The world of cinema is a wide one and each and every country has a signature of its own. Our India produces the highest number of movies in the world. I am proud of the movies my country produces. There is some highly creative content that is found in our movies but due to low publicity or budget constraints, they don’t reach out to everyone. Maybe we are not technologically advanced in terms of Hollywood or in some ways we are too shy in portrayal but our movies are “no-nonsense” at all. I am saying this with conviction because I believe Bollywood is not the only benchmark to judge Indian Cinema. Over the years, I have come across many soul-stirring movies and some of them are jotted below.
Whenever you see the name of NFDC on a movie poster, you must expect something beautiful! NFDC didn’t shatter its wise audience this time too. Sarita Joshi plays the role of Gangoobai who dares to dream and how long she walks to fulfill that dream forms this excellent movie. Directed by Priya Krishnaswamy, this movie released in 2013 when most of the nation is praising Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani or Chennai Express. Made on a small budget, you would find a beautiful soul in this Hindi-Marathi movie which would leave you with a satiating smile on your face. Gangoobai lives in Matheran of Maharashtra (commendable job by the cinematographer here) and works as a domestic help to some well-off families. One day she sees a print ad of a pretty saree and simply starts dreaming to buy that saree. But how would she manage to buy a designer boutique saree? She works day and night as a coolie, house help, and even bets on a horse race to earn that money. But the path is not easy! The dream that Gangoobai had in her heart may sound very laid back or childish to some of the privileged people. But what actually is a dream to someone who has no family or belongings at all? This movie would make you ruminate that it is very easy and simple to own people and love them without expecting anything in return. This movie would also teach you that when your dream shatters, something better than that dream arrives – you just need to have a pair of eyes to witness that opportunity.
This Bollywood movie released in 2010 and was directed by Vinay Shukla. It is one of those lovable anthology films where the theme is love and betrayal. Women’s sexuality and gender equality is what this film tried to project through the four short stories. It had some stellar actors like Boman Irani, Konkona Sensharma, Ila Arun, Arunoday Singh, Shahana Goswami, Tisca Chopra, Mahie Gill, Raima Sen, Rajpal Yadav, Prem Chopra, Shreyas Talpade, and etc. Unlike other movies in this list, this one is much lighter and commercial. Enjoy this well-knit stories on a relaxing weekend!
Barefoot to Goa
This is not only a movie but is a nostalgic ride. It would take you back to those ethics of a joint and nuclear family. Directed by Praveen Morchhale, this Hindi movie released in 2015. It is one of those very rare crowd-funded movies. An old lady in Goa passes her day and night hoping that someday her whole family consisting of a son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren would be united. She writes to them who stays in Mumbai and her daughter-in-law gleefully dumps those letters in the dustbin. The two grandchildren read these letters one day and learn that their grandma is ailing and decides to go barefoot to Goa (although not technically). It would make you yearn to revisit your grandparents, old lanes of your village, and most importantly would make you miss your childhood days when you didn’t fear any trials and tribulations at all!
The Last Lear
I never was a fan of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan truly. But this is the movie that I watched two times back to back and I was flabbergasted by the aura of Mr. Bachchan. There are very few movies where you don’t actually know who was the master – the director or the screen actor? This movie falls in that category. At some point, the barrier between real and reel vanishes, thanks to the plot. Some hefty Bollywood names were included in this English language movie like Shefali Shah, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal, and Divya Dutt along with notable actors like Jishu Sengupta and Prosenjit Chatterjee. It was released in 2008 and won 2 National Film Awards. The master director Rituparno Ghosh beautifully presented a Shakespearean theater actor’s struggle to excel in the art of cinema acting. In the hindsight of the main plot where a film director urges a snobby theater actor to be a part of his movie, there is a powerful love story too between Shefali Shah and Mr. Bachchan. If you believe that Black or Piku was Amitabh Bachchan’s career best, you would have to reconsider after watching this movie.
Ship of Theseus
This offbeat Hindi film was directed by Anand Gandhi and released in 2013 and simply won the hearts of those movie-goers who are looking for something different in terms of plot execution. It had three stories that dealt with the Theseus’ paradox. The Greek philosopher Plutarch inquires whether a ship that has been restored by replacing all its parts remains the same ship – this forms the crux of the film. The blind photographer who is marvelous at her job struggles to click a single iconic picture after her cornea transplant. A Jain monk who fought all his life to ban animal testing in the pharmaceutical industry is diagnosed with Cirrhosis and the only way out is to depend on those medicines made by the pharmaceuticals who tests on animals. A young stockbroker just got his kidney transplanted and learns about organ theft. What follows thereafter is life-changing! All these three plots would leave you with some uncomfortable questions about life!
