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Famous Actors in Parallel Cinema

Comments  Comments [ 10 ]    By Gurprit K. | 20 March 2015 | 9:46pm


When one thinks about Bollywood movies, one thinks of the masala, the excitement, the colourful songs and dance numbers. But, as long as there have been movies, there has been parallel cinema. Parallel cinema consists of both art films and films that have a hard-hitting subject, films without the glamour and glitz we are used to. These are the films that critics fall in love with, films of a serious nature that draws out the best in actors.

A lot of actors these days are drawn to roles in such films. From Aamir Khan in Dhobi Ghat (2010) to Shreyas Talpade in Dor (2006), from Juhi Chawla in My Brother... Nikhil (2005) to Nandita Das in Ek Alag Mausam (2003), there has been a wide variety of films coming out in parallel cinema, and a number of different actors have been trying their hand at such strong stories.


Konkona Sen Sharma is one of the biggest actresses in parallel cinema. She has acted in both Hindi and Bengali parallel cinema films. Her impressive filmography boasts of movies like 15 Park Avenue (2006), which deals with schizophrenia and Mr And Mrs Iyer (2002), which deals with cultural strife. Starring with her in both these films was Rahul Bose.


Rahul Bose has also starred in English, August (1994), which is a humorous and irreverent study of the bureaucracy and the Indian Generation X. More recently, he starred in the 2010 film I Am, an Indian anthology film consisting of four short films based on real life stories. He's been a staple face in much of Indian parallel cinema and has garnered much critical acclaim for his unconventional roles.


Another relatively common name in parallel cinema films is that of Kalki Koechlin. The actress made her debut in Dev D (2009), which was a modern take on the novella Devdas. Since then, she appeared in That Girl In Yellow Boots (2011), an Indian thriller film, and will appear in Margarita, with a Straw (2015), a film about cerebral palsy that comes out sometime this year.


While his cousins seem to choose commercial films, Abhay Deol has starred in both parallel and commercial cinema. He appeared in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! in 2008, a black comedy film inspired by the real life shenanigans of Devinder Singh alias Bunty, who was a real-life "super-chor". He then starred opposite Kalki in Dev D (2009).


Aditya Srivastava is more commonly known for his television roles, predominantly for his role in C.I.D.; however, he has also starred in films. Bandit Queen (1995), a biographical picture based on the life of Phoolan Devi, was his first outing in films. After that, he appeared in a number of parallel cinema films, among them Gulaal (2009) and Mohandas (2009).

Parallel cinema offers a more serious look at life, stripped of the masala, the excitement and the colours that the rest of our movies offer. We can enjoy a slice of something a little more critically acclaimed to balance out our love for the glitzy magic of Bollywood. There have been many films of this nature over the years, and we can be rest assured that Bollywood will continue to have an avenue of them as time goes on. After all, we need some seriousness before we can escape into the song-and-dance. Which are some of the parallel cinema films you enjoyed? Who would you love to see in a film of this nature? Leave us your comments below.

Writer: Aradhna K.
Editor(s): Nisha M. & Gunia K.
Graphics: Marsh P.

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