The Hidden Gems Of Indian Cinema

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Off late, Bollywood hasn’t really been churning out high-quality movies on a regular basis. Yes, the box office numbers are at an all time high, but innovation, on the other hand, is at an all time low in the industry. The same old tested formulas of script writing have given way to a wide array of candy floss movies which often invariably make great business at the box office. As a result, not many people realize that Indian cinema has innumerable hidden gems that seldom grab the attention they deserve.  Here are a few such films that you must watch:

  • Gandu, a Bengali black and white film that released back in 2010, has a truly impeccable storyline that would make you want to watch the film even today. Directed by Surojit Sen, also known as Q, Gandu chronicles the life of a perturbed teenager who finds solace in rapping. The movie effortlessly pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable in Indian cinema, and that makes for a rather refreshing watch. The film, fraught with nudity, unsurprisingly left many viewers uncomfortable. So much so, that some embarrassed and furious viewers even left the hall during the “bold” sex scenes. Amid this moral backlash at home, Gandu was, however, nominated for the best foreign film at the Berlin International Film Festival.
  • Superman of Malegaon is a documentary film directed by Faiza Khan.  It’s a light-hearted film that chronicles the life of the residents of a small town called Malegaon in Maharashtra. The people of this town have a slightly peculiar attribute that collectively defines them all, which is their slightly obsessive love for filmmaking. The town is marred with poverty and communal tensions, but its residents find in film making, a cathartic way to channel their energies into something productive. The residents of this town make some brilliant spoofs of Bollywood and Hollywood movies that would definitely crack you up.  The highlight of the film is when a rather thin looking Superman tries to save some children from drowning in a river. What happens next is something you may want to find out yourself by watching this light-hearted documentary!
  • Peddlers is a Hindi crime movie directed by Vasan Bala. The movie follows the life of three individuals who live their own individual lives, but are brought together due to a twist of fate. The protagonist of the film is a 20-year-old boy who finds himself trapped in the viscous cycle of drug dealing. To make matters worse, he is pursued by an unusually scrupulous cop who is determined to track him down.  The fact that the highly celebrated Anurag Kashyap, is one of the producers of this brilliant work, too may be one of the reasons you’d want to watch this rather beautifully depicted story.
  • I.D. is a thriller directed by Kamal.K.M. set in the metropolitan city of Mumbai, the movie traces the life of Charu (the protagonist) whose rather mundane day turns upside down when she discovers that a man is laying unconscious in her home. The movie picks up when Charu tries to find a solution in what seems like an unending battle to bring back equilibrium in her life.  The movie was screened at numerous film festivals across the world.

Somesh Chandran

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