Any Indian movies that are NOT musicals?

Bollywood films are growing in popularity, but it seems like all of them – not the majority, or most of them, but all – are musicals. Even when there’s not much music throughout the rest of the film, there will always be several points in a movie where things are normal, and then it’s ♪♬ जगत भर की रोशनी के लिये ♪♬ सूरज रे तू जलते रहना ♪♬ for what seems like no determinable reason.

So, are there Indian movies that are NOT musicials; that is, it’s just normal acting without people breaking out into song and/or dance, period? There must be, but are any of them even going to be available at my local library or Blockbuster?

Monsoon Wedding

Yes, but from what I understand they are the equivalent of US “art house” movies. An Indian friend explained that there is essentially no pop music in India that is not from a movie soundtrack.

I have seen Bollywood movies that have had less music. Drona only had 4 numbers (I think), and I was disappointed.

I saw Fire fairly recently - no singing and dancing in that one. I’d recommend it. (I mean, I like my singing and dancing too, just not necessarily in the middle of my heart-wrenching lesbian drama.)

Water. I doubt it was popular in India, though (there were mass protests about it)

One of the greatest directors in the history of cinema was Satyajit Ray. Try to find his Apu Trilogy. It won’t be easy to find, but it will be well worth it.

The Bandit Queen

Uh…I have a stupid question. Are Bollywood DVD’s subtitled in English? I assume that they must be, but whenever I’m in an Indian restaurant or market, whatever is playing on the TV set never has subtitles turned on, so I’m wondering. For some strange reason I frequently find the music and dancing oddly mesmerizing, and I’d even be willing to rent one now and then, but I’d sure like to know what they’re saying.

Yes. India has one of the highest English literacy rates of any non-English-speaking country, and it serves as the common language of a nation that has 22 major languages, and hundreds of minor ones. All of the Bollywood films I’ve seen in US theaters have had English subtitles.

Do rent some. There have been threads here where people have asked for Bollywood recommendations.

Many of the titles cited above aren’t “Bollywood” movies, as such. Bollywood has become a catch-all term to include Hindi movies made by the (major) production houses in Mumbai, India - the original connotation of ‘Bollywood’ - as well as productions with a cast/crew predominantly of Indian origin dealing usually with Indian topics, but not necessarily in Hindi or made by a Mumbai production co. Many films by Deepa Mehta or Mira Nair or some of Shekhar Kapoor’s fall into the latter category and are not exactly Bollywood. Satyajit Ray’s films aren’t Bollywood.

To answer the OP, Bollywood movies without songs are rare. The first couple that spring to mind are Khamosh, New Delhi Times. The newly released A Wednesday has no songs. There are a few more, but none come readily to mind.

That’s not true. There are plenty of Indian pop bands whose songs have no connection to movie soundtracks.

Indian Ocean
Shaan (and his sister)
Or, you know, you could just go to

Mainstream Bollywood movies that are not musicals? Hmm; I can’t think of any offhand, I must admit. The musical has always been the staple of mainstream Indian cinema, in whatever language.

This amused me very much; not least, I suppose, because I can read it. My mother was a huge fan of old Hindi movies, and I’ve picked up a love of songs from that time from her.