Every year we see hordes of movies being made in our industry. And each of them cater to a specific kind of audience. While some entertain, some educate, some shock you, some leave you disturbed. While some simply leave you thinking hard and wondering about the different possibilities in life. Such movies come only once in a while, and not everybody has the taste and courage to watch them. But those who do, and those who share pure love for cinema, these hard hitting movies are a must watch.
1. Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women
Odds are that you don’t know many of the actors in this film- Tulip Joshi, Sushant Singh, and Sudhir Pandey. But once you watch this film, you’ll get to know what a brilliant job all of them have done. But there’s a lot more to this movie rather than just spot on performances. Matrubhoomi is based in a village, where female infanticide has become so rampant that not even a single female is left in the entire locality. The film deals in the atrocities that Kalki, the only single woman in a nearby village, has to go through when she’s married off to five brothers. And through the character of Kalki, the film says so much about the current scene of gender disparity prevailing in our nation. The film is equal parts dark, hard-hitting, depressing & shocking, and would leave you a little numb.
Here’s one film which released without any noise, despite being directed by Anurag Kashyap, garnered no publicity, and yet has quite a lot of following. Because for people who believe in cinema which can move someone, this film is a must watch. Again, no big names- Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure and Surveen Chawla. Woven around the kidnapping of a little girl, the film explores the dark side of human nature including selfishness, greed, sadism, and violence. A troubled, lonely wife is stuck in a dead marriage with a police officer, the ex husband and her brother are trying to make it big in life, the woman’s friends wants to rip her off of her money, amidst all this chaos, the little girl ends up losing her life. Yes, it’ll make you dwell deep into your own conscience and bring some changes into your life.
This has got to be the most hard hitting and gruesome of the lot. And probably one of the best movies Nagesh Kukunoor has ever made. Based on a true story, Lakshmi tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who is sold into prostitution. In fact, some parts of the film will actually make you hit the pause button a couple of times, considering they are so gruesome. But it’ll also make you think about the plight of such who have to take up prostitution. Both Monali Thakur and Shefali Shah have done a great job in this one, and this film is strictly not for those who have a faint heart.
Not many know about this gem of a movie which brings to light the situation in Kashmir and cross-border terrorism. Tahaan is a young boy, whose conquest to get back his pet donkey lands him into deep trouble. The innocent young boy is tricked into becoming a terrorist and he has to make choice which path to choose. The film beautifully portrays how innocence is lost in the valley, and how with just a little kindness things can be set all right. In fact, the lead actor, Purav Bhandare, was much appreciated for this film. The film would definitely make you think about all those times when you’ve had to make a tough choice in life, whenever you’ve been tempted into choosing a wrong path for your own benefit, and whenever your mind has been embroiled in the battle of good Vs evil.
If you haven’t seen the film already, you’re missing on quite a great piece of cinema. Directed by Nandita Das, the film is set right after the 2002 Gujarat riots, which created havoc in the country. Each and every actor in the film have given their career best performance- Sanjay Suri, Tisca Chopra, Shahana Goswami, Raghubir Yadav, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The thing which sets apart this film from others based on the Gujarat riots is the fact that the film depicts how lives of different people were affected because of the riots- right from the elite class to lower class, everyone had to pay the price. The film will definitely make you question a lot of things, including your own thought process about the different communities in the country.
It’s very tough to describe this masterpiece, simply because the film is complicated at many levels, and you’d actually need to watch it with full concentration and apply brains. Starring Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra, and Tillotama Shome, the films tells the tale of a man, who is so desperate to have a male kid that he ends up raising his daughter as a son, in literal sense of the word. No one apart from the father, mother and the kid knows that (s)he is actually a girl. The themes of identity crisis and lesbianism is shown so subtly yet beautifully in the film that you’d find yourself drawn towards the story. And by the end of it, you’ll actually feel emotionally drained.
I am pretty sure you’ve heard about this film, inspired by the true story of a 10-year-old Parsi boy who disappeared after the 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre, during the Gujarat riots. The film tells the tale of the boy’s family who undertake the dreaded journey of finding their beloved son. The film was actually so close to reality that it got banned in Gujarat when it released. Both Naseeruddin Shah and Sarika were applauded for their brilliant performances in this one and the film will actually make you fear for your own life! The tragedy depicted in the film is so real that you’d be left thinking what if it happened to you.
Odds are you wouldn’t have heard about this underrated flick starring Tulip Joshi and Muzammil Ibrahim. There’s a police officer whose life is perfect, with a loving wife and a baby on the way. But it takes an unexpected turn when he learns that his wife is a suicide bomber. The thing about this movie is, it very realistically depicts how an innocent woman turns into an emotionless terrorist and suicide bomber, and by the end of the movie you are left with a battle of your own thoughts. You can’t figure out of what she did was correct or wrong.
This has got to be undoubtedly the greatest performance from Rajkumar Rao till date. Based on the true story of human rights activist Shahid Azmi who was assassinated in 2010. The film follows his journey of how he gets affected by the Bombay riots, which basically lead to the turmoil in his life. After suffering a lot, he manages to become a lawyer, only to be assassinated in the end. The film would make you question what’s right and wrong and which side would you rather choose.