There comes a time in everyone’s lives where everything that we’d previously known and believed is challenged. How we deal with these challenges and mature into fuller human beings can be considered our coming of age.
Over the past several years, Bollywood has delivered some exceptional films that beautifully capture this crucial but nerve-wracking phase in people’s lives. Here are five coming of age movies that Bollywood got right:1. Wake Up Sid
This movie cemented Ranbir Kapoor’s status as the posterboy of coming-of-age cinema. Sid, our titular character goes through life as someone who’s believed to be wasting all their potential, having been raised in the shadow and protection of his parents. But reality strikes him and he’s forced to confront his sheltered upbringing when he meets Aisha, a writer, driven to make her dreams come true. Real life isn’t easy, and it can often get overwhelming. But we have to step up to the challenge and seize the day, that’s what Wake Up Sid teaches us.2. Lakshya
Starring a young Hrithik Roshan as Karan Shergill, an aloof but kind-hearted youngster who doesn’t have any particular passions, thanks to a limited outlook on life, Lakshya is a movie that inspires every youngster to reach their full potential regardless of how difficult it gets. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The soundtrack of the film was iconoclastic, from Mai Aisa Kyu Hoon to Lakshya, we get to witness our protagonist’s evolution from being a confused youngster to a driven, mature and sensible adult.3. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
A cult classic, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara changed the way the youth of India saw themselves growing up. It was a guidebook on exploring ourselves through exploring the world and relationships. We’ve all got this one life to live, and ZNMD inspires us to live our best version of it.4. Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Yet another Ranbir Kapoor movie in a listicle featuring coming-of-age movies? Not much to be surprised by here. A different take on a love story, Bunny and Naina have feelings for each other, but the timing’s never right as he prioritises his vocation and his wanderlust, while the more grounded Naina focuses on her medical practice and her need to be around family. After several ‘will they, won’t they’ moments, Ranbir Kapoor’s character, Bunny decides to make his life work around his love for Naina.5. Rang De Basanti
If there’s ever been a movie that single-handedly changed the way the youth of the country related to patriotism, it has to be Rang De Basanti. Inspiring the culture of India Gate Protests among the masses as well as standing up for what is right, regardless of the oppressor, RDB helped us look beyond ourselves in order to do what’s best for the country.
Whenever I have a bad day, I put on one of these movies and remind myself that there’s always a way to break the monotony of life. So can you. Let us know which are your go-to coming-of-age films in the comments below.