Bollywood playlist: 9 music videos for those seeking an introduction to Indian cinema

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      Few countries in the world have managed to resist Hollywood's cultural juggernaut, least of all Canada.

      India, on the other hand, still worships its film stars like deities.

      In the words of Indian-born Canadian director Vic Sarin, Bollywood movies "are full of joy, romance, bright colours, singing, and dancing".

      In his 2017 memoir, Eyepiece: Adventures in Canadian Television and Film, Sarin noted the sharp contrast with Canadian films, which have a tendency to be dark and depressing.

      "Do we as people project the opposite of the world around us?" Sarin wrote. "Is the sadness of Canada's films a reflection of how good we have it here?"

      And conversely, is the joy and humanity expressed in Bollywood cinema a way of coping with the country's enormous challenges?

      Regardless, Indian movies are almost always uplifting and the cinematography is gorgeous.

      For those unfamiliar with Bollywood, I've compiled a playlist of YouTube music videos from some popular movies.

      Check out the banjo playing in the first track from Baar Baar Dekho, which is bound to brighten anyone's disposition.

      "Sau Aasmann" from Baar Baar Dekho, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif.

      In the next joyful video, superstar Hrithik Roshan reveals why he's known as India's Fred Astaire.

      "Tu Meri" from Bang Bang!, starrting Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif.

      Then there's "Matargashti", which was filmed in Corsica. The long-legged and versatile Ranbir Kapoor takes centre-stage.

      "Matargashti" from Tamasha starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone.

      One of the most expensive Bollywood videos is likely "Gerua", which was created in freezing Iceland.

      "Gerua" from Dilwale, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.

      "Ik Vaari Aa" is an infectious tune featuring slightly lesser known stars.

      "Ik Vaari Aa" from the film Raabta, starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon.

      This next one, the heartbreaking "Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga", was a monstrous hit in India.

      "Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga" from Half Girlfriend, starring Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor.

      Perhaps one of the saddest songs of them all was "Channa Mereya". Here, Ranbir Kapoor sings to the love of his life, played by Anushka Sharma, as she's preparing to marry another man.

      "Channa Mereya" from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.

      India is also home to hundreds of millions of Muslims—and Sufi-inspired music also shows up in some Bollywood films. One of the classics in this regard is "Khwaja Mere Khwaja", which was written by South Indian musician A.R. Rahman. Check it out below.

      If your tastes lean more toward Sufi music, check out "Khwaja Mere Khwaja" from Jodhaa Akbar, which starred Hrithik Roshan.

      To wrap things up, I've chosen "Love You Zindagi"—Zindagi means "life". The movie, Dear Zindagi, was about a young woman bouncing back from psychiatric problems.

      "Love You Zindagi" from Dear Zindagi, starring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan.