Life can be difficult at times, especially during a pandemic. Covid-19 changed our lives in many ways, but the adverse effects it had on our spirits have been damning. While most of us are miserable locked inside our houses, some people have had to face worse outcomes. Needless to say, in times like these, you can always use help. And what better than entertainment that also motivates you to get your life together? These 25 Most Inspirational Bollywood Movies are what you need to lift your spirits.
After getting expelled from his school when he is caught watching an adult film, Rohan returns home to his strict father and a half-brother he did not know anything about. Rohan’s father is abusive, and he wants him to be an engineer despite Rohan’s talent for writing. The film focuses on Rohan’s journey from a boy to a young man.
2. Manjhi: The Mountain Man
When his pregnant wife dies after trying to cross a mountain that all villagers must climb to access medical treatment, Dashrath Manjhi is devastated. Frustrated, Manjhi tries – all by himself – to carve a path out of the mountain.
3. Dear Zindagi
One of the first Indian movies to shed light on mental health issues without making a mockery of them, Dear Zindagi follows the story of Kaira, a cinematographer who seeks therapy after going through a series of unfortunate events. She meets Dr Jehangir “Jug” Khan, who uses unconventional methods to help Kaira find answers to her problems.
A heartwarming tale of grit, bravery, and persistence, Iqbal is the story of a deaf and mute boy who wants to be a cricketer. Despite many hardships, Iqbal begins his training with the help of a local drunkard who once used to be a great cricketer.
Loosely based on the life of immensely successful business tycoon Dhirubhai Ambani, who also happens to be the father of one of the richest men in the world today, Guru focuses on his rags to riches journey. As a bonus, the musical score by AR Rahman is a treat for one’s ears.
Michelle, a girl with visual and hearing disability, decides to graduate college with the help of a relentless teacher, Debraj Sahai, who also happens to be an alcoholic.
7. Chak de India
Kabir Khan’s name has been tarnished as a traitor of the country despite his innocence. To clear his name, the former hockey player decides to train the Indian women’s hockey team and builds them from the ground up, preparing them to play against the toughest teams in the world.
In a heavily taxed Victorian India, a farmer named Bhuvan of Champaner accepts Captain Andrew Russell’s challenge of beating the British at their own game, Cricket. If they win, the villagers shall be exempted from paying taxes for the next three years.
Karan doesn’t know what to do with his life, so he joins the army. However, to his surprise, being a soldier comes with its own set of difficulties, and he decides to quit. When this creates a rift with his girlfriend, he decides to join the army again. The movie shows the journey of Karan’s growth from an aimless boy to an army hero.
10. Rang de Basanti
A young woman named Sue comes to India to make a film on five revolutionary freedom fighters: Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, Ashfaqulla Khan, and Ram Prasad Bismil. She selects a group of young students to play these roles, who, in the process of playing these characters, become immensely inspired by their sacrifices for the nation.
11. Taare Zameen Par
Ishaan is a young child with endless artistic potential who struggles with poor acedmic performance. As a result, his parents send him to boarding school. An empathetic art teacher, Ram, realises that Ishaan suffers from a learning disability called dyslexia, and decides to help him. Taare Zameen Par is one of the most inspirational Bollywood movies, and a must-watch for parents with young children.
Anand is on his last leg in his fight with cancer. When it becomes clear that he will die, he decides to live his final days with zeal. His doctor, Bhaskar, who is a bit of a cynic, feels inspired by Anand’s optimism.
13. Mother India
Radha, a poverty-stricken single mother, suffers through a multitude of trials and tribulations to bring up her two children, without ever sacrificing her moral values.
Mohan is an NRI who works as a project manager at NASA. When he gets a few days off at his job, he travels back to India to meet Kaveri Amma, the nanny who took care of him as a child as he wishes to take her to the US with him. He tracks her back to a village named Charanpur, a backward village in UP. Motivated by the various problems faced by the villagers, Mohan tries to bring reform to the village.
15. Mera Naam Joker
Despite the many heartbreaks and troubles Raju has to suffer through in life, whenever he’s on stage as a clown, he does his best to make people laugh.
In one of the most inspirational Bollywood movies, Neerja offers an insight into the last moments of the life of Neerja Bhanot, who risks her life trying to protect the travellers in a hijacked aircraft. The movie is based on the life of a flight attendant with the same name, who died while saving the passengers on Pan Am Flight 73 in the year 1986.
Based on the real-life story of a Malayali man who lived in Kuwait during its invasion by Iraq, Airlift follows the story of Ranjit Katiyal, an Indian man living in Kuwait who decides to help his stranded countrymen when Iraq invades the country.
18. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Farhan Akhtar doesn’t get enough credit for the brilliant performances he’s delivered throughout his career as an actor. Of course, the multi-talented man is known for his directorial and musical ventures, but even his acting skills are to be appreciated. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag follows the life of Milkha Singh, an athlete who needs to tackle a host of challenges to succeed.
A mute and deaf couple must overcome a number of hurdles to live a dignified life and raise their son successfully despite how society treats them.
After her fiance decides to call off the wedding, the shy and reserved Rani decides to go on her honeymoon trip all by herself. What follows is a journey of self-discovery, ending in Rani realising her true worth.
Amar is devastated to learn that he has a mere couple of months to live, and begins to re-assess his life. He comes up with a bucket-list of things he wants to do, and in the process, finds the true joy of living that he did not have before.
22. English Vinglish
Shashi is a housewife and a caterer who is often bullied by her own family for not knowing English well enough. When she visits New York for her niece’s wedding, she decides to learn the English language, and along the way, discovers her self-worth.
It took a while for Bollywood to jump on the biopic bandwagon, but it created some brilliant movies when it did. Dangal has all the elements that make mainstream Bollywood movies enjoyable, without overdoing any of them. Dangal focuses on the story of Babita Kumari and Geeta Phogat who, with the help of their father Mahavir Phogat, train for competitive wrestling. Dangal is one of the most inspirational Bollywood movies of recent times.
Also read: 11 Best Diaogues From Dangal
After their only son dies in a mugging accident in New York, an elderly couple try to cope with life after the great loss.
25. 3 Idiots
Years after college has ended, Farhan and Raju decide to track down Rancho, an unusually optimistic boy with a refreshing outlook on life, who was their best friend during college. As they begin a journey to find their long-lost friend, the story of their friendship is told through various flashbacks.
Also read: 21 Best Dialogues From 3 Idiots
Did you like our picks for the most inspirational Bollywood movies? Did we miss out any of your favourite ones? Comment below to let us know.