10. A Wednesday – 2008
A Wednesday! is a 2008 drama thriller film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey. It stars Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher in the lead roles. Set between 2 pm to 6 pm on a Wednesday, the film depicts an about-to-retire police commissioner (Anupam Kher) narrating a sequence of events that unfolded on a particular Wednesday. They do not exist in any written record, only in his mind and in those of several individuals who were involved, willingly and unwillingly, and how those events affected the lives of all the concerned people. It was the inspiration for Tamil movie Unnaipol Oruvan and Telugu movie Eeenadu, with Kamal Hassan donning the role played by Naseeruddin Shah in the original and Mohanlal and Daggubati Venkatesh playing the role acted by Anupam Kher in the original in Tamil and Telugu respectively.
The film, made at a small budget, was a sleeper hit at the box office grossing over Rs. 340 million worldwide. Despite its low hype, it was a box office success due to critical acclaim and positive word-of-mouth. Critics credited the movie for its effective storyline and its twist ending. Subsequently, it won a number of awards including the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director at the 56th National Film Awards.
A Wednesday! net grossed around Rs. 120 million in India. The film had a distributor share of Rs. 4.46 crore in India.
9. Khosla Ka Ghosla – 2006
Khosla Ka Ghosla is a 2006 comedy drama film directed by Dibakar Banerjee in his directorial debut. It stars Anupam Kher and Boman Irani. The film is written by Jaideep Sahni, who had previously written Company (2002) and Chak De! India (2007). Though made on a small budget, the film managed to do well at the box office. It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for 2006. It was remade into Tamil in 2008 as Poi Solla Porom and also unofficially inspired a Kannada film Rame Gowda vs Krishna Gowda.
Kamal Kishore Khosla (Anupam Kher) is a middle-class man living in New Delhi. He is a simple man with simple tastes. The film begins with a dream sequence where Khosla sees his death, the irony being that nobody really cares about his demise; instead his children and neighbors are more occupied with banal small talk.
8. Being Cyrus – 2006
Being Cyrus is an English language Indian film directed by Homi Adajania and released in 2006. It is a psychological drama revolving around a dysfunctional Parsi family. The film was originally titled Akoori, a reference to a traditional Parsi scrambled-eggs-like side dish. The film is the directorial debut of Homi Adajania and Saif Ali Khan’s first film in English.
At the 52nd Filmfare Awards held in 2007, Being Cyrus received 7 nominations, all in the technical categories. This was the most number of nominations for a film that did not win any awards. Being Cyrus is a story about how a brother and a sister, who have had a dreadful childhood, perceive the life around.
7. Iqbal – 2005
Iqbal is a 2005 coming-of-age sports drama film written by Vipul K. Rawal and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, and was produced by Subhash Ghai, under “Mukta Searchlight Films.” The story follows a cricket-obsessed boy from a remote Indian village as he aims to overcome his difficulties and become a cricketer and fulfill his dream of playing for the Indian national cricket team. The film received the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues.
Iqbal was well received by critics and audiences alike. The success of the film ensured its director Nagesh Kukunoor a little commercial recognition. It also catapulted its writer Vipul K. Rawal to instant fame. After the super success of the film, many producers tried to sign both the writer and the director, however Vipul has refused to work with Nagesh ever again for personal reasons. The film was voted amongst the Ten Hindi Films that is ideal for Training and Motivational material.
6. Bhoot – 2003
Bhoot is an award-winning 2003 supernatural horror film. It was directed by Ram Gopal Varma and stars Ajay Devgan and Urmila Matondkar. It was perceived to be different from a typical Bollywood movie as it did not contain songs. It was later dubbed in Telugu as 12 Va Anthasthu and remade in Tamil as Shock. The film was a box-office hit. Urmila won several accolades and awards for her performance as a ghost possessed wife. Verma made a sequel called Bhoot Returns, which was released on October 12, 2012.
The story is about Vishal (Ajay Devgn), who is married to Swati (Urmila Matondkar). The couple buy a high rise apartment at a ridiculously low price. The caretaker of the apartment, Mr. Thakkar (Amar Talwar) explains to Vishal that a widow named Manjeet Khosla (Barkha Madan), the previous resident, committed suicide after killing her own son. Vishal hides this fact from Swati, as she will object to buying such a residence. But Mr. Thakkar accidentally slips in the secret.
Bhoot received five awards: Bollywood Movie Award – Best Director – Ram Gopal Varma; Bollywood Movie Award – Best Actress – Urmila Matondkar; Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress – Urmila Matondkar; Screen Award for Best Actress – Urmila Matondkar; Zee Cine Award for Best Actor – Female – Urmila Matondkar
5. Kaun – 1999
Kaun? is a 1999 psychological thriller film directed by Ram Gopal Verma, written by Anurag Kashyap, starring Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpayee and Sushant Singh.
A young woman (Urmila Matondkar), home alone, is watching the news of a serial killer on television, when the doorbell rings. The woman sees through the peephole that it is a young man, who later identifies himself as Sameer A. Purnavale (Manoj Bajpai), claiming to be a business partner of Mr. Malhotra. She is reluctant to open the door, due to the news broadcast of a killer on the loose.
