Tag Archives: Anup Singh

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times (10+1 list)

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Offbeat Indian Cinema, huh?

The term ‘offbeat’ generally conveys a certain idea of non-commercial, arty, not-for-the-masses kind of movies; those
intellectual films which almost invariably wouldn’t do much business in the box office but will probably travel around several festivals and Offbeat-Indian-Cinemasurvive exclusively on the blessings of a handful of niche audience and critics.

Well, that more or less covers everything except for the most essential fact, that most often these so-called ‘offbeat’ films are the real trendsetters, so unique and revolutionary in their treatment and storytelling that they are responsible for the evolution of meaningful Cinema around the globe!

And this particular list of Offbeat Indian Cinema (many are in regional languages), although some of them might have been lost in the popcorn-culture a tad too quickly for my personal discomfort, but then again, all of these films are undoubtedly the most important Indian Cinema of our recent times!

Here we go! (Listed according to their year of release)

10. Ankhon Dekhi (2013)

Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3yKUHI2mE4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaRevolves around a simple yet philosophical concept of a man’s belief, as he decides to believe only what he sees with his eyes!

Brilliantly written, directed and acted by Rajat Kapoor, the film that succeeds in recognising the true talent of performer Sanjay Mishra.

And most importantly this movie sets the stage for one of the most prominent Indian producer of today – Manish Mundra,  who in the following years have given us such brilliant films like MasaanDhanakWaiting and Newton.

9. Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

Language: Punjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pAByInA4kM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaAn uniquely metaphorical film based on the post-partition era of India and Pakistan. A Sikh desperate for a male heir, but then when his fourth daughter is born, he declares her to be a boy and obsessively brings her up in the same fashion!

The first collaboration between director Anup Singh and actor Irrfan Khan which resulted in such a brilliant piece of story telling and powerful acting.

Tillotama ShomeTisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal – absolute brilliant performances by all!

8. The Lunchbox (2013)

Dabba (original title), Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK3R0rvnlPs

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Ritesh Batra, this film is essentially a love story between an unhappy housewife and a middle-aged man, and they depend on the Mumbai’s famous ‘dabba’ delivery system to share their delicious little love-notes.

Probably the most commercially popular in this list, this unique love affair is crisp, real and yet as romantic as a fantasy.

The performances of Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes the movie a true memorable experience.

7. Ottaal (2014)

Language: Malayalam

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNuJPc8u8WM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaVisually the most eye-pleasing film in the list; a soulful story of a little boy and his grandfather and their beautiful fishing village somewhere in the backwaters of Kerala. But then there is ‘The Trap’ that awaits.

Superb direction by Jayaraaj, the story adopted from Anton Chekhov’s story Vanka.

The songs, the water, the innocence of the village – and the beauty of nature captured by M.J. Radhakrishnan in the most cinematic way ever!

6. Court (2014)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sc8z7zav9A

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, the film which won the National Award (Golden Lotus Award) and was the official entry from India for the Oscars 2016! 

(Click for Review)

The film is a sarcastic take on the Indian dysfunctional legal system that revolves around a folk-singer’s prosecution!

A script so powerful and so confidently executed, superb performances, the most unique court-room drama ever made.

5. Asha Jaoar Majhe (2014)

Language: Bengali

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFObwB9TAwc

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaLabour of Love, winner of two National Awards and many International ones, probably the most sensitive and poetic film in this list.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, the story of a married couple who yearns to meet and spend time together but couldn’t because of their work timings. The best thing that happened to the Bengali Industry in the recent times!

4. Visaaranai (2015)

Language: Tamil

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mnzK2KIz9U

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaDirected by Vetrimaaran, this was India’s official entry for the Oscars last year!

Based on a true story, four state-immigrants who experience the tragic police brutality as they were forcefully arrested, illegally detained, tortured and threatened to admit crimes of which they have no knowledge whatsoever!

