The Indian film industry has often been called out for its lack of originality and rightfully so. After all, it’s not often that Indian cinema has gone off the beaten path. But the few times that filmmakers took the plunge into experimental storytelling, we witnessed gems likes these:
1. AK vs. AK
Vikramaditya Motwane’s latest venture AK vs. AK is a black comedy thriller that treads the thin line between becoming a reality show and an out-and-out fictional thriller. Intriguing, interesting, and undoubtedly entertaining, AK vs. AK is as meta as it gets, completely challenging the notion of convetional filmmaking with every frame.
Though not many people stumbled upon the creative genius of Cargo, its story of a human world run by friendly demons nevertheless remains a rare gem in Bollywood’s tiny pool of sci-fi dramas. At times awry, at times unbelievably charming, Cargo was an unusual story, boosted by incredible performances.
3. Go Goa Gone
Before directors Raj and DK became household names with Amazon Prime Video’s The Family Man, they gave India its first zombie comedy, Go Goa Gone. Despite belonging to a genre that has been over abused by Hollywood, Go Goa Gone was unique, engrossing, and a genuine laughter riot. And Saif Ali Khan’s avatar, Boris, easily tops the list of epic zombie hunters.
4. Aankhon Dekhi
This 2013 drama remains one of the most insightful commentaries on the existential crisis that seems to afflict every second person – perhaps because we’re all trying to fit in with what the world expects of us, rather than simply live life the way we want to. A film that highlighted, yet again, Sanjay Mishra’s acting prowess, Aankhon Dekhi was unlike any Bollywood drama.
This 1987 comedy-drama is yet another example of Kamal Hassan’s genius. But that’s not the only reason it has made it to the list. It’s also because it’s a silent comedy with no dialogues. And yet, the film went on to win the National Film Award and become one of the most entertaining comedies. Filmmakers who still resort to sexist dialogues to evoke laughter can perhaps take a lesson or two from Pushpak.