Bringing unusual humour and perspective on the table, Offbeat Bollywood movies have carved a niche for themselves over years. And, today we have a plethora of films in Bollywood which oscillate from entertainment to infotainment. And thereby, thoroughly educate us about human behaviours, relationship dynamics and the regressive societal norms.
Let us take a look at 35 offbeat Bollywood movies of recent times which are “different” than your mainstream Bollywood films and have a little persona of their own!
Here we go…
1. A Wednesday
What happens when bureaucrats and corrupt politicians don’t take action against the terror mongers? A common man gets perturbed in a way that he’s forced to deal with terrorism on its own and show everyone how it’s done. And that’s what A Wednesday is about!
Aligarh is based on the life of Ramchandra Siras, a professor at Aligarh Muslim University. A sting operation on him establishes that he is gay. And he is suspended on the grounds of morality: sexual misconduct. However, he meets a journalist who helps him win the case against the university and get the job back. It is one of the Offbeat Bollywood movies you should definitely watch!
3. Ankhon Dekhi
When Bauji finds out that his daughter wants to marry a man of ill-repute, he wants to beat the hell out of him. However, upon meeting him, Bauji’s perceptions about the man go for a toss. And thereafter, he decides to believe only the things that he sees from his own eyes. The decision, it turns out, helps him face the complexity of his life with an ease and resolve conflicted relationships.
4. Bheja Fry
This film dares you to invite an aspiring singer to your life. As, it reveals the mess that Bharat ( an inspiring singer) creates when he is invited to Ranjeet’s house. And when he realises his fault and tries to mend things, things to from bad to worse!
5. Black Friday
Black Friday is based on the 1993 serial bomb blast that shook Mumbai to its core. This film is dark, gripping and intense. The Mumbai police is on the hunt of the underworld biggies in the aftermath of the attack.
Amar Kaul is a 37 years old accountant who lives with his mother. His problem is that he is just too ordinary. He gets to know from his doctor that he has cancer and just 3 months to live. This discovery pushes him to go beyond his mundane existence and explore all the things he ever wanted to do!
7. Dear Zindagi
Despite having a job to die for, and a hard and fast life, we forget to care for ourselves. And it just takes one minor setback – emotional, physical or mental to push us into the spiral of depression. Dear Zindagi is for us. It imparts the lesson that it’s okay to fall down in life. But, more importantly, it teaches us that we must find our way back to the top, relentlessly!
8. Dev D
Dev D is a cult film, and an urban version of the classic film Devdas. Paro and Dev are childhood lovers. They fall for Dev’s father’s a plan to separate them and break -up. Paro gets married to someone and Dev becomes recluse and starts taking drugs and seeks solace in the company of a prostitute.
9. Dil Dosti Etc
Dil Dosti etc is. coming of age film. Two college going students believe that anything is possible in life as they are young. However, they end up challenging each other’s view as they try to carve their path in life.
10. Do Dooni Chaar
Do Dooni Char is the story of Mr.Duggal’s family as they try to fulfil their dream of a better life. Despite the struggles and rising expenses they want, hope and would do anything to purchase a car.
Gulaal is a political drama based in Rajasthan. When Dilip a law graduate is ragged and humiliated by university students he wants to take revenge from them. What starts as revenge turns into student politics with Dilip winning the General Secretary elections at the university.
When Annirudh joins Allahabad university little does he expect that his love would get tangled in the dirty students politics and would eventually turn him into a goon. Haasil is one of the Offbeat Bollywood movies that has gained the status of a cult-classic amongst a niche audience.
13. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi explores the life of college students Geeta, Siddharth and Vikram as they go about chasing their dreams and love. They move on, in life, with their dreams and aspirations: Siddhrath is a revolutionary, Geeta is happily married and Vikram is financially stable. But, is that really the case? Watch the film to know more.
14. Honeymoon Travels
Six newly married couples are cruising to Goa for their honeymoon. As they await their destination, their journey becomes quite eventful as they discover hidden facets about their spouse.
15. I Am Kalam
Chotu is a poor boy who lives in a village. Former President APJ Abdul Kalam is his idol. He changes his name to Kalam to honour him and desires to meet him in person someday.
Iqbal dreams of becoming a cricketer and is a gifted bowler. However, his disabilities and poor family background come in his way of achieving his dreams. This is a truly inspiring offbeat Bollywood movie which propels us to chase our dreams relentlessly.
17. Johnny Gaddaar
Johnny Gaddaar is a crime thriller with storyline which highlights the fact that nothing good can come-out of greed and betrayal. It revolves around a gang of five members who decide to earn profits by selling drugs. However, Vikram the youngest gang member has his own plans.
18. Khosla Ka Ghosla
Every Indian dreams of buying his/ her “own” house someday. And Kamal Khosla is no different. He dreams of building a house for his wife and grown up children. But, much to his horror and dismay, he has been duped off his newly purchased land.Watch the film to know what happens next.
Manorama is based on the American thriller Chinatown. Satyaveer’s life goes upside down when he agrees to spy for Mrs. P.P. Rathore, a woman who is the wife of the irrigation minister. As he proceeds with the espionage he finds himself entrapped in the larger scheme of things.
