"Aditya showed us what falling in love, respect, and family values are“
Heart-warming and inspiring Indian family movies continue to be popular amongst film fans.
Family contextual films made in India are hilarious, nostalgic and uplifting, spanning several decades.
Some Indian family movies appeal more to adults, with others targeting the entire family, including young children.
Indian family movies are also made up of different genres. These include romantic, comedy, musicals and road trip.
All the finest stars from Bollywood feature in these films, with some of the movies having a strong female presence.
We take a closer look at 15 of the best Indian family movies, which everyone will enjoy to watch when staying at home:
Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Stars: Rajesh Khanna, Jaya Bhaduri, Harindranath Chattopadhyay, Usha Kiran, AK Hangal, Asrani
Bawarchi is a family musical comedy-drama, which begins with commentator Amitabh Bachchan introducing residents of Shanti Niwas.
The film spotlights the bickering Sharma family, with the bizarre Daduji (Harindranath Chattopadhyay), heading the family.
The family have an ill reputation, especially with them not being able to retain any chef for a long time due to mistreatment.
Therefore, no-cook wishes to seek employment at their home. But then suddenly out of the blue, the brave Raghu (Rajesh Khanna), is employed as a chef at their house.
Cherishing the challenge, Raghu quickly makes a positive impression with every person living in Shanti Niwas.
He also puts a stop to the in-house differences, building a consensus amongst the family members.
With Raghu completing his mission, the narrator tells the viewers that he is travelling “to a new home.”
Additionally, there are many pivotal charcaters in the film. Krishna Sharma (Jaya Bhaduri), Shobha Sharma ‘Choti Maa’ (Usha Kiran), Ramnath Sharma ‘Munna’ (AK Hangal) and Vishwanath Sharma ‘Bubbu’ (Asrani) are a few to metion.
Bawarchi was a huge success, becoming the eighth highest-grossing film of 1972.
Chupke Chupke (1975)
Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Stars: Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Om Prakash, Asrani
Chupke Chupke is one of the best Indian family movies from Bollywood, featuring a big star line up.
All the fun to this film begins after Dr Parimal Tripathi/Pyare Mohan Allahbadi (Dharmendra) marries Sulekha Chaturvedi (Sharmila Tagore).
Their after he plays a big prank on his wife’s brother-in-law, Raghavendra Sharma (Om Prakash).
His wife and close friends, Professor Sukumar Sinha (Amitabh Bachchan) and Prashant Kumar Srivastava (Asrani) also support him with this practical joke.
In the midst of the all comedy, Sukumar falls in love with Vasudha Kumar (Jaya Bachchan). She is the sister-in-law of Srivastava.
The climax of the film shows Sukumar marrying Vasudha and Raghavendra finding out the truth.
This film was also shown on Indian state broadcaster Doordharshan. Encouraging people to stay indoors and not go out looking at the February 1980 solar eclipse was the main reason behind the screening.
This film is certainly a good distraction from a lockdown situation.
Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Stars: Rekha, Rakesh Roshan, Ashok Kumar, Dina Pathak, Aradhana
Khoobsurat is a family comedy film where Rekha as Manju Dayal steals the show.
The film centres around how Nirmala Gupta (Dina Pathak) dictates affairs in her household and family.
Despite family members disliking the authoritative manner of Nirmala, they do respect her guidance to keep in her good books.
However, Nirmala’s grip on the family loosens when her second son marries Anju (Aaradhana). She is the daughter of wealthy widower Ram Dayal (David).
Anju’s young sister Manju then arrives at the Gupta family home to spend a few days with them.
Without the exception of Nirmala, all the family, including Dwarka Prasad Gupta (Ashok Kumar) develop an instantly liking to Manju.
In fact, Inder Gupta (Rakesh Roshan) expresses his interest to marry Manju. But with Manju not happy about Nirmala bossing everyone around, she goes about making some changes.
With Manju saving the life of Dwarka Prasad, Nirmala finally accepts her. With the blessings of Nirmala, Inder and Manju become husband and wife at the end.
Khoobsurat did well at the box office, receiving critical acclaim. Rekha picked up ‘Best Actress’ at the 28th Filmfare Awards in 1981.
From kids to adults, Khoobsurat will appeal to most families.
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Saeed Jaffrey, Supriya Pathak, Jugal Hansraj, Urmila Matondkar, Aradhana Srivastav
Masoom is a melodrama revolving around DK Malhotra (Naseeruddin Shah) and his family.
DK enjoys a good life with his wife Indu (Shabana Azmi) and two daughters, Rinky (Urmila Matondkar) and Minni (Aradhana Srivastav).
However, the atmosphere at home changes when he fetches his son Rahul (Jugal Hansraj) from a boarding school.
Complications emerge after Indu comes to know that Rahul is DK’s illegitmate child, courtesy of his infidelity with the terminally ill Bhavna (Supriya Pathak).
