Bollywood Movies

8 Most Underrated Hindi Movies Of 2023

January 2, 20245 Mins Read

Like it or not, we’re here. We’re one day past 2024 and as much as we’d like ‘new year, new me’ to be a thing, some of us are really hungover in 2023. The last year was a big win for the Indian cinema, garnering back-to-back hits and stellar box office collections. But a lot of quality films remained understated. Like enchanting treasures just waiting to be discovered.

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That’s the thing about all movies, in general. You can’t really judge it with its box office numbers, especially ever since OTT platforms have gone on to create some of the more artistically superior tales. We’re not saying a film’s earnings do not matter, but they can’t be a standalone criterion to assess its worth. And if not anything, many of the best stories from 2023 did not really get their due attention and love. Like these 8 hidden gems:


1. 12th Fail

Of course, we begin with this masterpiece by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, starring Vikrant Massey, journeying the real-life story of IPS officer Manoj Kumar Sharma. Coming from extreme poverty, Kumar overcame countless obstacles to fulfil his dream. The performances, the direction, and the heart-rendering tale all amalgamated into an inspiring and touching movie that became India’s independent entry for the Oscars.

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2. Gulmohar

Starring Sharmila Tagore and Manoj Bajpayee in a mother-son relationship, Rahul V. Chittella’s directorial is a moving family drama. The title ‘Gulmohar’ is the ancestral house name where the Batra family has spent 34 years. Each family member harbours an internal struggle whilst the conflict between the past and present takes over the story. Bajpayee, like always, is at his best, portraying a doting family man, along with Tagore who shines as a family matriarch liberated from the confines of the past.

underrated bollywood movies

3. Three Of Us

There are some actors whose sheer presence is enough motivation to convince the audience they’re a part of a meaningful film. And to think of, Shefali Shah, Jaipdeep Ahlawat, and Swanand Kirkire have done a movie together. Directed by Avinash Arun, the film follows Shailaja Desai at the early onset of dementia, revisiting Konkan — the place where she spent her formative years — with her husband. There, she reunites with Pradip Kamat, a love she lost to life. What follows is a provoking relationship drama riddled with metaphors as Desai meditates on her past while coming to terms with the present, seeking closure from the old traumas and her fleeting memory.

underrated bollywood movies
Outlook India

4. Sam Bahadur

Sam Bahadur clashed on a weekend with another testosterone-high action overdose that sidetracked the attention and love that its remarkable story deserved. Meghna Gulzar’s directorial, starring Vicky Kaushal as Sam Manekshaw, journeys the army life of India’s first Field Marshal who made countless contributions to the Indian army. The film may come across as comprehensive, but it’s next to impossible to pack the grand life of Manekshaw in a 2.5-hour movie; it deserves a series or perhaps multiple sequels. Having said that, the movie is a must-watch, and Kaushal nails the assignment.

underrated bollywood movies

5. Mast Mein Rehne Ka

Vijay Maurya’s directorial ‘Mast Mein Rehne Ka’ is a light-hearted moving tale starring Neena Gupta and Jackie Shroff. Tired of his aloof and monotonous life, Kamath, a retired widower, strikes a friendship with Mrs Handa, a cheerful woman. And what follows is an uplifting tale that makes you wanna live life to the fullest. The film couldn’t have been marketed less, but a story like it deserves all the eyes. 

Also Read: Hollywood Best Action Movies

Hindustan Times

6. Dhak Dhak

Directed by Tarun Dudeja, ‘Dhak Dhak‘ follows four women — Ratna Pathak Shah, Dia Mirza, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Sanjana Sanghi — en route to a life-changing motorbike adventure. These women hail from different walks of life and are frequently in conflict with their past and present. Added on top of it are roadblocks on the way, and well, men and their worldview on women drivers.

underrated bollywood movies 2023

7. Bheed

At a polarising time like this, Anubhav Sinha’s ‘Bheed‘ is a brave movie putting light on the chaos that unfolded in the Covid-19 lockdown. It is a fictional account of the 2020 mass exodus as millions of migrant workers, after losing income and food, departed for their villages on foot without any mode of transport amid institutional apathy as the world was gripped by a deadly virus. Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar do a remarkable job.

underrated bollywood movies 2023

8. Ghoomer

Directed by R. Balki, ‘Ghoomer‘ is an uplifting sports drama starring Abhishek Bachchan and Saiyami Kher. Ani Dixit, a batting prodigy, loses her right hand in a devastating accident. A failed cricketer, Paddy Singh, gives her optimism and hope. With his peculiar tactics, he trains her as a bowler. Together, they both invent a new bowling style, ‘Ghoomer’.

underrated bollywood movies 2023
India Today

Here’s hoping we celebrate stories worth celebrating this new year. Numbers surely help the industry grow, but it is these gems which make it worthwhile.

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