Every week, Bollywood comes out with new films produced big banners. Sometimes they fail, but often they go on to make millions at the box office. But seldom are there are any small budget films or independent films that despite being made from a really mediocre budget, somehow make their way into our hearts. Here’s a list of 10 such low budget ventures that brought some really talented people to our notice, tears to our eyes or smiles to our faces.
10. Bheja Fry.
The film irritated everyone, but also made us love “the idiot” played by the amazing Vinay Pathak. Not only did the film put him on the map, it managed to win the hearts of both critics and the audience. Made at a budget of just one crore Bheja Fry was a film filled with hilarious situations showcasing a dead-pan humor which despite rarely being seen in Bollywood, had everyone laughing their guts out.
9. Phas Gaye Re Obama.
From writer-director Subhash Kapoor, starring Rajat Kapoor, Phas Gaya Re Obama was about a desperate NRI from America, who had to sell off his ancestral village property so he could save his home in New Jersey from being repossessed by the bank, and his encounters with the strange and odd people he met as he struggled to do so. Made at a mediocre budget of 6 crores this film managed to win hearts with it’s subtle nature and witty humor. The central subject was also new for the Indian audience.
This low-budget film was not only the debut of the lead actor Rajeev Khandelwaal but also saw the debut of the films director (Raj Kumar Gupta), cinematographer (Alphonse Roy), music director (Amit Trivedi) and the producers at UTV Spotboy. Aamir was the story of a doctor of Indian origin returning to Mumbai from London who is forced to participate in a terrorist plot. The film had a limited budget but it manged to raise the eyebrows of all those who witnessed it. Aamir also portrayed a heartbreaking reality that is really hard for everyone to accept.
7. Vicky Donor.
Making his debut as a producer, John Abraham must be thanking his stars for getting hold of this fresh script by Juhi Chaturvedi. Director Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor was about a good-for-nothing guy who starts donating sperms to make a living out of it. The film tackled a tabooed subject and portrayed it with both humour and sensitivity. Made at a budget of approximately 8 crores, Vicky Donor was one of the biggest box office hits of 2012.
6. Pyaar Ka Punchnama.
Someone rightly called it the Office Space of India. Pyaar Ka Punchnama was the story of three guys, frustrated not only by their professional life but also by the women who come into their lives and ruin pretty much everything. Who can forget the comedic timing of the amazing Divyendu Sharma as Liquid and the five-minute rant by Karik Tiwari that covered almost everything a committed guy with a phony girlfriend has to go through.
5. Aankhon Dekhi
Only a few people saw this little gem that came out early this year. Made on a budget of 5 crores the film did not earn much at the box office and was a failure. Luckily, I was one of those who actually saw this little film about a man with a vision, a man with the confidence and the zeal for believing what he actually sees through his own eyes.
This suspense thriller kept us on the edge of the seat from start to finish. A pregnant Vidya Balan in search of a husband sounded like a drama on the surface but was a thrilling ride for everyone who came in to see this film, made from a tiny budget of 8 crores. Kahaani became a mega hit making a collection of nearly 78 crores.
3. Paan Singh Tomar
Made from a budget of a little over five crores, this Tigmanshu Dhulia biopic about a soldier, who went from being an athlete in the army so he could eat unlimited amounts of food, to becoming a rebellious ‘baaghi’, made us care about Paan Singh due to the tight script and brilliant direction by Mr. Dhulia.
2. Ship Of Thesues
Anand Gandhi’s Ship Of Thesues was a movie which we needed but didn’t really deserve when it came out. A film so ahead of time that most of the Indian audience was baffled as to what it was about. Made from a shoestring budget of 2.5 Crores this Recyclewala Labs production didn’t even get a wide-range release. The film had three stories that perfectly and aptly explained the Thesues paradox. The people who got the essence of the movie will agree that it’s one of the most significant films made in years.
There are only a few films like these who in-spite of being low-budget, make a mark. Made with a budget of 5 crores, Udaan earned approximately thirty crores at the Box-Office, even though it had a very small-scale promotion despite having names like UTV and Anurag Kashyap backing it. The only promotion it got, was a few simple promos on TV. Nevertheless, this story of a talented adolescent writer whose dreams of literature and poetry were being crushed by his emotionally and physically abusive single father left us wondering- Will he break those chains and fly off?