With the peril situation that has been unfolding in Kashmir, ties on all fronts are being unthreaded between Pakistan and India – and it really does feel like there’s no going back, in particular, reference to whatever little bridge had been sturdily built between the nations’ entertainment industry. Like many of us, Bollywood has undeniably been a large part of growing up – my first film was ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,’ and it was up and beyond from there on; I fell in love with Shah Rukh Khan, I found cinematic wonders like ‘Dil Se’ and ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.’ I fell in love with Indian cinema, rather hopelessly.
As I grew, I fell for actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and directors like Vikramaditya Motwane and Mani Ratnam. I felt like I had found myself through films like ‘Udaan’ and Mani Ratnam’s ‘Guru.’ Being a cinephile – watching a film is more heart-rending, and with all that’s been said and done, I’ll be honest – I have felt an aching because of this dogged hold I had on Bollywood, and I truly don’t feel like watching anything from the industry anymore (I say this with a heavy heart).
While we all love basking in the Bollywood schmaltz, I’ve carefully picked some of the best replacements for all you Bollywood fans that are tantamount in spellbinding magic.
1. Love Actually
A hearty, romantic comedy with an ensemble cast. It’s high on emotions and while it mostly a Christmas tradition to watch it, it’ll give you wonderful nostalgia from the suffering of Bollywood.
2. Moulin Rouge
This musical delight stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor as two star-crossed lovers in a retelling of the Maharaja. It’s spectacular and will have you in tears.
3. Sex Education
Netflix’s witty, hearty show is so much more about sex. It’s about life as an awkward teenager, a phase we’ve all been through where you’re just trying to understand things about love and, well sex. It’ll melt your heart and has mild moments of schmaltz.
4. Dirty Dancing
A classic and I’m sure you’ve watched it, but it’s one those gems you can just keep watching time and time again to feel that intimate, beautiful love that touches upon classicism in this musical legend.
5. So You Think You Can Dance?
This is for the void of no longer being able to see dance numbers *sighs*. This is one of the most watched shows in the world and is already on its fifteenth season. The judges are funny, and they always do Bollywood numbers – so there’s that. Trust me, it’s a very addictive show.
6. Green Book
The winner of ‘Best Picture’ at the 2019 Academy Awards, this film seeps in emotion and is a true Hollywood senty film.
Source: Participant Media
7. Bring It On
For all you masala lovers, this oldie goldie is a classic – it’s a teen comedy but transcends generations because it’s just SO entertaining. It puts the famous ‘cheerleading’ situation in a very victorious light. It’s a bit vulgar too, so trigger warning.
8. The Umbrella Academy
This is a Netflix show with romance, dance, heartbreaka and love. Oh, and with superheroes; need I say more? Binge-watch it now on Netflix.
9. Notting Hill
A British classic and the true epitome of a Hollywood schmaltz – this beauty starring Julia Roberts as a famous actress falling for a simpleton like Hugh Grant is FANTASTIC. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.
One of the greatest dramas of all time – it was more than just about doctors. Each patient, each protagonist came with a unique story, stemming from racism, drugs, classism and just trying to surive life. A truly brilliant show that will feel like a Bollywood film (also beause of the length of the show, with a whopping fifteen seasons).
11. Bridget Jones’s Diary
Another British Hollywood schmaltz; it’s feel-good, it catapults all hopeless romantic lovers into a dream and is definitely worth the watch.
Are you boycotting Bollywood too?