All in Indian

Farhan Akhtar's DIL CHAHTA HAI

This refreshing Indian movie, released in 2001, follows three college buddies through love and career experiences in India and Australia. Along they way they fall in love, experience despair and loss, travel constantly by air and by car, experience the delights of carefree youth, have arguments, wear trendy clothes and hairstyles, and do a lot of (delightful) singing and dancing.
This epic film by Santosh Sivan (The Terrorist) follows the historic emperor Asoka as he brutally unites ancient India through warfare, then recants and proselytizes Buddhist philosophy after seeing the errors of his power hungry ways. His road is littered with broken hearts, family infighting, murder, massive battles, and tragedy.
The theme of this movie is religious intolerance. What starts out as “forbidden love” between a small-town Hindu boy and Muslim girl becomes a horror story as they take their “forbidden love” to the big city, Bombay. There they land right in the middle of the vicious religious cultural riots of 1992-1993.

Ram Gopal Varma's COMPANY

That the life of crime can be portrayed as glamorous, dangerous, brutal, and ultimately as pointless is something we in the West have grown accustomed to. We have films like THE GODFATHER and GOODFELLAS that reinforce that as they simultaneously attract and repel us.

Mani Ratnam's DIL SE

First I popped in the DVD and selected the “play all songs” options. Wow. I have never seen a song-and-dance production number like the one that takes place on the top of the moving train (“Chaiyya Chaiyya”). My daughter wondered, “How many people died making this?” The rest of the musical numbers are quite interesting, a mix of romance and action, including one sequence with plentiful fire and explosions.