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Lesser-known Bollywood movies made by popular filmmakers

Written by Akshita Rawat

Gulaal, Rockford, Chandni Bar. Have you heard of these movies?

Every once in awhile there are certain movies that put a director in the books of history as one of the greatest directors (Gangs of Wasseypur for Anurag Kashyap, Kaminey for Vishal Bhardwaj, Jab We Met for Imtiaz Ali). In the midst of this hubbub, other great films of the same director go unnoticed. The case remains the same for a bad movie. Everyone remembers the worst movie by a good director (Murder by Mahesh Bhatt or Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag by Ram Gopal Varma). The popularity or ill repute of a director tends to overshadow his work.

So here is a list of lesser known movies made by popular filmmakers that failed to get their due.


  1. THE BLUE UMBRELLA by Vishal Bhardwaj1

From the director that gave you intense and dramatic movies like Kaminey, Haider, Omkara, Ishqiya, among others, The Blue Umbrella is quite a surprise. The movie is shot in the beautiful hills of Himachal Pradesh and is a sweet and touching tale about a girl’s pretty blue umbrella that strikes the envy of a local shopkeeper, played by Pankaj Kapoor. It is based on a short story by Ruskin Bond and quite often goes unnoticed amidst Vishal Bhardwaj’s other popular movies.


  1. HUM HAIN RAHI PYAR KE by Mahesh Bhatt220px-HumHainRahiPyaarKe

Mahesh Bhatt is known for the genre of erotic-thriller with movies like Murder, Jism, Jannat, Raaz, and so forth. However, he is also the director of the 1993 comedy-drama, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. The movie is considered a family movie, which is quite a surprise from the Mahesh Bhatt stable.


  1. BOLLYWOOD CALLING by Nagesh Kukunoornagesh-kukunoorMV5BMTY5MzE0ODU2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTY2ODgzMQ@@._V1_UY268_CR3,0,182,268_AL_

You might know him as the director of unconventional movies like Dor, Iqbal, and Hyderabad Blues. Among his earlier movies is the comedy Bollywood Calling, a hilarious take on Bollywood. The movie, starring Om Puri, Perizaad Zorabian, and Nagesh Kukunoor himself, is a satire that takes you behind the makings of a Bollywood film. Bollywood Calling, a little far-fetched, but it is its absurdities that make the movie entertaining.


  1. SOCHA NA THA by Imtiaz AliSocha_Na_ThaWhen one hears the name Imtiaz Ali, immediately movies like Rockstar and Jab We Met pop into your head. Before rising to fame with such movies, he directed a rather interesting romantic drama,Socha Na Tha. Released in 2005, the movie stars Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia and often goes unnoticed. It has been described by The Hindu as “Imtiaz Ali’s best film till date”.


  1. THE NAMESAKE by Mira Nairmiranairp162466_p_v8_aa

Amongst her popular movies like Monsoon Wedding and the National  award winning and Oscar-nominated Salaam Bombay!, The Namesake often goes unnoticed. The movie is a great adaptation of the novel by the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri. The talented star cast consisting of Tabu, Irfan Khan, and Kal Penn, do the novel a justice.


  1. JHANKAAR BEATS by Sujoy GhoshJhankaar_Beats_Movie_Poster

Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani was like a breath of fresh air in the genre of suspense thrillers. The director of the critically acclaimed Amitabh Bachchan starrer, Te3n, was also the director of the 2003 musical comedy/romance, which was then, quite different for Bollywood. Jhankaar Beats is loved by many, especially for its music. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, I am sure you must have heard Tu hai aasman mein.


7. NO SMOKING  by Anurag Kashyap2013-05-31-AnuragKashyap_inp173795_d_v8_aa

In the midst of his many popular films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Dev D, among others, equally brilliant movies like No Smoking or Gulaal, go unnoticed. Known for producing realistic cinema, Anurag Kashyap yet again surprises the audience by basing a movie on such a difficult topic. If you are a fan of his work, you cannot afford to miss this thriller.


List your favourite movie by the above-mentioned directors in the comments section below.

About the author

Akshita Rawat

I am pursuing English Honours from DCAC. I love reading, occasionally enjoy

painting and a fan of supernatural movies as well as TV shows.

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