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5 Small Town Romantic Hindi Movies That Will Make Your Heart Skip a Beat!

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The late 1990s’ and early 2000s’ had many Bollywood films that were larger than life. The families portrayed in such films were from the affluent background or settled in metro cities and foreign countries. But in a stark contrast, there has been a rise of films in recent times with stories set in small towns of India and which are closer to reality.

So, here are 5 small town Bollywood films that are worth watching:


Tanu Weds Manu.. Romance, Drama and much more set in Kanpur: Small town Bollywood films
Tanu Weds Manu.. Romance, Drama and much more set in Kanpur: Small town Bollywood films Photo Source

Set in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Tanu Weds Manu tops this list of romantic films set in small towns.  In this film, Madhavan who plays the character of Dr. Manoj or Manu comes from London to meet a girl selected by his parents for marriage. On the other hand, the female lead Tanu played by Kangana Ranaut hails from Kanpur. The character of Tanu is shown to be a girl who is way too modern for the city she resides. Hanging around with boys, drinking alcohol & smoking cigarette is very normal for her. Further, this story would have been a clichéd romantic flick. But the presence of a politically inclined small town boyfriend in Tanu’s life and her confused mind creates some interesting conflicts that are fun to watch.


Rajkumar Rao gave one of his best performances ever: Small town Bollywood films
Rajkumar Rao gave one of his best performances ever: Small town Bollywood films Photo Source *

Even this movie is shot mostly in Lucknow, Allahabad & Kanpur. ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana‘ has a fresh storyline depicting the conflict within the mind of a  girl from a small town where she has to choose between her marriage and career. While on the other hand, the movie shows aspects quite relevant to the males of a small town like handling a career oriented girl, male ego and much more. Well, despite all of these contradictions, it is interesting to see how love blossoms and finally wins. Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Kharbanda have acted exceptionally well as the lead pair in the film.


Small town & coming of age: Small town Bollywood films
Small town & coming of age: Small town Bollywood films Photo Source

The film starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra & Vaani Kapoor was set in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Shudh Desi Romance takes a look into the thought process of the younger generation in small towns with regards to relationships and commitment. The rights and wrongs of this generation have been shown in the film in a light-hearted way


Raanjhana - One sided love story: Small town Bollywood films
Raanjhana – One sided love story: Small town Bollywood films Photo Source

Based in Varanasi, Raanjhnaa explores one-sided love that happens quite often in smaller towns and cities. The film tries to uncover and bring the audience closer to reality with regards to childhood love, religious divide and more. The undying love and sometimes the extent to which one goes to get the love back forms the core of the film.


Ayushman Khurana's small town and a small budget movie that was a super hit also! Small town Bollywood films
Ayushman Khurana’s small town and a small budget movie that was a super hit also! Small town Bollywood films Photo Source

This romantic comedy film is set in Haridwar and has Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar as the leading couple. The film’s story revolves around a boy from a small town who is an underachiever but has a strong inclination towards a group that gets together for daily exercises and more. This boy gets married to Bhumi, a rather plumpy girl who is a match found by his parents. He feels shy accepting her as his wife because of her weight. On the contrary, the girl is well educated and a forward-thinking person. When she feels ridiculed by her husband, Bhumi’s character takes her husband to court for a divorce. Amidst this chaos, there is an annual couple race that the duo is forced to participate in by their families, which eventually brings them closer. The film highlights the evolution of love beyond the cliched perception of beauty in a small town in India.

Which of these films have you seen and tell us which one from this list is your favorite?

(31) Comments

  1. Ranjhanaa was the first movie that I reviewed during my stint in Book my show so it will forever beclose to my heart. Yes, there is something about these movies that uncannily attractive.

  2. My favourite from the above would be दम लगा के हैशा
    Bhumi did such a fab job and love the songs. Good choice of movies.

