Thirty Indian Films that You Cannot Afford to Miss: A List by Film Critic Utpal Dutta

One of the country’s most influential film critics, Utpal Datta has compiled a list of 30 Indian films, which he takes into account as ‘Must See’ movies.

One of the country’s most influential film critics, Utpal Datta has compiled a list of 30 Indian films, which he takes into account as ‘Must See’ movies. Datta’s latest book on film appreciation – Chalachitrar Rasaswadan, sheds light on some of the most artistically made movies, and the people behind their makings. It has to be mentioned that this is the first Assamese book on the subject of film appreciation, which is an extension of film criticism. The author addresses the book not just to film students but to any enthusiast, offering new keys as to how to recognise and value the good films. From a carefully selected list of 100 films, some groundbreaking ones, he has included 30 Indian films along with seventy specially picked films from world cinema. This book, which aims to help readers to see movies in a whole new light, is an important guide to the students of Film Appreciation. 

Utpal Datta bagged the Special Jury Mention for his writings on Cinema at the National Film Awards besides winning several other awards. He extensively writes on films and edits books on cinema and delivers lectures on Film Aesthetics at Universities. He has also made short films, most notably ‘By Lane 2’ and ‘Bahubritta’, both of which were included in the prestigious Indian Panorama. ‘By Lane 2’ also fetched him the State Award for Best Direction. He has served as a member of Jury in several National and International Film Festivals.

The following is the list of 30 Indian films that any film lover cannot afford to miss:


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Films in Assamese  

1. Anirban, Dir – Bhabendra Nath Saikia

2. Dr. Bezbarua, Brajen Barua

3. Agnishnan, Bhabendra Nath Saikia

4. Kallol, Atul Bardaloi

Films in Bangla

5. Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray

6. Charulata, Satyajit Ray

7. Pratidwandi, Satyajit Ray

8. Ajantrik, Rwitwik Ghatak

9. Chorus, Mrinal Sen

10. Chitrangada, Rituparno Ghosh

11. Hrid Majharey, Ranjan Ghosh

Film in Khasi 

12. Onaatah, Pradip Kurbah

Film in Manipuri 

13. Imagi Ningthem, Aribam Syam Sharma

 Films in Hindi 

14. Pyaasa, Guru Dutt

15. Mughal-E-Azam, K. Asif

16. Mother India, Mehboob Khan

17. Do Bigha Zamin, Bimal Roy

18. Kaagaz Ke Phool, Guru Dutt

19. Trikal, Shyam Benegal

20. Guide, Vijay Anand

21. Sholay, Ramesh Sippy

22. Anand, Hrishikesh Mukherjee

23. Satya, Ram Gopal Varma

24. Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, Chandan Arora

Films in Malayalam 

25. Elippathayam, Adoor Gopalakrishnan

26. Piravi, Shaji N. Karun

27. Swaham, Shaji N. Karun

28. Olu, Shaji N. Karun

29. Chidambaram, G. Aravindan

Film inTelugu 

30. Sankarabharanam, K. Viswanath

This list of thirty of the greatest Indian films is surely a treasure for all film lovers and critics alike. With his well acclaimed craftsmanship and understanding of cinema, revered film-critic Utpal Datta has really enabled us all to acquaint ourselves with cinema in Indian languages and see some of the best cinematic productions of our times.

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