Sad Hindi movies are prolific in the issues they tackle. Prior to the division of India and Pakistan, Indian films have covered its tensions and impact on locals. The turn of the century and access to new technology, Hindi films have also shifted and covered contemporary topics, including immigration.
“Devdas” This is one of the saddest Hindi films ever produced, a sorrowful tale of love. Cinema legend Shah Rukh Khan plays the title role of Devdas Mukherjee, a man from a rich and powerful family whose parents forbade him to marry the woman he loves belonging to a lower caste. Unable to be with her, he succumbs into a life of vice and self-destruction.
“Kal Ho Naa Ho” Translated as “Tomorrow May Not Come,” the film is set in New York and centers on friendship, love and sacrifices. Naina is a beautiful Indian woman whose affections for her friend Rohit shifts upon meeting Aman, a new neighbor. The three then get caught in a heartbreaking tale of altruism and unrequited love in this sad Hindi movie released in 2003. The scene between Aman and Naina is a deeply heartbreaking moment.
“Earth 1947” Part two of Deepa Mehta's “Elements” trilogy, this is set in Lahore prior to the partition of Pakistan and India, a sad story of friendship between friends from different religions, Muslim and Hindu, and the tragedy that ensues in the face of creating two independent nations. Its political, religious and cultural overtones make it a compelling piece of Indian cinema.
“Mission Kashmir” This sad Hindi movie about revenge shows the futility of war. Altaaf was orphaned as a boy when his parents were murdered by police officers, with the murderer adopting him soon after. He grows up with a burning desire to seek vengeance. Hrithik Roshan as the vengeful Altaaf has impressed both critics and fans alike.
“Tere Naam” Salman Khan gained much recognition in this film as Radhe Mohan, a man from a lower caste and with a violent temper. He falls in love with Nirjara who is betrothed to someone else. An incident causes Radhe to lose his mind, unraveling the lives of everyone involved.
“Sholay”Translated as “Fire,” “Sholay” is a tragic Hindi movie of Machiavellian proportions. A local policeman recruits two thieves to end the tyranny of a man named Gabbar Singh. Fans have called Amitabh Bachchan’s dying scene in the movie as one of the saddest in Indian cinema. This is a Hindi cinema classic.
“Dil Se” Shah Rukh Khan plays Amarkanth Varma, a radio reporter sent to a small village to cover an event. Along the way he meets and falls in love with Meghna, only to have her disappear for a long time. This Hindi movie is a sad tale of terrorism and lost love, a story that rings true even today.
“Fanaa” This Hindi film focuses on the choices we face and that choosing between acts of good and evil are not always simple. Zooni, a blind woman from Kashmir, meets a lothario, Rehan. An affair soon follows only to have tragic repercussions. This Hindi movie incited proest in the Indian state Gujarat as fans objected to Aamir Khan's role in the film.
“Mother India” A sad Hindi movie released in 1957, this is a story of history repeating itself and the evilness of greed. Set in a small Indian town, Sukhilala is the local moneylender whose time comes to an end when villagers bond together. Its strong nationalistic tone and tale of the basic human flaw makes this one of the best pieces of Indian cinema made in the 1950s.
“Salaam Namaste” Melbourne, Australia is home to a large India migrant population. “Salaam Namaste” focuses on the diaspora and the sadness and other tribulations encountered by people trying to set roots in a new land. The film's theme of immigration and adapting to a new homeland is a story of contemporary times.