Bollywood is infamous for stereotyping things and repeating the same kind of stories every year. Maybe that’s the reason people are looking forward to exploring regional cinema more.

While that’s true, not all Bollywood films that released this year fit into this mould. There are some that broke stereotypes, took on patriarchy, made us laugh and instilled a sense of patriotism more than ever. 

1. Sherni

Vidya Balan starrer movie Sherni revolves around a female forest officer who leads a team of trackers and locals to capture an unsettled tigress alive. All this while battling several obstacles and pressures from locals and in personal life.

It was a refreshing film in the sense that it told a true story that not many people knew of and that too a women forest officer, not many people heard of. Moreover, it took on patriarchy in a relatable manner.

2. Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi

The film that released on OTT on 1st January, begins with the family members of late Ramprasad, discussing if they should keep the prayer meet of the departed soul on the first day of the year or not, because why start a new year with sadness. 

It boasts of a stellar cast – Naseeruddin Shah, Manoj Pahwa, Vinay Pathak, Supriya Pathak and Konkona Sen Sharma and is a subtle satire at all middle-class families. Written and directed by Seema Pahwa, the film is relatable and gets you emotional too.

3. Kaagaz

Satish Kaushik’s film Kaagaz, stars Pankaj Tripathi in the lead role, and tells the true story of a common man’s 18-year-long fight against bureaucracy and corruption to prove that he is alive.

The movie has hilarious dialogues and there’s no dull moment as you watch the struggles of Lal Bihari Mritak unfold. Add to that the powerful performance of Pankaj Tripathi.

4. Pagglait

Sanya Malhotra starrer Pagglait, is the story of Sandhya is a young widow whose husband dies just months after their wedding. When she doesn’t feel the sadness like everyone in the family expects her to, she is termed crazy.

The move rebels against the conventional social order and shatters a lot of stereotypes related to arranged marriages and widows in India.

5. Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar

It’s the story of Sandy aka Sandeep Kaur (Parineeti Chopra) and Pinky aka Pinkesh Dahiya (Arjun Kapoor), on the run. There’s more to the movie than just the gender flips of the lead characters’ names.

It takes on patriarchy in our households and makes some remarkable comments on class divide.

6. Geeli Pucchi

The short film on Netflix anthology Ajeeb Dastaans talks about caste, sexuality, privilege and patriarchy in the most powerful way possible.

Starring Konkona Sen Sharma (Bharati) and Aditi Rao Hydari (Priya), the film shows how people from the lower castes are denied opportunities because of who they are. We feel every bit of Bharati’s repeated humiliation on account of her caste, sexuality and gender.

7. Shershaah

The biopic based on the life of Capt. Vikram Batra, stars Sidharth Malhotra in the lead role. The film does justice to Capt Vikram Batra’s story whose courage and valour inspires the nation till date.

Bonus – The music album of the film is just too soothing. There are no remixes and only meaningful lyrics.

8. Cash

Not many people are aware of this light-hearted comedy set in the aftermath of demonetisation. It stars Amol Parashar in the lead role of a young entrepreneur and boasts of a great supporting cast too –  Kavin Dave, Gulshan Grover and Swanand Kirkire.

It’s super relatable to everyone who has witnessed demonetisation and hilarious to the core.

9. Sardar Udham

What should I even say about this film? An unconventional patriotic film that we’ve never seen in Bollywood before. Vicky Kaushal aces the role of Sardar Udham Singh, a revolutionary freedom fighter who is believed to have avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre single-handedly.

It doesn’t really glorify anything and brings to audience the reality of the night of 19 April 1919.

What do you think about these films? Have you watched them all?