Monday, January 13, 2014

Five Off-beat films to beat the monotony!

Religion, cricket and Cinema rule India. We discuss Cinema importantly. Arvind Kejriwal may sign a new policy in Delhi but the movies which are queued up for release this week will grab our attention. Cinema is in our pulse. It flows in our veins. It twitches our nerves and rules our minds. When Blogadda posted  Misslovely , An Off beat Hindi film - Weekend activity I first thought of skipping it as there are too many movies which I love, but being a movie buff I finally succumbed to it.

Mass movies which are most of the times unrealistic may earn 100 crores and attract more public by an item song or a skimpy clad heroine but off-beat movies which are close to reality instantly form a bond with movie watchers.Movie goers like me feel good as they watch something which makes them think rather than just sitting there for 3 hrs of colors, masala and entertainment. It doesn't mean that commercial movies are bad. I only mean I like off-beat  movies more. Off-beat actually means unusual or unconventional.

I thought a lot to list down those top 5 Off-beat movies which I feel every one should watch and came up with the below list.

1.) Gangs of Wasseypur 

The first and foremost person who comes to my mind when I think Off-beat is Anurag Kashyap. The movie Gangs of Wasseypur he made 2 years back in 2 parts impressed me a lot. Keh ke lunga became a cult and O-womaniya became a soothing song for all the women out there. This movie proved that women in remote areas can also be bold and can revolt back. This particular point won my heart. The smashing star cast - Manoj Bajpai , Richa Chadda, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nawazuddin Siddiqui , Huma Qureshi , the Bihari slang and locales, interesting story line, brutally honest dialogues , wonderful music by Sneha Kanwalkar and many more reasons just made it the most interesting watch of the year 2012 for me. Do read my detailed reviews at Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and Gangs of Wasseypur 2 to know how much I loved the movies!

O womaniya song from GOW

Anurag Kashyap is so far the best story teller in Hindi film industry to me. There are many other good movies directed or produced by him like Dev D,  Shaitaan , Luv Shuv tey chicken Khurana, The Lunch box and many more. Almost all the movies where he is involved have won applause! With Gangs of Wasseypur the number of his fans tripled!

2.) Dasvidaniya : 

Dasvidaniya which in Russian language means good bye was directed by Shashant Shah and written by Arshad Syed has VinayPathak in the lead role. When I watched the movie back in 2008 tears welled up in my eyes. It is about a boring person Vinay Pathak who lives with his mother. He does even the daily tasks with the help of to- do post its. The monotony of his life ends only when he realizes that he is about to die. That moment he actually starts living and sets out in to the world to fulfill all his dreams and desires.

The movie is about how the journey unfolds and how he ticks off each wish in his bucket list. This is a feel good movie with no-nonsense. I love Vinay Pathak and his performance in almost all the movies. The song meri maa makes any one cry! It made me emotional even now when I was uploading the video.

Image source : here

Mumma song from Dasvidaniya

3.) Black :

The 2005 movie Black by Sanjay Bhansali was a huge success. It touched millions of hearts and redefined Rani as an actress and needless to say Amitabh Bachan rocked. It is the story of a blind and deaf girl in whose life a teacher brings a ray of hope. Black received awards and accolades and was listed in top 25 must watch hindi movies by India Times movies. Again I love black as it is a sensitive story which is heart touching.

Great performances by Amitabh and Rani made it tough to decide whose job was better. I wish to see Rani Mukherjee in a good movie again! The role Debraj Sahai  played by Amitabh is an unforgettable one. Black would be forever etched in my memory. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known for his colorful movies. By far Black worked the best for him :)

image source : here
4.) A Wednesday 

The 2008 thriller drama written and directed  by Neeraj Pandey - A wenesday is my all time favorite movie. It stars one and only Naseeruddin Shah and has Anupam Kher,  Jimmy Shergill and Aamir Bashir. I loved the movie due to the simple message of not tagging religion with terrorism. Naseeruddin steals the show through out and the movie makes you sit glued to your couches till the end.

The movie just shows that a common man can do anything if he decides to implement what he thinks. The story  focuses the 2006 Mumbai train blasts and makes the viewers feel sad and bad about the terrorist attacks on which one has no control. At the same time it makes us think about the cases where terrorists are not punished the way they have to be in India. A realistic take on the whole scenario with top notch performances by Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher.

