Monsoon has begun in India, with Mumbai and the coastal regions having already received the first of many showers of the season. And in a country that lives and breathes Bollywood, rains have been an essential part of movies. So, to bring in the rainy season full Bollywood style, here are some monsoon films that you must watch – for the rain sequences or simply for the stunning songs and visuals of the Indian cities and towns featured in them! By Anushka Goel
The softly falling drops soak cities in a misty, cloudy cover, making spaces mysterious and grey. Rains – the perfect accompaniment to make a good book better, and a cup of chai more enjoyable. They make a blossoming romance more beautiful and carry whispers of lovers spending time together when there’s no one to watch.
Rains can also be destructive, bringing stories of floods or emotions of pain and hurt. They bring about fear, mystery, anticipation, and more – stirring emotions you never imagined you’d feel. And when it comes to Bollywood, rains depict emotions like none other. From the seductive Tip Tip Barsa Paani to the romantic Tum Se Hi, the playful Idhar Chala Main Udhar Chala and the flirtatious Bhaage Re Mann, Bollywood’s tryst with monsoon goes a long way back. So, if you are looking to enjoy the season with a side of movies, check out these films that will make you fall in love with the rains, all over again!
Monsoon films by Bollywood that depict the varying sides of rains
Wake Up Sid
Just how beautiful can Marine Drive look when soaked in the rain, with a grey haze all over it? Wake Up Sid depicted just that in the closing sequence, when Sid realises that Ayesha is in love with him after reading her article in Mumbai Beat. He reaches Marine Drive, where Ayesha is present, and as the two embrace in the rain, the soulful track Iktara (the male version), plays in the backdrop. The movie and the scene bring about a feeling of love, comfort and home, which make it a must-watch with some hot chai and samosas!
Chameli is the story of a sex worker, Chameli, and a wealthy investment banker, Aman, stranded in an alleyway at night, taking shelter from the Mumbai rains. The film, which is the story of the one night the two spend together, showcases the stark contrast between the worlds they belong to. Chameli is a beautiful, happy woman, while Aman is depressed, not having recovered from the death of his pregnant wife, who was killed a decade ago. As the two meet, the lines between their two worlds are blurred as they learn from each other and help each other out in ways they didn’t imagine. Amid all this, the rains play a central character, changing the mood constantly from mysterious to flirtatious and seductive.
Jab We Met
Jab We Met is another classic Bollywood romance done with a twist – in true Imtiaz Ali style. Aditya and Geet meet on a train, and in a series of adventures, Aditya ends up dropping Geet home – and then elopes with her to reunite her with her lover, Anshuman. Geet teaches a depressed Aditya to live life to the fullest, which he reminisces as he rebuilds his business and reignites his love for music – all the while keeping Geet in his memory, as is seen in the song Tum Se Hi, where he imagines himself dancing in the rain with Geet, who he has fallen in love with by now.
Taal Se Taal Mila is the track that introduces Manav to Mansi, and this is when he starts falling for her. The entire film has a mystical element to it and feelings of rage, pain, and romance are depicted through its music, and while not a monsoon film, this is definitely one that makes use of the season in a creative manner!
Life In A… Metro
Life In A… Metro is a series of short stories all tied together in one way or the other. The film depicts Mumbai and the monsoons in a subtle yet prominent way, showcasing romance, excitement, nervousness and pain through its various scenes and songs. And the film’s music, featuring Pritam and KK, is something we can go back to time and again!
The track Tip Tip Barsa Pani (which was later remade for the 2021 movie Sooryavanshi) speaks of seducing like none other. A saree-clad heroine reducing her lover made crowds go wild when the movie released, and it continues to be among the most passionate renditions of romantic tracks that were ever produced by Bollywood.
Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India
Living in urban cities, most of us often forget what rains are for farmers. Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India depicts just that, with the village farmers waiting in anticipation for the approaching rains, and singing and dancing (the song Ghanan Ghanan) to welcome the clouds, and feeling dejected when they realise that their village may go rain-free, yet again, leading to poor yields and increased debt.
Hum Tum is the story of Karan and Rhea who meet several times over the years, beginning by hating each other until they eventually fall in love. Rain plays a catalyst to their romance, coming into play the moment the two realise they are in love with each other (the song Saanson Ko Saanson Mein) and in the end, when the two meet and confess that they do, in fact, love each other. The softly falling raindrops intensify their chemistry, and if you’re in love with someone, the movie will make you want to call up your partner right away!
Rains are a central character in the horror movie Tumbbad, story of a town cursed with year-round rainfall for worshipping a deity condemned to be forgotten. The rains add to the gloom and mystery on the screen, while making for a striking contrast with the red soil and red hues in the film.
Raavan is one of the monsoon films that makes great use of elements of nature – wind, waterfalls and rain. The rains also depict Ragini’s discomfort and isolation in the wild, when she is kidnapped by Beera, and this, combined with the waterfalls that are next to Beera’s lair, are metaphors enough for his wild, untameable nature.
There’s nothing as fresh as romance on Mumbai’s rain-soaked streets, and the classic Shree 420 showcases the same. The movie is the story of a conman and a simple girl, and how the conman tries to right his wrongs. And the track, Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua remains one of the quintessential Bollywood romance numbers till date!
Hero and Featured Image: A still from the film, Jab We Met