10 Of Bollywood’s Darkest Off-Beat Comedies To Bring Some Joy To Your Evil Soul
Between apathy and sarcastic disdain there lies an emotion called joy that isn’t too familiar to some of us.
Not due to clinical depression of genuine obstacles, but because we’re dicks. Horrible human beings who aren’t too keen to jump in and laugh everytime a puppy does something remotely puppy-ish. But for us, there’s a whole subgenre of movies dedicated to making us laugh at the most inappropriate things.
And Bollywood over the years has made valid attempts at dark comedies which do deserve attention, if not always praise.
#1 7 Khoon Maaf
Based on a book with a not-so-hilarious plot featuring murder and imprisonment, 7 Khoon Maaf was divisive because of just how god damn quirky it made slaughter look.
With Priyanka Chopra going through the absolute worst men with a cleaver and a dedicated team of household helpers, the film brings fun to a story that would otherwise be truly horrifying to watch. Because chucking your husband into a well full of poisonous snakes is scary, doing it after dancing to a funUsha Uthup number is kind of funny.
#2 Delhi Belly
Let’s get this one firmly out of the way.
It’s got just about everything going for it. A memorable soundtrack, characters that actually sound like living breathing people, a plot that feels spontaneous and bum-friendly orange juice.
Generation defining for all the right reasons, Delhi Belly is the first one that comes to our minds for this list and for good reason.
#3 Being Cyrus
Saif Ali Khan evolved to his final form as a lovable idiot in 2001’s Dil Chahta Hai. But before he changed our opinions with the pant-shittingly scary Langda Tyaagi in Omkara he took a moment for Being Cyrus.
A film that follows an apathetic young man as he infiltrates the household of a middle-aged Parsi couple. Saif Ali Khan’s off-putting behaviour coupled with wacky shenanigans that end in eventual murder ends itself to a film that is disturbingly funny.
If only for its cast of infinitely lovable misfits.
#4 Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
A farcical satire, the film weaves multiple characters in and out of its main narrative involving two photographers out for their big scoop and some cash.
Exposing the devious intentions of powerful businessmen and administrative heads in Mumbai, Jaane Bhi Do remains both refreshing and relevant. If tagging a rotting corpse around the city and dressing it up ad Draupadi is not your idea of humour – there is something deeply wrong with you.
The movie also gets a big plus for having its good guys lose, go to jail and emerge fully aware of just how awful law enforcement in our country can be.
Dark comedies tend to veer towards the asshole-ier sections of society and Ishqiya is no exception. Following two men and a woman eager to manipulate them, Ishqiya and its sequel both frame their characters so that we can accept just how awful they are but still manage to laugh with them.
Rounding out brilliant performances by its lead actors with a zany soundtrack the movie is infinitely rewatchable despite its deplorable characters and story.
#6 Taxi No. 9211
Nana Patekar arguing with John Abraham for about two hours turns out to be way funnier than you’d imagined.
The movie begins with Sanjay Dutt educating the audience about Mumbai’s overtly evident wealth disparity and goes on to play that out for its entire runtime. Highlighting just how different people choose to co-exist or make each other’s lives a living hell, 9211 was ahead of its time and unapologetically pessimistic.
Bollywood’s most recent offering on this list, Kaalakaandi teetered on the edge of bizarre for a while following its release.
While audiences are still debating its merit, there’s no denying its as experimental as mainstream Bollywood is willing to get at the moment. Stories from all across the city merge in a clusterfuck of fast-paced writing and mild existential paranoia.
Going from tragic to hilarious in the blink of an eye, Kaalakaandi is worth a watch if only to discuss and not necessarily love.
Speaking of divisive, there’s nothing quite like Shaitaan to bring out the angry film critic everyone harbours deep in their consciousness. We’re not here to comment on whether it was genius or more pretentious than the one friend who pretends to enjoy espresso shots.
We’re simply here to recommend a film that isn’t too afraid to take a look at the depravity of urban youth and how fast-paced high flying lifestyles come to a screeching halt. Shaitaan isn’t out and out funny, but it does balance its darker themes with a whimsical tone that lets us find irony and wit even in extreme situations.
A comedy of errors based in a red light area, Manoranjan isn’t a black comedy in the strictest sense, but juxtapositioning of its situation with its tone makes it qualify for us.
The movie follows a young police officer who tries to have prostitutes in an area arrested. Until his plans are ruined by the fact that his own superior officer has been frequenting the area. Fired and out of a job, he pairs up with a prostitute played by the charming Zeenat Aman to try and maintain some respectability.
Notable for not really trying to shove morals down our throats, this one is worth taking for a spin.
#10 Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local
Abhay Deol and Neha Dhupia kill it in this overnight adventure. Featuring plenty of twists and turns, it is an enttertainer with a dark soul. Featuring some of Mumbai’s seediest spots and people, the film cruises along with a man who is thrown into a series of events and all because he missed his last chance to get on a train and head home.
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