Best English Movies based on India or with Indian Themes
There are so many English movies that come out of India every year. Some equally beautiful movies based on Indian culture originate from other parts of the globe. Here are 20 best stand-outs:
1 Gandhi (1982): This Internationally acclaimed movie needs no introduction. The film stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, a brilliant actor by any measure. Amongst much recognition home and abroad, the film bagged the Academy Award for Best Picture, winning eight Academy Awards in total.
2. City of Joy (1992): The social drama is based on the life of a farmer who moves to Kolkata with his family and finds out that life is nothing but simple in the city. Patrick Swayze, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi and Art Malik lead the brilliant cast. This is one of best movies that use talents from India as well as Hollywood.
3. Monsoon Wedding (2001): Directed by Mira Nair, this is romance, comedy and drama – all together – depicting the lives of NRIs and the NRI weddings. An extravagant Punjabi wedding and the family traditions are beautifully depicted throughout this movie. Naseeruddin Shah’s acting is solid once more, and plays a father who is organizing an enormous, chaotic, and very expensive wedding that involves NRI families and joint families coming together from different parts of the world.
4. A Passage to India (1984): This classic drama is one of the most memorable English film based on the Indo-British relationship and their impacts on the day-to-day life during English Rule in India. Written and directed by David Lean, the screenplay is based on the 1924 novel by E.M. Forster. The acting, the direction and the beautifully landscaped scenes equally contribute to this masterpiece. The film has won various awards included Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. The brilliant acting comes from Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft and James Fox in the key roles.
5.Being Cyrus (2006): This is one of the best Indian films in English. It is a psychological drama revolving around a dysfunctional family. The acting is led by Naseeruddin Shah and Dimple Kapadia; the well told story is narrated by none other but Saif Ali Khan in the role of Cyrus Mistry.
6. Bride and Prejudice (2004): This is a Bollywood style adaptation of the novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. It is filmed primarily in English, with some Hindi and Punjabi dialogue. The lead cast of Aishwarya Rai, Martin Henderson, Nadira Babbar, Anupam Kher and Naveen Andrews plays well in this desi adaptation of an old classic story from west. The wedding and party scenes, the complicated feelings of love, the dance numbers and culture depiction…are all nicely integrated
7. East is East (1999): This is a very comic and funny movie with a dark side of an NRI story based out of England. Om Puri delivers one of the best acting of a conflicted father with double standards. Married to a white woman, the father forces his kids to live the traditional and strict desi lifestyle. The children, born and grown up in UK, see themselves as British and reject their father’s rules on dress, food, religion and arranged marriage.
8. Bend it like Beckham (2002): Starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, the title comes from the soccer player David Beckham’s skill at scoring from free kicks by “bending” (curving) the ball past a wall of defenders. It is a beautiful depiction of a Punjabi family’s life in England. The film explores the lives of Indians abroad and how NRIs ‘bend’ the social and traditional rules to adapt to the local culture. It has a lively music, with a touch of folk genre.
9. Parzania (2007): Translated – Heaven and hell on earth, this is an Indian drama catering to the extreme human emotions. It is a terrific story of the struggles of a family after they lose their 10 year old son during the racial riot. The film featured Naseeruddin Shah and Sarika in the lead roles. This low budget drama has lovely acting and beautiful direction. Continue reading