List of Hindi films that were made way ahead of time? Pyaasa Included

Not all Hindi films are bad, these are the films that are masterpieces and way ahead of their time

“In India, we have a Fairly Backward Audience” – Satyajit Ray

We often hear Indian Millenials and even the Y gen commenting on the mediocrity of  Hindi Cinema, especially the commercial Hindi cinema. The Indian masses have now been in a habit of getting fantasized about the content of the world outside, downplaying the value and cultures of the films made in the country itself. But let us tell you, the Indian Cinema is not as bad as the masses perceive it. Here are a few films that have been made way ahead of their time and probably are still ahead.

List of Hindi films that were made way ahead of time


This film is a melancholic treat for your heart. Directed by Guru Dutt, the film shows his philosophy of life. The film is about how harsh life is for a person. The film is a mirror to the society, where we see an artist losing his lover, seeing his artworks getting undervalued, and a saga of betrayal by friends and family and their coming back to the protagonist for their greed. Also, the representation of Sex workers is so brave in the film that no one can ever think of coming up with such a representation to date.


I wonder if we can ever get enough of this film. Made in 1996, the film bravely introduces the idea of a lesbian relationship which is something that is still a challenge for Indian masses to understand. The homophobia in the masses made this film a controversial one then and still states it to be controversial to date.


Shabana Azmi has been one of the favourite actors of the new wave cinema, and Mandi is a gem from the new wave. Shyam Benegal’s directed film, Mandi is a brave attempt to show the lives of sex workers and shows it in such a beautiful way that it dwells the audience to get a humanist approach towards the sex workers, who are generally seen with a very derogatory eye.

Salaam Bombay

A Mira Nair film about a child, who has run to Bombay, for money and living. In the streets of a city, which is larget than his mind could ever process, the film revolves around the struggles of the child, who has no home and no assurance for basic survival need.

Read more: A woman in a toxic relationship is in that position because she chose the wrong Partner. Why is the onus always on a woman?

Kagaz k Phul

Coming back to Guru Dutt’s philosophy of life, Kagaz K Phul is a film that can be a hard watch as it makes a person meet the highs and the lows, this life can offer. It shows how in a moment, a person who is the most significant person ever can become inconsequential, and irrelevant, and that’s how life is.

Ship of Theseus

I wonder how many films have we got in the 21st century that can be called films made ahead of their time, and the one film that I just can’t forget to mention is absolutely Ship of Theseus. A gem made with such a deep understanding of philosophies that we are in.

So, these are the films in Hindi cinema that come to us when we think of the films which are made ahead of their time. Tell us about more such films if we missed out on any.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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