  3. Noor Anand Chawla says:

    My favourite of all the ones I’ve seen on your list is “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”- it was sensitive and endearing. I also enjoyed “Tanu weds Manu” though I disliked “Ranjhana”. I must watch the others on your list soon! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Farha says:

    It’s so nice to see movies based in small towns doing well. It gives viewers insight into different cultures

  5. I have watched the second and 3rd one, but first and last one are also in my must watch list. These films are really good with amazing plot and acting skill.

  6. My fav is shud Desi n tanu weds manu as in kangana fan and its really unique movie

  7. Abhinav Singh says:

    I have seen all of these movies and loved them. It’s a good sign that the focus is shifting on small towns. It brings alive the food, language, costumes and cultures of the place.

  8. Jhilmil says:

    Oh yes i love some of these too. Also would like to add Bareilley ki barfi to the list from my side. Its a nice watch specially due to the incredible Rajkumar Rao.

  9. Khushboo says:

    Ranjhnana is my favorite too. All other movies are fun to watch too. These movies have beautiful story and plot.

  10. Papri Ganguly says:

    Ranjhanaa and Dum lagake haisha is my favorite too. Like the other 3 movies as well.

  11. These are also some of my favourite movies. I rather watch a simple realistic story with small time actors than the run of the mill Bollywood types.

  12. Omg i watched all of these movies and I equally like each and every movie mentioned here. You brought my memories back, actually. Thanks.

  13. This is a wonderful list. Tanu weds manu is, of course, is one movie i can watch over and over again !

  14. Akanksha says:

    These are some really lovely movies. Ranjhana and tanu weds manu have to be my favourites. I also enjoyed Dum laga k haisha. Great post!

  15. I’ve watched Ranjhana, Tanu weds Manu and dum laga k haisha from the list and really enjoy to the core watching the small town movie

  16. DeepaShri Rajan says:

    I have never watched Hindi movies, but now I order to learn the language too I am seeing Hindi movie and this came as an amazing piece of gift to me. Will surely watch all the movies in the list .

  17. DeepaShri Rajan says:

    I have never watched Hindi movies but now to improve the Hindi skills an watching all these Hindi movies and this cafe to me as gift. I will surely go and watch all these 5 romantic movies. Loved your write up

  18. I love the movie Raanjhnaa and Tanu weds Manu. These movies are so simple and desi kind but love to watch.

  19. Oh, I
    Love dum LAGAke haisha. What an offbeat movie and of course Ayushman is an awesome actor.

  20. I so much love the small town romantic takes, they have some flavour of innocence in them. Tanu weds Manu is my all time favourite.

  21. I enjoy these small town movies. Their stories are quite gripping. Have watched all of these movies and they are fun.

  22. Among all, I like the most one is Dum lagaa ke haisha, the character of both the stars are very sweet, especially girl one

  23. These are some great movies for sure. Small town romantic stories are all time family movies. Tanu weds Manu is my favorite among all.

  24. Except for dum lagakhe haisha i have seen and loved them all. Shudh desi romance has to be my fav coz sushant singh is just sooooo cute.

  25. Ritu Kalra says:

    Have seen all these movies and they are my favourite time pass..they make me fall in love with them each time I watch them..

  26. awesome choices , my favourite is tanu weds manu and dhum laga k hiasha. they make you love and fall in love both at same time

  27. These are some really amazing movies. I loved watching Ranjhana and dum laga k haisha. But I think I can watch tanu weds manu all over again. It’s such a good entertainer!

  28. No doubt Dum laga ke haisha is one of Favourite with Beautiful performance by the star cast. Would love to watch the rest on Zee5 soon

  29. Saarah says:

    All the movies listed above were heart touching…
    But tanu weds manu is my all time favourite.
    I am glad they are making more realistic cinemas nowadays.

  30. Amazing and beautiful post. I love to watch the romantic bollywood movies. I watch these movies on ZEE5. Great thoughts.

  31. vedhanandini says:

    I love Tanu weds Manu for Madhavan, dum laga ke haisa for bhumi. such off beat classics i would say.Nice article and will keep coming back.

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