There is something known as a Bollywood ‘formula’. Hero, heroine, hero’s sidekick, villain, comic relief, song, dance, fight, and a happy ending. Very rarely do films veer out of this pre-set zone. But when they do, the result can either be overwhelming, or underwhelming.

Here are 10 films that tried to take a bold new direction, irrespective of how they were received at the Box Office.

#1 Ye Kya Ho Raha Hai (2002)

yeh kya ho raha hai

Hansal Mehta’s sex comedy was supposed to be India’s answer to the American Pie series. However, the film was panned by both critics and audiences.

#2 Dev D (2009)

dev d

Anurag Kashyap’s sex-filled, drug induced re-telling of the classic Devdas was an exceptionally good film. It was a game changer for both the director, and Indian cinema.

#3 No Smoking (2007)

no smoking

Another Anurag Kashyap-directed psychedelic trip. This one wasn’t well-received by the audience, who complained that they didn’t get it. To this day, No Smoking remains one of India’s most misunderstood film.

#4 Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahi (1996)

iss raat

The events of this film are set over the course of one night, and the director Sudhir Mishra employed unusual storytelling technique in the film.

#5 Neal N Nikki (2005)

neal n nikki

India’s first film that dealt with the concept of a ‘moral vacation’, the film had some radical ideas about sex and sexuality at the time. However, the film flopped due to terrible writing, and atrocious acting.

#6 Finding Fanny (2014)

finding fanny

Just to watch mainstream actors like Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor sharing screen space with indie darlings Pankaj Kapur, Dimple Kapadia, and Naseeruddin Shah was a treat in itself. The film underwhelmed at the Box Office, but hey, at least it was fresh attempt at dark comedy.

#7 Swades (2004)


Shahrukh Khan let go of the usual, well, Shahrukh Khan tropes, and gave his most real performance (at least till that point) in Swades- a homecoming story of an Indian NASA scientist.

#8 Love Sex Aur Dhokha (2010)


What Dibakar Banerjee created with this unusual film has, and probably never be, replicated in Indian cinema. Dark, gritty, and real to another level, LSD raised the bar of Indian cinema.

#9 The Lunch Box (2013)


This sweet romantic film was a slice-of-life telling of an unconventional relationship between a housewife, and a middle aged widower.

#10 Aamir (2008)


A respected Muslim man, played by Rajeev Khandelwal, gets blackmailed by a religious fanatic. It was one of the most different films at the time, with audience being at the edge of their seats throughout.

So, how many of these films have you seen?