Indian movies that leave an impression on us, that make us say “This movie is gonna stay for a long time with me” and those that were never accepted in their time because they were way ahead of the time, but eventually they got the fame they deserved, the movies that somehow were not socially acceptable, or, were, but the concept was something new. In the context, we here at FlickZee bring you such movies and urge you to add them to your bucket list, because if they make you lean back and make you say that “This certainly wouldn’t have worked in that era” we would be glad to have suggested a movie that stayed. If the movie even was a wonder in their era, creating a story very dissimilar to the ones created in that time, we ask you to sit down and marvel at the thought process of the creators.
Raising a toast to such movies that need to find a way in your time. Movies that were way ahead of their time.
Rupa is considered unlucky as her mother died during childbirth. Further, an accident leaves half of her face scarred. Rajeev, an “educated” person, falls in love with Rupa because of her voice and her unscarred side of her face and they develop a relationship that isn’t considered “right” while he is oblivious of the fact of her scarred. His wife is the woman with the scarred face while the beautiful girl is his mistress. In an age where the beauty of a woman, whether she was a newborn, a little girl, a teenager, a daughter, a wife or a mistress, mattered more than her character, the beauty of the movie was a subject of extreme criticism. The movie broke into theatres only because of one particular scene, and it could not garner the respect it deserved.
The movie received a mixed approach from various people. Here’s the reason why. Imagine this: A guy (Viren) in love with a girl (Pallavi). The girl getting married to someone else. The newlywed couple have a daughter (Pooja) who grows up to look exactly like her mother. While her parents die, the same guy returns to the vicinity after 20 years and destiny plays a cruel game when the girl (Pooja) tells that she is in love with him. The movie is filled with passion, love, drama, and most importantly – emotions, very deep emotions. While some called it pedophilia, others claimed that the movie changed their perspective, Yet again, a Yash Chopra movie dived out of the mainstream romance and came up with something that wasn’t typical.
Set to be released in 1988, this movie got a green signal in 2014 and yet it remained a topic ahead of the time. The storytelling is absurd and satirical. If one does not understand the movie in one go, it would be okay. Om, a young boy in love with science and magic, decides to go (literally) against his strange family to turn his studying to astrology and mythology. He is carefree, as apparently life is not. The movie was called postmodernist, whatever that means. We only have a word of caution: Go through it all in one go.
The story starts with a small family in Benaras who have only two daughters and no son. It broke many norms and was quite objectionable in that period of time. The eldest daughter, Badki, takes it on her shoulders to go to Mumbai and help her family out from the deep hysteria they are into. Being a simple village girl and only kindly educated, she faces too many difficulties finding a job. Disheartened she wants to return as the only job she could get was over and above her respect and a desperate mother scolds her off after which she takes up a job as an escort. The job is well paying, obviously, but the nature of the job leaves her own conscience diminished. The sisters (Badki and Chutki) then meet at a juncture where they never expected they could meet. The whole family is turned upside.
The storyline of Guide is roughly based on the famous by RK Narayan’s “The Guide”. Raju, a multi-linguistic guide meets up a woman named Rosie, who is unhappily married. Extramarital affairs in those times was a taboo topic, a bold move on the part of the director. Raju helps Rosie take up her passion for singing and dancing. Rosie becomes a hit but Raju falls into the trap of bad habits such as gambling and alcohol. He is tried and imprisoned in an attempt of forgery. When he comes out of the jail, the city in which he lands, treats him as a holy man. The story, though, unfolds in reverse.
Mandi is a dark movie based on an Urdu short story “Anandi”. The movie is set in the loose provinces of Bengal where a wealthy politician wants to bring down a brothel and place it somewhere outside the city. He wants to throw them out on the grounds of morality. But Rukmini Bai, caged into her own life as well as the life at her brothel, fights to keep the place. The movie is full of powerful dialogues, beautiful songs and the fact that the snobbish appealing crowd, who actually use the brothels are the one with low conscience and the prostitutes eventually take up the title of being “morally downgraded”. The movie was so bold for its generation, that it was once frowned upon.
