Hindi Cinema has progressed by leaps and bounds since 1923. There has been a natural progression of change in terms of movie making in India. Theatres, movies, directors and even audiences have evolved. One of the best things that Indian cinema has witnessed is that there is a wide variety of audience and therefore the variety of Indian cinema is so broad that is is popular throughout the world. Indian cinema is not just limited to the boundaries of our country but has successfully transcended them. Indian cinema has attained a global recognition and some of its movies have been nominated at one of the most prestigious awards, The Oscars. We bring you a list of Indian Cinema’s Oscar Nominated movies that are masterpiece. These movies are a must-watch.
#1 Salaam Bombay! (1988)
Salaam Bombay! was directed by Mira Nair and was released in 1988. The story primarily revolves around the children who live on street in Mumbai and how tough survival is in such hostile environment. Krishna (Shafiq Syed) has to repay his elder brother. Circumstances bring him to Mumbai where he is immediately robbed. He soon befriends thieves and begins to live near the red light area in Mumbai. He begins working at a tea stall and soon realizes how tough it is to save money. Somehow, Krishna manages to save 300 rupees but the money is soon stolen by his drug addict friend.
The movie won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and also won few awards at the Cannes. It also got nominated for Oscars but lost the award to a Danish movie, Pelle the Conqueror.
#2 Little Terrorist (2004)
It was a short film with big impact. A little boy, Jamal, from Pakistan named Jamal accidentally crosses the India-Pakistan border while chasing a ball. He is spotted by the Border Security Forces but manages to escape to a nearby village. He is given shelter by a man in the village and is also protected by the man when the force comes looking for Jamal. He eventually returns home.
#3 Lagaan (2004)
One of the best Aamir Khan movies, Lagaan is a story of villagers who are burdened by high taxes. When they complain about the situation to the Britishers, they are challenged to win a Cricket match against the Britishers. While most of the villagers are hesitant to accept the challenge, Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) accepts the challenge on behalf of his village. He begins training the village men for the match and his helped by Elizabeth (played by Rachel Kelley).
#4 Mother India (1958)
Our list is incomplete if we do not mention Mother India. The film was directed by Mehboob Khan and was India’s first submission for the Academy Award. Mother India highlighted the issues faced by farmers. Radha (Nargis) is married to Shamu (Raaj Kumar). Shamu’s mother had taken a loan for the wedding which Radha and Shamu had to pay back. Radha and Shamu work hard but in the process, Shamu becomes disabled. Ashamed of himself, he leaves Radha and soon dies of starvation. Radha continues to work hard and raise her sons. Against all odds, Radha never gives up hope.
#5 Pather Panchali (1955)
This is the directorial debut of ace director, Satyajit Ray. The title of the flick ‘Pather Panchali’ means ‘The song of the little road’. The movie is based on Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s novel by the same title. It is a simple story which touches the heart. Shot amidst the surroundings of rural Bengal, the story revolves around Harihar (Kanu Banerjee) who is priest and struggles to make ends meet due to lack of money. Harihal lives with his wife, their two children and Harihar’s cousin. Harihar’s wife has become extremely bitter and she takes out her frustration at Harihar’s cousin. To escape poverty, Harihar leaves the village to find better opportunities. When he returns, he is shocked to find his daughter has died because the wife had no money to pay for the medical care.
The movie was not submitted for the Academy Award but in 1992, Satyajit Ray received an honorary award for Pather Panchali.