With Bhavna sadly passing away, DK has to take responsibility of Rahul. This initially results in tension between Indu and Rahul, as well as arguments with DK.
But with the passage of time, Indu finally comes around to accepting Rahul. Subsequently, she also lets go of DK’s past.
Suri (late Saeed Jaffrey) portrays the kind friend of DK in the film.
Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur made his debut as a director with this film. The movie also earnt five Filmfare Awards in 1984, including ‘Best Film Critics’ and ‘Best Actor.’
Masoom is among the top Indian family movies from the 80s.
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Director: Sooraj Barjatya
Stars: Salman Khan, Bhagyashree, Alok Nath, Rajiv Verma, Reema Lagoo, Ajit Vachani, Mohnish Bahl
Maine Pyar Kiya is a family musical film, focusing on a rich boy romance with a poor girl.
Small time mechanic Karan (Alok Nath) has to go overseas for business,. Thus, he leaves his daughter Suman (Bhagyashree) at the house of his entrepreneur friend, Kishan Kumar Choudhary (Rajiv Verma).
Prem Choudhary (Salman Khan), the son of Kishan wishes to marry Suman (Bhagyashree), after the two fall in love.
However, Jeevan (Mohnish Bahl), the son of Kishan’s business associate Ranjeet (late Ajit Vachani), is a big stumbling block for the two lovers.
Prem’s mother, Kaushalya Choudhury (Reema Lagoo) is happy with Suman as her future daughter in-law. But Kishan is not willing to accept her.
When Karan arrives back, Kishan maligns him for hatching a plan with his daughter to lure Prem.
After degrading them, Karan and Suman head back to their home in the village. The unhappy Prem feels uncomfortable being far from Suman. Hence, in pursuit of his love, Prem follows them to the country.
Upon the arrival of Prem, Karan remains angry following the humiliation from Kishan. He clearly lays the cards out to Prem, informing him that he can only marry Suman if he becomes financially independent.
Prem laboriously works away with resolve and bravery, earning enough money to convince Suman’s father that he can support her.
Prem also then escapes potential death, after Jeevan and his accomplices attempt to kill him.
With Prem pleading to Karan, Suman’s father realises the hardships that he has undertaken and develops a soft spot for him.
Hence, Karan gives consent to the marriage of the two lovebirds.
In the end, Prem, Karan and Kishan become a joint force, saving Suman from the brutal Jeevan.
Furthermore, Karan and Kishan reignite their friendship, as Prem and Suman tie the knot.
Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)
Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Stars: Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla, Sharok Bharucha, Kunal Khemu, Baby Ashrafa, Dalip Tahil, Navneet Nishan
Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke is a family entertainment movie starring Aamir Khan (Rahul Malhotra) and Juhi Chawla (Vyjayanti Iyer) in the lead roles.
The story spins around Rahul, who becomes the guardian of his late sister’s naughty children.
Rahul has to care for two nephews, Vicky (Sharok Bharucha) and Sunny (Kunal Khemu), along with his niece Munni (Baby Ashrafa).
Bijlani (Dalip Tahil) wants to seize power of Rahul’s family business, which is in debt.
The tormentous Bijlani reconsiders his evil intentions understanding that Rahul will tie the knot with his daughter Maya (Navneet Nishan).
In the midst of his difficult life, Vyjaynati, a Tamil girl escapes home to avoid marriage. She lands herself as an unwanted guest at Rahul’s residence.
However, with the kids liking Vyjayanti and their uncle unable to cope alone with them, Rahul hires her as their governess.
Soon after, love flourishes between Rahul and Vyjayanti. The film has a happy ending, with Rahul managing to salvage the family business from a potential takeover.
He also enters into wedlock with Vyjayanti in a traditional South Indian ceremony.
Aamir’s late father Tahir Hussain was the producer of the film, with Mahesh Bhatt taking the director’s chair.
Hum Aapke Hai Koun…! (1994)
Director: Sooraj Barjatya
Stars: Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Mohnish Bahl, Pooja Choudhury
Helmed by famous director Sooraj Bartajya, Hum Aaapke Hai Koun…! (HAHK) is a romantic musical drama.
Salman Khan (Prem Nath) and Madhuri Dixit (Nisha Choudhury) lead the way in this film, celebrating Indian family wedding traditions.
The love story of Prem and Nisha blossoms when the two meet during the wedding festivities of their elder siblings.
Prem is the younger brother of Rajesh Nath (Mohnish Bahl), with Pooja Choudhury (Renuka Shahane) being the elder sister to Nisha.
Despite two families being happy, the sudden death of Pooja has a direct impact on Prem and Nisha getting together.
Consequently, the film highlights the element of sacrifice for one’s family.
HAHK, won ‘Best Actress’, ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Director’ at the 40th Filmfare Awards in 1995.
With HAHK, viewers can expect beautiful dialogues, plenty of comedy romance, along with lovely songs.
Dilwalwe Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Director: Aditya Chopra
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal, Anupam Kher, Farida Jalal
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayege also familiar as DDLJ is an all-time romantic Indian film.
Falling under the Yash Raj Banner, DDLJ is the longest running film in the history of Indian cinema. The premise of the film is “Come, Fall in Love.”
DDLJ focuses on Raj Malhotra (Shah Rukh Khan) and Simran Singh (Kajol). The two NRI individals fall in love when vacationing in Europe.
Indian people relate to this film because it beautifully shows the dichotomy many lovers face. Simran is torn between family values and following her heart.
Simran eventually has to win over her father Chaudhrhy Baldev Singh (late Amrish Puri) to finally be with Raj.
Lajwanti ‘Lajjo’ Singh (Simran’s mother: Farida Jalal), Dharamvir Malhotra (Anupam Kher: Raj’s popsy) and Kuljeet Singh (Simran’s fiancée: Parmeet Sethi) are the other key characters in the film.
Praising the director and main themes of the film, a IMDb user writes:
“With DDLJ, Aditya showed us what falling in love, respect, and family values are all about. “
This movie has it all – be it romance, comedy, beautiful settings, evergreen songs and great dialogues. DDLJ is one of the greatest Indian family movies ever. It is a must watch with all the family.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
Director: Karan Johar
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Sana Saeed, Farida Jalal
Karan Johar made his directorial debut with the romcom musical, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai also known as KKHH.
The film tells the story of three college campus friends, Rahul Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan), Anjali Sharma (Kajol) and Tina Khanna (Rani Mukerji).
The film initially develops as a love triangle. Anjali loves Rahul, but he has more strong feelings for Tina. But shortly after the marriage of Rahul and Tina, tragedy strikes.
Prior to her sad demise, Tina leaves her daughter, Anjali Khanna some letters. The letters from Tina request Anjali to reunite her father with his former best friend.
With the help of her grandmother, Savitha Khanna (Rahul’s widowed mother: Farida Jalal), Anjali succeeds in her quest to bring together Rahul and his former lover.
Salman Khan also has a special cameo appearance in the film, playing Aman Mehra (ex-fiancé of Anjali Sharma).
Describing it as a “great movie”, a reviewer on Amazon writes:
“A generally good all round family film for the kids as well as the older audience.”
The film also went on to bag several top Filmfare Awards at the 44th ceremony that took place in 1999.
Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Director: Farhan Akthar
Stars: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Dimple Kapadia, Ayub Khan
Dil Chahta Hai is a very mature yet youthful film, highlighting contemporary India. Farhan Akhtar made his directorial debut with this film.
The film follows the lives of three best college friends, Akash Malhotra (Aamir Khan), Sameer Mulchandani (Saif Ali Khan) and Siddharth ‘Sid’ Sinha (Akshaye Khanna).
The trio are very different in their personalities. The movie illustrates the trials and tribulations of the three. They try to sustain their friendship, whilst falling in love.
Their friendship is put to the test when Sid becomes involved with an older woman, named Tara Jaiswal (Dimple Kapadia).
Shalini (Preity Zinta) who is the love interest of Akash has to choose between him and her dominating fiancée Rohit (Ayub Khan).
This movie is a feel good film. Stunning songs, amazing dialogues and great acting are the successful ingredients of this film.
The family aspect also plays an important role in the film. The film presents itself in a very beautiful and charming way.
With the film being timeless, the audience will enjoy watching it on many occasions.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001)
Director: Karan Johar
Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (KKKK) is a family drama film, comprising an all-star cast.
The film shows Yashvardhan ‘Yash’ Raichand disapproving the union of his adopted son Rahul Raichand (Shah Rukh Khan) with Anjali Sharma (Kajol)
Yash is not happy because Anjali comes from a lower socio-economic background. A defiant Rahul goes ahead with the marriage and moves to the UK, despite his father’s objection.
As a result, Yash effectively disowns Rahul. The departure of Rahul makes his mother, Nandini Raichand (Jaya Bachchan) very unhappy. The two share a very close bond with each other.
However, years later, Rohan Raichand (Hrithik Roshan) the biological son of Yash and Nandini heads for London in an effort to patch up things between Rahul and his dad.
In a bid to reunite with the family, Rohan falls in love with Anjali’s younger sister Pooja ‘Poo’ Sharma (Kareena Kapoor).
Despite the climax having some powerfully emotional scenes, the film finishes on a happy note.
The film has everything from stellar performance to romance, comedy and catchy tracks. KKKK is definitely a must watch with the family.
Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Director: Nikkhil Advani
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan, Jaya Bachchan
Kal Ho Na Ho (KHNH) is a cute rom-com drama film set in the backdrop of New York City.
The directional debut of Nikkhil Advani shows a love story with a difference. Naina Catherine Kapur (Preity Zinta) is in love with Aman Matharu (Shah Rukh Khan) after he solves her family issues.
However, with Aman having a heart ailment, he is fearful of not being able to reciprocate the feelings of Naina.
Hence, Aman then comes up with a plan to set up Rohit Patel (Saif Ali Khan) with Naina, knowing that he also likes her.
Jennifer Kapur (Jaya Bachchan: Naina’s mother) is also another important character in the film.
Promoting Indian family values, Advani describes the film, saying:
“The story [is] of a family which is bogged down with a lot of problems. [Aman] solves all their problems and makes them realise how their problems are not as big as they are perceived to be.”
KHNH is an adorable film with lots of wonderful moments, great acting and fun-filled songs.
Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006)
Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Stars: Anupam Kher, Navin Nischol, Boman Irani, Parvin Das, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Tara Sharma
Khosla Ka Ghosla is a family comedy drama, marking the directorial debut of Dibakar Banerjee.
The film shows how Kamal Kishore Khosla (Anupam Kher) from Delhi reluctantly schemes a plan to regain his land back from the deceitful property dealer Kishen Khurana (Boman Irani).
The retired middle class man executes the plan with the support of family and friends.
Other cast members in the film include late Navin Nischol (Bapu/Mr Sethi), Parvin Dabas (Chiraunji Lal ‘Cherry’ Khosla) Vinay Pathak (Asif Iqbal), Ranvir Shorey (Balwant ‘Bunty’ Khosla) and Tara Sharma (Meghna).
Sudhish Kamath from The Hindu cites this film as one of his 10 best films from the 2000-2009 decade, stating:
“Dibakar Banerjee and Sahni on a shoestring budget chose to bat for the common man’s struggle against the powerful and reunited the individual self back with the family.”
The film also comprises the famous song ‘Chak De Patthey,’ featuring Irani and Kher.
Khosla Ka Ghosla collected a National Film Award for ‘Best Feature Film in Hindi’ at the 54th edition of the coveted ceremony.
Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Director: Aamir Khan
Cast: Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary
The family drama, Taare Zameen Par (2007) marked the directional debut of Aamir Khan.
Aamir also plays the key character of Ram Shankar Nikumbh, a passionate and instrumental art teacher. He comes to the rescue of a dyslexic child named, Ishan Nandkishore Awasthi (Darsheel Safary).
Most important, Ram brings out the artistic talents of Ishan after his parents misunderstand him and send him to a boarding school.
Eventually Ishaan’s parents come to realise that their son is not a lazy student as they initially thought.
Through his role, Aamir shows that achievement is possible with a bit of patience and compassion. Aamir makes an interesting observation in context to the film, expressing:
“Out here it’s a merciless, competitive world where everyone wants to breed toppers and rankers.
“Each child has unique skills, capabilities and dreams. But no, everyone’s hell bent on pulling and stretching to make each finger long. Go ahead, even if the finger breaks.”
Taare Zameen Par won a National Film Award under the category of ‘Best Film on Family Welfare.’
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Starring: Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan
Piku is a family comedy road-trip drama, reflecting the relationship of Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) and his daughter, Piku Banerjee (Deepika Padukone).
The easily angered title character looks after her senior and temperamental dad who frequently experiences chronic constipation.
Piku who is an architect by profession, lives with her Bengali father in Delhi. One day Bhaskor becomes livid when Piku reveals her intentions to sell their Kolkata family home.
As a result, Bhashkor make the decision to head for Kolkata. Unable to go alone, Piku also travels with him.
Bhashkor is particularly fearful that traveling by air may distrupt his bowel movements.
Hence, the father and daughter hire Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan Khan), a taxi firm owner to take them by road.
Will the the eccentric Bhashkor continue to drive everyone crazy? Watch the film to see how the story unfolds.
Complimenting the film, Gayatri Sankar from Zee News, writes: “In totality, Piku is a wonderful family film, which will certainly make you wear a broad smile.”
Deepika picked up ‘Best Actress,’ whilst Big B bagged ‘Best Actor – Critics’ at the 61st Filmfare Awards in 2016.
Veteran actress Moushumi Chatterjee also has an interesting part, playing Chhobi Mashi. Piku is an enjoyable family film with plenty of washroom humour.
There are also many other hit Indian family movies, which did not make our list. They include Do Bigha Zameen (1953), Andaz Apna Apna (1994), Lagaan (2001), 3 Idiots (2009) English Vinglish (2012) and Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015).
All the Indian family movies in our list of 15 are perfect for some entertainment and leisurely viewing.
So if any of these Indian family movies tickle your fancy, watch them during lockdown.