Maqbool is based on William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Set in Mumbai, it revolves around the mafia world. Miyan Maqbool is the right hand man of Abbaji but he is secretly in love with his mistress. The two lovers kill Abbaji, so that Maqbool can takeover the reigns as the underworld boss. Although Maqbool is successful in killing Abbaji and rule the mafia world, his guilty conscience eventually leads to his decline.
Massan is the signature style of an offbeat film in Bollywood. It’s like coming face to face with the real issues of the society. The ancient city of Benaras has nothing but shame and social-outcasting for the modern day lovers. On one hand, we see Devi , single and independent, facing the wrath of the society for having pre-marital sexual relationship. Elsewhere, lovers Deepak and Shalu are trying their best to stay together despite the difference in their caste and social status.
Newton is an honest government employee . He is sent to conduct elections in the sensitive areas of Chattisgarh. He wants to conduct free and fair elections; but, he faces hostility from the CRPF team stationed there. Insightful and subtle, this film would silence everyone who thinks of Bollywood movies of nothing more than a pulp-fiction!
23. No Smoking
Karan, a chain-smoker, goes to a rehabilitation centre called ‘Prayogshala’ to quit smoking. He meets Shri Shri Prakash Guru Ghantal Baba Bengali Sealdahwale, who has punishments for each-time a patient gives in to the cravings. Watch this unusual story of Karan as he transforms from a chainsmoker to a person who advocates to quit smoking.
24. Peepli Live
A farmer decides to commit suicide to be eligible for farmer’s compensation by the government. When the media and the local politicians get to know of this they rush to the scene. Not to save him. They do so for their own selfish reasons: to get the best story and some limelight. This satirical comedy is a gem of offbeat Bollywood movies ever made.
25. Phas Gaye Re Obama
A group of criminals kidnap Om thinking that he is a big catch. However, Om is debt-ridden and was about to clear all his debt by selling his ancestral property. But, now that he is kidnapped he must find a way out of this messy situation. In the hind-sight, the film is a satirical take on the prevailing law and administration situation in our country.
26. Rocket Singh
Salesman, Harpreet Singh Bedi, is continuously looked down and ridiculed up by his colleagues and employer for being naive. However, he finds out that the business is being conducted dispassionately, in an unethical manner, and the customers are mere sales target.
He decides to take the matter in his own hands and for good! Do watch the film and let us know if you think that this film is one of the best offbeat Bollywood movies in the recent times.
The film Shahid tracks the journey of Shahid Azmi. It is can be summarised as: a terrorised man goes to Kashmir to become a terrorist; however he gives up the idea after witnessing their gross acts. He lives as a common man but is labelled a terrorist and falsely convicted a crime he never committed. He becomes a lawyer and fights pro bono for falsely accused terrorists from the Muslim community. But, is shot dead soon after.
Life is nothing but the consequence of our actions and Amy and her friends weren’t familiar with this concept. They go about having fun in life: partying, drinking and taking drugs. Little do they know that their actions would lead them astray and push them in dungeons of darkness.
Army lawyers and best friends Siddharth and Aakash have been assigned to a case, as Defence and Prosecution lawyer, respectively. As Siddharth goes about investigating the case he unearths the fact that the accused, Captain Javed Khan, is innocent. However, the only way Siddharth can prove him innocent is by getting the real culprit caught. And, if he fails, it could cost him his career and friendship.
30. Socha Na Tha
Viren and Aditi’s families want them to get hitched. They meet each-other in the typical arranged marriage set-up. But, reject to the marriage proposal and this creates a rift between two families.On a chance meeting,Viren and Aditi decide to take a trip to Goa and realise that they’ve fallen for each other.
Sulemani Keeda is a story of two writers who to want to make it big in Bollywood. As they chase their dreams, they must also live through their daily struggles and they do so: with an aplomb. There’s nothing fancy in this film. And, this makes it the fanciest of films when it comes to capturing – dreams, realities and everything that falls in between.
This film encourages you to ditch the rat race and do what you want in life: finding a romantic partner who is just right for you or chase your dreams. And no, it’s not all hunky-dory, the film paints very real pictures of the struggles and obstacles that you would have to face when you decide to do things that you always wanted to do!
Tere Bin Laden is about an aspiring filmmaker who accidentally bumps into Osama Bin Laden lookalike. He makes the film with Paddi Singh( Osama lookalike) and Ali Zaffar. All this, when America is on the hunt for Osama. The US armed forces kill Osama. This has a direct impact on the life of the lookalike as well as the crew of the film. As, they come face to face with the most dreaded terrorist and President Obama.
34. The Lunch Box
Illa, a young house-wife and a widower, Saajan Fernandes, develop a close friendship when the famous ‘dabbawalas’ of Mumbai make a mistake of delivering the lunch box to Saajan. As they comfort each-other in their loneliness; they develop a bond that’s full of affection and understanding. But, given their individual responsibilities, where is this relationship heading?
Kali is a ten years old kid. She gets kidnapped; her father and step-father get into a debacle; chasing each other as cat and mouse, for personal reasons. When money becomes the only source of your happiness, things can pretty easily go from ‘complicated’ to ‘ugly’.
Which other Offbeat Bollywood movies do you think should be in this list? Do let us know in the comments below!