Not so Bollywood, Bollywood films!

Bollywood films that are not bollywood

When you think of Bollywood, your mind automatically thinks: boy meets girl, a displeased family leading to a depressed protagonist, a change of heart of the parents and finally, a happily ever after; all this with an item song, loud dialogues, and a few laughs thrown in there, and you can pretty much sum up most B’town films! However, there are a few films out there that break these norms (thankfully!). We present to you, such a list of Bollywood movies, that aren’t so ‘Bollywood’.

  1. Shaitan

Bollywood films that are not bollywood

For those of you who have not seen Anurag Kashyap’s directorial debut Paanch, have missed out on something. The fact that it is still not allowed to be released proves that his ideologies are still ahead of time, even in today’s day and age and let’s just say that Shaitan follows the same path. While the latter merely copies the idea of self-kidnapping from the former, the themes of conflict behind every character are totally new. The thing most commendable about Anurag in this film is probably his incorporation of the yesteryear song Khoya Khoya Chand amidst a runaway sequence despite the song having no connection with the scene whatsoever. It is so beautifully edited and incorporated that it compellingly compliments the onscreen antics!

  1. No Smoking

Bollywood films that are not bollywood
This Anurag Kashyap film shows the existence of a hypocritical and crime enriched society in today’s day that has removed the possibility of a peaceful and creative society EXACTLY like how Baba Bangali pulls the plug off on the possibility of individual freedom by torturing and killing K’s soul. This is one of the many interpretations of the film. The ending of this film has confused almost everybody who has seen it and maybe the only way to know what Kashyap’s motto was for the film would be to ask him that directly!

  1. Love Sex aur Dhokha

Bollywood films that are not bollywood
In a country where the usage of the word ‘sex’ raises eyebrows and makes one the victim of angry stares and an automatic evaluation of their character, director Dibakar Banerjee came out, in 2010, with the film LSD (Love, Sex aur Dhokha) that portrayed his versions of what the three words in the title meant according to him, through a ‘hidden-camera’ capture. The film tells three stories, one of honour killing, a topic that is very much hushed especially in the north; the second of an MMS scandal and finally the last one, the incidence of the casting couch in the entertainment industry.

  1. Roy

Bollywood films that are not bollywood
Roy is one Bollywood film that is clearly misunderstood as a ‘bad’ film or a film that ‘puts one into snoresville’, mainly because not many of its viewers completely understood it. Vikramjit made his directorial debut with this romantic thriller. The film has an amazing story-line, however its direction could have been better; nonetheless, this film is a must watch for all the unorthodox Hindi film lovers.

  1. Vicky Donor

Bollywood films that are not bollywood
Like we mentioned above, we live in a country where talking about sex still remains a taboo and people cannot even think of making films on such topics. This is where director Shoojit Sircar stepped in to become a promoter of the avant-garde, by making a comedy about sperm donation! The film talks about the owner of a fertility clinic-cum-sperm bank who is in search of a healthy sperm donor. This search ends when he meets Ayushmann Khurrana aka Vicky Arora. The film is witty and made beautifully to address a subject that, according to many Indians, is a big no-no.

  1. Margarita, with a Straw

Bollywood films that are not bollywood

Shonali Bose and Nilesh Maniyar brought to us a film about a young girl who ends up falling in love. Now, you may ask how this film is different from your typical B’town flicks. Well, to start off, the girl is suffering with cerebral palsy and is bound to a wheelchair. She leaves India and travels to New York to study and unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The film has a lot of heart and is backed up by a very strong performance by Kalki Koechlin, who has done a good job of miming the physicality of someone with cerebral palsy; what’s truly remarkable is the lack of artifice in her expressions, while playing the character of Laila.

