The Indian film industry has been producing some excellent movies lately that have garnered a lot of critical as well as commercial success. Here are some of the lesser known Indian movies to keep you occupied this weekend:
This sequel to the box-office hit Ishqiya is thrilling, funny and heart-warmingly romantic. This story is an adaptation of the infamous Ismat Chughtai short story, ‘Lihaaf’. Dedh Ishqiya is the story of two runaway rouges, Babban and Khalujaan, who pretend to be nawabs in order to win over Begum Para’s hand in marriage. Begum Para is the widow of the Nawab of Mehmudabad and is hosting a swayamvar to find a new husband. Babban and Khalujaan hope to get hold of the Begum’s property but little do they know that they’re part of a larger scheme orchestrated by Begum Para to scam her suitors. An unexpected love story unfolds humorously through a series of thrilling events. Dedh Ishqiya is a feminist gem disguised as a funny suspense thriller.
This is another movie inspired by Chughtai’s ‘Lihaaf’. This is the story of Radha and Sita, and the strong female bond that is forged when the two women are abandoned by their husbands. Emotionally and sexually unfulfilled they seek companionship, which they find in a homoerotic relationship. The amazing performance of Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi is truly commendable in this story about female liberation from men in the domestic sphere which never fails to be relevant.
This period drama film is part of the critically acclaimed Elements trilogy of the Indian-Canadian director, Deepa Mehta. Earth is based on Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Cracking India or Ice-Candy Man and tells the story of the partition of India and Pakistan from the perspective of a Parsi family. This Aamir Khan starrer shows the gruesome violence of the communal riots with amazing direction and fantastic acting.
This is another film that is incredibly poignant to the current political climate of India. Parzania is based on a true story of Rupa Mody whose son went missing after the 2002 Gujarat riots. This heartbreaking story of a mother and father separated from their child because of communal riots serves as a commentary on the failures of the government and once again shows the ravages of communal conflicts.
This movie is a breath of fresh air. It is hilarious and yet it manages to communicate a strong social message. This is a story about a rich family who is trying to get their daughter in a reputable school. Failing to do so they decide to exploit the Right to Education policy of the government by pretending to be poor, even going to the extent of moving to the slums and living a poverty-stricken life. From parodying the absurdity of finding a ‘reputable’ school for their child to exposing the inadequacies of the education programme of the government, this film’s brilliance lies in the fantastic performance or Irfan Khan and Saba Qamar.