Best Bollywood Movies of the 2000s, Ranked – MovieWeb


From Lagaan to A Wednesday, here are the best of Bollywood from the 2000s ranked.
The 2000s was an era for silver screens like no other — unlike today, when every entertainment piece is a monthly subscription away. In those bygone times, especially for Bollywood, audiences queued in line for hours to catch glimpses of the Khan trio: King Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), Salman Khan, and Mr. Perfectionist (Aamir Khan, star of the Indian Forrest Gump remake Laal Singh Chaddha). Those were also the days when only stardom ruled Bollywood, and from plotline to acting, nothing was ever enough to pull the audience to the theaters. However, as times changed, with mediums of entertainment growing exponentially, Indian cinema too witnessed a turnaround in these landscapes, doing everything to fill the gaps in attracting viewers.
That said, the 2000s was also the era fabled for churning iconic evergreens of Bollywood that garnered global appreciation and put a clearer image of Indian cinema on the maps. The movies inhibited the powerful plotline capturing Indian culture in every sequence, perfect casting, and the twist of Bollywood music and choreography. Here are the best 2000s Bollywood movies, ranked.
Starring Shah Rukh Khan (playing Major Ram) and Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen (playing Chandni), Main Hoon Na explores the narrative of bringing peace between two warring neighbors, a subtle allusion to India and Pakistan. However, Raghavan, the lead antagonist, has conflicting plans about this operation and decides to jeopardize these plans by threatening the life of the General’s daughter. Ram, saving the day, goes undercover to protect her, while also fulfilling his personal mission of reuniting his family. The mega-hit Bollywood movie finds its place in the audience's heart due to its perfect casting, action-thriller plot, and aesthetic music and dance sequences.
Related: Best Bollywood Movies of the 2010s, Ranked
Dil Chahta Hai initially depicts a bromance narrative between its three lead protagonists, Akash (Aamir Khan), Siddharta (Akshaye Khanna), and Saif Ali Khan (Sameer). Slowly, however, life diverges their paths, pivoting the plotline into three separate love stories. Through each story, the audience witnesses the characters' approaches to their relationship with their partners. While some resonate with the thoughts of Sameer, others find themselves like Siddharta. This romance flick became an instant cult classic for featuring the journey of inseparable friends in an aesthetic way. Even 20 years after its release, the Bollywood movie does not feel out of place, and puts raw emotions and thoughts that the audience needs to ponder over once the movie end.
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Chak De! India, a sport-centric film, finds Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) post-getting charged as anti-national, navigating his life as a coach to the Indian Women's Hockey team to prove his loyalty to the nation. The movie singularly and subtly instills preaching of patriotism, love for hockey, and placement of women in the sports field through its storytelling. It also puts a thought forward of not judging a man by their ethnicity. Chak De! India is a visual treat for all hockey lovers out there.
In A Wednesday, a commoner takes justice into his own hands and hatches a conspiracy of sending bomb scares around Mumbai. The film is a work of fiction, but draws its inspiration from July 2006 Mumbai Bombing attack. In a down-to-earth yet unique storytelling, starring versatile actors like Naseeruddin Shah (playing The Common Man) and Anupam Kherr (playing Prakash Pramod) in the lead, the movie brings forward the most impactful performance of the 2000s, per India Times. It shifted from the typical glitz of Bollywood to deliver a refreshing narrative that re-establishes the thought that a commoner wields the power of higher stature.
Staged in the pre-independence period of India, Lagaan stars Aamir Khan. This sports drama explores a plot of a peasant, Bhuvan, challenging Captain Andrew Russell to a cricket match and his journey of ultimate victory in these uncharted territories of the sports. The movie brings forward the light-hearted narrative in the most entertaining format and simultaneously highlights Indian history. Of the many themes, like unity, love, and sports, that the film revolves around, colonial oppression is the one that strikes a chord with the audience. It allows them to revisit the lanes of the British Raj period and imbibe a sense of pride for coming afar in this journey of national progress.
Rang De Basanti explores the narrative of a failing administrative system that pushes college students to turn into rebels for their cause. This Aamir Khan-starrer Bollywood film sees British woman Sue McKinley visiting India to compose a movie about Indian freedom fighters. In this pursuit, she casts DJ (Aamir Khan) and his friends as some revolutionary spirits of Indian struggles: Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, Ashfaqulla Khan, and Ram Prasad Bismil. However, what started as the role-playing in Sue’s film, following a tragic event of one of their own, soon takes over each character’s identity. The characters slip into freedom fighters’ skin to rebel against their system. Rand De Basanti is a balanced combination of fun, history, and drama.
3 Idiots, drawing loose adaptation from Chetan Bhagat’s best-selling novel Five Point Someone, starring Aamir Khan (playing Rancho) is a college drama flick that unravels the mysterious existence of Rancho. The movie's plot takes a strong gibe at the Indian education system and other prevalent issues of society. More than just pointing out the problems, 3 Idiots also serves the solutions to tackle them. Furthermore, throughout its course, the film preaches several succinct life lessons that have shaped the lives of millions in one way or another. Through one of its core themes, it wants the audience to take away the resounding message: chase excellence, and success will follow. The movie became an all-time blockbuster and clocked the highest box office gross in Bollywood for that decade.
Nikita is a cinephile who eats, sleeps, and breathes movies. If not, then she ogles at pop culture websites for her daily dose of entertainment content. Her first love is writing, and second, of course, herself.


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