OTT platforms, an easily accessible means of entertainment, has become a substitute for television and big screen, especially during the pandemic. On-the-go content offered on popular streaming platforms has noticeably increased the reach of regional, underrated, and small budget films and shows. 

The Great Indian Kitchen  scene
Source: The Quint

There’s no denying that it has numerous pros over traditional media. However, with the slew of content, which are worth watching, we surely stumble upon projects that exploited the opportunity with unnecessary explicit content and violence. Although, certain genres demand such elements but even the viewers know when it's overdone. 

Rasbhari
Source: The News Minute
Alia Bhatt
Source: The Indian Express

Instead of treating OTT as a dumping ground for outdated stories and substandard movies, we can leverage the platform to share older, brilliant movies, that missed the audience for one reason or the other.

Have a look at some of those cinematic gems we would love to have on popular OTT platforms instead of mediocore films.

1. Shahid 

The Hansal Mehta directorial is based on a real-life human-rights and criminal lawyer Shahid Azmi. The film boasts of its sharp storytelling, realistic performance, and is nothing less than a masterpiece.  

2. Monsoon Wedding 

Wedding themes are pretty common in our films. But Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding sees beyond the revelry and unpacks the closeted skeletons of a family. The film is truly timeless. 

3. Zubeidaa 

Way ahead of its time, Shyam Benegal’s Zubeidaa narrates the tragic tale of a free-spirited woman bound by shackles of patriarchy. Written by Khalid Mohammad, the film majestically showcases a personal account of the writer. 

4. Haasil 

Tigmanshu Dhulia's directorial debut has elements of a Bollywood film, crime, drama, and romance. However, the Irrfan Khan and Jimmy Sheirgill starrer still emerges as rather unconventional. 

Irrfan Khan
Source: The Indian Express

5. Sulemani Keeda 

The film centres around two broke roommates and struggling writers who dream of making big in Bollywood. A refreshing narration and realistic outlook, by the actor who gave us Newton, makes the film what it is.

6. Citylights 

Mumbai is a city of dreams but what about the shattered ones? Hansal Mehta’s Citylights delves into the life of an immigrant couple who land in Mumbai in search of a better life. 

7. Mr. and Mrs. Iyer 

With terrorism as the backdrop, the Aparna Sen directorial manages to beautifully portray human emotions despite its dark them. Starring Konkana Sen and Rahul Bose, the film finely depicts frightening reality and humanism.  

8. Gulaal 

Anurag Kashyap’s complex but compelling film, is a thought-provoking tale of power, politics, and revolution. Besides the seamless storytelling, the film is packed with brilliant performances. 

9. 1971 

Manoj Bajpayee starrer 1971 primarily highlights the after effects of wars and the plight of prisoners of war. With engaging storytelling, the film follows the escape of a band of Indian POWs and the chase that ensues after.  

Manoj Bajpayee
Source: IMDb

10. Peddlers  

Vasan Bala’s debut Peddlers focuses on two destitutes, who fall into Mumbai’s drug trade, and a rookie cop chasing them. However, the film which explores the dark underbelly of the city, is far more than a cat and mouse chase. 

11. Kamla Ki Maut 

A film from the 80’s that deals with themes of pre-maratial sex and relationships is unique in itself for taking the step. This film by Basu Chatterjee holds up a mirror to society and stands out for its nuanced performances.  

12. Gali Guleiyan

If you want to watch one of the best Indian psychological thrillers, Gali Guleiyan is just it. The Manoj Bajpayee starrer takes you into a manic maze and leaves you claustrophobic (just as the lead) by the time the film ends.   

 13. Being Cyrus 

A rather offbeat and interesting film starring Saif Ali Khan, revolves around the relationships of a dysfunctional Parsi family. The film, which is still relevant, found its place among the very few experimental films in Indian Cinema. 

14. 15 Park Avenue 

A hauntingly beautiful film that captures the reality of mental illness. Without making any attempts at romanticising it, the National Award-winning film tailored the storyline with sensitivity.  

15. Filmistaan 

One should totally watch this delightful movie for the love of cinema. Filmistaan is all about the shared admiration for cinema between Indians and Pakistanis. And there's nothing that can make one dislike this film.

If you think there are more films that can make it to this list, let us know.