Dark, gritty and dangerously realistic, the movie emphasises on the corruption of the Indian police department and the helplessness of the common man.

3. Chauthi Koot (2015)

Language: Panjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFS-ETnMSw4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaMid 1980s, politically turbulent Punjab being the backdrop, the film focuses on one particular family that (like most of the other Punjabi families of the time) gets crushed in-between the Indian Army and Sikh separatists.

Brilliantly written and directed by Gurvinder Singh, (his debut film being Anhey gorhey da daan), this movie brilliantly portrays the agitation and terror of the innocents of that era.

2. Thithi (2015)

Language: Kannada

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_NltD4Stv4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaA man, 101-year-old – dies. His sons and their sons and their family (the next three generations) prepare for his funeral, after the customary eleven days. The film is based on their actions and reactions over the old man’s death.

Smooth flowing, realistic and immensely engaging; a story of a seemingly every-day village life but told with such conviction.

Superb direction given by Raam Reddy, impactful performances, winning multiple awards – probably the best film in the list!

  1. Aligarh (2015)

Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JezwsQKpXuU

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaBased on a true story of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor who taught Marathi at Aligarh Muslim University, and was suspended from his job because of his sexual orientation!

(Film Review)

Masterfully directed by Hansal Mehta and such powerful performances by Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao.

Manoj Bajpayee (according to me) deserved the National Award for his role as Professor Siras.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Kaul (2016)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsR8pclAW1Y

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Vasudev Keluskar, this film is one of a kind – experimental, surrealistic, mysterious and stunningly visual!

The tale of a village school teacher who tries to maintain his sanity when assigned with an incredible responsibility that might change the fate of our universe!

Exceptionally well edited, shot in style playing with lights and shadows, sold performances – overall an exceptionally courageous example of story telling!

A few names of Offbeat Indian Cinema which are deserves the applause are Shahid (2012), Ship of Theseus (2012), Titli (2014), Killa (2014), Margarita with a Straw (2014), Talvar (2015), Haraamkhor (2015), Hotel Salvation (2016) and Trapped (2017).

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Upcoming Bollywood must watch Films

Upcoming Bollywood must watch films. Some of them are artistic and others very much commercial.

But i am sure each one will entice you with their unique trailer. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

So let the fun begin.

1. Margarita, with a Straw

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoStgCKMllI

Margarita-with-a-straw

Almost after a decade the director of Amu, Shonali Bose (my personal favorite) is back with her second film.

The trailer looks superb and Kalki Koechlin yet again amazes us with her exceptional acting.

Sonali Bose along with Nilesh Maniyar share the director’s credit. I didn’t get a proper poster for this film (probably not released yet) so using a picture from twitter instead.

2. Bang Bang

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRARHtMzZQE

Bang-bang

Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif are back with a bang (a double bang actually), good news for those who loved their chemistry in Zindagi na milegi dobara.

The trailer promises an action packed film with dangerous car chases, gun fights and of course the dance numbers to entertain us.

Thrilling and fast paced, directed by Siddharth Anand and the screenplay by Sujoy Ghosh.

3. Monsoon Shootout

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJAMZQHA97U

Monsoon-shootout

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Vijay Varma in the latest crime drama based on Mumbai underworld.

Directed by Amit Kumar the film has already earned a name in the festival circuits.

The trailer looks good, very realistic and well shot. Anurag Kashyap being one of the co-producers i hope this film lives up to it’s expectations.

4. Haider

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xakmvJ0WPa4

haider

After adopting Maqbool from Macbeth and Omkara from Othelo, Vishal Bhardwaj is back with another Shakespearean play adaptation -Haider based on Hamlet.

Shahid Kapoor with a skull in his hand, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor Irrfan Khan, K K Menon all geared up to present the tragic tale of Haider.

Hope the film is as good as it’s trailer.

 

5. Qissa: The tale of a lonely ghost

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORO6Zp0oHDU

qissa

Something unique and completely different from the trend, Qissa is a film that shows huge potential.

