Every year, thousands of movies are released in Bollywood. While few are works of sheer genius, a lot of the movies released make huge business, irrespective of excellence (or lack) of creative genius in them. And there are a section of movies which remain under-rated and under-watched. These movies are watched by fewer people and as a result a great piece of art goes almost unnoticed. Below, The India Diaries puts together, eleven underrated Bollywood movies that you must watch.
1. Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year
A 2009 movie by Yash Raj Films, Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year was directed by Shimit Amin and produced, of course by Aditya Chopra. The screenplay is by Jaideep Sahni of Chak De! India fame. Ranbir Kapoor plays the lead role of a Sikh boy who worked as a salesman and was extremely harassed by his boss. With his two other colleagues and a little help from Gauhar Khan who also worked in the same office, he hatches a master plan of what could be a foolproof business. Also in the movie was Shazahn Padamsee and in my personal opinion, the movie was pretty intelligent with good acting and direction. However, there was no glamour in it. A simple film which made a lot of sense, unfortunately, ended up being a below average grosser at the box office.
2. Hasee Toh Phasee
Hasee Toh Phasee was released last year and had some pretty awesome, foot-tapping songs. A romantic comedy-drama directed by Vinil Mathew, it was produced by Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap. Sidharth Malhotra who is a pretty good for nothing, pampered son in the family of accomplishers, sneaks into a wedding where he first meets Parineeti Chopra and later, her sister Adah Sharma. Adah and he fall in love, and the main plot of the movie surrounds the countdown to their marriage. Strong supporting actors like Manoj Joshi & Sharat Saxena, pretty decent acting by Malhotra and amazing portrayal of a misunderstood daughter by Chopra – in my opinion, the movie didn’t get the appreciation it deserved even though it did collect a lot of positive reviews.
3. Traffic Signal
Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar and starring Kunal Khemu, Neetu Chandra, Ranvir Shorey and Konkona Sen Sharma, Traffic Signal was released on 2nd February 2007. Raw, rustic and real acting, with brilliant portrayal of emotions and lives of people earning their living by begging & selling on the traffic signals, the movie touched hearts but couldn’t do much in the box office, unfortunately.
4. Socha Na Tha
The movie which introduced Abhay Deol as the intelligent heartthrob to the nation, Socha Na Tha revolved around the main characters played by Deol and Ayesha Takia who had met each other first as arranged marriage prospects and rejected the proposition. They met later and realized that they actually liked each other. However, when do things happen as planned? A very sweet and mushy story which stays with you even if you are someone like me, not a sucker for mush. It was remade in Telugu and called Premante Inte. However, it didn’t receive the recognition it actually deserved.
Another Abhay Deol movie, Shanghai was an Indian political thriller directed by Dibakar Banerjee. It released in 2012 and also starred Emraan Hashmi, Kalki Koechlin and Prosenjit Chatterjee. The plot was based on the French film Z and a novel by the same name by Vassilis Vassilikos. It did receive critical acclaim however not as much fandom as I believe it should have.
6. Ramji London Waale
Released in 2005 Ramji Londonwaley stars R Madhavan in the lead role. It is a remake of the Tamil film, Nala Damayanthi and was initially titled Bawarchi. Amitabh Bachchan is a guest star in the movie, and it also stars Samita Bangargi, Raj Zutshi, Harsh Chhaya and Satish Shah. The story revolved around a man who was from rural India who is a very good cook. He takes up an offer to cook for a rich family in London, to pay for his sister’s dowry. Thus begins a series of funny incidences amidst which Ramji finds himself. An entertaining comedy, the movie was quite a rib-tickler though it didn’t fare much in the box office.
A 2008 film, Dasvidaniya is based on the Russian phrase до свидания (do svidaniya), meaning good bye. Starring Vinay Pathak, the name of the movie is a pun on the list of ten things to be done before death. Also in the movie are Neha Dhupia, Rajat Kapoor, Ranvir Shorey and Brijendra Kala. As the star list shows, the movie had some brilliant performances however it didn’t get as much popularity which it ideally deserved.
8. Teen Deewarein
Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, 3 Deewarein was released in 2003. The movie stars Juhi Chawla, Jackie Shroff, Naseeruddin Shah and Gulshan Grover, and narrates the story of three prisoners and a documentary filmmaker who, while filming their reformation story in the prison, finds redemption with her own troubled marriage. A very interesting plot and despite having good actors, the movie failed to attract a lot of audience. Kukunoor himself had also starred in the movie.
A 2013 film Lootera had got mixed reviews. The story was deep and not something everyone would like, especially not the ones who prefer item numbers. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, Lootera was partly based on author O. Henry’s 1907 short story The Last Leaf. Set in the interiors of Bengal from the 1950s, the film stars Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha in lead roles. A con man’s love story, the plot was handled with extreme sensitivity. All actors had given a very restrained and professional performance, and the movie had some beautiful songs too. The climax was a painting on reel and anyone who loved the movie will agree that it was a delight to the heart, the mind and to the eyes. Both actors known for playing usually loud characters had ventured into roles not typical of them and done a fairly awesome job.
10. Table No 21
Another movie from 2013, Table No. 21 is a psychological drama mystery thriller directed by Aditya Datt. Interestingly, it was named after Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The movie stars Paresh Rawal, Rajeev Khandelwal and Tena Desae, and touches upon the pertinent social issue of ragging. The plot develops and opens up beautifully, and the climax unravels in a fantastic manner. The movie has all the requirements of being a hit however; it was a moderate success at the box office.
Another brilliant movie starring Rajeev Khandelwal, Aamir released in 2008. It is an Indian psychological crime thriller which revolves around a young Muslim man, Dr. Aamir Ali, who has returned to Mumbai from the United Kingdom. He finds himself at the mercy of Islamic extremists who want to carry out a bombing in the city. A nail biting thriller, the movie should have fared well in the box office according to me, but didn’t.
This is just my list of underrated Bollywood movies and these are only eleven. There are more brilliant movies which didn’t get their due. Just like I can go on and on naming such movies, I am sure you can add to this list too. Tell us in the comments below and share this list with your friends! Let these Underrated Bollywood movies get their share of love.