7 Of Bollywood’s Most Under-rated Masterpieces

by Niharika Nayak

While many people define the success of a film by the money it makes at the box office, there’s a lot more to it. Many times, brilliant movies are overlooked by the fact that they didn’t star big shot actors or aren’t directed by a big name in the industry. And in some cases, movies are overlooked for simply discussing topics that might not be considered mainstream. So we at StyleCraze decided to compile a list of 7 under-rated Bollywood masterpieces from the past two decades.

1. Iqbal (2005)

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Shreyas Talpade plays the titular role of Iqbal, a deaf and mute boy born in a poor agrarian family. He dreams of being a cricketer but his father isn’t so keen on his dreams and wants him to take on the family profession and toil the land. Luckily for Iqbal, he has the support of his mother and younger sister. Eventually, his skills are noticed by a washed-up, alcoholic, ex cricket player and the story ensues. This movie is a must-watch for all those who are passionate about cricket.

2. Margarita With A Straw (2015)

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Margarita With A Straw is a beautiful movie about self-realization, self-actualization, and self-discovery. It deals with a young woman suffering from cerebral palsy who rebels against her family to pursue her dreams of studying in New York City. While in New York, she meets a blind Bangladeshi-Pakistani woman named Khanoum and the two enter a relationship. This is a beautiful story about love, loss and the bond between a mother and her child. It deals with issues like LGBTQ+ relationships, cheating, cancer and more topics that are considered taboo. We’d recommend keeping the tissues handy. You’re most definitely going to need them after watching this film.

3. Water (2005)

Water is a beautiful and empowering tale of widowed women living in an ashram and chronicles their lives throughout the movie. It talks about how women in a pre-independent India were treated as burdens and discarded by their husbands’ families after the deaths of their husbands. We see the movie play out through the eyes of many characters, the most prominent of whom is an 8-year-old girl named Chuyia who was married off to a much older man. Unfortunately, the girl’s “husband” dies right after the wedding and his family, not wanting to take responsibility for her abandons her at the ashram.

4. Delhi Belly (2009)

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If you thought you had bad luck, you haven’t seen anything yet! Imran Khan plays the character of a broke journalist, Tashi, who along with his equally broke roommates, Arup and Nitin gets embroiled in the games of a Delhi gangster. What ensues is a hilarious series of misunderstandings that can only occur in a city like Delhi. Delhi Belly goes from high-speed car chases to Mexican standoffs to 80s styled musical numbers to innuendo and double entendre filled humor in the span of a heartbeat.

5. Dasvidaniya (2008)

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Dasvidaniya follows the story of a 37-year-old middle-class accounts manager named Amar Kaul who works at a pharmaceutical company. His life is flipped over when his upset stomach turns out to be stage three cancer and he makes a bucket list of all the things he wants to do before he dies. This list ranges from confessing his feelings for a colleague to getting back at his boss for treating him badly to visiting his friend in Russia.

6. Masaan (2015)

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Masaan involves two stories. The first one is of a father-daughter relationship that is tormented by a bad decision on the daughter’s part that leads to them being ostracized by the conservative society that they live in. And the second one is an inter-caste relationship set against the banks of the river Ganges. The film talks about what it’s like growing up in a conservative area like Varanasi and deals with the corruption of cops, mistreatment of minors, casteism and many other important topics. Richa Chadha and Vicky Kaushal play lead characters in the movie and are both subjected to various degrees of mental torture throughout their stories.

7. Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006)

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The movie starts with an oddly hilarious scene of the lead character, Khosla dreaming about his death. The irony of the dream is that neither his family nor his neighbors care about his death as much as their own selfish and materialistic needs. Khosla sees this as a wake-up call and plans on building a house for himself. Unfortunately for Khosla, he finds out he has been duped by the property seller and someone else has claimed his plot of land. On further investigation, he encounters the scrupulous character of Kishan Khurana and what ensues is a mind-bending game of the most hilarious variety.

Some of the movies on this list did receive praise for their treatment of topics that were considered taboo in our society, but these movies didn’t create as much of a ruckus during their release as they should have. What are your thoughts on this list and what is the one most underrated movie you’ve ever watched? Let us know in the comments below.

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Niharika Nayak

Niharika has a passion for all things art, music and travel. During her spare time she likes experimenting in the kitchen, painting pop culture icons and chasing after random street cats. Her dream is to one day own an amusement park so she can ride roller coasters for free.