While Bollywood movies usually do extremely well in the homeland, the formula to cut it in the international scene has still been elusive. The ratio is 200: 10 or even less. To get noticed abroad, the movies need to have a combination of a lot of factors - they need to tug at your heart-strings, make you think and retain a certain amount of Traditional aspect. Through the years though, some movies that stood out have made it through the cracks to amazing international acclaim.
Here are some Indian movies that made us proud abroad:
1. Lagaan (2001) - Ashutosh Gowarikar
Nominated for an Academy Award
This 2001 epic directed by Ashutosh Gowariker remains one of the most celebrated Indian films of all time. Set in the pre-Independence era, Lagaan could well have been a spectacular failure but Aamir and filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker were convinced it would go down well with audiences. And it did. It was the 3rd Indian movie to be nominated for an Academy Award, and has a 99% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty crazy. In 2010, the film was ranked No. 55 in Empire magazines 'The 100 Best Films of World Cinema', and in 2011, it was listed in Time magazine's special 'The All-Time 25 Best Sports Movies'. Basically, everyone loved it.
2. Devdas (2002) - Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated for a BAFTA award
This 2002 version directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali was a massive critical and commercial success in India. This acclaim led to the film being India's submission of the Academy Award and getting nominated for a BAFTA award for best foreign language film. Time Magazine called it the best world movie of 2002 and recently included it in the top 10 movies of the millennium worldwide. It was also ranked #74 in Empire magazines 'The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema.'
3. Monsoon Wedding (2001) - Mira Nair
Nominated for a BAFTA award
Mira Nair's 2001 movie about the emotional toll of putting together an expensive wedding along with managing relationships within the family, won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival and received a Golden Globe Award nomination.The movie even inspired its own Broadway musical. It also received nominations for a BAFTA and won a British Independent Film Award. This film was a combined production between Indian and foreign companies.
4. Dil Se (1998) - Mani Ratnam
Won the Netpac Award at the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival
Dil Se was the third in Mani Ratnam's trilogy of movies based on terrorists. Released in 1998, the film won the Netpac Award at the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival. It earned praise for cinematography and screenplay at the Era New Horizons Film Festival and the Helsinki International Film Festival. As well as being critically acclaimed, the movie also did very impressively US and UK box office.
5. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) - Guru Dutt
List of the greatest films of all time by Sight and Sound
Kagaz Ke Phool is that rare film whose commercial failure is famous. Its disappointment is known to have dispirited a genius like Guru Dutt. Ironically, it is somehow in conjunction with Guru Dutt's oft-expressed cynical view of worldly fame (Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye toh kya hai?) that today the film is considered no less than a cult classic.
This 1959 film featured Guru Dutt, who also directed and produced the movie. Many considered the movie way ahead of its time, which would explain the immediate box office failure. It became a world cult classic in the 80s however, and was included in a list of greatest films of all time in Sight and Sound. The film is said to have been inspired by Guru Dutt's association with Gyan Mukherjee.