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underrated Bollywood movies

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They say Bollywood movies are too much overly dramatic. That isn’t entirely true! Bollywood movies do have drama and masala but, that is what makes them different. You might not agree but, you do take guilty pleasure of watching regulars like Sooryavansham & No Entry repeatedly! You don’t really have to lie here because we all do watch these movies. Why do we watch these masala movies anyway? Because after a busy day of brainstorming, we wish to mitigate the tension in our brains and watch something to relax. We often miss out on some really good movies because of this. Here is a list of must-watch Underrated Bollywood Movies:

15 Park Avenue (2005)
15 Park Avenue
Image Source – Google

A hauntingly beautiful movie by Aparna Sen, this movie is a must watch! It is about a Schizophrenic journalist Mithi played by Konkana Sen, who lives with her sister Anjali played by Shabana Azmi & Her Mother played by Waheeda Rehman. Mithi is shown as an ex-journalist who was raped & suffers from Schizophrenia.

Major Reasons to Watch:
  • Konkana Sen’s portrayal of Mithi is breathtakingly beautiful. She left no stone unturned
  • Rahul Bose is in the movie, and let’s just say he looks like a piece of cake.
  • It covers major issues like rape & how women in India are treated.
  • It is an attempt to educate people about mental disorders like Schizophrenia and how people dealing are treated differently.
  • The movie ends with an open ending and opens the door for so many possibilities.

One should definitely watch this movie and, maybe you add another theory to all the internet theories about the movie ending.

Margarita With A Straw (2015)
Margarita With A Straw
Image Source – Google

An impressive movie by Shonali Bose, Margarita with a Straw revolves around Laila, played by Kalki Koechlin. Laila suffering from cerebral palsy and yet has the courage to live in New York all by herself. She is on a journey of self-discovery and explores her sexuality. She is steadily supported by her mother, played by Revathi. This movie embraces some really interesting insights about exploring one’s sexuality and suffering from a disability in India.

Major Reasons to Watch:
  • The movie does not apologize for Disability.
  • Kalki Koechlin played the role like a pro. You can not tell if she’s acting or it’s all real.
  • Love it how Laila’s parents respect her decision to move to New York and don’t go all overprotective.
  • The movie is not just limited to disability but exploring sexuality. While Bollywood still uses it as an element of humor, Shonali Bose illustrated the actual side of the story.
  • The movie is also about a strong mother-daughter bond. A bond so strong that you wouldn’t be able to resist crying.
  • Self Love, Self Acceptance, & Self Discovery!

You must watch this movie! Margarita with a Straw is a truly impeccable movie and will leave you teary-eyed.

Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017)
Qarib Qarib Singlle
Image Source – Google

Directed by Tanuja Chandra, Qarib Qarib Singlle has a really unique storyline. It is a contemporary love story between two opposites who meet on an online dating platform. Jaya played by Parvathy meets Yogi played by Irrfan Khan. They embark a journey to the past and end up falling for each other.

Major Reasons to Watch
  • The movie portrays Jaya as the confident next door girl who has a successful career and does not need a man to complete her. She lives the way she wishes to! Ladies, isn’t she the goals?
  • It shows us a new side of online dating. The only thing we know about online dating is swiping left & right for hookups. After watching this movie you realize that if you are willing to know someone, you can actually meet someone really interesting.
  • Watching this movie you realize how important it is to live in the present. There is a thin line between having memories from the past & living in the past. If you wish to find happiness, you need to let go of the past.
  • Age is no bar when it comes to dating! Everyone with a peanut size brain out there, don’t start with your haaaaaawwwws when you come across someone dating and getting to know that they have crossed the marriageable age prescribed by “Chaar Log” or “Samaaj”(Society!)

It wasn’t a hit but I wonder why? Oh, wait, because the notion of dating is unapproved in India!

Angry Indian Goddess (2015)
Angry Indian Goddess
Image Source – Google

India needed this movie! Although it wasn’t really appreciated by the audience and was highly underrated, it was definitely an eye-opener! Directed by Pan Nalin, this movie shows the strong side of female friendship and their struggle to be heard in this male dominant society.

