Happy birthday, Vivek Agnihotri: Looking at his lesser-known films
In the past few years, maverick filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri has garnered nationwide limelight through The Tashkent Files (2019) and The Kashmir Files (2022). Known for wearing his heart on his sleeve and not shying away from delving deeper into uncomfortable truths, his oeuvre is embellished with several films transcending genres. On his 49th birthday, let's take a look at his lesser-known movies.
'Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal'
John Abraham and Bipasha Basu headlined this sports drama film, billed as the "contemporary fictional story of the South Asian community in the UK, told through the prism of professional football." It premiered in the Tous Les Cinemas du Monde (World Cinema) section of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Remember that groovy song Billo Rani? It's from this film! Goal is streaming on Netflix.
The erotic thriller Zid was released in 2014 and produced by Anubhav Sinha. Starring Karanvir Sharma, Mannara Chopra, and Shraddha Das, the film explores the story of a couple who gets entangled in a murder case. While the film may have failed to make a mark critically and commercially, it does have an evergreen jukebox embellished by Arijit Singh and Shaarib Sabri, among others.
'Buddha in a Traffic Jam'
Available on ZEE5, this thriller underlines the story of a management student who is pushed into "a web of conspiracy, lies, and deceit when he highlights the plight of the poor in India." The 2016 film stars Anupam Kher, Arunoday Singh, Mahie Gill, and Agnihotri's wife and actor Pallavi Joshi. Agnihotri subsequently penned the book Urban Naxals: The Making of Buddha in a Traffic Jam.
'Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets'
This 2005 film, starring Emraan Hashmi, Irrfan Khan, Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, and Arshad Warsi, was reportedly mounted on a relatively low budget of Rs. 9cr! It follows "five Indians living in London who find themselves thrown together when two of them are implicated in a bomb blast." An Indian lawyer enters the scene to help them out. You can watch it on YouTube.