The Hindi film industry is home to a vast amount of talent, but most of its talented actors are often not given the right kind of fame that they deserve. While some actors have more than their fair share of accolades and adulation, most of the talented thespians are often relegated to the shadows. A mediocre film with huge star power will see huge box office collections, but films with an extremely good storyline and amazing actors hardly ever get a big release and fades away from public memory quite fast.
But, for when you have had enough of the so-called “talented” stars of Bollywood, do give the films made by these offbeat non-commercial actors a look to genuinely appreciate good cinema being made.
1. Abhay Deol
He doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind, and the characters he has played on-screen prove that. While he may have been a part of commercially successful films such as ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara’ and ‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’, Abhay Deol is one actor who never got his due. His debut film ‘Socha Na Tha’ was a class apart and so have many of his other films been such as ‘Ek Chalis Ki Last Local’, ‘Manorama Six Feet Under’, and ‘Ahista Ahista’. Watch his films when you want to understand the depths to which actors can go to look convincing.
2. Radhika Apte
This pretty actress is truly an unconventional heroine and takes on roles that require her to be more than just a pretty face and supporting actor. She started her career with a small role in the fantasy film, ‘Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!’ in 2005 and then went on to deliver phenomenal hits such as ‘Rakta Charitra’and ‘Shor In The City’. While she may not have found success in Bollywood, she went on to deliver good projects in various regional language films, such as Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, and Telegu. She has even tried her luck in theatre and various short films. So, when you feel like watching good cinema that is high on quality, do watch Radhika’s short film ‘Kriti’ and ‘Ahalya’.
3. Kalki Koechlin
Who can forget Kalki’s tomboyish avatar Aditi in the film ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ and as Lisa in ‘Ek Thi Daayan’? While these films attained commercial success, many of Kalki’s other films did not get the attention they deserved as they did not have the star power required to make them commercial hits. Do watch Kalki’s amazing performances in ‘Margarita With A Straw’, ‘That Girl In Yellow Boots’, ‘A Death In The Gunj’, ‘I Am’, and ‘Waiting’ to understand the depth of her performances. Apart from acting in films, Kalki is also a part of various stage plays and is known to voice her opinions strongly for any cause that she feels about.
4. Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan is probably the most underrated actor in the Hindi film industry. He has given some mind-blowing performances in movies such as ‘The Lunchbox’, ‘Hindi Medium’, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, ‘Maqbool’, and ‘Haasil’, to name a few. He has also been a part of various international projects such as ‘Life Of Pi’, ‘Inferno’, ‘Jurassic Park’, and ‘The Namesake’. While his acting is no doubt excellent, Bollywood has failed to recognize his talents and he is often relegated to the roles of a supporting actor or when he is the male lead, the film fails to garner much support and is not a major hit. If you want to know the powerhouse of talent that is Irrfan Khan, do watch his films such as ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’, ‘Talvaar’, and ‘Madaari’.
5. Nawazuddin Siddiqui
He is the dark horse of the Indian film industry, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui has proven himself time and again. With films such as ‘Raman Raghav 2.0′, ‘Freaky Ali’, ‘Manjhi: The Mountain Man’, and ‘Haraamkhor’ to his credit, he is a force to be reckoned with. He is a powerhouse performer and his acting prowess is unmatched. In films like ‘Raees’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Badlapur’, ‘Mom’, and ‘Talaash’, when he has been cast alongside famous actors, he has proven his mettle and outshone them.
6. Swara Bhaskar
Swara Bhaskar achieved commercial success after a string of failures with movies such as ‘Madholal Keep Walking’ and ‘The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project’ when she played supporting roles in films like ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Raanjhanaa’, ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’, ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’, and ‘Listen… Amaya’. When her solo hits ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ and ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’ did well on the box-office, it was then that critics stood up and took notice of her. However, she is yet to make it to the list of Bollywood’s A-listers. But, we do not see her complaining and she has been known to take a stance for important issues and is not one to back down from any controversies.
While these actors may have started out small, they are in no way behind the stars of today and have their own fan following, who religiously watch all their films.