Bollywood, sporadically, hallows us with films that touch us deeply. They are like the first winds of a new season – fresh and crisp. These stories stay with us for ever, lingering every now and then. They remind you of old lullabies that were once etched on your psyche.
While some filmmakers give us trash in the name of entertainment, some spin magic. And their craft is profound. Here are four such films that were absolutely delightful to watch. These filmmakers need to take a bow, and we need to recognize and remember these films.
- Aparna Sen for Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)
What do you do when you are stuck in a riot-like situation, have witnessed a murder and your travelling companion tells you they belong to the targeted religion? A staunch Hindu woman with a baby gets stuck inside a bus when a riot breaks. Her only support is the man she befriended on the journey, who tells her he is in fact, a Muslim. Torn between religion and humanity, the two strangers choose the latter and forge an unusual friendship. They pretend to be husband and wife for the rest of the journey. Convincing performances, a racy plot and a remarkably-relatable story does wonders for this film. The critically-acclaimed film was well received in India and overseas.
- Nagesh Kukunoor for Dor (2006)
When wage gap and celluloid discrimination was not even a debate, Kukunoor wrote this empowering story of two women fighting against odds to get what they desire. Inspired by a Malayalam film, Dor was a script so commanding it opened to a grand reception by critics and commercial audience alike. Two women from distinct backgrounds are brought together by fate, when their husbands get entangled in an unfortunate situation. While one is forced to live a life she never desired, the other fights an unnerving battle to ensure her husband’s survival. The women bond, struggle and stay afloat in this journey called life.
- Nagesh Kukunoor for Iqbal (2005)
What could be more charming than watching a struggling cricketer make it to the Indian Cricket Team? Kukunoor broke the stereotype and challenged norms when he portrayed his deaf and mute protagonist Iqbal, in all his glory. Shreyas Talpade essayed the role to precision. When the film released, it was loved by all. There is something extremely enthralling about a story that every movie buff relates to. Iqbal’s brilliance cannot be matched.
- Vishal Bhardwaj for Makdee (2002)
If there has ever been a Bollywood film that has been stealthily creepy and simultaneously hilarious, it is this one. Beautiful songs, amazing acts and a strong script made this film praiseworthy. Twin sisters are forced to live without each other when one falls prey to a sinister conspiracy. The film challenged superstition and show rural naiveté with perfection. The eerie premise and a boisterously-booming laughter of Shabana Azmi still echoes.