Without a doubt, the 94th Academy Awards was the craziest Oscar Night we could have witnessed. But, a lot of the buzz got disproportionately digressed towards the Will Smith-Chris Rock discourse. While the issue at hand was important to be discussed, it did undermine the essence of the Oscars.
Oscar night is the most prestigious, the most magnificent celebration for the entertainment industry worldwide. The night comes yearly to honour miraculous talent associated with creating visionary movies. While some movies win the honour they deserved, many are bereft to be memorialized only by the imprint they left upon our minds.
Here are some of those visionary Bollywood movies that truly deserved an Oscar for their visionary plotline, remarkable actors, and compelling screenplay.
1. Rang De Basanti
The movie is timeless. Its unconventional script weaved in a topical theme juggles with past and present only to reflect how they mirror each other. It highlights how the voice of the youth is pivotal in determining the future of our country. When this realisation dawns upon the carefree bunch of youngsters, residing in the national capital, their lives are changed forever.
The movie celebrates patriotism unmarred by biases, it celebrates the youth — the flag-bearers of the future — and it celebrates the past, the sacrifices of the revolutionary blood. Without a doubt, Rang De Basanti deserved all the prestige, recognition, and glory from the global film fraternity.
Koi bhi Desh perfect nahi hota,Use perfect banana padta hai.
-Flight Lt. Ajay Rathod, Rang De Basanti
2. My Name Is Khan
Imagine living life under the perpetual fear of being cast off as a terrorist. This is exactly the deep-rooted context of My Name Is Khan. The spread of Islamophobia subsequent to 9/11 was a nightmare for Muslims around the world, especially those who were in the United States. The heartbreaking tale follows the life of exceedingly adorable Rizwan Khan — an autistic — who seeks to avenge his son’s death by proclaiming “My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist” to the US President in person.
My Name is Khan is inspiring, moving, and compelling. It would bring anyone to tears and fill them up with a sense of empathy until they’re brimming. Undeniably, it deserved the Oscar.
Jab ek begunaah marta hai… toh uski maut ke saath saari insaaniyat ki bhi maut ho jaati hai.
-Rizwan Khan, My Name Is Khan
3. A Wednesday
A Police Commissioner due for retirement receives an ambiguous phone call that becomes his case of a lifetime. The call comes from an ordinary man who is frustrated at the incompetence of the authorities in killing terrorists who have bombed cities and ended innocent lives. This civilian becomes the harbinger of awakening from a bureaucrat system of operation. He threatens the Mumbai police with bombing five cities for failure to follow his orders.
This thought-provoking story brings forth the pent-up resentment of a common man who is plagued with terrorism and a redundant and delayed approach to justice. Inspired by the 2006 Mumbai train bombings, this low-budget immensely powerful film was worthy of Oscar.
Bheed toh dekhi hogi na aapne? Bheed mein se koi ek shakal chun lijiye…Main woh hoon
-The Common Man, A Wednesday
Masaan is another archetype of the kind of that new-age cinema Bollywood has embraced. The movie juggles between life and death, casteism and sexism to mirror a grave reality that still exists in our country. The movie follows two seemingly different plot lines that converge at the end to birth a composite reality. Where Devi Pathak is being held on a noose for indulging in pre-marital sex, Deepak is falling in love with a high caste Hindu girl to enter a relationship that is doomed from the very beginning within the context he operates.
This strikingly powerful movie weaves some heart-rending scenes and ends on a poignant note for a plausibly good future. Masaan remains a highly underrated movie, it deserves more recognition. It is yet another visionary movie worthy of an Oscar.
Sitaroon ko aankhon mein mehfuz rakhna,Badi der tak raat hi raat hogi,Musaafir hai hum bhi…Musaafir ho tum bhi…Kisi mod par phir mulaakaat hogi.
-Shaalu Gupta, Masaan
Queen is an extraordinary tale of a woman’s journey from complete dependence to empowering independence. It is a story of coming of age. Rani, an innocent, gullible Punjabi girl living in Delhi, is betrothed to a seemingly, career-driven Vijay who breaks off their wedding, an evening before the ceremony. Depressed Rani makes a remarkable decision to go on a honeymoon all by herself. Aloof, nervous, and alone — for the first time in her life — Rani finds the company of people who become a catalyst in her road to self-discovery.
The movie is message-driven, inspiring, and wholesome. Without second thoughts, it deserves appreciation from all around the world.
Main India se hoon, Rajouri. Rajouri suna hai? Apne honeymoon pe akele aayi hoon!
6. Chak De! India
Chak De! India is an exceptional multi-layered movie. Kabir Khan becomes a victim of religious bias when he is falsely accused of siding with Pakistan in the Men’s Hockey Worldcup. He is removed from his post as a captain, trolled out of proportion, and is forced to abandon his hometown with his mother. Dejected Kabir decides to make a return and avenge his lost honour by becoming the Coach of the Women’s Hockey Team, which is also constantly sidelined and undermined by the authorities.
The movie revived patriotic fervour, stirred interest in Hockey, India’s National game, and sensitised people to watch sports without gender bias. And from this we know that Chak De! is another Bollywood movie worthy of global recognition.
Mujhe states ke naam na sunai dete hai na dikhai dete hai…Sirf ek mulk ka naam sunai deta hai: I-N-D-I-A!
-Kabir Khan, Chak De India
Udaan is an astonishing tale of retrieval and repossession of self. Rohan flees himself and his younger brother —from the strangling shadows of his father— to follow his passion of becoming a writer in the City of Dreams. The film’s linear plot is filled with heart-wrecking scenes. Its portrayal of the horrific authoritarian father who imposes his decisions on his son and chases him away from his dreams is extremely intense.
The movie ends with a note of inspiration and liberation from the clutches of the past into the gleam of the future. It is yet another message-driven astounding tale of a teenager and his coming of age.
Jo lehron se aage nazar dekh paatitoh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon,Wo aawaz tumko bhi jo bhed jaatitoh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon.Zid ka tumhare jo parda sarakta,khidkiyon se aage bhi tum dekh paate,Aankhon se aadaton ki jo palken hatate,toh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon
This ridiculously small list is a mere attempt to bring our attention to these extraordinary films that Bollywood has blessed us with. It is easy to generalise the industry and stereotype the kind of content it makes, but dig deeper and you’ll find it is filled with treasures, with stories like these and many more.