Bollywood produces a large number of films per year. Most of the big banner films are much hyped, but the lesser known, low-budget movies get lost in the din, sometimes undeservingly. So, here are Ten Great Hindi Films which slipped by almost unnoticed; they are all from the past decade and I’ve arranged them by year. I hope you enjoy them all. To see more lists and recommendations, check out Best Films by Genre and Best Films by Year :
– Shor in the City (2011) : A modern tale of crime in Mumbai, this recent film stars Tusshar Kapoor as a small-time goon and Sendhil Ramamurthy (of US TV show Heroes fame) as an American-Indian coming to India to set up a business. Produced by Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Films, and beautifully directed by Krishna and Raj Nidimoru, this wonderful film will make it to my Top Ten Films for 2011.
– Udaan (2010) : We’ve all seen “coming of age” films, and here is one more. It’s probably like nothing you’ve seen before, since this is a sensitive yet strong portrayal of one troubled boy’s relationship with his father. Rajat Barmecha and Ronit Roy star.
– Sankat City (2009) : A crime caper film like no other, this movie has multiple stories and characters all nicely tied into the story. The film stars Anupam Kher, Kaykay Menon and Rimi Sen, among others and is sure to keep you engrossed.
– Mithya (2008) : Ranvir Shourie hasn’t had much luck landing lead roles in Bollywood, but here’s a great film with him. In it he plays an innocent bystander thrust unwittingly (and comically) into the underworld, as what else, a mob-boss. Does it wreck his life or make it ? The film also stars Vinay Pathak and Neha Dhupia.
– Manorama six feet under (2007) : Are you a fan of mystery and suspense ? And have you (like me) long bemoaned the absence of any good Hindi “mystery” movies ? Well then, this is the film for you! A great film with a wonderful desi detective in search of a missing woman, this one is a must-see.
– Sehar (2005) : The good Police Inspector is a Bollywood staple. After all, where would we be without “Inspector Vijay” to rescue us ? Here’s Arshad Warsi essaying the role of the great Indian cop – SSP Ajay Kumar, and trying to finish off criminal gangs in the badlands of UP. I especially like this film because Warsi, an excellent actor and normally relegated to second-fiddle roles, shines here in the lead.
– Main meri patni aur woh (2005) : What happens when a short man marries a taller woman ? Will the marriage survive or will the husband, insecure about his height and lack of good looks crumble under sheer jealousy ? A wonderful film, liberally dosed with humor, this stars Rajpal Yadav and Rituparna Sengupta.
– Haasil (2003) : Love in the times of politics. Yes, a romantic tale about two students in love, this one soon becomes a thriller when a political goon takes a fancy to the girl. Irfan Khan plays the bad guy in Jimmy Shergill and Hrishitaa Bhatt’s love-story.
– Rules : Pyar ka Superhit Formula (2003) : Yes, another romance, this one features model Milind Soman. Soman plays model Vikram in the film and Meera Vasudevan plays Radha who’s besotted with him. She might as well be part of the woodwork because Vikram is in love with petulant girlfriend Maggie. Is Radha destined for heartbreak ? Watch to find out!
– Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar (2000) : One of the few films starring Manoj Bajpai in the lead, this drama has Bajpai playing Ram Saran Pandey, a village lad who comes to Mumbai from Jaunpur. Simple and trusting Pandey is brimming with goodness and is taken aback by the wily city and it’s even wilier people. Will he survive it ?