Bollywood has been known to follow a formula – a recipe which churns out sureshot blockbusters. The reason behind this herd-mentality can be the risk which is usually involved with producing and distributing movies in India. There are only 52 Fridays in a year, but 2015 alone saw 204 Bollywood movies being released, which includes dubbed versions.
It’s indeed safe to follow a formula, and then hope for the best. When crores of rupees are being gambled on the star power of Shahrukh Khan or say Salman Khan, then the producer would wish a solid return on investment.
However, there is another breed of film-makers, who refuse to follow a set pattern, and dare to envision a story which goes beyond a ‘recipe’. They aim to translate a real life incident or a character into silver-screen, and thereby take a massive risk for failure. Risk because you never know whether a particular story or a character would hit the chords with the audience or not.
But fortunately for Bollywood movie lovers, there exist few producers and directors who, despite the risks involved, go for such awe-inspiring stories and help restore our faith in cinema.
Here are 5 outrageous Bollywood movies, which decided to unfollow the league, refuse the charm of the ‘formula’, and set its stamp with real life stories:
No One Killed Jessica (2011): Based on the controversial Jessica Lal murder case, director Raj Kumar Gupta in association with producers UTV Spotboy decided to take their chance, and create a movie which asked some hard questions about crime and state of women in India. Vidya Balan played the character of Sabrina Lal, who was the elder sister of Jessica Lal, and who torched the flames of protest against the culprits. Multiplex audience loved this movie, as it managed to churn out box office collection of around Rs 12-14 crore, against its production budget of Rs 18 crore. However, the movie was a failure when it came to single-screen halls and Tier2/3 cities.
Bawandar (2000): Directed by Jag Mundhra, Bawandar portrays the life and times of Bhanwari Devi, a gang-rape victim from Rajasthan. Her character was played exceptionally well by actress Nandita Das, although the main names of characters and places were changed for legal reasons. The movie won several critically acclaimed awards such as Best Actress award for Nandita Das at Santa Monica Film Festival and Audience Choice Award at Bermuda International Film Festival.
Bandit Queen (1994): Phoolan Devi, the dreaded dacoit from Chambal inspired directed Shekhar Gupta to make a movie on her life, and thus, Bandit Queen was born, which redefined the art of cinema in several ways. Seema Biswas played the unforgettable character of Phoolan Devi. This movie not only won National Film Award, but was also screened at Cannes Film Festival in 1994. In fact, Bandit Queen was also nominated as Best Foreign Language Film at 67th Academy Awards, but couldn’t win it.
Talvar (2015): Directed by Meghna Gulzar and written by Vishal Bharadwaj, Talvar was a hard-hitting movie, portraying the Aarushi murder case, which is still unsolved. Starring Irrfan Khan, Konkana Sengupta and Neeraj Kabi, the movie had hard, mysterious shades which asked us some tough questions regarding the double murder case which grabbed headlines since 2008. The writer of this movie attempts to showcase the actual incidents in a different light; an angle which was somehow missed by the investigative agencies.
MS Dhoni – An Untold Story (2016): Director Neeraj Pandey made a biopic on current Indian cricket team’s captain MS Dhoni, and he did it magnificently. The character of MS Dhoni was played by Sushant Rajput, and he did a commendable job here. The struggles, aspirations and obstacles of a typical Bihari boy has been portrayed in a nearly flawless manner, although the controversies have been avoided.