When we plan to watch a film, how do we choose it? By its caste, ratings, glamour, budget or genre? I think our choice pretty much depends on the combination of all these traits. But as it has been widely said, “Never judge a book by its cover”, one should likewise, not choose a film this way. Not being commercially successful or devoid of great ratings, such movies are popularly known as ‘Underrated Movies’.
There have been numerous examples of such films that have despite their average cast, budget, and ratings, have attracted the viewers with its amazing plots and inch-perfect presentation.
So, here is a list of some of the Bollywood and Hollywood films which are quite ‘Underrated’
1. The Tashkent Files (2019)
A film unveiling the Indian political conspiracies, is an eye-opening tale, which despite gaining great ratings and immense appreciation from the critics does not gain much popularity amongst the audience. Who Killed Shastri? You may get an answer to this here.
The film stars Shweta Basu, Mithoon Chakraborty, and Nasiruddin Shah in major roles.
2. Black Friday (2004)
Genre: Crime Fiction/ Drama
A film based on the Bombay Bombings of 1993, is an enthralling tale told via different perspectives and stories. The film despite its great storyline and hard-hitting direction by Anurag Kashyap, failed to achieve good attention.
3. Dev D (2009)
Genre: Romance/ Comedy/ Drama
Dev D, by Anurag Kashyap is a contemporary take on the famous tale of Devdas. A film away from the conventions from the romantic Bollywood chic-flicks, this masterpiece is quite appreciated for its cinematography and character developments. The film stars Abhay Deol, Mahi Gill and Kalki Koechlin in lead roles.
4. ‘Underrated Movies’- Massan
Another piece of romantic tale, Massan has beautifully brought out its best. The story reflects the struggle faced by the Dom community of Varanasi whose members are the caretakers of the cremation ghats and giving funeral pyres to the dead bodies. It also comments on how pre-marital sex still remains a taboo in our society.
This one of the underrated movies stars Vicky Kaushal and Richa Chaddha in lead roles.
5. Shahid (2012)
Shahid is another underrated, yet great work by Hansal Mehta which deals with an extraordinarily honest man who turns into a criminal lawyer to fight for human rights for the people who have been falsely accused of terrorism. Rajkumar Rao plays the protagonist in the film.
6. Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008)
A great piece by Dibakar Banerjee, the film is an introspection on the life of an inch-perfect thief Lucky when he gets caught by the police and the media. This national Award-winning film still lost commercial profits, but is highly appreciated by the critics.
It stars Abhay Deol, Richa Chaddha, Paresh Rawal, and Neetu Chandra in lead roles.
Also read: The Void: A Poem
7. Ugly (2013)
Anurag Kashyap’s Thriller Ugly is a story of the abduction of a 10-year old girl. The story showcases one of the best plots in its genre giving the limelight to the dark reality with perfect narration and direction. It stars Ronit Roy, Anurag Kashyap and Tejaswini Kolhapure and Surveen Chawla in major toles.
8. Amir (2008)
A film starring Rajeev Khandelwal, it tries to highlight the fact that how hard it is to change, but some courageous and determined people, not only change their own destiny but also influence others and become the Amirs- The leaders of this world.
9. Paan Singh Tomar (2012)
A film which came into limelight due to the extraordinary performance of Irfan Khan still fails to conquer the viewers. But unfortunately, that’s how people perceive Bollywood! Paan Singh Tomar by Tigmanshu Dhulia is an inspiring tale of an athlete of the same name who is forced to become a dacoit in the rage of his mother’s murder when the police don’t take any action against it.
10. Ankho Dekhi (2013)
Ankho Dekhi represents the striking reality of the struggles in life and experiences of the middle-class community. It is an amazing journey of a man who is finding his own self. It inspires us to see more what is actually visible. The film stars Sanjay Mishra and Rajat Kapoor in lead roles who have given enthralling performances in the film.
11. Titli (2014)
A film by Kanu Behl, Titli revolves around a guy who wishes to separate from his gangster family and live life as per his own conditions but when is married to Neelu unwillingly, finds a true partner in him unexpectedly. The film comprising of beautiful characters showcases the hard-core reality of the slums.
12. Margarita, With a Straw (2014)
What happens when a woman with cerebral palsy falls in love? The story of the film revolves around one such woman. It is an inspiring tale that showcases that any kind of disability can be conquered upon and such people are in no way less than the other so-called ‘normal’ individuals. It stars Kali Koechlin and Sayani Gupta in major roles.
Read: The Key of Love: A Poem
13. Underrated movies: Apharan (2005)
Genre: Action/ Thriller
Another masterpiece by Prakash Jha, is highly unknown and underrated. The film revolves around a guy Ajay, an aspiring cop, who decides to become a kidnapper when he remains incapable of repaying his loan on time.
The film highlights that how honesty grins between politics and crime. It comments on the system, and politics of the country and reveals that how corruption forces people to deviate from their righteous paths. The film stars Ajay Devgn and Nana Patekar in lead roles.
14. 15 Park Avenue (2005)
An Amazing work by Aparna Sen, the film is about a schizophrenic girl Meethi, and her sister Anjali. Meethi lives in a world of illusion in which she is separated from her husband and family. One of the most underrated movies, Park Avenue, is known for its touching story and screenplay and is one of the most underrated films of Bollywood cinema.
15. Raincoat (2004)
A film starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Ajay Devgn in lead roles, is a romantic tale of a man who has to urgently collect money for his sister’s wedding. Amidst that he meets his former fiancé who had left her in order to marry a richer man.
The film would leave you with a number of questions and it reflects the condition of such housewives who forget themselves in the name of protecting their partner’s dignity.
16. Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women
Matrubhoomi is a heart-wrenching tale of a girl, Kalki who is bought by a man to fulfill the sexual desires of his five sons. It points that how a world devoid of women could lead to destruction and mass killing.
Also, it imparts the message of treating women with respect ad care, else, they could turn out to be nothing less than your Death!
17. Locke (2014)
A great work, this Hollywood film revolves around a man Ivan Locke, a construction manager, who one day, suddenly finds that the girl with whom he once had a one-night stand, is in labor. The film is quite realistic in its content and characters and is highly underrated by the audience.
18. Sunshine (2007)
Sunshine is a story of a team of Astronauts who are responsible for saving the sun. But things take a toll, when the life of the team members fall into danger as they meet with an accident. The film is set in the future, in around 2050s, where the earth is turning cold and the only way left out is to now save the sun for warmth. As they say,” The sun is Dying”.
19. Just Wright (2010)
Just Wright is a love tale of a girl Keslie who falls in love with a basketball player, Scott while helping him out through Physiotherapy. A heart touching plot, the film again, stays quite underrated.
20. The New World (2005)
Love is difficult, especially when one is bounded with the handcuffs of social responsibilities. The new world is a similar story of an American Princess who falls in love with Captain Smith, an Explorer. It beautifully brings out the conflict which lovers face when they have to choose between their lover and their duties.
The film apart from its beautiful plot, is also a visual treat to the audience.
21. Zodiac (2007)
Based on a non-fiction novel of the same name, Zodiac is about a serial killer Zodiac, who intends to kill unless his coded messages revealing his identity are published. The killer is now obsessively chased by a cartoonist Robert Graysmith. The film is one of the best in its genre.
Coherence revolves around eight friends who once, at a dinner party, with things as they see a comet passing who then witness strange happenings post that. Dealing with various facts and realities, the film is one of the best science -fiction ever made.
23. Underrated Movies-The Prophecy (1995)
The film is about a little girl and a priest and their struggle to prevent an angel from collecting souls from earth to end a war in heaven. Beautiful performances and great content is the main attraction of the film.
24. Zero Effect (1998)
The film revolves around a detective Daryl Zero, who sets up a sting operation to find the culprit. The film is much appreciated for its screenplay and its humours narrative.
25. The Namesake (2007)
Genre: Drama/ Romance
The Namesake based on a novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri is a beautiful story revolving around Nikhil (Gogol), an Indian teenager, settled with his parents in New York. He is much influenced by the modern American culture, thereby refusing the Indian one. What happens further that changes his notion towards the Indian culture, forms the major part of the story.
This Bollywood English-language film has not been recognized by the Indian audience, but has received huge appreciation from the American ones.
26. 1971 (2007)
Genre: War/ Drama
This Bollywood masterpiece revolves around a group of six soldiers of the war of 1971, captured by the Pakistani officials, and their struggle to escape from the Pakistani camp to the Indian border. The film stars Manoj Bajpayee, Deepak Dobriyal, Kumud Mishra, and Manav Kaul in lead roles.
27. Udaan (2010)
A film by Vikramaditya Motwane focusses on the father-son relationship. It revolves around Rohan who is after being expelled from his school, returns to his father and half-brother, and was there forced to work in his father’s factory. He does it unwillingly as he wishes to write. The film is a heart-touching one with a beautiful screenplay.
28. Battle: Los Angeles
Also known as Battle: LA, the film is a Hollywood Sci-fi, revolving around the World War-II which witnessed a global invasion too and after around seventy years, things seem to repeat.
29. How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days (2016)
The film is a romantic tale of a man who is challenged by his co-workers to hook up with a woman and make her fall in love with him. Where, on the other hand, the girl, Andie who eventually hooks up with Benjamin, is assigned to write an article on ‘How to lose a guy in 10 days’.
Hence, she decides to herself experience and then quote the same in the article. The film stars Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in lead roles.
30. The Girl With All The Gifts
One of the most underrated movies, the film revolves around a scientist and a teacher who struggle for survival with a special young girl Melanie who is immune to a mutated fungal disease.
So, such underrated movies definitely need more recognition. And you can help this out. I hope that this list would make you binge on some of the best works. For any additions, kindly use the comment section below.
Good Day and Good Movies!
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