Major Reasons to Watch:
  • Frieda, played by Sarah-Jane Dias, the character was calm all the time, looking at her you will get to know how one should stay calm and get things done! Even if it is against the rules of society
  • Nargis, played by Tannishtha Chatterjee! Well, her character in the movie tells us how one can take small initiatives in their life to make the world a better place.
  • Madhurita, played by Anushka Manchanda taught us how to deal with depression like a “BAWSE”. You’ll learn how it is absolutely fine to feel like giving up!
  • Suranjana, played by Sandhya Mridul! She is one badass boss lady who teaches us that there is nothing a woman can’t do.
  • Pammy, played by Pavleen Gujral teaches us that is life is not all about making your husband happy.
  • Joanna, played by Amrit Maghera was a delight to watch! An aspiring actress who did not fear anything!
  • Lakshmi, played by Rajashri Deshpande is definitely my spirit animal! This character teaches us how a furious woman can turn your world upside down.
  • Aren’t all these women your favorites already?
  • Oh yes, there is another reason, the amazing music! My favorite is “Zindagi”!

This movie is about fighting stereotypes & taking a stand for people around us! The movie didn’t reach many people because hawww, ye ladkiya toh Goa me party kar rahi h, kitni besharam h kind of mentality! Ps. If you have a peanut sized brain, do not watch this movie!’

Finding Fanny (2014)
Finding Fanny
Image Source – Google

Starring actors like Dimple Kapadia, Naseeruddin Shah, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor & Pankaj Kapoor, one would expect this movie to not be a hit! All these big Bollywood names were associated with this movie, it still did not get the recognition it should have. The movie is about 5 people living in Pocolim, a small village in Goa, Namely- Ferdie, Angie, Don Pedro, Savio, & Lady Rosalina on a long road trying to find Fanny. Fanny is Ferdie’s lost love and, he has been in love with her for 46 years!

Major Reasons to Watch:
  • It illustrates how every good deed one does has a selfish motive behind it.
  • While Ferdie’s friends accompanied him to find the love of his life, they actually were trying to find hope in their own life!
  • How India forbids widows to live their lives. No matter what part of the country you live in, it absolutely wrong to think about an amorous relationship for a young lady if she is a widow.
  • It is a story of self-discovery! How one may think that they know themselves and later on discover things they have been ignorant about.
  • Acceptance! We often forget to accept things about ourselves. We learn that true happiness is when one accepts their own flaws.

Finding Fanny is more like a play wherein you lose yourself. It is mesmerizing if you are willing to watch it with an open mind. It is a relatable quest of finding happiness!

So, you know what you’re doing this weekend! Some of these beautiful movies go unnoticed, and then we may find ourselves complaining that Bollywood movies make no sense, yet find ourselves binge-watching these futile movies, over and again!

Movies have always been two types, one type has always submerged themselves to the regular song-dance-drama stuff while the other type has focused on a nice story from which the characters and actors pierced the hearts and souls of the audience. 2018 was way ahead of what was left in 2017 in terms of content. For the last few years, content has really ruled the screens but the final siren was blown this year where the audience have worshipped only content. Thus, it has been a tough year to filter the best. Here are some of the hugely underrated but wonderful Bollywood movies of 2018 which you must watch sometime.

Gali Guleiyan (Director- Dipesh Jain)
Gali Guleiyan
Image Source – Google

You have names like Manoj Bajpayee, Neeraj Kabi, & Ranvir Shorey in this movie. The CV of this movie carries screening in 23 Film Festivals with the premiere at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival. Gali Guleiyan is a psychological drama where it portrays a maze – both physical and mental.

The character of Manoj Bajpayee Khuddoos lives in the narrow lanes of Old Delhi where buildings are just overlapped on each other and the bare spaces are filled up with cable wires. He is a voyeur and a lonely person who fears to step outside but keeps a check on his neighborhood through the CCTV monitor. He wants to help the local butcher’s son Idris and the movie focuses on this journey. Khuddoos is broken and infected irreparably. His mind is a maze of regrets, punishments, and memories and Manoj Bajpayee was outstanding here. But we neither see this movie nor Manoj Bajpayee in interviews or award shows. Another special mention would be Neeraj Kabi – whose piercing eyes would scare you. This man is always on fire – be it Detective Byomkesh Bakshi or Sacred Games!

Bioscopewala (Deb Medhekar)
Bioscopewala
Image Source – Google

This is a modern day twisted an adjusted “Kabuliwala”, written by Tagore and enacted by Balraj Sahni & Chhabi Biswas. So, in this adjusted script, Rehmat instead of selling dry fruits from Afghanistan shows films to children through bioscope. The story remains same in befriending Minnie in Kolkata whom he compares to his daughter. Minnie grows up to become a documentary film-maker who has a strange and harsh relationship with his dad. His father takes a flight to Afghanistan and before boarding the flight he writes a letter to Minnie. The flight crashes leaving Minnie to understand and unravel the reason behind going to Afghanistan. The raw, rustic, and senile Rehmat and the friendly and easy-going Rehmat was impeccably portrayed by Danny Denzongpa. He is truly a gem of an actor and Bollywood has wasted & underused him.

Khajoor Pe Atke (Director- Harsh Chhaya)
Khajoor Pe Atke
Image Source – Google

I included this movie among the best movies of 2018 article and want to voice for it here too. Simply because it is underrated. Bollywood has seen many first time directors (products of full or half nepotism) and either praised or forgot their inventions. But believe me, this one is a perfect family comedy-drama which you would love to watch again and again. It is more on the lines of Hrishikesh Mukherjee School of film-making.

The basic aim of watching a movie is to get entertained and you would get amused in every frame of KPA. Without any nudity, sleazy moves, and double-meaning dialogues, this director has truly shown how to direct a movie. It tells the tale of a family of three brothers, a sister, and their children and family members. One of the brothers fall ill and how they react with middle-class sentiments is all that you would enjoy here.

Once Again (Director- Kanwal Sethi)
Once Again
Image Source – Google

Neeraj Kabi & Shefali Shah comes together for a heart-warming and heart-wrenching love story that would make you think twice about the characters you meet daily. Two lonely middle-aged independent persons belonging to two different worlds connect with each other. They are also careful of the so-called society that may taint their characters and thus hides their relationship. The children who are hip and happening also somehow rebukes them. More than the script and story, it was Neeraj Kabi and Shefali Shah who passionately embraced their roles breathing perfection.

3 Storeys (Director- Arjun Mukherjee)
3 Storeys
Image Source – Google

Produced by Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment, I expected better publicity from this one! This is a story of a 3 storey Chawl in Mumbai named Mayanagar. Renuka Shahane plays a Catholic widow who wants to rent a part of her house but cannot find buyers due to strict rules. Varsha played by Masumeh Makhija (of Maqbool fame) is being abused and beaten by an unemployed and alcoholic husband. Leela played by Richa Chadda is a glamorous lady who throws seductive looks to men around the town. These characters living in 3 storeys of this chawl have some secrets too which is revealed in due course. Enjoy this wonderful ride. Special mention is Renuka Shahahe who is overshadowed in the industry!

Hope Aur Hum (Director- Sudip Bandyopadhyay)
Hope Aur Hum
Image Source – Google

From the trailer itself, I knew it is going to be a nostalgia ride. It is a sweet and simple story of an old widower, Nagesh, played beautifully by Naseeruddin Shah who cannot sell off the old Xerox machine that seldom works. It takes up unnecessary space at home and this leads to some friction in the family. Letting go off is a painful act and art. The latest photocopy machine comes and Nagesh has to come to terms with his memories. Various sub-plots of the movie also point at “new replacing the old”. Watch out Naseeruddin Shah & Kabir Sajid in this nostalgia-ridden movie.

Kaalakaandi (Director- Akshat Verma)
Kaalakaandi
Image Source – Google

This movie didn’t work at the box office because it was way ahead of its time. Bollywood and the audience are perhaps still not ready to taste this slice of life yet an off-beat movie. If released digitally on streaming platforms, perhaps this movie would have fared better. The doctor says that Saif Ali Khan is in the last stage of Stomach Cancer and he now just want to do all those things that he has never done before. This is a story of a night of full of adventure, exploration, compassion, discovery, comedy, and tragedy. Apart from Saif, there are other stories also who are constantly going through a mad ride all over the night. This type of comedy is perhaps overlooked now but would be treated as a cult classic after a few years!

Some other mentions of underrated Bollywood movies from 2018 would be Hansal Mehta’s Omerta, Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds, Gauravv K. Chawla’s Baazaar, Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk, and Sanjay Patel’s Union Leader.

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