Bollywood has given us many stellar films, but many of them have not performed well at the box office—probably the reason why most of us have missed out on watching them. Well, there is no time like the present to revisit underrated films that promise sheer brilliance. That said, here is a list of the most underrated Bollywood movies you NEED to add to your watchlist. While some have a gripping storyline, others feature frames that are a treat for sore eyes. Keep reading to find out which cinematic gems who haven’t seen yet:
1. Paan Singh Tomar
No matter the film, if it stars Irrfan Khan—it’s a masterpiece. Released in 2010, Paan Singh Tomar is a biography of an Indian athlete turned dacoit. Although it is nearly impossible to take your eyes off from Khan in the film, the entire cast's performance was exemplary. The film managed to bag two National Awards in 2012—best actor and best feature film. The late actor’s film can be streamed on Netflix.
2. A Wednesday
A Wednesday, which was released in 2008, is a thought-provoking thriller. The Neeraj Pandey directorial keeps viewers on the edge of their seat from the first frame itself. The story revolves around a retiring police officer reminiscing about a case he failed to solve. The film features two of the best actors in Bollywood in the lead—Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah. That’s not all’ 2000s' quintessential chocolate-boy Jimmy Sheirgill gave a strong performance in the film too. A Wednesday is available on Netflix.
Next on the list of the most underrated Bollywood movies is Rajkummar Rao's Shahid. The biographical film, based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, primarily focuses on the lawyer's two major cases: the 2006 Mumbai train bombings and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. While Rajkummar effortlessly grabs attention, Mohammed Zeeshan and Prabhleen Sandhu lift the film subtly with their act. This 2013 release will win your heart for its simple yet honest storytelling.
Before Vicky Kaushal and Richa Chaddha gained popularity for their performances in Uri: The Surgical Strike and Fukrey respectively, they delivered their finest work in Masaan. The sincere performance of the lead spelled the grim truth of small-town India beautifully. The Neeraj Ghaywan directorial is surely not for everyone and is somewhat of an acquired taste. The film is available on both Netflix and Zee 5.
5. Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!
This dark comedy satire, released in 2008, did average business at the box office—even though it was a critically acclaimed film. The ensemble star cast of the film featured Paresh Rawal, Neetu Chandra, Manu Rishi, Richa Chadda, Manjot Singh, and Archana Puran Singh. Meanwhile, Abhay Deol in the lead portrayed the role of the titular Lucky, a charming conman, with complete conviction. The Dibakar Banerjee directorial is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
If thriller is your favourite genre, Ugly is a film you should not miss. At the start, the movie seems like any other ordinary film focusing on a missing child. However, as it progresses, the film takes the viewers through a journey of human greed and touches upon the egos and repressed emotions of the characters. The 2013 release is a remarkable and gripping thriller that'll keep you engaged till the very end. The star cast’s collective effort makes it one of the top underrated movies in Bollywood. The Anurag Kashyap directorial is available on Disney+ Hotstar.
Featuring Rajkummar Rao and Manoj Bajpai, Aligarh is a cinematic treat. Based on the real-life story of professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, the film advocates the right to privacy and equality. In the film, the professor, played by Manoj, was fired from his job because of his sexual orientation. Meanwhile, Rajkummar Rao plays the character of the journalist who brought the professor’s true story out of the closet. Though you may not encounter any hard-hitting dialogues, the silence of the film conveys its message seamlessly. The Hansal Mehta directorial is available on Amazon Prime Video.