Divorces, live-in relationships, and romance that involved a partner having a remotely extramarital affair was not an acceptable concept in 1987. The movie Ijaazat (Permission), as directed by Gulzar, is a story a man named Mahendra who is in love with Maya, who does not believe in marriages. Due to family pressure, Mahendra gets married to another girl, Sudha, they eventually fall apart. A few years later Mahendra and Maya meet again, and their stories reveal a lot about their pasts. The movie is unfathomably beautiful and a love story like this very rare in nature.
The movie is the one that has the famous dialogue “The show must go on”. The story of Raju, a young lad, reveals in parts. His life from school to circus, the phase when he has loved and lost and even when he has lost his mother, he has to wear the smile on his face and make people laugh. Because “The show must go on.” The movie is heartwarming and so ahead of its time, that even today, it is universally famed.
The movie did not receive the fame it was supposed to as the concept was hanging around homosexuality, celibacy and somehow hurt religious sentiments due to the name of the characters. But when we see the picture, the story is nothing short of a classic. It revolves around a middle-class family who seems happy on the outside but is hollow from the inside. Ashok and Radha, and Jatin and Sita, the lead protagonists face a variety of problems. Ashok is celibate without his family knowing it, while they curse Radha to be infertile. And on the other hand, Jatin has an extramarital affair behind Sita’s back. In these moments, Sita and Radha discover their sexuality and the fire that it erupts is both passionate as well tantalizing.
Subeer, a popular singer, on his way to shine like a burning star, before he falls in love with Uma. Uma has a beautiful voice and Subeer after marriage encourages her to sing as well. One, the concept of allowing women to work, to chase their dreams, was a frowned upon the concept. Secondly, women taking up careers instead of becoming housewives raised eyebrows. The movie portrays how the pride/abhimaan/ male ego of Subeer gets hurt when Uma gains fame more than him.
Movies on surrogacy are very rare. Rewa and Sia are best friends and their bond stays tight even after Rewa gets married. Soon, Rewa is expecting a child, but due to some complications, she loses the child and further hope. Sia offers to be the surrogate mother. Rewa is happy. But after Sia gets pregnant, Rewa has doubts, jealousy and insecurities. The movie later opened doors to movies with similar concepts, but still didn’t gain the rightful fame it deserved.
Four women who refuse to accept tyranny at the hands of the society fight against male chauvinism. The movie starts with a pregnant Vaidehi running away from her abusive husband. On her way, she meets Maithaili and Janki who brave up against the world and refuse to be dominated by the ill society finally landing in a village where a local leader Gajendra has been exploiting the village women. A series of gut-wrenching incidents which include the rape of a midwife named Ramdullari before being burnt alive take place and Vaidehi finally takes up the task on speaking on the behalf of all women calling Gajendra a rapist, fraud and harm to the society. Her speech when she screams out “Aati hai Lajja (Shame)!” shows us the reality of the abuse women face in the society.
Protagonist K, along with being a popular multi-millionaire personality, is a chain smoker since childhood. He got into chain smoking under the influence of his friend Abbas Tyrewala. As he grows, his habit continues and he is accompanied by his secretary. After a while, Abbas quits smoking and Anjali, his wife, tries to convince K to quit, giving Abbas’s example, but K rejects to quit. Later, when threatened by Anjali to quit marriage, he decides to enrol in Prayogshala for quitting, where he meets Baba Bengali, who charges him Rs. 21 lakh as fee and browbeat him that if not stopped, he & his family may face serious consequences and losses.
Ruth moves to India in search for her father after the death and suicide of her mother and 15-year-old sister, respectively. She takes up a job, saves some money, tries to keep her permit extended, only so that she can find her father. Her life keeps on turning upside down because of the society she has to face. She somehow manages to locate her father but is not ready for what she sees ahead. The movie is an acclaimed movie outside India, yet it still has to recieve an Indian audience that can grasp the concept.
Saleem, born lame, wants to become rich. He is given an opportunity. All he has to do is start religious riots including Hindu and Muslims. His education, conscience, outlook and even the humour is commendable that binds us to know whether Saleem really took the opportunity. The consequences bind him to start living an honest living. The movie set in late 80s brings us to the fact that this was the era where romance and flicks were at high rise and movies with concepts took too much time to rise high and above.
Have suggestions? We’d be glad to hear you out. And if you haven’t seen a movie amongst the suggested ones, what are you waiting for? Grab comfortable pillows, dim the lights and go on a lip biting adventure.