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The Other Side of Bollywood

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By Muhammad Zunair

It’s quite common to think of Bollywood as a film industry which produces only commercial cinema. Most of the work that comes out of Bollywood is aimed at entertaining the audience and to score good at the Box Office. In Bollywood, most of the filmmakers are reluctant to work on diverse and social issues and there is no balance between commercial movies and those which are essential for highlighting different behaviors of the society. Well, things are changing and in the last 10-15 years, Bollywood has also given those movies which are more close to reality than the fictional aspiration dramas. 
I have listed 10 Bollywood movies which clearly illustrate my point, these are must-see stuff and have proved to be a gateway for more movies of such kind. 

1. The Lunchbox
This movie finds itself at the top of the list for many obvious reasons. Firstly, it is one of those movies which have a very simple plot yet they explain many complex ideas. It’s just like The Boy In Stripped Pajamas in its structure and arrangement. Secondly, both Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddique have played their role in such a flawless manner that they engage the viewers in quite effectively and do not allow them to feel unconnected. Thirdly, it tells a story of connection which starts through very rare and unconventional circumstances, and the movie ends up highlighting those societal behaviors which most of the people are unaware of. (Fourthly, it is my favorite Bollywood movie.) So, it is treat for all who like such kind of cinema. 

2. Paan Singh Tomar

May be I’m bit inclined towards Irrfan Khan but this movie deserves to be in the list. A depiction of true incidents and an account of an Army Sportsman who ends up as a ‘Baghi'(Rebel), it truly illustrates the way in which the national heroes have been treated both in India and Pakistan. Well, this movie started an era of sports movies and Bollywood have given many great pieces on sports heroes since then. Weather it was Bhaag Milka Bhaag or Mary kom or Dangaal, Paan Singh Tomar happens to be the pioneer of movies regarding sports heroes. Director Tigmanshu Dhulia remarkable work and the accuracy with which the movie tells the story of Paan Singh, it would be quite unjust to not rank this movie high on the list. For all those who haven’t seen this movie, they need to put it on their watch-list. 

3. Black 

This 2005 Drama, telling the story of a girl who can neither see nor hear and the connection which emerges between her and an eccentric teacher, is one of the best Sanjay Leela Bhansali work up to the date. Amitabh Bachan and Rani Mukherji gave such ever-lasting performances that even after 12 years and tones of movies, Black still finds its place at the top of the pile. The movie explains how an an eccentric teacher helps an emotionally distraught person and ends up being the patient. This movie has such a perfection in all aspects that it is impossible to find a loophole in it. Black is a masterpiece and the one that you must not miss. 

4. Gangs of Wasseypur 

You may have seen many gangster Bollywood movies and must be thinking that why it has been on the list. Well, i’ll leave it to you people to decide because once you see this movie, it’d be clear that this work of Anurag Kashyap is truly sublime. With the performances from Manooj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddique and Piyush Mishra, and the outstanding screenplay from Zeishan Quadri, GOW is the best gangster movie of Bollywood. Inspired by Gangs of New York and The Godfather, this movie has done justice to tell a real life story and to beautifully summarize the tussle between gangs in Wasseypur and Dhanbad. GOW is another movie which must find a place on your watch-list.
5. Kai Po Che 

There have been many actors in the Bollywood who have always taken those roles which are more titled towards reality than fiction. There was Nana Patikar, then came Irrfan Khan, later it was Nawazuddin Siddique and in new boys, Rajkumar Rao has taken this task of portraying real life characters. In addition to Rajkumar and Susant Singh great performances, the movie has a lot more to offer. It is quite a mixture of cricket, politics, inter-religion conflicts and young-life aspirations. Beautifully portrayed and very well executed, Kai Po Che is a modern day classic of Bollywood.     

To be continued…

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