This is one of the perfect movies that I have ever watched. The smart direction and smarter editing make this movie a must on your list. It released in the year 2009 and was the debut movie of Radhika Apte and second movie of Pink-fame director Aniruddha Roychowdhury. It went on to win 4 prestigious National Film Awards. Shantanu Moitra composed the soul-wrenching music for free. Rahul Bose and Sharmila Tagore worked in this Bengali movie for free. Can you imagine such an impactful movie with SRK or Bhaijaan who would charge millions? No…Never! Someone correctly said that the best things in life are free. This is a movie which would leave a hope and despair both in your heart. This is a movie that would ache your heart but still, you would want to return to it again and again. It is perhaps like the wise Chivas or Champagne which you would relish forever! The story surges through three types of love in three generations. Sharmila Tagore’s character fell in love with an unknown voice when Telephone was new to our world. She never asked his name and still, there was an unsaid comfort in that relationship. But one day suddenly that call stopped ringing. There is no expectation or anger in this love! The estranged couple Aparna Sen and Kalyan Ray still find solace in each other who separated due to growing ego. Rahul Bose and Radhika Apte know each other virtually through a chatting app. They also know each other socially but are unaware that they are meeting the same virtual person with whom they share a strange cord of love, understanding, romance, and happiness. Watch this movie and see how unconditionally magical love can be!
Memories In March
Directed by the very-talented Sanjoy Nag, this English language movie released in 2011. IMDB rates it 7.2/10 but I would personally want to mark it 9.5/10. Yes, it is that great a film. It won one National Film Award and was shown at the Pusan International Film Festival. This is a riveting story of a mother who comes to terms with her bereaved son’s hidden life. The characterization of the son is done with excellence. The character is introduced only through some letters and e-mails and you won’t feel the need of seeing the face – such is the impact of the script! Siddharth works in an ad agency which wins an award and thus a party follows where he gets drunk too much. He meets with a fatal accident and his mom comes straight to the crematorium and later stays in the guest house where her son lived. She comes to know that her son was a homosexual and firstly she fumes at her son’s partner but later accepts him. They sob together for the loss of their most precious person in life and this intense subject is handled carefully by the director. You must not miss this brilliant movie if you are a lover of good cinema.
Produced by Priyanka Chopra, this Marathi movie released in the year 2016 and went on to win 1 prominent Dadasaheb Phalke award and 3 National Film Awards. With an immaculate impact, this movie obliges the anger, envy, humor, hatred, sorrow, regret and uncountable human emotions. The story is about the palpable relationship between a father and a son. How family binds you together in moments of dismay is the basic message of this film. A father never leaves his child alone when he/she is young but when the child grows up and gets entangled in other priorities of life, the father is neglected. You would smile with tears in your eyes while witnessing this movie!
This is the first ever Marathi movie to cross the profit mark of Rs. 100 Crores. Released in the year 2016, this movie was a surprise for everyone from masses to classes, from movie maniacs to film critics. It was directed by Nagraj Manjule and he made sure that you won’t feel the need for a break (read intermission) for a good 1 and a half hours of the movie. It is a simple love story where the boy is poor and the girl is rich. Cupid strikes and romance brews between them but in a small village of Maharashtra you simply cannot get away with just love – right? The age-old tale of power and financial status would overdrive love. The couple elopes and finds a place in Hyderabad where they learn other basics of life apart from love. Earning money and getting a roof becomes the motto of this couple who doesn’t give up. But years later when they have a child and have a proper home, revenge strikes back! The climax of the movie would leave you shattered and teary-eyed. Enjoy this classic love story!
IMDB rates it 7.9/10. Released in the year 2017, this Kannada movie was directed by Yogaraj Bhat and dealt with an interesting subject. The story revolves around a guy who has some medical complication and cannot cry. So, what can make him cry and understand how does it feel to cry? Of course LOVE! The director brilliantly divides the movie into four parts to make us understand the basic human emotion which is love. One of the best things about this movie is that the leading ladies are given something meaningful rather than just being a commercial object like in most of the movies. You would enjoy a great time watching this movie and learn something new about crying and laughing!
These soul-stirring movies would definitely make your richer and thus don’t delay in experiencing a whole new face of Indian Cinema!