A cult film is one that may or may not have achieved commercial success, has a small to medium devout fan following, mostly made on a low budget. But many a times we tend to miss some cult movie because of our busy schedule or we may sometimes don’t know that the film is released. The only possible way to watch this kind of films is to search for them on the internet. So today we decided to bring 10 offbeat Hindi films that goes beyond common notions of good and bad taste, and they challenge genre conventions and storytelling style and most importantly shouldn’t be missed.
If you haven’t cried enough from watching ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, start playing this film that features Vinay Pathak in the lead role of Amar Kaul, a man who begins to take action on his bucket-list after his doctor tells him he has only three months to live. The way Kaul finds life in those three months more than any other time in his life will teach you important life lessons about your own life.
Ghaywan’s directorial debut, a winner of two awards at Cannes this year, is a surprisingly accomplished film. Set in Varanasi, it touches upon various aspects of small-town life in North India via three concurrent stories. Richa Chadha is fantastic as a young woman who has been shamed for exploring her sexuality, while Vicky Kaushal makes a sensational debut as a young engineering aspirant who spends his nights cremating corpses at the holy city’s ghats. Other solid supporting performances from Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi aside, Masaan stands out for its beautiful camerawork (the multi-talented Avinash Arun, whose debut Marathi feature Killa actually outshines every film on this list — too bad this is a list of best Hindi films), Varun Grover’s astute script and evocative lyrics; and the lovely folk-rock score by Indian Ocean.
3. I Am Kalam
‘I Am Kalam’ shot director Nila MAdhab Panda to fame with his endearing story about a poor Rajasthani boy who begins to dream big after being inspired by India’s former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. It is the first film to be produced by a development organisation – Smile Foundation in this case. The film was screened at Cannes and many other film festivals around the world.
Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, ‘Dor’ features Gul Panag, Ayesha Takia and Shreyas Talpade in lead roles. A remake of Malayalam film ‘Perumazhakkalam’, the film tells the story of two women from different backgrounds coming together and finding redemption from each other’s struggles and also makes a strong feminist statement. The beautiful locations of Rajasthan add a further hue to this film.
5. Margarita With A Straw
An easy film to dislike, given its inherent critic-baitiness, but Bose’s sophomore feature deserves its due for tackling difficult subjects — disability and sexuality — with enough sensitivity. Playing the self-centered, cerebral-palsy-afflicted Laila Kapoor, Kalki Koechlin gives it her all and, despite hitting a few bum notes here and there, delivers an admirable performance. The real star of the show, however, is Revathy, who becomes this film’s emotional core and helps make the whole story work.
Behl’s debut is, perhaps, the gloomiest film of the year. There’s no hope and little redemption in this desolate portrait of a family so dysfunctional that its eponymous protagonist, a young scrawny boy whose name ironically means ‘butterfly’ (Shashaank Arora), is willing to do whatever it takes to get away from home. Shot on 16 mm film, Titli captures male violence and urban dystopia in all its ugliness — the result, ironically, is almost beautiful. Contrivances and niggling holes in the story let it down somewhat, but sure-handed direction and a fantastic ensemble — led by a rip-roaring Ranvir Shorey — prop this film back up considerably. I can’t wait to watch what Behl does next.
Before collecting acclaim for “Margarita With A Straw”, filmmaker shonali Bose debuted with the hard-hitting film “Amu” that was based on a novel written by her. Powerfully portrayed by Konkona Sen Shrama in the lead role, the film traces her character’s journey from a sheltered life in America to finding the truth about her parents after she discovers that she is adopted and confronts the truth about her real parents in the riots that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination. The film won the national award for Best Feature Film in 2005
8. Supermen Of Malegaon
Supermen of Malegaon is technically a documentary but what a fascinating piece of work this is! The documentary tells a story of the people of Malegaon who make spoofs of popular Bollywood films in a bid to maintain peace and calm in their improvised and communally-fraught village. The documentary was never meant to release commercially but once you watch it, you will know exactly why you needed to see “supermen of Malegaon”
9. Madholal Keep Walking’
If you are in the mood for some light-hearted movie-watching, then don’t go any further than this film. ‘Madholal Keep Walking’ revolves around the central character Madholal working as a security guy in an office whose life changes after sustaining an injury in a terrorist attack. The film revolves around his newfound fears and how his family overcomes them.
- Rang Rasiya
If you are tired of the various bans on the movies these days (the word being cencored and beeped out, is a norm these days), then you should watch this film that depicts our real society with real uncanny faces like the female lead, Nandita Sen being depicted as the goddess by Raja Ravi Varma by Randeep Hooda. Censorship of art needs to be fought – and this Ketan Mehta film is the perfect example of that.