9 Lesser-Known Bollywood Movies You Must Watch to Appreciate Great Filmmaking

In spite of entering several prestigious film fests, winning coveted awards and critical acclaim, these films didn’t get enough attention from Indian audience.

By Saurav Ray

May 17, 2018  Updated On : May 18, 2018

How great will you feel when you’ll find out some great movies in Indian cinema that were way ahead of their times? You’ll love it when you find the movies are more relevant in the present time and make you fall in love with the art of telling a story really well. Here is the list of nine lesser-known Bollywood movies:

1. Qissa (2013):




‘Qissa’ literally means story. Although the movie is a bit slow-paced, the story is gripping, thrilling, and unusual. It has some brilliantly scripted dialogues that can be hard-hitting to the faint-hearted. Music is the movie’s another strong point with beautiful Punjabi folk songs liberally infused into this. Qissa is disturbing in a mysterious way and you will find this movie haunting a long time after you have shut down your laptop.

2. Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid (2012):




A movie made by Nila Madhav Panda of ‘I am Kalam’ fame. However, unlike ‘I am Kalam’, this movie could not manage to achieve the stupendous success and wide attention despite its powerful story and its lucid message against female feticide. Nevertheless, the movie managed to garner critical acclamation from both critics and movie reviewers. The simple depiction of the characters, the slow pace of storytelling and beautiful songs make it a must watch.

3. Gattu (2012):




Gattu tells an appealing story of a little boy whose only passion is to fly kites. Even though the story is simple and revolves around the life of the boy, the execution is sublime. It can teach a lot of things about movie making to budding filmmakers. Renowned critics and well-known movie reviewers have heaped acclamations and praises on this movie.  The movie had been honored with a special mention under Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (German Children`s Fund) category at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.

4. Chittagong (2012):




Directed by Bedabrata Pain Chittagong is a 2012 Indian historical war drama film. It stars Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rajkumar Rao and Barry John in pivotal roles and the plot, set in the 1930s British India, revolves around the journey of a 14-year-old boy Jhunku who joins an informal army of schoolboys to rise against and defeat the colonial rulers. The movie won three National Film Awards in 2013, including the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director.

5. An Ocean of an Old Man (2008):




This Rajesh Shera-directed movie can teach a lot to budding filmmakers and cinematographers. Although some may find the movie to be slow paced and extremely artsy, the camera captures every moment perfectly in tandem with the emotion and situation. The movie is set in the tsunami-ravaged Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where an old man (Tom Alter) is the only inhabitant. The stellar acting by the late veteran actor Tom Alter is a sheer delight to watch.

6. 3 Deewarein (2003):




Directed and written by Nagesh Kukunoor, starring Juhi Chawla, Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff, Nagesh Kukunoor and Gulshan Grover, the movie revolves around the story of three murder convicts and an unhappily-married documentary filmmaker (Juhi), who films their reformation story in the prison and finds redemption in her own life. The film won the Filmfare Award for Best Story.

7. Hyderabad Blues (1998):




The debut movie of Nagesh Kukunoor as a director and actor, starring Elahe Hiptoola, Rajshri Nair and Vikram Inamdar, the movie is about the protagonist’s visit to his home city after 12 years in the United States and the subsequent culture shock he receives. The movie won two audience awards for best film at the Peachtree Village International Film Festival in Atlanta and at the Rhode Island Film Festival.

8. Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1990):




Ek Doctor Ki Maut is loosely based on the life of Indian Physician Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay, who pioneered the In vitro fertilization treatment. The movie narrates the isolation, reprimand, insult and negligence the doctor had to face for his research and treatment. Directed by Tapan Sinha, the movie stars Pankaj Kapur, Anil Chatterjee, Shabana Azmi, Deepa Sahi and Irrfan Khan. It won three National Film Awards, two Bengal Film Journalists` Association Awards and one Filmfare Award.

9. Om-Dar-B-Dar (1988):




Directed by Kamal Swaroop, Om-Dar-B-Dar is a 1988 Indian surrealist movie starring Aditya Lakhia, Anita Kanwar and Gopi Desai in pivotal roles. The movie combines Puranic tales with science, magic realism, and dream sequences and takes the viewers to the protagonist’s adolescent years. The movie bagged the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie in 1989.

You got to watch these nine movies to realize that such content-driven movies have already been made in Bollywood and our filmmakers have the talent and abilities to elicit shock and awe from viewers across the globe.

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