Just like every other thing, 21st century brought some major changes in Bollywood as well. And this change was surely for good as we witnessed more Realistic films which moved away from Bollywood formulas and find audiences as well. Perception of viewers towards Bollywood movies is also changing and viewers are more cautious is selecting what they watch. Failure of movies like Race 3 and Thugs of Hindustan in contrary to success of Andhadhun, Raazi is the perfect example of the scenario.
The big-budget romances popular since the mid-1990s, produced by Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions and UTV are now giving way to a wide variety of forms, often made by the same producers.
If you are a true film lover, then I am providing you with a list of some hidden gems of Bollywood films.
These underrated Hindi films are different from what we see on silver screen in daily routine. These films lack that masala of Akshay’s films and romance of Shahrukh films, these films lack the craziness of Salman films but these films are must watch for every film lover.These movies pushed the creative boundaries in some way or the other.
You may often be told to “leave your brains behind” when watching a Bollywood movie, with its dance numbers, colourful costumes, over-the-top humour and third-rate visual effects. But here are a few films that prove most Bollywood misconceptions wrong with plots and decent acting.
These films got the limited audience but they deserved much more. Either because they were low budget and lacked marketing or were overshadowed by some powerful films.
Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, maqbool is adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth and is transposed to Mumbai underworld. The film did not perform remarkably at the box office, but won director Vishal Bhardwaj international acclaim. Cast of movie includes Irfan Khan, Tabbu, Naseerudin Shah, Piyush Mishra, Om Puri, all of whom delivered acting marterpieces.
2. Gulaal (2009)
Anurag Kashyap is one name that you are going to read time and again in this list and credit goes to his cinematic brilliance and some of finest movies that he have gifted to Bollywood. Gulaal is one such movie. It Is a 2009 thriller film starring Kay Kay Menon, Mahi Gill, and Raj Singh Chaudhary. A student has to deal with the crime, politics, struggles of Rajputs, Deception and homicide after he gets selected as General Secretary of his College.
3.Manorama Six Feet Under(2007)
This film is the story of an amateur detective (Abhay Deol), in a small, sleepy town in Rajasthan, who finds himself caught in a web of lies, deceit and murder.The film didn’t do well commercially but critics appreciated the film’s brilliantly-written dialogues. It is Indian neo-noir thriller film directed and co-written by Navdeep Singh. Along with Abhay Deol film features Raima Sen and Gul Panag in the lead role. This movie is based on Chinatown (1974) by Roman Polanski, with some changes in the representation.
Ugly is a neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Anurag Kashyap. The film revolves around disappearance of 10 year old girls and tells a terrible tale of corruption, indifference, and systemic violence which starts to unfold after it. The film stars Rahul Bhat, Vineet Kumar Singh, Ronit Roy, Surveen Chawla in the lead roles.
Shahid is a biographical drama film directed by Hansal Mehta starring Rajkummar Rao in the main lead. The film revolves around a real life human rights lawyer, Shahid Basheer who was assassinated in 2010 in his own office. Film recieved great acclaim in number of international film festivals but was not much successful on box office.
6. Ship of Theseus(2013)
This is probably most well received Bollywood films of all time in terms of critical acclaim, internationally and also in India as it recieved the National award for Best feature film. Director of the film Anand Gandhi was highly appraised for his directorial debut, who could have thought that once being a daily soap writer in serial like Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi bahu thi, he would turn out to be such a brilliant director. This film explores the questions of identity, justice, beauty, meaning and death.The title of the film refers to Theseus’ paradox, i.e whether a ship that has been restored by replacing all its parts remains the same old ship.
The film is based on the 2008 Noida double murder case involving a teenage girl and her family’s servant. It is an intelligent, thoroughly researched film. The content overpowers the drama and human element. Irfan is effortlessly charming in a hopeless character who comes close to solving the case. It is one of those films that compells you to read wikipedia entries related to the real incident. Though otherwise humorless, Irfan’s wry humor is a relief in few scenes.
2013 was surely a golden year for Bollywood and you can see that by 2013’s entries into my list. Lunchbox is a romantic film directed by Ritesh Batra and produced by Anurag kashyap. It stars Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles.
Producers need to invest in more movies like this instead of silly masala flicks with zero story and no skill in acting and dancing.
Masaan is filled with a sense of place and time, poetry and it captures the essence of Banaras. It also announces the arrival of new talents in its writer and director: Grover’s story is eminently worth telling, and director Neeraj Ghaywan tells it beautifully. This drama film stars Vicky Kaushal, Richa Chadda and Sanjay Mishra.
It is the latest movie to be added in the list of underrated yet classic movies.Tumbbad is period horror film directed by debutant Rahi Anil Barve and Written by Anand Gandhi, who also served as the creative director, the film was produced by Sohum Shah and Anand L. Rai, with Shah also being the lead actor. It follows the story of Vinayak Rao who goes on to search for a hidden treasure in the 19th century Maharashtra. Film was highly appraised in India as well as internationally.
With so many movies to choose from, it’s impossible to include all the great movies. I am sure you might find some of your favourites missing from the list. So, let us know which of your favourite underrated movies are missing from the list in comments.