Image: Yash Raj Films
Bollywood movies and Malaysians go hand in hand together, just like roti canai
and teh tarik
. Heck, we even wrote an article on why we’re so obsessed with it
! We’re not afraid of showing our utmost love and devotion towards these Bollywood movies and if you’re a true-blue fan, you’d know that their catchy songs and random dance sequences are essential to any Bollywood movie.
Well, if you are indeed an avid fan of Bollywood movies, let’s put you to the test. Did you know that there are numerous Bollywood movies WITHOUT any dance or song sequences? And the best part about it is, they’re equally as good as the ones that have it. Itching to know what kind of movies that are bold enough to exclude the two most important things that make up a Bollywood movie? Here are nine Bollywood movies that thought out of the box...
1. Water (2005)
Image: David Hamilton Productions/FOX Searchlight Pictures
is set in the year 1938, when India was still under British occupation. It explores the lives of widows at an ashram (monastery) in India, where widows at that time were seen as a disgrace to society and were expected to live their lives in poverty and worship of God. It is actually the final installation to a novel series which was also made into movies – Fire
(1996) and Earth
(1998). The movie highlights the struggles of the widows and their desire to break free from this tradition. Remarriages were allowed back then but it was seen as a taboo. It all changed when one of the widows, Kalyani, got intertwined with a man named Naryan.
2. Rockford (1999)
Image: SIC Productions
If you were quite the mischievous student back in school, this movie will take you on a trip down memory lane! Rockford
is a coming-of-age movie about 13-year-old Rajesh Naidu, who gets sent off to an all-male boarding school at Rockford’s Boy High School. Rajesh goes through great adventures and experiences the joy and pain that any boy would go through in a boarding school.
The director’s realistic vision and cast members’ natural talent made the story a more believable and relatable movie. It manages to capture the real struggles that any pubescent teenager would go through in life, from self-esteem issues to bullying. The narrative of the movie is more on the comedic side, which helped it garner raving reviews from viewers.
3. Chak De India (2007)
Image: Yash Raj Films
Chak De! India
, which means "Go For It! India", is probably the best title to describe what the movie makers and producers were thinking of when they made this movie – just go for it. The movie zooms in on a former captain of India’s hockey team that fell from grace after failing to score during the finals, causing their competitor, Pakistan, to win. There were allegations during the controversial match that he was more inclined towards the opponent team on the basis of religion. Because of this, he and his family eventually went into hiding. Few years later, he came out of hiding and became the coach of India's national women’s hockey team.
The movie was an instant hit. It received numerous accolades and became an inspiration to Indians, including the national hockey players. If we were to compare it to a local movie, Chak De! India
would be somewhat akin to our Ola Bola.
The movie’s success can be attributed to its strong and uplifting storyline, and also its star power, who is one of the most charming and talented men on Earth – Shah Rukh Khan.
4. Khosla Ka Ghosla! (2006)
Image: UTV Motion Pictures
Khosla Ka Ghosla
is Dibakar Banerjee’s directorial debut and it achieved critical acclaim. The movie, which means "Khosla’s Nest", is about a middle-class man in New Delhi, who is living a simple life with his family. He was content with his life until one day, a nightmare about his death turned things around. The situation worsen when he and his family visit a plot of land, which he purchased to build their new house. To his horror, an influential property dealer has already occupied the land.
This movie will take you on a comedic journey, where the family will go through testing trials and tribulations in order to reclaim their land. It has been reviewed as the “best comedy Bollywood has seen in the last two decades” on Rediff.com
. So, if you’re running out of ideas on what to watch with your family during a night in, this movie will be the perfect fit.
5. Iqbal (2005)
Image: Mukta Searchlight Films
tells the tale of a deaf and mute boy who dreams to play cricket for his cricket-obsessed country, India. With its fittingly apt tagline, “the only voice he could hear was his own”, the compelling storyline will take you on an emotional journey, where Iqbal strives to earn the support of his father, who thinks that his cricket dreams are a waste of time and that he should focus on being a farmer just like him. Iqbal tries to materialise his dream by getting help from his mum and sister, and also by seeking help from a local drunkard, who was once a great cricket player.
6. Black (2005)
Image: SLB Films
Sanjay Leela Bhansali adds another top quality production to his repertoire via the movie, Black
. Starring Bollywood’s fatherly figure, Amitabh Bachchan, and the ever beautiful, Rani Mukerji, Black
illustrates the beautiful relationship between a blind, deaf girl, and her teacher, who later on develops Alzheimer’s disease. Before you think of this as another typical sob story, bear in mind that this movie boasts a long list of accolades, and both Bachchan and Mukerji received the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and Best Actress for their work on this. More than that, Time
magazine also acknowledged Black
as one of the best movies of 2005. Dying to know what’s so good about it? Guess you’ll have to find out yourself.
7. A Wednesday (2008)
Image: Friday Filmworks
Taking a break from the sappy and comedic side of Bollywood movies, A Wednesday
offers a more serious tone with its drama thriller theme. The film is about a soon-to-be-retired police commissioner, and his narration of a series of events that took place on a particular Wednesday. It centres on a case that isn’t recorded on any official paperwork, and how it greatly impacted the police officer’s life. The case involves a mysterious man calling up the police station, informing them that he has placed bombs all over the city. He also demands the release of four terrorists.
The movie was made on a relatively moderate budget but due to word of mouth, it was a blockbuster hit and won several awards. The movie even inspired an English remake titled A Common Man
, starring Ben Kingsley. The remake however, had lower ratings than the original movie. Guess nothing can ever beat the original story.
8. Bhoot (2003)
Image: Ram Gopal Varma
is a movie that strays away from your typical Bollywood storyline and sticks very well to its own genre – horror. The movie is about a married couple who recently moved to an apartment. Everything was going well for them until the wife discovers that their previous occupant killed her child and committed suicide by jumping off their balcony. She soon gets possessed and all hell breaks loose. Her husband, on the other hand, assumes she is suffering from some sort of psychological disorder. The plotline is similar to The Grudge
and The Exorcist,
but if this is your cup of tea, then Bhoot
is highly recommended.
9. The Lunchbox (2013)
Image: Sony Pictures Classics
Every day, thousands of lunch boxes get delivered from kitchen to offices. It is a common practice and trade in India. So, what happens if one day your lunch box is mistakenly sent to another recipient? Usually, people would just return the lunch box, but for Saajan Fernandes and Ila, it was the start of a beautiful friendship. Both of them have never met but exchange notes through the lunch box on a daily basis. How cute is that?!
The two have very opposite personalities. Ila is a housewife, who’s struggling to put the romance back in her marriage, while Fernandes is a widower who prefers to be left alone. Personal stories and memories were never short in their exchange of notes, which give this story a fresh take. The movie was nominated for various prestigious awards including the British Academy Film Awards.