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)
Kevin Lam says that Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is one of the most emotionally powerful films he has ever watched.
Pam Berkeley from USA says, “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi has a special place for me, in that it includes a dance theme and a hidden/dual personality plot element (two of my soft spots for movies). Bonus points because it’s a guy who has the dual personality.”
5. My Name Is Khan (2010)
Robert Beveridge from USA says, “I have a deep and abiding love for My Name Is Khan. It’s heavy-handed and kind of ridiculous in places, but given the usual depiction of America one finds in movies that are critical of American domestic and foreign policies, I thought it was remarkably clear-headed and almost even-handed. As well as being a tour de force performance on SRK’s part.”
6. Lunchbox (2013)
Norwegian film buff Eivind Kjorstad says, “I liked this movie because it showed me a life and a way of relating to one another that is very much alien to me; yet at the same time well-known.”
7. Swades (2004)
Zaidi relates a lot with this movie as he interacts with villagers from his country frequently.
8. Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)
Beveridge who is in love with Priety Zinta says, “It’s stupid and ridiculous and so, so, so much fun (and I am head over heels in love with Priety Zinta. Even more so now that she’s owner of a cricket squad!).”
9. Rang De Basanti (2006)
Kjorstad says, “It’s more that the sum total of all the parts fit together well.”
10. English Vinglish (2012)
Kjorstad says, Sridevi is the reason he loves the film. “You just have to love Sridevi. This movie is really carried pretty much by her alone.” Although he mentions that he resented the ending where Sridevi drops the exam to make food for the wedding. “I wanted her to just for once insist on doing what she needed; not just serve everyone else,” he adds further.
11. Peepli Live (2010)
Yasir Mehmood from Pakistan says, “The way it depicts poverty and humble nature of hardworking South Asian farmers is admirable.”
12. Lagaan (2001)
Emma Homes from New Zealand says, “And as a rather naive western child brought up in a tiny corner of the world that was my first exposure to the idea that Hindus didn’t eat meat, and the the way the British colonials behaved with casual arrogance towards those they considered ‘lesser’.
13. Half Ticket (1962)
Eric Seelig from USA who likes Kishore Kumar’s songs says that Half ticket is also one of his favourite screwball slapstick comedies he has seen recently.
14. Darr (1993)
Lengler says, “The end scene foreshadows the greatness of the Shah Rukh Khan to come, as the scene is frightening, relieving and caring at the same time. Only a really great actor can pull this off.”
15. Devdas (2002)
Lengler who has clearly fallen in love with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan says, “I have to admit that after seeing her in Devdas, I wanted and subsequently did meet her at a reception at the Locarno Film Festival. And I can tell you, wow, she was just as gorgeous in real life as on celluloid ;-)”
You can read the entire Quora thread here.