It's almost summer, and lying on the beach, barbeque parties and raspberry mojitos are on the mind. In celebration of those upcoming, lazy summer days, here's our list of recent Indian indie movies – perfect for popping in your laptop or iPad under a sun umbrella.
With all the indie flicks coming out of India, you can quench your desire for a little brown love without all the song-and-dance numbers.
Herewith, our list of must-see Indian indie films:
Watch it with: Your BFF, parents, girlfriends, everyone.
Synopsis: Splurge on the original and not a pirate copy, because you'll need the subtitles to keep up with this absolutely hilarious movie. Set in Pakistan, the movie follows a wannabe reporter (the very cute Ali Zafar) whose dream to be an American journalist is crushed after an on-flight misunderstanding involving a butter knife puts him on the no-fly list. His chance at broadcast glory is resurrected when he creates a fake Osama video using a local chicken farmer lookalike, causing a chain reaction around the world. Favourite part: US army plans drawn up as Captain America-type cartoons.
Watch it with: Your BFF (really, you can watch anything with him/her), or your special someone.
Synopsis: From the makers of clever caper movie, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye (one of our fave soundtracks), Love Sex Aur Dhoka is another unconventional flick that features relative unknown actors in a provocative, surveillance/voyeuristic themed movie based on three intertwining stories based on sex, love and dhoka (betrayal). Set in Mumbai, this movie is a smart critique on sensational news media, fame and an SMS obsessed society, and talks about honour killings, sex tapes and undercover reality show style stings through a new, smarter lens. A little heavy, save it for a night in with a bottle of cab sav.
Watch it with: Your BFF, your girlfriends. Your parents… maybe not so much.
Synopsis: This is over a year old now, but perfect if you're looking for a sexy, moody, heartache type of movie. Slick and stylish, Dev D is the perfect antidote to the over-the-top production of the Shah Rukh Khan/ Aishwarya/ Madhuri version Devdas. No stained glass windows, over-acted alcoholics and flashy dance numbers. Instead, Abhay Deol plays a flawed, arrogant Devdas who is haunted by a coke addiction and his spunky, updated Paro, who texts nude pictures to Dev when he's abroad. Not for the faint of heart.
Watch it with: Your parents, BFF, everyone.
Synopsis: A little movie with international buzz (it's the first Indian film to show at Sundance), Peepli Live brings a fresh, satirical angle to a story about Indian farmers suffering from an ongoing drought. Fake suicides, family sacrifice and loads of sensational Indian news media are key parts of this movie that features a non-star cast, instead opting for theatre actors to play key roles. And it's also produced by Aamir Khan, giving this little film big name buzz.
Watch it with: Your BFF, parents with a sense of humour, everyone.
Also a year or two old, but super quirky. The President Is Coming stars Konkona Sen Sharma, the darling of Indian indie films (see her in Amu, simply sublime), alongside an ensemble cast, all who are fighting to win a chance to meet the President of the USA. Shot in a reality show format, the film progresses from hilarious to ridiculous, but in a good way.
Watch it with: Your mom, your BFF, your artsy friends.
Synopsis: Check out our review from the TIFF premiere of Dhobi Ghat. Soulful, colourful and a different side of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan.
Story By: Manjot Bains