Gone is the era of Bollywood just producing typical romcoms and masala movies. There are a lot of offbeat movies which actually count as ‘quality cinema’ but often go unnoticed due to the lack of marketing gimmicks the mainstream Bollywood commercial flicks. Here are a few of the underrated movies of 2017:
Ribbon is a 2017 movie featuring Sumeet Vyas and Kalki Koechlin in the lead. The plot revolves around a young, married couple Karan and Suhana, where they’ve to deal with the challenges of unplanned parenthood. Along with that, ribbon also depicts important issues that need our attention in the current scenario like the troubles women face at work, child sexual harassment etc. The movie didn’t do well on the box office but is a must watch especially for young couples.
Ajji which means granny had been marketed as a dark twist to the age-old classic tale ‘ Red riding hood’. The thriller-drama is based on child rape where the grandmother of the victim seeks revenge from her perpetrators. Ajji gained a lot of critical appreciation and was also a part of many film festivals like MAMI film festival, Busan International Film Festival, Dharamshala International Film Festival etc. The film is also available on Netflix for the audience.
This 2017 film directed by Rahat Kazmi is based on the controversial short stories by the famous Urdu writer Saadat Hassan Manto. It mostly features plots set in the period of the Indo-Pakistan partition of 1947.
This short film directed by Zaid Anwar stars Farida Jalal in the lead and deserves a special mention in the list. The movie is based on the Saudi Arabian law according to which women without a ‘Mehram’ i.e a male blood relative are forbidden to perform the Hajj, the sacred annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Farida Jalal plays Aamna who decides to fight this patriarchal law for her right to perform the Hajj. The movie didn’t get many show slots at the box office but received recognition at national and international platforms for the brilliant performances and direction.
Starring the legendary actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, this movie seems like a light comedy in the beginning but takes a tragic turn as it goes on further. Directed by Shlok Sharma, Haraamkhor also features the Masaan actress Shweta Tripathi as Sandhya the student. Nawazuddin plays Shaam, a married School teacher who has a ‘forbidden affair’ with his student Sandhya, who’s trying to be wooed by her classmate Kamal. The movie also premiered at NWIF (New York Indian Film Festival) where Nawazuddin also received the best actor award for the same. It is also available on Netflix.
6. Mukti Bhawan
This comedy-drama is again a debut gem which showcases the story of a son who tries to fulfill the last wish of his father by accompanying him to ‘mukti Bhawan’ or ‘Hotel of salvation’. It highlights the beauty and the perils of a parent-child relationship while also giving a message of seeking life despite the inevitability of death. It again received a lot of critical acclamation and awards at all prestigious film festivals.
The movie co-produced by Anurag Kashyap presents Rajkumar Rao who plays a call center employee who gets trapped in his apartment without food water and electricity. The movie explores an entirely new genre of survival-drama in Bollywood. The gloomy background score creates a claustrophobic feel while showcasing the problem of urban loneliness in the life of most youngsters. Rao’s brilliant acting skills make it a must watch for all. The movie was also one of the few Bollywood movies that were released without an interval.
8. A Death in the Gunj
A Death in the Gunj marks the directorial and writing debut of The Bollywood actress Konkana Sen Sharma. The marvelous star cast included a lot of critically acclaimed actors like Vikrant Massey, Tilotama Shome, Om Puri, Tanuja, Jim Sarbh, and Kalki Koechlin. With a limited theatrical release, the movie only got only 100 screens in India. None of the performances are out of tune in the movie even for a while. Yet, Vikrant Massey who plays the character of ‘ Shutu’ stole the show by amazingly taking the audience into his world of the being a misfit. Shot stunningly, it doesn’t feel for once that its someone’s debut movie. The movie was also nominated for tons of prestigious awards and featured in a lot of film festivals as well.
Now go make use of that Netflix membership and relish one of these hidden gems right now.