Whether it is about our rich culture, food, or cinema, India has always fascinated the rest of the world. Due to influences from different cultures from the west to the east, Indian cinema is palatable to a variety of audiences around the globe. Ever since India started producing films, the world has been keen to look at them, and here in this list, we will mention the top 10 Indian movies that are internationally recognized.
1. The Apu Trilogy (1950-1959)
The trilogy consists of 3 films, Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and The World of Apu. The story follows a young boy Apu from a poor Brahmin family who struggles to make ends meet. The story tries to portray the role of technology and religion in the family's lives. It won the Best Human Document award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956.
Taare Zameen Par is a film that will make you question the education system, its effect on children's mental health, and the emotional bonding between parents and children. Ishaan, a child who has dyslexia, is bullied at school and frequently scolded by his strict father. While his elder brother is extremely good at academics, Ishaan is creatively blessed and has a knack for art. In the course of the film, Ishaan meets Ram Shankar Nikumbh—an art teacher he met at the boarding school he got enrolled in as a punishment for performing poorly academically. Ram identifies the creative potential Ishaan has and tries to make that his most potent weapon to prove to the world what capabilities he possesses. The film showcases the power of art and imagination through the life of a misunderstood dyslexic child.
3. Dangal (2016)
Dangal narrates the Story of Mahavir Singh Phogat. This amateur wrestler trains his daughters Geeta and Babita to become India's first world-class female wrestlers despite all the hardships they face in society. Dangal is yet another of Aamir Khan's films to be listed in IMDb's Top 250 and, this time, at number 24.
This 2002 film adaptation of the novel Devdas, written by
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
and directed by
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
, had massive commercial success in India. This accolade led to the film being submitted by India for the Academy Award and nominated for a BAFTA award for the best foreign-language film. EvenTime Magazine addressed it as the best world movie of 2002 and recently included it in the "top 10 movies of the millennium worldwide". This film was also ranked #74 in the Empire magazine's 'The 100 Best Films Of
5. Lagaan (2001)
This 2001 movie, directed by , remains one of the most celebrated Indian films. It was nominated for an Academy Award and got a 95% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In 2010, the film ranked No. 55 in Empire magazine's 'The 100 Best Films of World Cinema'; in 2011, it also got listed in Time magazine's special as 'The All-Time 25 Best Sports Movies'.
6. Nayakan (1987)
This Tamil crime film is written and directed by
. Since its release in 1987, the film received critical accolades and was included in TIME magazine's 2005 list of 'All Time 100 Best Films', titled a "Terrific gangster epic in the Godfather style.". In addition, Nayakan also got included in The Moving Arts Film Journal's list of greatest films.
7. Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012)
and starring the likes of renowned superstars like
, Gangs of Wasseypur is an action-comedy beloved by most critics. The timeline of the story stretches from the 1940s to the 1990s. Kashyap has used semantics ideally to define the era that the particular scene is based on without necessarily having to specify it with the help of text. Centred around the coal mafia in Jharkhand and the politics and power struggles that three criminal families get entangled in, Gangs of Wasseypur is an almost raw representation of the underworld in Bihar and Jharkhand. It has been placed at number 91 of IMDb's top 250 movies and scores 96% on the tomato meter.
8. Mother India (1957)
This late 50's epic about a poverty-stricken single mother was one of India's all-time greatest box office hits. It is regarded as one of the best films in Indian and world cinema and was India's first submission for the Academy Awards, where it was even nominated. The film also secured awards at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
9. Charulata (1964)
And here we are, with yet another masterpiece of
on our list. This film centres around Charu, a lonely woman whose husband, Bhupati, has no time for her and is only busy with his work. However, things start to go south when Bhupati's younger brother Amal visits them on a break and gets close to Charu. Pretty soon, their conversations and spending time together result in Charu falling in love with Amal. The film is set in the 1870s and introduced the western style of films to India by Ray. It scored 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and was ranked #56 in the Sight & Sound critic's poll.
Thanks to the joint effort from production companies from India, Germany, France, and the US, the movie was screened at International Critics' Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. It also won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award or Grand Rail D'Or and was nominated for the "Films Not in the English Language" category by the British Academy Film Awards 2015.