Due to Bollywood’s obsession with box-office collections, many film-makers are driven by formula film-making. Because of which, many makers refuse to make unconventional or path-breaking movies and give us stereotypical Bollywood masala movies. But, in the recent times, there has been a pleasant change as many unexpected content driven movies turned out to be extremely successful at box-office. While many thought these movies will come and go in a jiffy but they stayed, entertained and earned commercial success too.
Here are 10 such unconventional Bollywood films from the recent times that turned out to be unexpected hits in cinema.
Raid is a period crime thriller film starring Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz and Saurabh Shukla. The film is inspired by the real life I-T raids that were conducted by the officers of the Indian Revenue Service in the 1980s. While the movie was slow in parts and shows only one raid in 2 hours, the movie finally caught the attention of movie goers and received a big thumbs up. Ajay Devgn, who is typecasted in a Golmaal or Singham genre, broke the monotony with this film. The movie that was made only with the budget of ~₹40 Crore, managed to enter the ₹100 Crore club with the box-office collection of ~₹150 Crore and was declared superhit.
2. Hindi Medium
Irrfan Khan was always known for his great acting skills. Sadly, the Bollywood that is obsessed with superstars, couldn’t truly value this gem. Hindi medium is ideal example of content-driven movie starring Irrfan Khan and Pakistani actor Saba Qamar. Made with the minimal budget of ₹14 Crore, this movie collected ₹322.4 Crore at the box-office. The film was a satirical take on India’s education system and how running a school is growing into a money minting business, making lower class parents and children suffer.
3. Secret Superstar
Yes, Secret Superstar. Built only on the budget of ₹15 Crore, the secret superstar collected ₹977 Crore on the box-office. Not just in India, the movie was declared super-hit in China too! This movie is one of the highest-grossing Hindi films who had the Zaira Wasim in the lead role.
4. English Vinglish
Far away from the conventional film-making English Vinglish was the story of a woman, who was struggling not only with a language, but also with her dignity and pride. Taking a real life problem on projecting how people treat someone who doesn’t know English won so many hearts and turned out to be a winner at box-office. As per the sources, the movie was created on a budget of only ₹10 Crore and collected over ₹90 Crore.
5. Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Another non conventional film, Dum Laga Ke Haisha was a sleeper hit. It was one of the few Hindi films, which earned more in second weekend than the first weekend. Dum Laga Ke Haisha also recorded highest 5th weekend in 2015. This movie bravely fought against the conventional norm that people watch Bollywood movies to see actress with a fabulous body or watch a couple of item songs or see super-stars. This movie singled-handedly proved that it’s not the figure of an actress but the storyline that defines whether the movie deserves success or not!
From being an unexpected hit to being the eighth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2019, Chhichhore not only did great numbers at the box office but was also critically acclaimed. This Nitesh Tiwari directorial grossed more than ₹ 200 Crore worldwide and starred an ensemble cast including Sushant Sigh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor, and Varun Sharma to name a few.
7. Badhaai Ho
Badhaai Ho, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, and Gajrao Rao, was a film with a complete surprise package. It surprised many when it crossed the ₹100 Crore mark at the box-office with such a different storyline.
Another Ayushmann Khurrana starrer that deserves to be on this list is Andhadhun. Andhadhun turned out to be unexpected commercial success. With the stellar performances and unexpected plot, this movie that was made on a budget of ₹32 Crore earned ₹456 Crore at the box-office.
A horror comedy which is a rare genre in the B-town, no one could have expected Stree to be such a huge success at the box-office. Before Stree, many Raj Kumar Rao’s movies manage to garner love from critics, but fail to create magic on the box-office (as they were unconventional). But Stree turned out to be an exception.This Shraddha Kapoor starrer, even after being unconventional Bollywood movie, received love from the classes aswell as masses. With huge success of Stree, the audience showed the Bollywood that content is the real SUPERSTAR.
10. Uri: The Surgical Strike
This Vicky Kaushal-starrer came as one of the biggest surprises in the history of Bollywood. The movie that made Vicky Kausal a household name, not only garnered appreciation from the film critics but also did hefty numbers at the box office. The Aditya Dhar directorial grossed more than ₹340 Crore worldwide and turned out to be the third highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2019.
These movies are just the reminder that the audiences have become more content-driven than ever before. With changing taste of Indian audience, we hope Bollywood would stop giving us regressive or junk movies. And, would give us unconventional content driven movies!
We are aware that there are many more content-driven movies that garnered success at the box-office, please don’t forget to mention them in the comments section!
*All images are screengrabs or posters of the respective movies; Box-office collections are sourced from Wikipedia or other sources