When it comes to Indian cinema, it is mainstream Bollywood that has always enjoyed mass attention. The movies that are made outside the studio system, those that are the result of the parallel cinema movement, have somehow never got the attention they deserved. They may be void of dance numbers or the typical formulaic storytelling, but they do showcase the true artistic vision of a filmmaker.
There have been fine examples of such films. Some of these would include the likes of The Lunchbox (2013), Margarita with a Straw (2014) and Court (2015); all of which we have watched. There are also some beautiful Indian Independent movies made in the recent past, which are lesser-known. Here are five:
Sexy Durga (2016)
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's controversial film, Sexy Durga, comprises of experimentation and an unscripted storyline. It is about an eloping couple, that hitchhikes a ride at midnight. When the couple is in the company of two inquisitive men, their security seems to be at stake.
The film not only looks at preconceived notions, but also at questions pertaining to a woman's helplessness when she is in the company of men.
Sexy Durga, starring Rajshri Deshpande and Kannan Nayar, bagged the Best Feature Film Award at the 2017 Rotterdam International Film Festival for its out-of-the-box concept.
Asha Jaoar Majhe (2014)
Asha Jaoar Majhe, directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, is also called Labour of Love. The film tells the story of a modern day young couple and their love for each other during a time of desperation. The husband (Ritwick Chakraborty) works the night shift at a printing press, while the wife (Basabdutta Chatterjee) works in a handbag factory. The two do not see each other at all, until one brief moment when they share affection towards each other.
The film has been to various film festivals across the globe and has earned accolades.
Liar's Dice (2013)
Geetu Mohandas' Liar's Dice is the perfect example of immersive storytelling. The film revolves around a young mother who embarks on a journey to find her husband along with her three-year-old daughter.
Kamal K.M.'s unconventional film, ID, is told from the perpective of a woman named Charu, played by Geetanjali Thapa. The film is about a laborer who happens to come to Charu's high-rise apartment and gets unconscious. The rest of the film follows Charu's efforts as she goes about finding out the identity of the laborer.
ID deals with the themes of migration, existential crisis and issues which are unforeseeable.
Delhi in a Day (2011)
Delhi in a Day, directed by Prashant Nair, tells the story of Jasper (Lee Williams), a British traveler, who arrives in Delhi and crashes at the house of a wealthy family – The Bhatias. All hell breaks loose, when the family loses a large sum of money and the house staff are deemed suspects.
The film perfectly depicts conflict and class struggle in the form of a dark comedy.