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10 Underrated Indian Films You Shouldn’t Miss

ByCinema Chapter

Jul 25, 2023

Discover the hidden gems of Indian cinema with our list of 10 underrated Indian films you shouldn't miss. From gripping dramas to heartwarming comedies, these movies offer an authentic and captivating cinematic experience. Read on to explore our handpicked selection of Indian cinema's best-kept secrets!


Indian cinema is renowned for its diverse storytelling and vibrant narratives that captivate audiences worldwide. While Bollywood often takes the spotlight, there are numerous underrated Indian films that deserve recognition for their exceptional storytelling, talented actors, and thought-provoking themes. In this article, we present a comprehensive list of 10 underrated Indian films you shouldn't miss. These films showcase the rich tapestry of Indian culture, emotions, and creativity that often go unnoticed. So, grab your popcorn as we embark on a cinematic journey filled with beauty, inspiration, and artistic brilliance.

10 Underrated Indian Films You Shouldn't Miss: Shwaas

1. The National Award Winning Film: Shwass

Shwaas is an emotionally charged Marathi film that leaves a lasting impact on its viewers. The heart-touching story revolves around a young boy, Parashuram, who is diagnosed with a life-threatening eye ailment. When the doctors inform him that he will lose his sight completely, his grandfather embarks on a poignant journey to help him see the world before darkness envelops him forever. This National Award-winning film resonates with the themes of love, hope, and the human spirit's resilience. Its soul-stirring narrative and stellar performances make it a must-watch for cinema enthusiasts.

2. The Unconventional Heist: Aankhon Dekhi

Aankhon Dekhi is a gem of Indian cinema that skillfully blends comedy and philosophy. The film revolves around Bauji, an eccentric patriarch, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery after he experiences an existential crisis. He decides to believe only in things he has personally witnessed, leading to humorous yet thought-provoking encounters with his family and friends. Through Bauji's journey, the film delves into the complexities of human relationships and the pursuit of truth. It's a refreshing take on life's uncertainties, delivered with impeccable performances and a witty screenplay.

3. A Tale of Innocence and Friendship: Stanley Ka Dabba

Stanley Ka Dabba is a heartwarming tale of friendship and resilience set in a school backdrop. The film follows the life of Stanley, a young schoolboy loved by all his peers for his cheerful nature. However, his life takes a turn when a gluttonous Hindi teacher forces students to share their tiffin boxes with him. Stanley, with no tiffin of his own, faces humiliation and struggles to hide his truth from his friends. The movie addresses issues of child labor and emotional challenges faced by children in a sensitive and delightful manner. Stanley Ka Dabba is a cinematic gem that beautifully captures the innocence and camaraderie of school life.

4. A Whimsical Fantasy: Paheli

Paheli enchants viewers with its magical narrative inspired by Rajasthani folklore. The story revolves around a woman, Lachchi, who is married to a merchant but finds herself intrigued by a ghost that takes her husband's form during his prolonged absence. Unaware of the switch, she develops a unique bond with the ghost, and when the real husband returns, a bewildering love triangle emerges. This visually stunning film blends fantasy and romance with rich cultural elements, leaving the audience mesmerized by its enchanting charm.

5. A Compelling Political Drama: Haider

Haider stands as a cinematic masterpiece that artfully adapts Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet to the backdrop of the tumultuous Kashmir conflict. The film portrays the story of Haider, a young man who returns to Kashmir to uncover the truth behind his father's mysterious disappearance and encounters the harsh realities of insurgency. With powerful performances, evocative dialogues, and soul-stirring music, Haider delves into the complexities of human emotions, political turmoil, and the desire for vengeance. It remains a significant contribution to Indian cinema's portrayal of the Kashmir issue.

6. A Soulful Journey: Kadvi Hawa

Kadvi Hawa is a poignant film that addresses the pressing issue of climate change and its impact on marginalized communities. Set in a drought-prone region, the film portrays the struggles of a debt-ridden farmer and a blind old man who predicts the weather by sensing the wind. Their lives intersect, and the film beautifully captures their resilience in the face of adversity caused by climate change. Kadvi Hawa is a thought-provoking cinematic experience that urges viewers to reflect on their roles in preserving the environment.

7. A Musical Extravaganza: Jagga Jasoos

Jagga Jasoos is a visually enchanting adventure musical that takes the audience on a roller-coaster journey of mystery and discovery. The film follows Jagga, a young detective with a stammer, who embarks on a quest to find his missing foster father. Through mesmerizing musical sequences, innovative storytelling, and outstanding performances, Jagga Jasoos unravels the complexities of family bonds and the importance of communication. It's a delightful treat for both young and adult audiences alike.

8. A Tale of Women Empowerment: Lipstick Under My Burkha

Lipstick Under My Burkha challenges societal norms and patriarchy with its powerful portrayal of four women from different backgrounds. Their dreams, desires, and struggles to break free from societal constraints converge in this compelling narrative. The film delves into the complexities of womanhood, sexuality, and the pursuit of freedom in a conservative society. With its bold storytelling and stellar performances, Lipstick Under My Burkha serves as a beacon of women's empowerment.

9. A Cinematic Triumph: Ship of Theseus

Ship of Theseus is an intellectually stimulating film that intertwines three compelling stories exploring philosophical questions about identity, life, and existence. The film navigates the lives of a visually impaired photographer, a monk facing an ethical dilemma, and a liver transplant recipient questioning her identity. Ship of Theseus challenges viewers to ponder the interconnectedness of human experiences and leaves a profound impact with its thought-provoking narrative.

10. An Emotional Roller-Coaster: Udaan

LSI Keywords: Coming-of-age, father-son relationship, dreams

Udaan is a coming-of-age drama that tugs at the heartstrings with its emotive storytelling. The film follows the journey of Rohan, a talented teenager expelled from boarding school and forced to return to his estranged father's oppressive household. Despite facing adversity, Rohan aspires to be a writer, determined to pursue his dreams. Udaan is a heart-rending tale of resilience, family dynamics, and the pursuit of one's passions.


Q: Is Shwaas available with English subtitles for international viewers?

A: Yes, Shwaas is available with English subtitles, allowing international viewers to experience its emotional depth and brilliance.

Q: Does Aankhon Dekhi offer English subtitles for non-Hindi speakers?

A: Absolutely! Aankhon Dekhi provides English subtitles, making it accessible to a wider audience.

Q: How can I watch Paheli online with subtitles?

A: Paheli is available on various streaming platforms with English subtitles, offering a delightful viewing experience for global audiences.

Q: Is Haider a faithful adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet?

A: Yes, Haider skillfully adapts Hamlet to the context of the Kashmir conflict, offering a powerful and relevant retelling of the classic tragedy.

Q: Where can I stream Kadvi Hawa online?

A: Kadvi Hawa is available on various streaming platforms, allowing viewers to witness its thought-provoking narrative on climate change.

Q: Does Lipstick Under My Burkha challenge societal norms effectively?

A: Absolutely! Lipstick Under My Burkha fearlessly challenges societal norms, making it a compelling watch that sparks important conversations.


Exploring the world of cinema goes beyond the glitz and glamour of mainstream Bollywood. The Indian film industry boasts an array of underrated masterpieces that deserve recognition for their exceptional storytelling, brilliant performances, and thought-provoking themes. From the emotional depths of Shwaas to the whimsical charm of Paheli, each film on this list offers a unique and captivating experience.

As you delve into these 10 underrated Indian films, you'll be transported to different worlds, witnessing the human spirit's triumphs and tribulations. So, immerse yourself in these cinematic gems and appreciate the beauty of Indian storytelling at its finest.

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