While the Hindi film industry does its usual number of big film releases every year featuring A-listers and get a theatrical release with an average of over 1000-screens across the country, there also exists a parallel C-grade industry that churns out films every year, which you’ve never heard of. Made at extremely low budgets, with hardly any recognisable faces, these films mostly make it to smaller towns and single screens for a couple of weeks before vanishing forever.
Here’s a quick look at ten C-grade Hindi films that you’ve (thankfully) missed this year:
1. Hum Lenge Make In India Ka Sankalp - Because ‘Vikas’
Raghubir Yadav, who we last saw as Varun Dhawan’s dad in Made in India, returns to be a part of something similarly called - Hum Lenge Make In India Ka Sankalp. So, a young girl from a big city turns up in a remote village saying (in her own words) “Mujhe yahaan ka vikas karna hai”, this gives the writers the excuse to pick up issues like caste violence, corruption, women’s empowerment, primary education and overpopulation (phew! Ayushmann Khurrana would be impressed).
So, the trailer actually begins with a shot of the globe, and we zoom into some part of what looks like North America to land in a village in India. Enough said?
2. Ammaa Ki Boli - Yo Mama So...
Ammaa Ki Boli features Sanjay Mishra, Hrishita Bhatt and Farrukh Jaffar (remember the old loud mom in Peepli Live). If that doesn’t excite you - the film revolves around an old matriarch, her 5 children and a second-hand scooter. Clearly the ‘slap’stick comedy, fart jokes and visuals of Mishra and Bhatt doing hip-hop (see exhibit A) wasn’t interesting enough to get people into theatres.
The IMDB entry of the Ammaa Ki Boli mentions 2013 as the release date, no surprise why the producers couldn’t get the film out for another 6 long years.
You can watch the trailer of Ammaa Ki Boli here:
3. Shaadi Ke Patasey - No ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ This
At a time when a film based in Jammu and Kashmir should have made some noise, Shaadi Ke Patasey went unnoticed. But, it did get the reclusive Asrani out of hibernation and he along with Shagufta Ali are the only two remotely recognisable faces in the film. Shaadi Ke Patasey seems to revolve around Firoz and Ayesha’s romance that goes out of the window right after they get married and enter domestic hell.
You can catch the unremarkable trailer of Shaadi Ke Patasey below:
4. Chicken Curry Law - Wut?!
While you wrap your head around the title of the film - Chicken Curry Law, this a rare film which has Ashutosh Rana playing a good guy. The plot of the film is fairly simple, a foreigner named Maya Johnson, who works as a belly-dancer in India, is raped by 2 politically influential men. A courtroom drama follows to bring justice to the survivor while fighting against victim-shaming and money + muscle power. Biggest learning from trailer? Ashutosh Rana actually looks good, when he plays good (See exhibit B).
But wait, why the hell is the film titled Chicken Curry Law? If anyone cracks that, please leave your answers in the comments section.
You can watch the trailer of Chicken Curry Law here:
5. Kissebaaz - Sacred Storyteller Playing Games
I guess Pankaj Tripathi’s name in the credits now carries enough weight to get a film into theatres these days. But, Kissebaaz unfortunately seems to have squandered on Tripathi’s talent by making a blink and miss appearance in cinema halls. Set in Benares, Kissebaaz has Tripathi playing a criminal who keeps the police officer who arrests him engrossed with his story about two rival local politicians and the fall out of their clash. While the premise sounds promising, it seems the writer and director on this one weren’t much of a Kissebaaz themselves.
6. Keep Safe Distance - Absolutely!
Don’t say the makers of Keep Safe Distance, didn’t warn you, the title gives fair warning about this C-grade release. The trailer of the film itself reeks Islamophobia, with stereotypical ‘very Muslim’ characters (see exhibit C), looking villainous, planting bombs and swearing to take Kashmir from India.
Keep Safe Distance also features item songs with cringe worthy lyrics that go:
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Le Chal Saiyaan Mujhe Beer Bar...
The obnoxious trailer ends with the most foul dialogue of all: “Main jaanta hoon har muslaman aatankwadi nahi hota, par pakde jaane par har aatankwadi musalman hi hota hai.”
PS: There is even an attempt to tell the audience that a very successful campaign against black money and ‘swachh India abhiyaan’ is going on in the country. Just keep safe distance.
7. Chaturnath - Peepli Dead
Remember Omkar Das Manikpuri, the lead actor of Peepli Live? Well, since his debut in the Aamir Khan production in 2010, Manikpuri has done a host of B-grade films, including titles like How is Wow, Gaon: The Village No More and Hu Narendra Modi Banva Mangu Chu. His 2019 release Chaturnath seems to be so obscure that even IMDB doesn’t have it on its list.
The trailer of Chaturnath crowns Manikpuri as the ‘King of Comedy’, pray, when did that happen? In the film he apparently plays a fake lawyer who takes the fight for justice very seriously after a bomb attack. A Spanish dancer Nira Suarez is also part of this cast (see exhibit D). Go figure.
8. Blackboard vs Whiteboard - Wokey Dokey
Raghubir Yadav again plays an important part in this film titled Blackboard vs Whiteboard. The film is all about the importance of primary education and how government schools are increasingly losing out due to corruption, apathy from the state and commercialisation of education. Borrowing from real life, Blackboard vs Whiteboard also touches upon the issue of children dying due to mid-day meals.
Well, a good message to send out, but who’s watching?
9. Junction Varanasi - Deewar Redux
Junction Varanasi looks like Deewar revisited with some twists and turns. This one features two brothers (called Amar and Prem!) on either side of the divide, one of them, Prem, is the villain Sadhucharan’s right hand man. There is also a maa here played by Zarina Wahab, who Prem says he’ll take away and live separately with when things get out of hand (a la Bachchan’s character Vijay in Deewar).
Brought up by baddie Sadhucharan himself, Prem is mentally slow due to an accident he had as a child, but is totally devoted to his villainous mentor. The trailer declares him, ‘the most intelligent pagal’ - is that another twist in the tale? Has Prem been acting like he’s lost it all this while, but is actually the sanest of the lot? Do you want to find out?
10. Bagpat Ka Dulha - Batman v Superman
Bagpat ka Dulha revolves around two warring families - the source of their enmity being their competitive cable TV businesses. The only recognisable face in this C-grade outing is Raza Murad and the highlight of the trailer is the fleeting glimpses that we get of the DC superheroes - Batman and Superman in Bagpat (see exhibit E).
Are they the mascots of the cable TV companies? Are they local vigilantes? Could they have got more fitting costumes? So many questions.
Also, this is the kind of film that considers a woman thrusting a sword into a cop’s privates to be “funny”, so...
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