  1. Angry Indian Goddesses

Bollywood films that are not bollywood
This film has been called an Indian spin-off version of the film Bridesmaids, due to the fact that it is based around a bachelorette party. What makes this Pan Nalin film stand out is the surprising turns that upend genre expectations and explore the pressing issue of sexism in contemporary Indian society. Yet another minute detail about the film that was very much appreciated was the diversity of the group of girls, which portrayed a very vivid snapshot of today’s day and age: Su (Sandhya Mridul), a businesswoman and mother; the engaging Nargis (Tannishtha Chatterjee); Jo (Amrit Maghera), an aspiring Bollywood actress; Pammy (Pavleen Gujral), a housewife; Mad (Anushka Manchanda), a singer-songwriter; and the house servant, Lakshmi (Rajshri Deshpande).

  1. Delhi Belly

Bollywood films that are not bollywood
The song ‘D.K Bose’ caused quite the stir when this film was going about its promotions, and we could get a quick sneak-peek into what is to be expected from the film. The graphic images and language may not seem very crude to people who are exposed to the Western television scene, however it was pretty unusual to see something of that degree in Indian cinema. The film was shot in English and later also dubbed in Hindi. The film is a must watch simply for the fact that it was able to instil the flavours of indie-films into something that was part of mainstream cinema.

  1. That Girl in Yellow Boots

Bollywood films that are not bollywood
It seems as though Anurag Kashyap loves making films that are completely opposite one’s Bollywood diktat. This was his seventh feature and he is said to be a leader of a growing independent film movement in India; we couldn’t agree more. That Girl in Yellow Boots is a thriller starring Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah. It showcases a young woman who, in the bustling city of Mumbai, is in search of her father who had abandoned her during her childhood. Kalki Koechlin, who co-wrote the script with her then husband Anurag Kashyap, created the image of a woman who is sad and old, way beyond her years.

  1. Khamosh

Bollywood films that are not bollywood

A movie about movie making, Khamosh is a film very different from the ones releasing during its time mainly for the fact that the film showed the actors portraying themselves on screen. The opening credits feature a pitch-black background punctuated with the film’s motif and Vanraj Bhatia’s low-note riff; the credit sequence continues, sans any glamour. The opening scene is a perfect contrast to the credits. It shows a spot that comes across as a tourist location, where Amol Palekar and Shabana Azmi, are participating in a shoot. Mysterious murders are taking place on the sets of this Bollywood movie. Who is behind all these murders? Watch this 1985 film to find out.

Indian films that got global recognition

colletaralThere is a whole world of home-grown lists about our favourite Indian flicks, ranging from the ones with artistic merit and critical acclaim to the films that were just ridiculously popular. For an Indian movie to make it onto any globally recognized list is a very big deal, which signals a whole different league of success. Here are some of those movies:



This film featured on Time Magazine’s list of 100 Best Films of all time. Time magazine called it “the soulfully romantic of the lot.” It tells the tale of a struggling poet and a prostitute, who ends up falling in love with the former, and helps him out in his work and his life.



The film was featured on IMDB “Top movies of all time” list. Even after 15 years, it still remains to be the Bollywood film with the most number of British actors in it.



IMDB’s “highest rated crime films” list included this Malyalam film at the 6th spot. This Jeethu Joseph directorial venture, follows the story of a family that must take desperate measures to save themselves from the clutches of the law after the son of the IG of police goes missing.



A critical and financial hit, this was Satyajeet Ray’s fourth feature film. It was called one of Ray’s most exquisite films, by critics. The film earned the 56th spot in the 1982 Sight & Sound critic’s poll. It follows the story of a zamindar (landlord), trying to uphold the family’s prestige despite facing economic adversity.



This Akshay Kumar and Nimrath Kaur starrer, found itself on the 53rd position on IMDB’s “highest rated drama films” list.  Set in 1990, it speaks about the conditions of Indians during the Iraq invasion in Kuwait.

Pather Panchali


Satyajit Ray’s movie which was also part of the Apu trilogy, Pather Panchali depicts the childhood of Apu and his elder sister and the harsh village life of their poor family. It was featured on The Village Voice top 250 “Best Films of the Century.”

3 Idiots


Yet another Aamir Khan starrer found itself to be included in IMDB’s “top 250 movies of all time” list. It takes an off-beat and fresh look at the lives of college students.

Nayakan (also spelt Nayagan)


This Tamil crime drama was based on the real-life Bombay underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar, and sympathetically depicts the struggle of South Indians living in Bombay. It was listed on Time magazine’s “All-Time 100 Movies” list.