Image source : A Wednesday

5.) Barfi :

The last option is tough as I want to list down many movies made in 2012 as good off-beat movies. How ever I am rounding on Barfi written and directed by Anurag Basu. Here is one more Anurag who raised the bar of Indian Cienma. Barfi is a feel good movie . It is the story of Murphy "Barfi" Johnson who is born deaf and mute but lives the life to the fullest due to his optimistic attitude. Ranbir Kapoor excelled in the movie and Priyanka Chopra as Jhilmil who is autistic is brilliant too.

The movie gave way to Ileana in bollywood and all the performances are memorable.Love doesn’t need perfection but love at times is a impulse of  heart without any pre plans and so  beautiful that you can lead a perfect life even with 100 imperfections. This is the beautiful message in the movie when Barfi and Priyanka start living together. If only every one who is physically strong could live in such a dream land of BARFI life would be easier and better. This movie can be savored just like the sweet dish barfi!
Image source: Here
Aashiyaan- My favorite song from Barfi

I want to write about many more movies but I am stopping here as we have to list down only the top five movies. The other movies which I want to watch are The Lunch box, Ship of Theseus, Girl in the yellow boots , Udaan and many more. Few other movies which I loved watching are Dilse, Swades, Iqebal, Ishqia, Do dooni chaar, Vicky Donor, Fukrey, Madras Cafe, Go Goa Gone and the latest Dedh Ishqiya charmed me. The list is quite long so I want to end my post here.

Gone are the days for the bollywood where hero is poor and heroine is rich or vice-versa and then they fall in love with 12 odd songs through out the movie. The hero doesn't have to take revenge on the villain and save his sister and mother always. Bollywood has come out of that comfort zone and changed the equations and is all set to make wonderful off-beat movies which are also faring well at box offices. The big sponsors and the planned releases across the world is also helping a lot as many viewers are recognizing a good movie !

This post is a part of the Miss Lovely Activity in association with BlogAdda.

Miss Lovely, an off-beat film directed by Ashim Ahluwalia is set in the lower depths of Bombay’s “C” grade film industry. It follows the devastating story of two brothers who produce sex horror films in the mid – 1980s. A sordid tale of betrayal and doomed love, the film dives into the lower depths of the Bollywood underground, an audacious cinema with baroque cinemascope compositions, lurid art direction, wild background soundtracks, and gut-wrenching melodrama. Miss Lovely is scheduled for commercial release on 17 January 2014.
You can check the trailer of the film


  1. A worthy list... though why include 'Barfi'... do you think this movie aims to change society in some ways? Perceptions about the handicapped? Well, Ranbir's character in the movie couldn't really have made him stand out as a role model.

    Arvind Passey

    1. I liked Barfi due to the simple message that one should try to be happy irrespective of the lacunas in life! I loved their performances and the way it is picturised. Both Barfi and Jhilmil's characters r my favorites ! I didn't say he became a role model after that but definitely his acting skills were more explored
      Thanks for reading arvind

  2. Nice choice, Afshan :) You did a smart thing by including some extra movies in this Post :) As true Bollywood Fans, we feel picking just 5 is such a challenge & our list can have more & more as we love all the movies so much :)
    Best wishes for the contest :)

    1. ya the list is endless no ?
      I am just glad we have good days for cinema finally ! :)

  3. nice list Afshan! I have not seen GOW I would love to watch it someday!

  4. Ah! You have mentioned many films smartly!:)

    Black was really different. And I liked A Wednesday so much! But I found Barfi! (I love the sond Itti Si Hansi..." and PC's expressions...) and The Lunch Box (Toooo slow to watch...zzzz) boring.

    Do Dooni Char is very sweet movie. Fukrey is my favourite! And Go Goa Gone was gripping!!

    All the best for the contest! :)

  5. I have seen 4 of the five. And Dasvidaniya is an awesome movie.

  6. I haven't watched the first 2 on your list, but Black, A Wednesday and Barfi were worth watching. Best of luck for the contest, Afshan.

  7. Very nice analysis, Afshan! I agree with all your recommendations, except that I could not watch Gangs of Wasseypur because it was too violent for me.

    1. ya GOW was violent but was an interesting watch.
      Thanks for reading Roshni

  8. "A Wednesday" is my favourite out of the lot. Dasvidaniya is on a must-watch list. Nicely done Afshan. :)

    1. do watch Dasvidaniya
      Thanks for reading Pooja ! A wednesday moved me too !

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