8 Movies Like Laapataa Ladies You Must See

‘Dhobi Ghat’ director Kiran Rao’s sophomore film, ‘Laapataa Ladies’ or ‘Lost Ladies’ is a delightful Hindi language tale of switcheroo that leaves two veiled brides in each other’s places, leading to a comical search and an insightful journey. On their way home on a train, newlyweds Deepak and Phool are seated in the same compartment as Jaya, a troubled bride. Both Phool and Jaya wear identical dresses with veils concealing their faces. Upon reaching his station, a nervous Deepak accidentally takes Jaya along, and his blunder is discovered by his entire family once the two set foot at his home.

While Deepak and his family begin a frantic search for Phool, she finds herself completely lost at an unknown railway station. As Deepak and a suspicious police inspector seek out leads, the brides undergo a captivating adventure of exploration, intrigue, and self-discovery. The film subtly delves into the patriarchal forces that exert themselves on the brides, and how they can begin to unravel with the gentlest of solidarities among women. If you’re looking to watch more multi-layered and poignant comedy-drama movies like ‘Laapataa Ladies,’ here are 8 similar films that grip us with stories of laughter, love, and discovery.

8. Noukadubi (2011)

In ‘Noukadubi,’ directed by Rituparno Ghosh, the lives of two strangers intertwine in an unexpected twist of fate. Ramesh, a young lawyer, finds that the woman he brought home after an accident is not his wife but Kamala, someone he has never met. As Ramesh looks to find Kamala’s husband, he keeps the trusting bride in the dark. At the same time, Ramesh’s true love, Hemnalini, is heartbroken and unwittingly finds solace with Kamala’s husband. Having a similar premise to ‘Laapataa Ladies,’ the Bengali film is based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novel of the same name. ‘Noukadubi’ explores themes of love, loyalty, and the consequences of choice.

7. Take This Waltz (2011)

With Sarah Polley in the director’s chair, ‘Take This Waltz’ centers on Margot, a freelance writer, who finds herself torn between two loves when she meets Daniel, an artist. Despite being happily married to Lou, Margot feels an undeniable attraction to Daniel, leading to a tumultuous affair. As Margot grapples with her conflicting emotions, she must confront the complexities of desire, commitment, and self-discovery. Set against the backdrop of a vibrant Toronto summer, the film explores the intricacies of relationships and the transient nature of passion. For those who appreciate the humor and drama of ‘Laapataa Ladies,’ ‘Take This Waltz’ delves into the nuances of love and longing in a lighthearted manner.

6. Wildlike (2014)

Directed by Frank Hall Green, ‘Wildlike’ introduces us to a troubled teenage girl named Mackenzie, who is sent to live with her uncle in Alaska following her father’s death. However, her uncle’s behavior prompts her to flee into the wilderness. Alone and vulnerable, Mackenzie encounters Rene, a hiker who offers her help and protection. As they journey through the rugged terrain together, Mackenzie learns to trust again and finds solace in the beauty of nature. Much like Phool in ‘Laapataa Ladies,’ Mackenzie becomes lost before she is able to find herself through a thrilling adventure. Both films offer genre-defying experiences that remain refreshingly optimistic at the same time.

5. Break Ke Baad (2010)

Helmed by Danish Aslam, ‘Break Ke Baad’ is a lighthearted exploration of young adult relationships and their interplay with career, ambition, and distance. Abhay and Aaliya have been childhood friends and eventually end up in a relationship. Abhay wants to be a chef despite his father’s insistence on him joining the family business, while Aaliya wants to follow in the footsteps of her mother who is an actress. After years of being in a relationship, Aaliya begins to grow out of it, abruptly leaving for Australia to pursue acting.

Initially putting on a brave front, Abhay is unable to make peace with her increasingly bold decisions and flies to Australia to be with her again. However, Aaliya is unamused. Finding him to be overbearing, she demands a break in their relationship, prompting him to move on. As the two navigate their careers in the foreign land, Aaliya discovers that Abhay is planning to get married, causing an emotional avalanche. For those who liked the light explorative nature of ‘Laapataa Ladies,’ ‘Break Ke Baad’ presents a heartwarming romantic tale interspersed with comedic moments, captivating us with the authentic chemistry between the leads.

4. Dor (2006)

‘Dor’ is a poignant drama that traces the lives of two women from contrasting backgrounds. Meera, a young widow from Jodhpur, and Zeenat, a spirited Muslim woman, find their paths colliding when unfortunate circumstances bring them together. Meera’s husband, Shankar, travels abroad and helps repay their family’s debt. However, he dies under mysterious circumstances, and Meera’s life dulls down with her cultural obligations as a widow, causing social isolation. Things begin to look up when she befriends Zeenat, who has traveled there to look for her husband.

Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, the narrative takes a turn when Zeenat reveals that her husband was responsible for the murder of Shankar. Zeenat has befriended Meera to get her to sign a pardon for her husband to be released. Like ‘Laapataa Ladies,’ ‘Dor’ delves into the intricacies of marriage, social expectations, and the human connections underneath them. The film is a touching tale of courage and compassion that leaves a lasting impact with its poignant performances.

3. Changeland (2019)

In the directorial hands of Seth Green, ‘Changeland’ follows the journey of Brandon, who is taken on a spontaneous trip to Thailand upon discovering his wife’s infidelity. Accompanied by his quirky friend Dan, Brandon seeks solace and perspective amidst the exotic landscapes and vibrant culture of Southeast Asia. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of characters who challenge their perceptions and offer unexpected insights into life and love. As Brandon grapples with feelings of betrayal and uncertainty, he navigates a path of self-discovery and personal growth. Through moments of humor, introspection, and genuine human connection, ‘Changeland’ will enamor fans of ‘Laapataa Ladies’ who were drawn to similar aspects of the film.

2. Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017)

Under the direction of Tanuja Chandra, ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ follows Yogi and Jaya, two individuals with vastly different personalities who find themselves embarking on an unexpected journey to the North Indian holy city of Rishikesh. Jaya, a reserved and pragmatic widow, reluctantly agrees to accompany the adventurous and carefree Yogi on a trip to meet his ex-girlfriends. As they traverse through picturesque landscapes and encounter various challenges along the way, their contrasting outlooks on life lead to moments of friction and humor. ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ overflows with charm and genuine warmth which is sure to enthrall fans of Kiran Rao’s work.

1. Parched (2015)

With Leena Yadav at the helm, ‘Parched’ follows the lives of four women in a rural Indian village as they confront societal norms and personal struggles. Rani, a widow trapped in tradition, seeks to break free from her oppressive marriage. Lajjo, Rani’s spirited friend, grapples with accusations of infertility and domestic abuse. Meanwhile, Bijli, a dancer, battles her own demons while navigating the complexities of love and desire.

Together, these women form a bond of sisterhood and resilience as they challenge patriarchal constraints and strive for independence. As the characters boldly confront adversity and discrimination, ‘Parched’ will appeal to fans of ‘Laapataa Ladies’ who would like to see further discourse into themes of gender inequality, patriarchal repression, and the pursuit of empowerment.

Read More: Is Laapataa Ladies Based on True Events?