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5 off-beat Bollywood films that are a must-watch


Image Credit : Wikipedia
Image Credit : Wikipedia

Gulaal , Indian thriller drama film directed by Anurag Kashyap , is one of those rare political films that precisely documents the current political record without resorting to typical movie arsenals to hype it. The film nicely explores themes such as quest of supremacy, pursuit for authority, alleged injustices, and two-facedness of the powerful or elite people in the society.

The conspire is provided by student politics of the university and a fictitious movement consisting of former elite leaders who have become present day boss. It is the story of a law student who witnesses Rajput politics, student politics, deception, crime and homicide after getting elected as the General Secretary of his college. In fact before all of this he faced brutal ragging.

All of  us have to go through this phase in different times. Either we accept the atrocities and shut ourselves or we should fight against it. This movie provides that inspiration.


Image Credit : Wikipedia

Dasvidaniya is an equally fascinating film played by one of the versatile bollywood actor Vinay Pathak. Vinay plays Amar Kaul in the film. He is single and lives with his mother. He lives a nondescript life with people unaware of his existence. He is introverted and reserved. But suddenly one day he learns from his doctor about his forthcoming death. Amar draws up a list of things he wants to do before he dies (a sort of bucket list). He sets out to do these things and experiences things he never did before.

What makes the movie a different for me is that Life is short. We never know what is in store for us tomorrow. It is important to live happily and explore the unwanted list. It is better to die with a guilt that you tried to achieve what you want rather than you never did what you want. It is important that we understand our self and give some time in this materiasltic world.

My Brother Nikhil


Based on a True story, Director Onir Portrayed homosexuality on-screen in Bollywood with the movie My Brother Nikhil. The movie is like a breath of fresh air since Homosexuality is mostly a taboo subject in Indian civil society and for the government. Brave attempt by a director to speak about the cause of community and at the same time spread AID awareness. The film was set up in a time, where in India awareness of AIDS was very low and sensibility towards homosexuality was non-existent.

Supreme Court of India recently declared a provision criminalizing homosexuality as constitutionally valid, overruling a 2009 decision of the High Court of Delhi which declared the same provision was unconstitutional. The verdict upheld Section 377 of the Indian penal code, punishing homosexuality with life imprisonment, describing the ‘crime’ as indulging in ‘carnal sex against the order of nature’.

This is perhaps the first Bollywood film that throws light on the gay relationship without making a mockery of one’s sexual preferences. The issue is handled with utmost sensitivity and looks at relationships from a broader perspective.



If you are one of those kids who has bought up in Asian homes, then you must be aware of the pressure to score better in schools. It has been going in in India for quite some time now and this movie highlights this issue brilliantly. The spate of student suicides for not scoring well in school can only tell how grave situation is in some homes in India. The movie is based real life of Anurag Kashyap.

The boy is expelled from prestigious boarding school along with his friends for watching an adult movie off campus. He returns home to his father, who is obnoxious and domineering. The father-son plot is the movies main plot. Part of the problem is that the father is too much a fairy-tale tyrant as are some parents who enforce engineering or doctor graduation in the mind of their kids from childhood. How the boy eventually takes his ‘udaan’ or freedom despite all challenges is what the film nicely portrays.



This movie is one of my most watched movies of Bollywood and is adapted from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The cast is superb and the acting is probably one of the best. The film is named after, and revolves around, the don’s protégé Maqbool played by Irfan Khan.

The tough part to believe is that the don (Irrfan) goes through such intense guilt that he starts hallucinating after he murders his mentor. However, you will believe it once you watch the movie. Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri do a marvelous job as the two witches – adapted here as two crooked to the bone, clever, street-smart police officers with mysterious endurance skills. Not even a single sentence is out of place throughout this movie.

This film offers some of the most imaginative visualizations seen in Hindi cinema in just over two hours, which is a bonus by any Bollywood film standards. The director has been successful in  relocating Shakespeare’s lurid tragedy to present-day Mumbai in India in an surprisingly easy way with top notch performance.


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0 thoughts on “5 off-beat Bollywood films that are a must-watch

  1. Thanks for this post Amar.. I have included gulal and dasvidaniya in my list. Have seen Udaan. Loved it.. Have seen the parts of my brother nikhil and maqbool… Now have to watch them complete. I am a sucker for low budget close to life movies .


  2. Udaan is one of my favorite movies; the songs are so inspiring! Gulaal has been on my list for a long time, and now I see it’s available on Youtube. Will watch it soon.


  3. Thank you Amar for drawing attention to movies that are different & impactful and also posting the link.I had seen Udan. Now I get to see the others.Thanks agaion!


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