Back in the 2000s, Bollywood filmmakers were ready to experiment with not just the content, but also with the cast. And, that’s the reason why the 2000s saw a welcoming shift in Indian cinema – commercial as well as parallel. In the times, when Bollywood is more obsessed with remakes and has forgotten about taking risks, these underrated movies from the 2000s feel like real gems. Here are some selected underrated movies that may have gone unnoticed, but deserve to get their due.
Underrated Bollywood Hindi Movies Of the 2000s
1. 15 Park Avenue (2005)
This hard-hitting movie addresses important issues like schizophrenia, gang rape, and opting out of marriage. With the power-packed performances by Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma, this movie is a must-watch. It takes a beautiful yet realistic take on relationships. How Rahul Bose’s character leaves Meeti behind is just a reflection of how people leave your side in sickness. The bottom line is that this movie is a true depiction of our society.
2. Gaja Gamini (2000)
Madhuri Dixit took up this role at the prime of her career. And, many do agree that she did complete justice. Directed by MF Hussain, this movie was his tribute to his muse, Madhuri Dixit. Gaja Gamini (Madhuri Dixit) is the inspiration behind Leonardo da Vinci’s (Naseeruddin Shah) ‘Mona Lisa’, Kalidas’ poem “Shakuntala”, and a photojournalist named Shahrukh’s (Shah Rukh Khan) photographs. The inherent symbolism the film has can be really overwhelming for an average cinemagoer. You might not know what exactly is happening but instinctively and intuitively, you know everything. If not for the experience, watch it for Madhuri, and for the most gracious dance moves on the screen, ever.
3. Firaaq (2009)
The word Firaaq means both, separation & quest in Arabic. And, we believe there couldn’t be a better title for the film. Directed by Nandita Das, this movie based on Hindu-Muslim riots reflects both her talent and her commitment to secularism in each frame. The movie captures the dilemma in the lives of various characters coping with the repercussion of this heinous violence. A young Muslim couple (Shahana Goswami & Nawazuddin Siddiqui) with a baby come back to their home, gutted by fire. A Hindu housewife (Deepti Naval) is hauling her guilt because she failed to open her door to a frantic Muslim woman during the riots. A couple (Sanjay Suri & Tisca Chopra) in an inter-religion marriage questioning their identities & consequently, the dynamics of their relationship. And, an aged musician (Naseeruddin Shah) who is unable to comprehend the unrest happening around him.
4. Ek Hasina Thi (2004)
Directed by Sriram Raghavan, the film revolves around a woman (Urmila Matondkar) who gets involved with a man (Saif Ali Khan), who sets her up for a crime she has not committed. And, then how she sets out for revenge by setting him up is the core plot. The psyche of the lead female character has a drastic change after the events she has to go through which leads up to the climax which leaves you on the edge of your seat.
5. Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon (2003)
Based on the plot of an aspiring newcomer’s attempt to become a legend, this Ram Gopal Varma’s movie is an example of great filmmaking. With great performers like Rajpal Yadav and Antara Mali, the movie shows how a small-town girl aspires to be like Madhuri Dixit and goes to the city. Her parents get her married but her husband supports her dream. The struggle in the industry makes this a moving watch.
6. Maine Gandhin Ko Nahin Maara (2005)
MGKNM, chronicles the life of a retired professor, Uttam Chaudhary, who is suffering from dementia. His downward spiral is triggered off by a cup of tea is placed on a newspaper with a picture of Mahatma Gandhi on it. He starts to blame himself for accidentally killing Gandhi in 1948. Anupam Kher at its best, this movie is a must-watch!
7. Zubeidaa (2001)
This movie changed how many view Karisma Kapoor. The actress, who did light comedies, suddenly turned into a woman, who was struggling to live freely in the royal family. Believe us, the movie gets better every time you watch it. Directed by Shyam Benegal, Karisma shows her struggles, her sadness, and her fierce nature. The movie has strong performances by Manoj Bajpayee and Rekha as well!
8. Parzania (2005)
Based on the 2005 Gujarat riots, this movie is based on a true story of a ten-year-old Parsi boy, Azhar Mody aka Parzaan Pithawala who disappeared after the 28 February 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre.
9. Pinjar (2003)
Based on Amrita Pritam’s Punjabi novel of the same name, Pinjar is set at the time of India’s partition, exploring the Hindu-Muslim riots that took place at the time. Starring Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpayee, this movie is a heartbreaking story of how two families were completely destroyed during partition, and how they recover from the trauma.
10. Mr. And Mrs. Iyer (2002)
One of the most underrated movies of the 2000s, Mr. and Mrs. Iyer is the story about a devout Hindu woman who protects a Muslim man when communal riots break out. With great performances of Rahul Bose and Konkana Sen Sharma, you can’t miss watching this movie.
11. Hey Ram (2000)
Hey Ram is a 2000 Indian historical crime drama film written, directed, and produced by Kamal Haasan, who also acted as the protagonist. It is an alternate history film that depicts India’s Partition and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. This film stars Kamal Haasan, Vasundhara Das, Rani Mukerji and Shah Rukh Khan in lead roles. The film received three National awards.
12. Gangajal (2003)
The cop drama universe might have become a thing with Singham and Simmba, but the original cop film continues to be Gangajal. Ajay Devgn’s finest performance, the movie revolves around an honest, motivating & intelligent IPS officer.
13. Lajja (2001)
Not too many of Madhuri’s fans have seen her class act in this underrated Rajkumar Santoshi vintage drama about four gorgeous women (Manisha Koirala, Rekha, Mahima Choudhary, and Madhuri Dixit) and their journey of self-discovery. While Manisha and Rekha shone, Madhuri Dixit outclassed herself. She dazzled as a theatre actress who was about to become an unwed mother. Whether taking on the moral police or taking a pee at the roadside, Dixit was an unstoppable meteor. If you haven’t seen the great Madhuri Dixit in Lajja, you don’t really know what this talented actress is capable of.
14. Aamir (2008)
This is an intense action-thriller and a psychological drama at the same time. On returning to Mumbai, Dr. Aamir Ali (played by Rajeev Khandelwal) is coerced into a terrorist conspiracy. He’s forced to go places and at times, even run for his life.
15. Yahaan (2005)
Directed by talented Shoojit Sircar, this movie depicts how the everyday life of ordinary Kashmiris is fraught with uncertainty in a state torn between two factions – entities that spread terror and an army trying to keep the peace but been unable to win the trust of its citizens. In the midst of that, Minissha Lamba and Jimmy Sheirgill share a beautiful love story, shot in the beautiful valley of Kashmir.
Don’t forget to let us know which one is your favorite?