Bollywood has often been associated with comedy, drama and a whole lot of music. However, often there will come a movie that inspires and motivates us to do better. With life’s demands weighing everyone down sooner or later, Bollywood motivational movies can work wonders in giving us the boost we need.
Overcoming struggles or standing up to a bully are aspects we all deal with and no one does this better than our Bollywood heroes. If life has you feeling a bit blue, we bring you some of the best motivational movies in Hindi to light that fire in our belly and get us going.
1. Manjhi: The Mountain Man (2015)
A heart-breaking and heart-warming story of a man who channelled his grief into action. This story revolves around Manjhi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) – a poor villager who loves his wife dearly. When she is killed while navigating a dangerous mountain path in the search for food, his grief is uncontainable.
He sets out on a path to carve a safe space for people to walk single-handedly on the massive mountain. Armed with just a hammer and a chisel along with his grief, Manjhi chips away at the mountain for 22 years to achieve his goal. The journey from grief and anger to determination portrayed spectacularly by Siddiqui makes this one of the best Bollywood motivational movies.
2. 3 Idiots (2009)
Taking on the pressure and hardships faced by students trying to succeed in this competitive world, one of the best Bollywood motivational movies, 3 Idiots, looks at things from various perspectives of diverse students. Whether it is someone who believes in ‘following your passion’ and not grinding away at textbooks to get high grades, or someone hoping to simply earn money to give their family a better life – this movie is an inside look into the perspectives of students.
Using an engineering college as the main location, audiences are taken into the minds of students struggling with their own personal pressures along with that of the educational system. Aamir Khan’s character, Rancho, offers several pearls of wisdom in this movie including the popular ‘All izz well’ , a simple yet effective way of dealing with life’s stressful moments.
3. Lakshya (2004)
Dealing with confusion, late nights and a party attitude is something a lot of young adults can identify with. At this age the world is your oyster and most people feel invincible. This movie takes us on a journey with Karan (Hrithik Roshan), a rich college student with no particular aim or ambition. He joins the army on a whim after watching a movie but quits when the going gets tough.
With his family and girlfriend losing all respect for him, Karan decides to re-join the army as a way of proving his mettle. From here on the movie shows us that grit and determination are there in everyone and can get you through the toughest times if you stay on your path, making it one of the best motivational movies in Hindi. The personal growth of the main lead also adds to the appeal of the story, making it one of the top motivational movies in Bollywood.
4. Dangal (2016)
Using the world of wrestling as a backdrop, this movie takes audiences through an inspiring journey of female wrestling in a male-dominated world and one man’s vision for a change. The movie begins by introducing audiences to Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former wrestler, who gave up his dream for life’s sensible choices of a job to earn money.
He decided he would help his son fulfil his dream only to be blessed with daughters. Seeing the spark in them he decides to train his daughters. The movie reveals a mix of emotions and family dynamics while having a true message of strength, will power and determination. Breaking through gender barriers, this movie seeks to inspire people to overcome the common obstacles that stand in the way of their dreams. Also, being based on a true story makes it one of the best Bollywood motivational movies.
5. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
A classic tale of good over bad and hard work and determination over easy success, this movie is on every list for the best motivational movies in Hindi. This movie revolves around the bonds of a family, love, friendship and the value of hard work. Sanju (Aamir Khan) is the younger care-free brother of Ratan (Mamik), the older responsible brother.
While Ratan believes in hard work, Sanju looks for every shortcut to success. The central plotline revolves around an inter-college cycling race that Ratan wins every year. Before this race, Shekhar (Deepak Tijori) and his other rich buddies at a rival college decide to tip the odds in their favour by injuring Ratan. What follows is Sanju coming into his own and standing up for his family in an epic race.
6. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
The care-free college days can seem a distance away when life’s serious concerns come our way as we grow older. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is one of the best motivational movies in Hindi as it looks at the beauty of life and how nothing is ever as serious as we make it out to be.
From sorting out long-held differences between friends to finding love when it is least expected and ultimately racing with the bulls, this is one of the best motivational movies in Bollywood that will gear you up for anything life throws at you.
7. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
A movie based on a true story that makes it all the more motivational, this is the real-life story of Milkha Singh, also known as the Flying Sikh. The film takes us through the journey of Milkha Singh who fought life’s biggest tragedies such as losing his family and surviving the partition to emerge as one of India’s greatest athletes.
While Milkha became a world champion runner and Olympian, the movie also showcases moments of vulnerability and defeat and how they shaped him into the man he became. Portraying that failure is always a part of success and everything can be a learning opportunity, this is easily one of the best motivational movies in Bollywood.
8. Taare Zameen Par (2007)
In a world where everyone was striving to fit-in with others and being different was just weird came the tale of a child with dyslexia and a teacher who looked through the obstacles to see his true potential. One of the top motivational movies in Bollywood, it revolves around Ishaan (Darsheel Safari) who is labelled as the lazy trouble-maker by his dad because of his poor grades and weak concentration.
In a fit of rage the dad decides to send Ishaan to boarding school where he hopefully learns some discipline. However, in reality, Ishaan is a dyslexic child who is actually an artistic genius. While most of the world failed to see this, driving Ishaan deep into the shadows, one teacher Ram (Aamir Khan) recognises his pitfall for what it actually is and helps Ishaan realise his true potential. This movie is a must watch for anyone looking to carve their own path and stop competing with others.