Directed by Anup Singh, the film has already been screened and applauded in many international festivals. Finally awaiting it’s release in India.

Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Tisca Chopra at their best; the trailer looks great, very well shot but doesn’t really reveal much.

6. Daawat-e-Ishq

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtsHlYO6TUc

daawat-e-ishq

Hyderabad in the background this one is Habib Faisal‘s upcoming film after his last two hits – Do dooni chaar and Ishaqzaade.

Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapur make a fresh pair and are also good actors. Their chemistry will be the USP of this film.

YashRaj coming up with yet another romantic film and the trailer looks pretty cool.

7. Titli

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GseAIMlyvI

titli

The film that competed for the prestigious Camera d’Or in the Cannes Film festival. 

Overall very natural acting, directed by Kanu Behl the film already has some rave reviews and a trailer that promises a lot.

A fresh cast who acted superbly and an unusual story line. Hope it can win over the Indian audiences pretty soon.

8. Happy New Year

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0mrzMQJMQ8

Happy-New-Year

The king Khan’s latest film yet to release.

After Main hoon na and Om Shanti Om the director Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan teams up again.

This time also joining the team are Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani.

Hope this film brings a happy new year for us.

9. Ugly

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ougQY2-zpk

ugly

Anurag Kashyap direction and a very interesting trailer to watch.

A thriller, the story revolves around the kidnap of a 10 year old girl of an aspiring actor.

It’s raw and dark and it promises everything that we expect from an Anurag Kashyap film.

Personally a big fan of his cinema and eagerly waiting for this one.

10. Finding Fanny

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O86FUOrlkY

Finding-Fanny

After Being Cyrus and Cocktail, director Homi Adajania comes up with his latest film, a romcom it seems.

A very talented cast and so good acting guaranteed, shot in the scenic Goa in the background; the film looks like a lot of fun indeed.

Naseruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Panjak Kapur, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor – all driving around Goa to find Fanny i guess!

11. Sulemani Keeda

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdbxunrkZd4

sulemani-keeda

Very interesting concept and a fresh cast.

Sulemani Keeda is about two writers who want to make it big in Bollywood and what happens in their lives when they are given a choice between love, friendship and their career.

A comedy by debutant director Amit Masurkar which promises to win over the audience. There isn’t a proper trailer out yet i guess.

12. pk

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDFDawjXsXg

PK

After his blockbuster hit Dhoom 3 Amir Khan is back.

And after his blockbuster hit 3 Idiots Rajkumar Hirani is back too.

Trailer not released yet but this is probably the most awaited film of this year. I am sure entertainment is guaranteed.

In this poster thankfully Amir Khan is wearing clothes instead of a radio.

13. Mary Kom

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxsKcx1IwI8

Mary-kom

A film based on the life of Mary Kom, five time world boxing champion; it’s about how she has challenged herself and achieved such glory.

Priyanka Chopra  playing the leading role  looks very athletic and perfect for the role.

Directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali the trailer promises a very real and entertaining film for the audience.

14. Rang Rasiya

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO576oIWuwE

Rang-Rasiya

Made in 2008, finally Rang Rasiya is getting a release.

Directed by Ketan Mehta, the film  seems to be on a controversial topic, it’s about an artist Raja Ravi Verma of 19th century who painted deities.

Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen, Paresh Rawal have done a great job, the film looks like a riot of colors. I am very curious about this film.

 

15. Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DWghUPBQg8

Kamaal-dhamaal-malamaal

Priyadarshan coming up with his latest laugh riot, the trailer looks hilarious.

Om Puri, Shreyas Talpade, Nana Patekar, Asrani, Shakti Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Madhurima Banerjee – as usual an array of actors and nonstop comedy.

If you are a fan of Priyadarshan films like me please add this film in your watch list.

 

See you in the theaters. Have fun.