India’s top ad gurus

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They can captivate you, make you laugh out loud, start debates or merely flip the channel. Ads have the power to make you sit up and take note – good or bad.

Beautiful and touching to bold and controversial, some of India’s most creative minds have been behind memorable ads.

Here’s presenting some of the country’s top ad men, who not only changed the face of ads in India but have given us some memorable commercials as well.

Piyush Pandey

Piyush Pandey

Piyush Pandey

The No 1 ad man in the country is undoubtedly, Piyush Pandey, the Executive Chairman and Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather India. The ad guru is responsible for coining the defining slogan for PM Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha campaign, “Ab ki baar, Modi sarkaar”. This slogan helped in fetching delightful results for the current government during the elections.

The big daddy of Indian advertising has had a long and remarkable career at O&M. He is also the man behind popular ads like Cadbury’s – Kuch Khaas Hai, Fevicol – Fevicol ka mazboot jod, Asian Paints and even Fevikwick.

Thanks to Pandey, O&M today is one of the most sought after ad agencies in the country.

Watch the old Fevikwik ad here:

Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi

Poet, lyricist, script writer and ad man – Prasoon Joshi wears many hats. Having begun his career at O&M, Prasoon is now the Chairman of McCann World Group Asia Pacific.

He is the man behind notable commercials like Alpenliebe Chlormint, Thanda matlab Coca-Cola (which won an award at Cannes) and many more.

Joshi was conferred the Padma Shri this year and has also composed the anthem for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Check out Aamir Khan in the award-winning Coco Cola ad:

R Balakrishnan

R Balki

R Balki

The Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Lowe Lintas, is also known as the filmmaker R Balki. Balki’s agency recently picked up three Gold Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2014.

Some of Balki’s popular works have are Daag Achche Hain for Surf Excel, Jaago re for Tata Tea and the Walk And Talk for Idea Cellular. Balki is also the one who captured the late superstar Rajesh Khanna in his last ad for Havells fans.

Watch Rajesh Khanna in the Havells fan ad:

Sam Balsara

Sam Balsara

Sam Balsara

A prominent figure in the Indian advertising industry, Sam Balsara has over 30 years of experience in the ad world. The Founder, Chairman & Managing Director of Madison World, Sam’s company has worked with the most prominent brand available in the market.

And not just that, Madison worked along with Team Modi to pull off the biggest political campaign the country has ever seen.

Prahlad Kakkar

Prahlad (1)

Prahlad Kakkar

Who can ever forget Aishwarya Rai’s first ever TVC. “Hi! I’m Sanjana. Got another Pepsi?” mouthed Ash. And since then she has never looked back. The man behind the discovery and the commercial, Prahlad Kakkar is a brand guru and a man behind Genesis.

Candid, bold and sometimes just outrageous, Kakkar’s ad campaigns have captured the imagination of the county.

Some of his memorable campaigns have been for brands such as Pepsi, Kit Kat and Maggi.

Watch Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in her first-ever TVC

Arvind Sharma

Arvind Sharma

Arvind Sharma

Arvind Sharma has been the longest-serving CEO of an ad agency, having headed Leo Burnett as chairman and CEO for 21 years. When he quit Leo Burnett in 2013, in a way it was an end of an era.

A veteran, Sharma has been the force behind popular ads like McDonalds, award winning radio ads like Tata Salt Lite, Thumbs Up, Tide and more.

Sharma has now turned entrepreneur with the e-commerce venture,

Josy Paul

Josy Paul

Josy Paul

In the last two years, the man behind BBDO India and RMG David has won more awards at Cannes and Spikes Asia than any other creative in India.

Having been part of O&M and Lowe Lintas, Josy formed his own company and has been the mind behind Johnson’s Baby Cream, Pillsbusry, Visa Debit card and more.

Taking a different route from conventional advertising, Josy’s ads are steeped in social messages like Aviva’s Great Wall of Education, Gillette’s Women Against Lazy Stubbles etc.

Watch Josy Paul talk about the craziest way he sold an idea: