These romantic Bollywood films can really ignite the senses and get you in the mood for love.
Bollywood romance is truly like no other.
Heart-wrenching drama, cheesy yet touching dialogues, death-defying stunts to preserve a young woman’s honour and extraordinary exclamations of everlasting love.
And we haven’t even got to the musical dance numbers yet!
In honour of all things romance, DESIblitz presents some of our favourite romantic Bollywood films ever.
An undying classic, the film follows the legend of Anarkali, a young and beautiful courtesan, who falls for a Mughal Prince.
Their forbidden love creates a rift between Prince Salim and his father, Emperor Akbar, who sends him to war. After losing the battle Salim is sentenced to death, but Anarkali gives herself up in his place.
Perhaps what makes this film even more special is the real-life romance between heartthrob Dilip Kumar and the stunning Madhubala, which was also forced to a tragically abrupt end.
Kabhi Kabhie (1976)
Featuring the iconic love song ‘Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein’, this film has all the flavours of tragic romance, family relations, and old and young lovers torn apart.
An all star cast, it sees Amit (Amitabh Bachchan) in the role of a poet who is torn away from his muse Pooja (Rakhee) as she is married to Vijay (Shashi Kapoor).
The story continues into the next generation as their respective children, Vikram (Rishi Kapoor) and Pinky (Neetu Singh), fall in love and reunite former flames.
Notorious for its love triangle between Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri and Rekha which was rumoured to exist in real life, Silsila touches on unrequited love between Amitabh and Rekha.
The pair who meet at a young age have been forced apart due to family tragedy and end up marrying other people. Later they find themselves yearning for each other and undergo an affair with some brutal consequences.
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
Loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, QSQT features Aamir Khan (Raj) and Juhi Chawla (Rashmi) who fall in love despite being from disputing families.
The pair disobey their parents and elope but Rashmi’s father sends henchmen to kill Raj, while deceiving his daughter and telling her to come home. Rashmi eventually finds Raj captured and will do all she can to save him, even giving up her own life.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
It seems pointless to have a Bollywood film list and not mention what is considered by many cinephiles as one of the greats.
Starring the King of Romance, Shahrukh Khan opposite a timid and innocent Kajol, the pair quickly became our favourite jodi of all time: Raj and Simran.
Representing a new age of cinema in Bollywood, DDLJ was certainly ahead of its time. To this day, DDLJ is considered an epic love story and no other film has been able to surpass it.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
This is the film that made us fall in love with the idea of Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai for the first time.
It follows the story of Nandini who falls for Sameer but is betrothed to another.
Finding out that his wife is in love with another, Valraj (Ajay Devgn) decides to reunite her with Sameer. In the end though Nandini realises that her husband is her true love.
The tragic story of Devdas and Paro has long been adored by romantics everywhere.
What made this version an epic was the stunning art direction, costume design and complex dance sequences.
SRK’s realistic portrayal of a lost and broken-hearted drunkard, teamed with Aishwarya’s sweet innocence, and Madhuri’s sensual yet kind heart truly made this film an instant classic.
Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Another Shahrukh and Karan Johar modern love story, KHNH continued to cement King Khan’s reign as the Romance maestro with some unbeatable dialogues.
What makes this film unique and utterly lovable is the way heart-patient SRK brings together two friends, Naina (Preity Zinta) and Rohit (Saif Ali Khan), showing how friendship is the first step to love:
“Pyar ka pehla kadam dosti hai, aur aakhri bhi … bus beech ke kadam reh gaye hain.”
Truly emotional stuff, one of the most heart-wrenching moments is when on his death bed, SRK asks Naina’s little sister Gia: “Will you marry me…please?”
While there have been many films touching on cross-border love, none quite tugs at our heartstrings as Veer-Zaara.
The film deals with the cruel aftermath of forbidden love. A modern day Anarkali, Indian Veer has been in prison for 20 years for falling in with a Pakistani girl.
The film signifies hope in neverending love and how fate will always bring two lovers back together.
The film also brought to life the haunting unreleased compositions of Madan Mohan, featuring Lata Mangeshkar.
Jab We Met (2007)
The Shahid-Kareena real life jodi seemed perfect while it lasted but as that came to an untimely end, we’re glad we have this film preserved for all time.
Considered one of Kareena’s best character portrayals as the bubbly yet slightly crazy Geet, Shahid truly came to his own as the silently suffering Aditya Kashyap who overcomes his family drama to become a successful businessman.
These romantic films are just a sprinkling of some of the epic Bollywood love stories from over the decades.
Whether single or with a partner, these romantic Bollywood films can really ignite the senses and get you in the mood for love. Grab some tissues and popcorn, and enjoy all things romance, Bollywood style.