10 Unknown Movies of the Millennium

Akshaye Khanna in Section 375. Photo: Publicity Photos

Every year, one or two films (and rarely more) go unnoticed by the public, regardless of whether they receive critical acclaim or not. With the business increasingly money-oriented and ruthless, even canceling multiple shows if a certain minimum ticket is not sold, such fates have more reasons than lack of communication with audiences, poorly timed releases or lack of face value.

Here we look at 10 of these millennium movies.

Makdi / 2002

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Composer Vishal Bhardwaj’s directorial debut was an Enid Blyton-like adventure of a young girl encountering a witch in a haunted mansion. Along with the engaging narrative, the wholesome children’s film introduced us to Shweta Basu Prasad as a strong child actress (she won Best Child Actress) and a likable villain role from Shabana Azmi.

Joggers Park / 2003

Set around the offbeat relationship between a retired, upright judge (Victor Banerjee) and a free-spirited model (played by Perizad Zurabian), the film questioned the outdated social norms of modern India. It is directed by Anant Palani and written and produced by Subhash Ghai (who also wrote the song, Never taken, never lostin it), the film was a winner for the way it looked at a bold subject matter in a practical way.

Chopki C … / 2003

Director Shona Urvashi once admitted, “Replace the lead artists (Zulfi Syed and my sister Masoumeh) with Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, and you have a golden jubilee!” The director admitted that the budget-friendly film didn’t have the capital to promote it before its release – and after that, it’s too late!

The romantic comedy featured Rati Agnihotri in a strange, passive role and Om Puri in one of his career’s finest performances ever – as the hairDon tube. Unlike most comedies, the laughter graph has always been on the rise, with humor peaking at its hilarious climax.

Sinkat / 2009

Today, it is a “hit” genre, but 13 years ago, black comedy was rarely appreciated, even with a range Jan bhi do yaru decades after it was due. Sriram Raghavan Johnny Wall In 2007 he had to do just that with critical appreciation, but (late) director Pankaj Advani Sankat city I couldn’t even get over that. Although nominated in various categories in Star Screen, Stardust And the movie danger prizes, he lost there too. Starring Kay Kay Menon, Anupam Kher, Remy Sen, Chunky Pandey, the taut 120-minute film also had recurring value.

Lara Dutta and Vinay Pathka at Chalu Daily. Photo: grab video trailer

Chalo Daily / 2011

Lara Dutta’s debut production remains one of the best, though underrated, road films ever seen in Hindi cinema. Arshad Syed wrote this upbeat comedy with messages about life, relationships, self-respect and humility. Lara herself played an arrogant and highly successful businesswoman who finds herself in a mess created by someone else. She is forced to make a young and uneducated businessman (Vinay Pathak) her traveling partner, and lots of adventures follow. The climax, which also featured Akshay Kumar in a cameo as her affectionate husband, catapulted the film into another seldom-accomplished emotional thriller.

404: No error found / 2011

In the same year, Prawal Raman weaved a potent blend of the supernatural with the social aspect of restlessness into a film minus face value in terms of acting – Nishikant Kamat (late director and actor) and newcomer Rajveer Arora starred alongside Naseeruddin Shah’s son. Imad Shah, who also served as the music director. Scientific belief grapples with superstition in this 120-minute thriller that was a worthy follow-up to the supernatural anthology Prawal’s debut, Darna Mana Hai (2003).

Naman Jain at Chillar Party. Photo: grab video trailer

Shelar party / 2011

In what turned out to be the best year for such cinematic treasures, 2011 also saw Nitesh Dangal Tiwari and Vikas Queen Bahl collaborates as writers and directors on what may be one of the quintessential and rare children’s films in Indian cinema. Salman Khan came on as a producer after the film was completed, as did Ranbir Kapoor in a cameo. The movie was a lively, funny story of kids and an adopted dog getting into a major confrontation with an apartment complex.

The children in this film were precisely what we rarely see in Indian films then – normal, naughty and never annoying. The film even won three national awards, including the award for Best Children’s Film, and an international award as well, competing with films from other Asian countries in the same category.

Table No. 21/2013

A married couple (Rajeev Khandelwal and Tina Desae) win a vacation sponsored by an exotic outdoor resort for their wedding anniversary. The hotel is owned by the charming Mr. Khan (Paresh Rawal), who invites them to a live game show with huge money. But the two discover to their horror that the game is slowly getting scarier and more brutal. A great thriller with a very relevant message, the film was directed by Aditya Dutt.

Section 375/2019

Very few anonymous films have such an elaborate social exposé of Section 375 of the Code. Akshaye Khanna was absolutely brilliant as the defense attorney in this stunning courtroom drama about a man accused of rape. The twist was chilling and the movie came across as a fascinating document on how things are rarely seen at face value. Ajay Bahl directed this semi-masterpiece.

Kadakh / 2020subtle black comedy, dizzy, on the OTT platform, SonyLIV, after launching the South Asian International Film Festival a year earlier, told the story of a dysfunctional couple (Rajat Kapoor and Malti Multani), who on the day of a lavish Diwali party gets embroiled in (literally) a bloody mess with a dead body in their house. The shocking climax of the film is the highlight of this film written and directed by Rajat Kapoor.


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