It’s true that names play a big role in Bollywood; why just Bollywood, in life in general. But sometimes it so happens that something beautiful and meaningful needs no big names or that all the right elements come together and the big names get pulled in by the sheer strength and integrity of the project. Remember Khosla Ka Ghosla and how it had great actors, not a big star cast – mind you, just a great theme and it took off. It made an impact and got all the love and support and translated into money simply because of the quality. This is a great example for all filmmakers who believe in their projects and are talented; their dreams will draw all the positive reaction it deserves with a great story that is well told in every sense of the word.

From a purely business perspective, there has been a barrage of films – small budget, off beat and unique that won appreciation, accolades and got a good backing in the end because the product was amazing. We handpicked five of these as an ode to all those filmmakers who believe in their projects. Know that there is space for your baby in this world if you have incubated it in the right way with the right mix and intentions, just wait for it to hatch into the right space.

Oh My Godoh my God

This film featured Akshay Kumar who is a well-known name. For him to support a project that does not necessarily fall into the kind of films he generally works with, has got to say something about the theme of the film. It had something that pulled him in. Akshay produced the film, which was made on a 20 crore budget with actors Paresh Rawal and Mithun Chakraborty in pivotal roles. Even though there was some controversy because of the depiction of Hindu Gods, it was an overall success. It was directed by Umesh Shukla and takes from the Australian film The Man Who Sued God. This Bollywood version released to great critical acclaim and all in all is a great watch.

The LunchBox


What an adorable story and so true to what goes on in life. While the larger idea is so beautiful that it stole the thunder at international film festivals, it’s also very local and captured the audience and critics alike in India. It has been called “unbollywood” by critics and did its round of international film festivals including Cannes. Even though the film did go through initial struggle, it eventually found an audience both in the international market as well as takers in the typical Bollywood circles in India. It also focuses on the 5000 dabbawallas that provide meals to over a million office goers in Mumbai. All in all, a touching romantic drama with a very subtle and interpretative ending.



Queen was a significant Bollywood game changer even though it wasn’t strictly your run-off-the-mill film. Kangana Ranaut is dumped by her fiance a day before her wedding. This is her journey and a coming of age self-discovery that we don’t very often see in Bollywood. It’s an important and timely subject in today’s time and age where women are freeing themselves from the invisible shackles that bind them. Backed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikram Aditya Motwane, this movie fared well at the box office and among critics. Kangana’s powerful performance bagged many accolades. Director Vikas Behl is passing on the message that there’s no big problem that a person cannot step up to. With no unwanted sentimentality and mush or overdose of melodrama, the movie speaks its heart out with integrity and honesty.

Vicky Donor


Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor was hailed as a film that was reminiscent of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s style of story telling. A bone tickling, heart tingling story yet one that delivers a poignant message, this movie is about sperm donation. Something that is completely new for Indian cinema and subject rarely addressed in society. This would definitely not fall under the category of Bollywood but has all the elements that make you want to sit up and watch the movie right till the end. There’s depth, warmth and a fullness to the film further emphasized by Ayushmann Khurrana’s easy going lead character. A novel concept with a social message that made it big in Bollywood.

A Wednesday

A Wednesday

It’s an engaging thriller with stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher, who as always manage to keep you hooked through the film. It’s not just them; it’s the whole style of the movie, even to the manner in which credits begin – all plain, with no sound. This one again has several key social messages in the way it takes a dig at how much influence Bollywood wields, how very existent gender bias is and the weakness of the law enforcement system in India. It had more of a Hollywood feel to it as per many reviewers and critics. This one was definitely a turning point for Bollywood. Neeraj Pandey’s small budget thriller, shot and executed non-Bollywood style, made it to people’s hearts and the box office.

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