Bollywood doesn’t always create films which create ripples at the box-office. At the time of ‘crore’ budget films, few filmmakers proved that short budgets and realistic subjects are the new norm. With stellar performances and refreshing real stories, the audience preferences are clearly changing. Most of these films are socially relevant and the entertainment industry has produced some spectacular masterpieces which have been recognised internationally, if not in India. Let’s have a look at some of these fine pieces of movies whose success speaks louder than words:
1. Gattu (2012)
This sweet kids movie opened at the 17th International Children’s Film Festival. It was an interesting tale of a little boy passionate about flying kites. It released on April 20, 2012, and was directed by Rajan Khosla. The film got a special mention under Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (German Children’s Fund) category at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.
A simple story which had a powerful impact, it received high acclaim and recognition. Mohammad Samad played young Gattu.
2. Peddlers (2012)
This film was set in Mumbai and unfortunately never even got a release. However it was so moving in its screenplay and characterisation, that it got selected for International Critics’ Week! It revolved around 20-year-old destitute boys who get trapped in the drugs and the catch and chase story of the cops behind them.
It was written and directed by Vasan Bala. The film’s lead character was played by Gulshan Devaiah.
3. Liar’s Dice (2013)
Starring ace actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, it was India’s official Oscar entry at the 87th Academy Awards, for the best foreign language film category, but never got nominated. It was a road drama film based on the real issues of the human cost of migration to other cities and their exploitation.
The film screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. It also received two National Film Awards for Best Actress and Best Cinematography.
4. Laal Rang (2016)
This film was set in Haryana and starred Randeep Hooda and Akshay Oberoi in pivotal roles. It was a action-crime film which highlighted the serious crimes in blood banks, something which affects most people.
The film was directed by Syed Ahmad Afzal. Piaa Bajpai played the female lead in the film. It received rave reviews at the box office when it released on April 22, 2016.
5. Parched (2016)
This Radhika Apte starrer showcased at Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. It was produced by Ajay Devgn under his banner Ajay Devgn FFilms.
The film dealt with the issues of women in villages of north-western region of India, which still haven’t progressed from their age-old ridiculed traditions like forced child marriages and other social issues.
6. Poorna (2017)
This movie was based on the real story of the ‘Everest girl’ who at 13 years of age had scaled the top of the Mount Everest. It was directed by Rahul Bose and told the tale of Poorna Malavath’s journey which shook the world.
This film showcased how an unbreakable spirit can make you achieve anything in life, just like the girl did. It was shot in exotic locations of Telangana, Darjeeling, Sikkim and of course Nepal.
7. Mukti Bhawan (2017)
This film highlighted the unquestioning believe in life after death and the salvation period. It told of the difficulty families’ face with the subject of facing assisted death. It was based on the tales of those waiting to die in the claustrophobic lanes of Varanasi.
Predominantly shot in the streets of Banaras, the movie dealt with views on death, showcased cremation ghats, and the story of priests who help people achieve ‘Nirvana’.
8. Kadvi Hawa (2017)
Climate change is here to stay and therefore, farmer suicides have risen. This film dealt with these two subjects so beautifully, that it got a special mention at the 64th National Awards. The climate change threat has led to parched lands and no income for poor farmers in India, hence, leading their mass suicides.
The thought-provoking film was directed by Nila Madhab Panda, the acclaimed director of I Am Kalam. Sanjay Mishra played the pivotal leading role.
9. Anaarkali of Aarah
This film highlighted the story of women fighting to stay afoot in typical Indian male-dominated society. It was directed by former journalist Avinash Das. It’s not often that Bollywood touches subjects like women empowerment and gender equality.
The movie’s protagonist Swara Bhaskar essayed her part brilliantly. It is also perhaps the first film since Basu Bhattacharaya’s Teesri Kasam (1966) to focus on the world of orchestra party. A MUST watch.
10. Shab (2017)
Directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Onir, one of the few only openly gay filmmaker in the industry. This romantic drama best described as the dark complexities of human relationships and starred Raveena Tandon.
Onir highlights the relationships in new light and shot the film in Delhi across four different seasons. The tale of love and betrayal is worth a watch only for the new subject.
These complex yet realistic subjects gained mass popularity because of their authenticity and incredible performances. We need more such films to showcase the real events of life. What are your thoughts?