The 2000s were an era for silver screens like no other – unlike today, where every piece of entertainment is a monthly subscription. In those bygone days, especially for Bollywood, audiences would line up for hours to catch a glimpse of the Khan trio: King Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), Salman Khan and Mr. Perfectionist (Indian star Aamir Khan). Forrest Gump remake Laal Singh Chaddha). It was also the time when fame alone ruled Bollywood, and from plot to acting, nothing was ever enough to draw audiences to theaters. However, as times have changed, with entertainment mediums growing exponentially, Indian cinema has also witnessed a turnaround in these landscapes, doing everything to fill the gaps in attracting viewers.
That said, the 2000s were also the legendary era for the churning out of Bollywood’s iconic evergreens which garnered global appreciation and put a clearer picture of Indian cinema on the cards. The films inhibited the powerful plot capturing Indian culture in every sequence, perfect casting and the twist of Bollywood music and choreography. Here are the best Bollywood movies of the 2000s, ranked.
seven Hand Hoon Na (2004)
With Shah Rukh Khan (playing Major Ram) and Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen (playing Chandni), Hand Hoon Na explores the story of peace between two warring neighbours, a subtle allusion to India and Pakistan. However, Raghavan, the main 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, hides to protect her, while fulfilling his personal mission to reunite his family. The Bollywood hit movie finds its way into the hearts of the audience thanks to its perfect cast, action-thriller plot and aesthetically pleasing music and dance sequences.
6 Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Dil Chahta Hai initially depicts a bromance tale between its three main protagonists, Akash (Aamir Khan), Siddharta (Akshaye Khanna) and Saif Ali Khan (Sameer). Slowly, however, life diverges from their paths, pivoting the plot 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 Siddhartha. This romance film became an instant cult classic for presenting the journey of inseparable friends in an aesthetically pleasing way. Even 20 years after its release, the Bollywood movie doesn’t feel out of place and brings raw emotions and thoughts for audiences to reflect upon once the film is over.
5 Chak De! India (2007)
Chak De! India, a sports-centric film, finds Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) after being accused of being anti-national, navigating his life as the coach of India’s women’s hockey team to prove his loyalty to the nation. The film singularly and subtly inculcates the preaching of patriotism, the love of hockey, and the placement of women in sports through its storytelling. He also puts forward the idea of âânot judging a man on his ethnicity. Chak De! India is a visual treat for all hockey fans.
4 One Wednesday (2008)
In A Wednesday, a commoner takes justice into his own hands and plots to send bomb threats around Mumbai. The film is a work of fiction, but draws its inspiration from July 2006 Bombay Bombing. In a down-to-earth yet unique storytelling, featuring versatile actors like Naseeruddin Shah (playing The Common Man) and Anupam Kherr (playing Prakash Pramod) in the lead, the film features the most impactful performance of the 2000s, by India time. He strayed from typical Bollywood glitz to deliver a refreshing tale that reinstates the idea of ââa commoner wielding the power of higher stature.
3 Lagan (2001)
Staged in India’s pre-independence period, Lagaan stars Aamir Khan. This sports drama explores the plot of a peasant, Bhuvan, challenging Captain Andrew Russell to a cricket match and his ultimate winning journey in these uncharted territories of sport. The film presents the lighthearted narrative in the most entertaining format and simultaneously highlights Indian history. Among the many themes around which the film revolves, such as unity, love and sport, colonial oppression is the one that touches the audience. It allows them to revisit the back streets of the British Raj period and soak up a sense of pride at having come a long way on this journey of national progress.
2 Rank Of Basanti (2006)
Rank of Basanti explores the tale of a broken administrative system that drives students to rebel for their cause. This Bollywood film by Aamir Khan features Briton Sue McKinley visiting India to compose a film about Indian freedom fighters. In this pursuit, she presents DJ (Aamir Khan) and his friends as revolutionary spirits of Indian struggles: Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, Ashfaqulla Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil. However, what began as role-playing in Sue’s film, following a tragic event of one of their own, quickly takes over each character’s identity. The characters slip into the shoes of freedom fighters to rebel against their system. Rand De Basanti is a balanced combination of fun, story and drama.
1 3 Idiots (2009)
3 idiotsloosely based on Chetan Bhagat’s best-selling novel someone with five points, starring Aamir Khan (playing Rancho) is a college drama film that uncovers the mysterious existence of Rancho. The film’s plot heavily pokes fun at the Indian education system and other common societal issues. More than just pointing out problems, 3 idiots also serves the solutions to deal with it. Additionally, throughout its journey, the film preaches several succinct life lessons that have shaped the lives of millions in one way or another. Through one of his main themes, he wants audiences to take home the resounding message: pursue excellence and success will follow. The film became an all-time blockbuster and had Bollywood’s highest grossing box office for that decade.