The woman claims that the house doesn’t belong to Mr. Malhotra but to Mr. Gupta. However the man believing that there has been a mix up, persistently keeps ringing the doorbell even after the woman tells him that she won’t let him in. To scare him away the woman lies and tells the man that her husband is sleeping upstairs. The man then claims that he hears a noise upstairs so that if her husband is awake can he talk to him. Upon hearing this and a subsequent noise from within the house, the woman is spooked and runs outside. The man then takes the woman back inside under the pretext that he is protecting her.
4. Ek Ruka Hua Faisla – 1986
Ek Ruka Hua Faisla is a 1986 film, directed by Basu Chatterjee. It is a remake of the Golden Bear winning, American motion picture 12 Angry Men (1957), which was directed by Sidney Lumet, the film in turn was an adaptation from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose.
The story begins in a courtroom where a teenage boy from a city slum is on trial for stabbing his father to death. Final closing arguments have been presented, and the judge then instructs the jury to decide whether the boy is guilty of murder. The judge further informs them that a guilty verdict will be accompanied by a mandatory death sentence. The twelve-man jury retires to a private room, where they spend a short while getting acquainted before they begin deliberating. It is immediately apparent that the jurors have already decided that the boy is guilty, and that they plan to return their verdict quickly, without taking time for discussion – with the sole exception of Juror Number 8 (K.K. Raina). His is the only “not guilty” vote in a preliminary tally. He explains that there is too much at stake for him to go along with the verdict without at least talking about it first. His vote annoys the other jurors, particularly Juror 7 (M. K. Raina), who has tickets to Dilip Kumar’s movie Mashal.
The rest of the film centers around the jury’s difficulty in reaching a unanimous verdict. While several of the jurors harbor personal prejudices, Juror 8 maintains that the evidence presented in the case is circumstantial, and that the boy deserves a fair deliberation. He calls into question the accuracy and reliability of the only two witnesses to the murder, the rarity of the murder weapon (a common pocketknife, of which he has an identical copy), and the overall questionable circumstances (including the fact that an elevated train was passing by at the time of the murder). He further argues that he cannot in good conscience vote “guilty” when he feels there is reasonable doubt of the boy’s guilt.
3. Kalyug – 1981
Kalyug is a Hindi film made in 1981 and directed by Shyam Benegal. It is known as a modern-day version of the Indian epic Mahabharat depicted as an archetypal conflict between rival business houses. Kalyug went on to win the Filmfare Award for Best Film in 1982.
The screenplay and plot are quite different from Mahabharat. However, the characterization and the critical events had a striking similarity with the epic. Shashi Kapoor, Rekha, Raj Babbar, Supriya Pathak, Anant Nag, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Sushma Seth, Akash Khurana, Victor Bannerjee, Reema Lagoo, and A.K. Hangal played major roles, while Urmila Matondkar appeared as a child artist.
This is a tale of intrigue, plots and the inevitable war between two families.
Ramchand and Bhishamchand were two pioneering brothers in business. Bhishamchand, a lifelong bachelor, brought up the two sons of Ramchand upon his demise. He also gave the family business a firm foundation. Khubchand (Vinod Doshi), the elder son of Ramchand begets two sons, Dhanraj (Victor Banerjee) and Sandeepraj (Akash Khurana). Puranchand, Khubchand’s younger brother, had died a few years ago. His three sons are Dharamraj (Raj Babbar), Balraj (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) and Bharatraj (Anant Nag). Another player in the game is Karan (Shashi Kapoor), an orphan brought up by Bhishamchand.
A series of events brings the long-hidden feud between the two families to light. Despite Bhishamchand’s efforts to mediate between the two, the situation gets out of hand and events take a tragic turn. Dhanraj’s men accidentally kill the young son of Balraj and to take revenge Bharatraj murders Karan. Quite a few skeletons from the family cupboard are brought into the open that only adds to the tensions and hatred, finally culminating in the destruction of the two families, showing the brittleness of our moral fabric.
2. Ittefaq – 1969
Ittefaq is a 1969 movie produced by B. R. Chopra and directed by his brother Yash Chopra. The film stars Rajesh Khanna, Nanda, Bindu, Madan Puri, Iftekhar and has music by Salil Choudhury. The film became a “semi-hit” at the box office. It is a remake of the British film Signpost to Murder (1965) starring Joanne Woodward.
It was the fourth Bollywood film (after Naujawan, Munna and Kanoon) that did not have any songs in it. What was remarkable was that a previous production from the same production house i.e. B.R.Films, namely Kanoon, made in 1960 was also a song-less film and with the same leading lady Nanda. Another common feature of both Kanoon and Ittefaq was that in both these song-less films Salil Chowdhary was the Music Director.
This film is counted among the 17 consecutive hit films Rajesh Khanna between 1969 and 1971, by adding the two hero films Marayada and Andaz to the 15 consecutive solo hits he gave from 1969 to 1971.
1. Kanoon – 1960
Kanoon is a 1960 film directed by B.R. Chopra. The film stars Rajendra Kumar, Nanda, Ashok Kumar, Mehmood, Shashikala, Jeevan and Om Prakash. The film presents a case against capital punishment, arguing that witnesses may be genuinely deceived, and their consequent inadvertently tendered false testimony may lead someone wrongly to the gallows.
The film was a courtroom drama of a murder case, where the judge’s prospective son-in-law (Rajendra Kumar) is the defense lawyer in a case of murder for which he suspects his would-be father-in-law. The film was India’s second songless talkie. The first one was Andha Naal, a Tamil movie.
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10. A Wednesday – 2008